Desperately Need Help With 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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Gracie- Caroline

my hair looks- fierce
Barked: Tue Mar 5, '13 6:35pm PST 
Gracie has terrible allergies. Terrible. We've basically figured out that she's allergic to grass and other allergens from outside so switching food isn't going to do us any good. We've done ever exclusion diet you can imagine.

There are times her belly will break out and scab over and when that happens the vet gives us antibiotics and steroids. The steroids always work. The steroids are the only thing that does work, but I know long term use is dangerous.

So I am looking for ANY advice. She's seen 4 vets - one was a holistic vet and she had two sessions of Applied kinesiology with him. Nothing has worked long term. And it's year round. She chews her little paws until she cries. I give her Benadryl and it helps a little. I wipe her feet and belly when she comes in with a light vinegar and water mix.

I seriously have no idea what to do at this point. So has anyone had any luck with certain doctor or program? I'll try to find a way to work with an out of state vet over the phone - if that doesn't work then we'll just go on a road trip. There just has to be something I can do to help her. I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I hate knowing that she's spending so much time being so uncomfortable.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.
Shadow- *CGC*CL2*CL3- *

Is it time for- agility yet?
Barked: Tue Mar 5, '13 6:44pm PST 
I've heard good things about Apple Cider Vinegar for allergies. Make sure it has the mother in it though(pieces of the apple, it will settle to the bottom and make a sediment type thing). The best place to get it is at health food stores because the ones at groceries are usually processed. Braggs is typically the best from what I've heard. You can add a teaspoon or less(since your dog is small) to her meal. Also mix 50/50 with water and spray that on her break outs. That should help dry them up so they can heal.

Bonzaiiiiiiii!!!- !!!
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
Olive Oil
Medicated Shampoo

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.


Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 3:22am PST 
Can you keep her inside as much as possible? Maybe use potty pads and get exercise walking on the sidewalk or other places the grass won't touch you?

This is the only thing I can think of except Benadryl.

Good Luck

Surf's up, let's- go to the beach!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 9:10am PST 
I've gone through the same thing. Spent a ton of money on vet bill & for products that didn't work. Finally, discovered some products that actually did reverse the skin condition that allergies created. www.dermagic.com

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 9:11am PST 
My vet gave me a long list of antihistamines along with dosages to try with Sassy. He told me it would take about 6 weeks before I would see any change. I did it with most of them and none helped her flea allergy. There are a lot more antihistamines than Benedryl out there. Ask your vet for a list.

There is one super duper med you can use but I cannot recall the name, it is not a steroid. I gave Sassy TemerilP which has a minute amount of steroid in it and gave more or less depending on how she was doing. She was ~44 pounds and took from 1/8-1/2 a tablet daily. I hated giving it to her but her quality of life was much improved.

A dogster started raw food and saw immediate benefits. Her analogy was a cup - an allergic dog has a tiny cup, a normal dog has a huge one that when full causes itching and other awful reactions. Allergic Sassy got a single flea bite and bit her flank for weeks until the skin bled, non allergic Max was covered with hundreds of ticks and couldn't sleep well with 50 left I couldn't find! [Got up in the middle of the night and got most of the rest and he slept fine.] The fresh food didn't cause any allergic reaction like kibble with its multitude of ingredients so the environmental irritants didn't fill up the cup and the dog's quality of life improved.

I never did as I knew it was fleas but if you think it is pollens then look into local honey, it can work for some.

Frequent rinsing of legs and feet to remove the itchy grass can work. I am seriously allergic to grass too and if I wash the area and cover with heavy duty cream the itch will go away. How to cover a dog's feet with cream I don't know! Perhaps feeding more fat would help skin health and moisturizing after rinsing?

How You Doin'?
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 12:10pm PST 
Chance and I seem to share the same environmental allergies.

We switched her from Evo & Orijen to a meat-bone-organ based air-dried food with no fruits, veggies, starches and saw an improvement.
The eye infections went away and so did many of her other allergy-related problems.

A couple of years ago we started giving her a small amount of raw, local honey (which is carried at our Whole Foods here) and the rest of her allergy related problems went away.
We started it during the winter when the allergens are gone.

My husband loves honey so he eats a spoonful of it a day and has not had to take allergy meds for a couple of years now.
I can't stand honey, I tried to eat some every day but just can't stomach it, and last year I had to take 2 allergy meds 12 hours apart to help control my allergies. My husband and Chance had no allergy-related problems.

aka: Barkly- McBarker
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 12:18pm PST 
Just a couple of ideas. You might want to ask your vet about a detox regimine. Some dogs can get a lot of junk/toxins/metals from medications, vaccinations, etc. built up in their systems and it can contribute to or cause horrible skin problems and make them more susceptible to environmental irritants.

For the dry skin, brewer's yeast is amazing for making skin moisturized and improving the coat. Most people only think of it for fleas but it has a lot of nutrition in it and is beneficial for other issues as well. If your dog doesn't have a yeast infection definitively, then it would be worth a try. Just improving the dry skin nutritionally would help alot with the itching. It should not be given to dogs with yeast problems though. But alot of dogs can tolerate it just fine. If it is tried, the dog will react to it within just a few days, so if things get worse, then you will know it is not for her and it should be discontinued.

If BY is out of the question, another item that is helpful with dry skin is blackstrap unsulphered molasses. It wouldn't take much, maybe 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. / day.

Diatomaceous Earth is a good detox product and is also good for dry skin.

But ask your holistic vet about using them and research them. These are simple protocols that I have had success with, although every dog is different and I wouldn't want to contribute to your dog's problem. Just giving you some other ideas to consider that won't break the bank. I know how sad it makes me feel when I know my dog is miserable and want to help her.

Sending best wishes for you and your dog in your quest to find help for her.

Edited by author Wed Mar 6, '13 12:20pm PST

Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 2:14pm PST 
My cousin had a little terrier with a condition a lot like your dogs. She ended up keeping him inside pretty much all the time. He relieved himself on pads. He exercised in her sun room. he took benedryl if he had to for some reason go outside. Long before he went outside. To keep his flare ups down. The key to your issue is preventing symptoms for appearing. If she has to go treat her before she starts breaking out.

My dog has a flea allergy. If i so much as consider taking jake outside in summer he gets a benedryl. My dog also has allergise to pollen and grass. Because with Mr. B nothing is simple but hey i wanted a pure breed dog.

Mr B's credentials aside. Benedryl prior to flaring up is important. if i'm going to let jake outside he had to have a benedryl with breakfast so taht when i let him in later he wont be conjested or red or trying to eat himself. I also invested in shoes for him. WHen we go walking about he wears boots. They were great when he was in traininga nd they keep his feet from touching the all so itchy grass. You could also consider jackets and or sweaters if the weather in your area permits it. I've found the more covered jake is the better off we car with his itching. Even if it's just a T-shirt.

Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 2:25pm PST 
I forgot to add. You might want to consider adding more Omega 3 and 6s to help reieve the itchy skin. I put jake on a raw diet and that helped him out a lot with his skin issues. But the seasonal allergies really only benedryl prior to a break out worked best.
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