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 Post subject: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Hey, a close friend of mine is having a hell of a time with his dog. He got a pup from a shelter maybe about two months ago, and it had some skin allergy problems but they said he seemed to be doing better on the (I believe it was duck-based) low allergen grain-free food they had switched him to. Well, it ended up not seeming to make much of a difference and his skin just keeps getting worse, he's itching and biting so much he'll make himself bleed. My friend has seen four different vets about this, has had skin scrapings testing for all kinds of mites, vets come back unsure. He's spent so much money trying to figure this out and is getting so stressed by it. He's said since he's only had the dog for two months he gets thoughts of getting it adopted again to get the problem off his shoulders but then he feels terrible and guilty because he knows that's not actually going to solve the allergy issue, and then what? And he does love the dog a lot.

So I just thought I could get your brainstorming a bit.

Some things to note:

- Giving the dog benadryl regularly does't seem to help
- Dog is now switched to a raw rabbit diet, also seemed to make no difference
- Dog is also in a donut collar a lot and wears shirts to make it more difficult to scratch and bite, but they never seem to really heal up
- Dude uses totally natural products around the home as far as cleaning supplies/laundry soap
- Dog's had flea control pills, also vet's found no sign of fleas
- Dog's been put on antibiotics at one point
- Dude's even giving him herbal supplements

Anyhow. Any thoughts? I was thinking of recommending the food I use, it's 60% fish based, and 40% Fruit and Veg. I originally got it years back because my old pup Apple seemed to have a skin allergy and she seemed to stop itching on this food. However I already kind of have suggested this already to him, before he tried the raw rabbit stuff, and so I feel it's a bit patronizing. Especially since I don't actually know if fish is supposed to be any better than rabbit. Maybe if y'all agree that fish is better I'll mention this again.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Has he done allergy testing? If the allergies are to environmental factors (pollen, dust, etc.), then a change in diet isn't going to help. I know someone with a pit bull who has really bad environmental allergies (she had the tests done) and the dog has to be on steroids during the pollen season. It is the only thing that helps. Also bathing the dog frequently to wash pollen and dust off the fur and the house has to be kept clean (Hepa filters and stuff).


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Vet apparantly said 'they didn't think that was necessary' or something, probably trying to save him money assuming it was mite-related. But now that all the mite tests are negative yeah I think he should probably push for it. I feel so bad for him, he keeps feeling like the vets are either giving him the run-around, or like trying one thing and then giving up. That's why he's tried 4 of them. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Dinger has been doing a lot better since he got on V-dog but his allergies are still pretty bad. We give him nooch & chia seeds with his food. He gets stereroid shots sometimes and then lately he has been on a different anti-histamine, benedryl doesn't work so great for us. It seems best when he gets the other anti-histamine & takes it three times a day until he is feeling better. Baths help a little bit too. The shots help the most but I only get those when he's doing really bad because I don't think steroids are very good for him to take all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Skin scrapings for mites can be notoriously inaccurate. Is there some reason they won't just treat this dog for mites to rule it out?


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Wouldn't hurt to treat for mites. Or have a skin biopsy done. I feel for him. My cat developed severe allergies at the age of 13. She lived until 15. The last year wearing an
e-collar 24/7. She could do so much damage to herself so quickly. She was on rabbit or venison, no dry. Prednisolone and Reactin daily, with some improvement. I suspected dietary and inhalant allergies.

Does this pup get any sort of food/treats from anyone besides his allergy diet? Slipping him anything from a simple Milk Bone or chew toy might set off a severe reaction.

Is there a veterinary dermatologist in the area?


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:22 pm 
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It might be time to see a specialist, I've had to do that for (very different) issues for my cats. It looks like there are a few around--here's one http://www.advrc.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Severe Skin Allergies
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:38 pm 
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Cool, thanks all! Lots of helpful info.

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