|Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 1:39am PST |
|Terra has some pretty horrendous environmental allergies (worst during the spring/summer/fall but winter is ok since it the snow kills off everything). She's so bad that she ends up with body-wide yeast infections requiring steroids and anti-fungals/yeasts. She also looses most of her hair, has severe weeping rashes, and bloody areas. These are the things we've tried and all with vet approval:
Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs)
Daily wipe downs w/damp cloth
Bathing up to every day but at least 1x per week
Coconut Oil (extra virgin/virgin, cold pressed, unrefined)
Benadryl (1mg / pound)
Doxepin (human anti-depressant that acts as an anti-histamine)
Evening Primrose Oil
Out of all of these, the only thing that has worked with any regularity is Benadryl. It's safe for continual use. She weighs about 60# and she gets between 50-75mg twice per day (breakfast and dinner). In addition to that she gets around 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil when she get's her pills and her food is ALWAYS floated in warm water as it helps to keep her hydrated which cuts down a bit on the dry skin.
In addition to that, when she get's bathed I use an apple cider vinegar rinse at the end. I make sure to let it set and soak, and then she gets another rinse with cool water (soothes the skin inflammation). We don't rub her dry, instead we pat as much as possible and while she's still wet we rub her down with EpiSoothe, making sure that it's rubbed in well. It helps tremendously with the itchy skin.
A few weeks before we expect everything to start blooming we take her off the Benadryl and put her on some stronger medication. Last year we used Doxepin but we can't afford it this year so we're using something different. I can't remember what it's called as I haven't been to the pharmacy to pick it up yet.
We also make a point to limit her access to the outside (potty only) and all her exercise takes place in the house.
I know it sounds a lot, but we've spent literally thousands of dollars trying to get this under control and this is what seems to work. The bathing might seem excessive, but we avoid drying out her skin by essentially using lotion to keep her skin moisturized.
Also, she wears clothes. For some reason when she's wearing shirts and such she doesn't itch as much. I don't know if it's the constant contact on her skin, or if it keeps the allergens from really coming into contact wither her topically, but it works.
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