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  #1  
Old 15th August 2009, 05:25 PM
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My dog has the worst allergies

Our Boxer Bruno has the worst allergies. We have spent so much money on trying to get him well, but nothing really seems to work. We changed his food when he was about 2 months old after the vet told us it was a food related allergy. (He is now 10 months old) We had to take him off of his favorite apple treats because he was allergic to those too. When he goes outside we rinse him off to get some of thedirt, grass etc off of him. But this is time consuming and hard to do all the time. He consantly licks his paws, legs etc. even when he is on his medicine. His legs look pink and irritated (the same thing happens to his face from licking) The only thing that worked was a steroid shot but this made him extremely tired. When he was on this medicine all of his itching, licking, and irritations were gone but he did not act like our dog. Generally he sleep a lot because he wants to, not because he cant keep his eyes open due to side effects of medicine. I hate the fact he always seems to be on some type of medication, but I hate to see him constanyly licking/itching as well. Im not sure what to do....any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 15th August 2009, 06:26 PM
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Allergies are hard to deal with. Sorry to hear that Bruno has been going through so much!

My girl also suffers and this has what has become "standard" in our home. It's not FUN or EASY by any means but so worth it once you get into the routine and you can see results.

Not in any particular order BUT all have made it into our routine. Some were easier to do and others took some stout dedication.

If you are storing food in a plastic or "secondary" container aside from the original bag, STOP. IF you are purchasing food in large quantities (over 10lbs at a time), STOP.
There are two types of *storage mites*. Both are known allergens. They multiple over time and *most* people dump a large bag of food into a storage container thinking they are keeping the food fresher longer. Sounds good in theory but not good for a dog with allergies to the mites. After buying a new bag of food they "top off" the container without *usually* cleaning it out thoroughly (hot water and soap). The small particles of food at the bottom of ANY container (including bags) is where the storage mites ARE. Add food add more storage mites.
Buy the smallest bag you can and keep the food in the bag. It is more expensive doing it this way but it is quite helpful (again if your dog is allergic). ***Plastic makes then multiply FASTER.

Change furnace-AC and return air intake filters MONTHLY with something in the HEPA line (anti allergen). Do the systems require this change so often? NO, but it will make a difference in the amount of allergens in the home.

Vacuum MORE than you usually do or at least twice a week. This includes anything that can be vacuumed. If it can't be vacuumed (throw rug for example) then toss it in the washer WEEKLY. All bedding (yours and his) and anything else that he comes into direct contact with including curtains (window and shower if this applies). If you have cloth furniture include it in your vacuuming routine.

DUST DUST DUST.....ALL surfaces in your home that CAN be dusted. Things you don't even think of.....chair rail moldings, window ledges, indoor PLANTS, carpet edge moldings, tops of pictures on walls, tops of doors, mini-blinds (or easier to remove-take outside and spray off with a hose), etc....Do EVERYTHING weekly or rotate (I do this) so that all surfaces get hit weekly but some things have different days (if that makes sense). It is a never ending process.

Steam clean your carpets monthly. Machines for in-home use are pretty reasonable now-a-days. Clean your cloth furniture as well with them if your pooch has access your to furniture.

Clean out your registers and register covers monthly. I use the vacuum on the actual "hole" and then use a wet towel to wipe it with and just toss the covers in the dishwasher.....only thing that goes in there for one cycle each month.

Keep doors and windows shut and run the AC in the summer. I know---BELIEVE ME, I know how nice it is to have fresh air by opening doors/windows when weather allows but......it's not about "us" in this process. Eventually the weather breaks enough and pollens are down and I get a little fresh air time but it certainly doesn't last long enough before that furnace needs to get turned on.

Keep your yard as free as possible of weeds. My girl is allergic to a number of various weeds (some not even local to the area) and pine trees....can't do anything about the neighbors pines but I keep all the cones and needles picked up that make it into my yard. As far as the weeds go we apply an organic fertilizer/weed killer that is supposed to be safe for pets however I still don't let her on it (we do front first, then back) until the yard has had a good rain (have to plan application based on the weather much to hubby's dismay).

A small dose of Benadryl daily (however this is a part of my girls cancer therapy and probably not enough to do much in the way of allergic reactions), but since you know the pred./steroid shot worked in the past a daily dose (with vets OK) should help. Long term steroids are not the answer.

