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Environmental Allergies

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 7:33pm PST 
Moira is a 3 1/2 year old Border Colie/Lab adopted two years ago on the verge of starvation. Her skin and coat were in terible shape. She has always been somewhat itchy. She came with fleas and had one last year. This year her itching has become a little worse and she has irritated the skin in several areas so we addressed it today at her annual exam. After an exam and history, her vet feels she has environmental allergies.

What to do? a) A round of steroids
b) In house blood draw sent to a lab for allergy testing and a serum to be made. I would have to give her the injections.
c) An appointment with a dog dermatologist for extensive skin tests. More injections + long distance travel and I can't drive from my foot surgery yet.
d) An antihistamine. He mentioned chlorpheniramine or another 'old' one. He said Benedryl is the least effective.

I chose to start with the chlorpheniramine as I had several skinkids who did well with Chloratrimton. It seems the least invasive way to start. I will, of course, work my way upward the list if this doesn't help.

I have treated her for a yeast infection recently. It did seem to help little, but not enough. Here's hoping we found the best treatment on the first try. Thoughts??

Moira likes to lay in the grass and being short, she's the one who every tall grass and weed touches on walks.

Moira loves her vet. An hour of his attention was heaven for her.

Edited by author Tue Jul 27, '10 10:15pm PST

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Panda

Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 9:21pm PST 
Allergies are a tough thing to deal with because it could be "anything"!
If the only symptom is scratching, it could be grass, cleaners in your house, laundry detergent (even from your clothes), food or fleas.
Isn't it horrible that "fleas" would be the "best" option?

How bad is it? Do you really feel you should already resort to steroids? Once you enter the world of the "endocrine" system you could open up a can of worms. Do your homework and get ALL the info you can.

If you do allergy-testing, I would make sure you test for EVERYTHING they can. Might as well do it right the first time, unless you have a suspicion about something in particular.

There are some very educated "dogs" here on dogster. If you go to my last post about Adisons-Disease, you can find Leah. She has been a vet-tech for 10 years and gave me fantastic advice!!

I wish you best of luck!!!
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 9:42pm PST 
As nearly as both the doctor and I can tell, fleas are not involved at this time. Plus, that's a different kind of itching.

I am not ready to allow Moira to have any steroids. That was just one of the options offered. The antihistamine targets histamine production, so it addresses just the allegic reaction. Steroids are like trying to kill a fly with a shotgun, IMO. They certainly have their uses, but I prefer to save them for more 'serious' issues.

Earlier today, I was just thinking of outdoor allergies, but things like laundry detergent are certainly suspect. I have never used fabric softener in the past, but have recently, plus a new detergent. I will go tomorrow and get a detergent that rinses out more thoroughly than what I currently have. I have been down this road with skinkids and allergies.

The location of the irritated skin indicates a contact allergy when she is laying down. Grass? Her bedding? My bed? Dust on the couch or carpet? The detective work begins.

Thank you, Panda, for your concern.

Edit: her doctor feels less than 20% of dog's allergies are caused by food and her itchies are not in the 'correct' areas for a food allergy. Moira eats a very varied diet so her exposure to a particular allergen is rotated often. I'm not starting with food. Contact allergies + yeast infection are my first focuses.

Edited by author Tue Jul 27, '10 9:47pm PST

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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 10:20pm PST 
If this med helps, I will be getting it from an online source. I paid $5.62 at the vet for 28 pills. I can get 100 for $4.99 online. Five cents each versus 20 cents each.
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 10:20pm PST 
If this med helps, I will be getting it from an online source. I paid $5.62 at the vet for 28 pills. I can get 100 for $4.99 online. Five cents each versus 20 cents each.
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Brodie Bear

The Furry- Bull-Dozer
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 2:31pm PST 
Moira, I am sure you have saw me post this at least a dozen times...but have you tried the organic apple cider vinegar?
I know Brodie has enviromental allergies somewhat as well as the food issues he has. And, it has really helped SO much this yr.

The allergy meds like benedryl and the other one never really helped him.
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 4:49pm PST 
I used a vinegar rinse on her after several baths when she came with that nasty skin. Poor baby had five baths in five days. I'll use it diluted when she has a bath again.

I wouldn't use vinegar straight where she is irritated. Ouchy! I did melt some coconut oil today and put on her underside. Such a lady - NOT! I say, "Show me your tummy" and she flips over spread eagled. She seems to be itching less, but also she seems a little quiet. I hope it's just from not being able to go walking and not a side effect of the meds. Chlorotrimton never slowed my children down.

I was on the Great Dane lady website today reading about allergies. She feels Tide is the most allergenic detergent. Guess what kind I bought about a month ago? I'm off to the store so I can rewash all the bedding I just washed - Moira's, Lily's and mine. I can rinse it in vinegar to make sure to remove all the soap residue.

Edited by author Wed Jul 28, '10 4:57pm PST

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Dennis- FDCH-S,- TFIII

I love agility- and flyball!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 6:15pm PST 
Moira, have you tried a strong calendula/chamomile tea applied to her belly? This would be gentle, and might give some relief.
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 8:12pm PST 
That sounds like a good idea, Dennis. Another thing for my shopping list. I have chamomile tea, but not calendula. I could go out and pick a sunflower.

BTW, I take it back when I said Moira was quieter. She and Lily wrestled for hours this evening. Now I need to vacuum. White carpet and black dog is a bad mix.

I really haven't seen much itching today. The worst time is just as she goes outside, though she will stop if I ask her to. It would be nice is the meds work that fast, especially since the vet only had five in his supply. He was a little embarrassed. I'm sure some more are on the way. If not, I'll find it OTC. I know hers are 4 mg.
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Moose

My master is- good and smart- (up movie)
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 11:03pm PST 
Moose is allergic to cedar pet beds. Just a thought.
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