Food allergies are not nearly as common as seasonal, inhalant and contact allergies are. In addition if your dog has a true food allergy then it is about a 99% safe bet to assume he also has the other allergies. They tend to go hand in hand, meaning *if * they suffer with food allergies you can bet they have any number of other allergy triggers. On the flip side a good portion of dogs that have seasonal, etc....allergies don't always have food ones.

Allergy testing isn't fool proof and not nearly 100% accurate. Better to make changes to see if you hit on something and for sure less expensive than testing. If you do test (we did) and our option was ONLY to start allergy shots. I opted to forgo that (been there with a cat years ago) and made the above changes instead. If I didn't tell you that my girl had severe allergies you would not know.

She still itches when the need strikes her but her body doesn't show signs of being "itchy". No more open wounds from scratching. No more secondary skin infections. No bloody armpits, chin, face, etc....

She also gets fish oil (natural anti-inflammatory) daily. A healthy food VOID OF GRAINS (potential allergens there). Healthy snacks (fruits in season and veggies).

Baths when she gets dirty only now. Oatmeal with colloidal silver included and Aveeno Bath Packets (after rinse).

I use to wipe her face down with a wet towel when she would return from outside but that become to troublesome as she can go in and out up to 50+ times a day (she loves to be outside and then to come in and get a treat). I stopped doing that after every trip outside but will still do it if I catch her starting to rub her face on things.

All of the things don't have to be started tomorrow......just try to utilize some into your normal routine and then slowly add some others to the mix. It eventually just becomes a daily part of life and your house looks great too!! LOL
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  #3  
Old 15th August 2009, 07:30 PM
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Star had allerigies all though not as severe as your dog's or Cami's. But I agree cleaning everything, changing air filters, and steaming the carpets once a month is a must. Star got a daily dose of benedryl as well. The biggest cost saver on that for us was to join Sam's Club. They sell their own brand of benedryl, Members Mark, you get 400 tabs for less than $4. When Star's allergies were at their worst, in the fall, she was getting 6-8 tabs a day. you can see how that can add up. Finding the right food is key as well. Good luck and we're sending some healing vibes your way!
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  #4  
Old 16th August 2009, 05:30 PM
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My boy has allergies as well however his severe allergies are related to food, environmental are pretty nominal for the most part. He really just gets a nasty runny nose, sneezing, and coughing being outside too long with all of the weeds, pollen, etc, so he simply doesn't stay out very long or if he has to for some reason he gets a dose of benedryl, but he does fine while in the house. Unfortunately he's down to the Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato or Venison and Sweet Potato, these are the only 2 foods on the market he can eat with some chicken or turkey or canned of the same added once in awhile. But he isn't allowed much of anything else due to the food allergies.

Personally I wash their bedding about ocne every 2 weeks, I have my carpets professionally cleaned by Chem Dry every 6 months (this is for the carpets as they get dirty, not the dog), our house is cleaned by a cleaning company every 2 weeks and I vacuum myself 1-2 times in between there, our a/c filters are changed monthly because that's what the a/c company recommends, but that's about all we do, as he doesn't have issues in the house.

Good luck to you! I would also recommend that you find a dermatology vet in your area and start goign there rather than your regular vet. The dermatologist sees allergy cases all day everyday that's all they do, and where it's more expensive up front it will probably be less expensive in the long run.
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  #5  
Old 17th August 2009, 06:03 AM
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Casper has allergies and is on allergy shots monthly now, they seem to be working as he has at least got hair on his chest now and no blood from scratching himself to bits. I wash him down, make sure there's no dust etc and am careful not to walk him near the tree's or grass that he's allergic to. It's hard but you do all you can don't you.
In fact i have to ring up the vets to order more of his vials for the maintenence shots so thanks for rmeinding me
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  #6  
Old 19th August 2009, 05:46 PM
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Thank you for all of the great ideas. I hope they work, I'm so tired of seeing him itchy! We are going to try the food thing first. Right now we get a 30lb bag of food because its much cheaper, and keep it in it's original packaging. The one thing we do do is keep his "to go" food in a plastic container so that will stop. For now that is where we are going to start. He is usually at home in our apartment and goes for walks and weekly visits to our parents house. But he had to stay with my parent's for a month and was outside for most of the day, so we are hoping that it is seasonal. We'll let you know what works!