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Allergies i n dogs


londoneye

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hi everyone

My dog is now coming up to a year old, but since she was around 4 months we have had constant problems with her scratching (primarily) her ears, but sometimes other parts of body.    She never scratches body until lesions appear or anything so drastic.   Ears are a different story; she has been to vets now 5 or 6 times (and i dont even want to think what it has cost !).     No infection as such, no mites, no nothing.    Just very red and inflammed ears, sometimes bleeding from the incessant scratching.      At last visit a sample was sent to lab to check no resistant bacteria - nothing.      Vet has now decided (and I have suspected this for a while myself now) that she has some kind of dermatitis (sorry cant be bothered to check spelling - you know what i mean!) allergy.   

Currently she is not actually doing too badly, but she is now absolutely petrified of the vets, and whilst she is ticking along with just the odd scratch i am not inclined to take the matter further, and go forward on anything like allergy testing.

I am trying obvious things, like replacing bedding for all cotton, hoovering every day and washing bedding every couple  of days now (in case she has a dust mite allergy), and i am not sure whether it is actually doing these things which have calmed situation down somewhat.

Anyway - ramble ramble - does anyone have a dog with a similar problem, and have you tried any natural type remedies - i see various things on internet sites recommended as natural remedies for skin allergies in dogs, but wondered if anyone had any experience ?

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We had this problem with ours, as did our friends dog. The lady who had kennels that we used and had a little shop at the time selling dog food suggested that we take our dog off anything with beef in it and go for something like lamb and rice dried food. The vet would just 'give' her an injection and stuff to rub on.

We tried the diet change and our dog has been fine since. Our friends dog was always a terrible mess with scratching itself and the vets bills were mounting up. We kept telling her to try not giving her animal beef and she did just that eventually and that dog cleared up too. We have known as I say several dogs over the years with this, I have always suggested that the owners give this  a try and let's face it can't do any harm.

I have to say that the price of the lamb and rice dog food seemed expensive when we first started with it, but it isn't so bad really and a 15kg bag lasts ours two months.  

 

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My sisters dog has an allergy to house dust mites and she scratches constantly and has ended up with sores all around her ears and head.  It has cost my sister a small (well actually a large) fortune and she is now waiting for a vaccine to arrive from Holland which the vet assures her will fix the problem.  I have my doubts personally but we will see.

Diet is important in making dogs sensitive but I am sure you have checked all those things first.  Many processed foods can cause reactions in dogs as can milk.  You could try just rice and chicken and see if that improves things if you havent already tried the diet route.

Gail x

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I also had problems like this with my first dog, we tried everything and resorted to having our dog tested at Bristol animal hospital for about 50 different  things in the same way as they do humans. It cost us an arm and a leg the result..................................Was GREEN, we laughed at first thinking they were having us on, We said green what? Anything green which encluded grass, our green carpet in the living room, even vegtables and an assortment of over strange items. So we went home thinking we had just been ripped off for a few hundred quid, but we had to see the funny side of it and laughed all the way home.

But of coarse we did as we were told in desperation to help our poor dog who had never had hair on his belly or back of his legs since puppyhood, First we changed the carpets and told our selves we were going to do that any how "ching" 800 quid  then we patio-ed the lawn over "ching" 1500 quid , we never took him to the park again just did road walking , even changed the curtains to match the new carpet as they were green "ching 100 quid . got rid of any green clothes we had and many other items. The results were amazing within 6 months he had a thick glossy coat all over and never scatched again, until one day a friend came to dinner wearing a green cardigan, she made a fuss of our dog as she came in and he spent the whole evening digging away at him self. Now I would never of believed this if it had'nt of happened to me, but it was true there is a chemical in green which some dogs are alergic to [8-)]         

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We are currently going through the same problem the dog has bald spots all over her tummy and legs, she nibbles untill she bleeds. We have tried, different food, allergy test (£100) that showed nothing, hypo-allergenic bed, shampoos, creams and sprays. The only thing that has worked so far is steriods but the vet is not keen for her to be on these for prolonged periods. We are currently trying anti-histamine- 4 different kinds for seven days, but this hasn't done anything so far. Vet is recomending "Atopica" a drug produced to help transplant patients with rejection of organs, only problem is the price £150 per month for life.

Should of got pet insurance!!

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Scalli, our Dane started scratching almost as soon as we got him as a puppy and nothing we tried seemed to help.  I would guess that it is genetic as we have seen it crop up several times before in his line including in one other we used to have but none were as severe as Scalli had.  Eventually his breeder ,a French lady vet (in Johannesburg?) told us of the allergy testing and desensitizing injections.  She said that it can be very successful so we tried it.  It cost us quite a bit more than the puppy had cost because we had to send the blood from South Africa to the USA for testing and for the "vaccine" to be prepared but it worked remarkably well.  He turned out to be allergic to quite a lot of things including grass, cotton bedding, beef, poultry, wheat, maize - just about everything he had been either lying on or eating, more than 30 items in all.  We changed his feed to lamb & rice and our vet showed me how to do the injections myself and the whole course of treatment lasted for 18 months.  The improvement was evident after only a couple of weeks and from then he never looked back.  Now he is seven & a half and apart from an on and off anal gland problem he is absolutely great with a lovely coat and no scratching.  Unfortunately, the allergy tests will only show results for the items which are tested for and generally they can only test for those things which  most commonly cause problems.  However, if we had another dog with allergy problems, it would be the first route we would follow.  Just a point for anyone with a potential show dog where size matters, and I don't know how true it is, but one vet told us that using cortisone on a dog who had not reached his full growth was not a good idea as it caused the growth plates to close  off early and that it could prevent the dog reaching its potential size.
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thanks for replying everyone - pretty depressing reading although, much as i expected.    i had researched atopica (i think thats how spelt) but the research i have done suggests this is not always effective, and also there can be pretty severe side effect in some (albeit of course a small minority) of dogs.    Not to mention the prohibitive price ..

I confess to not having tried the diet option, primarily because i had understood that a food allergy was about one of the least likely.   I did have a look in m.bricolage but couldnt see anything, so if someone could let me know the brand of food i would be most grateful.

OMG the green thing !!! Unbelievable ..... desperately hoping it wont turn out to be something like that.      Perhaps i will eventually have to go down the allergy testing route, but its a shame to put an animal through such an ordeal - although of course the cost is also worrying, if need be we would have to cough up ..

thanks again, and if someone could let me know the brand name of the lamb and rice food i would really appreciate it.

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I have just returned from taking our dog to the vets to be shaved (under general anaesthetic) because his allergy has become so bad he has weeping open sores.  We have tried so many different things.  Digby's problem is that he is allergic to grass.  Mostly we are successful in keeping him away from the stuff (harder than you imagine when you are surrounded by fields - and 'respite care' while we are in France is at my brother's farm!) - but occassionally he makes a break for freedom and it's back to the old (and expensive!) problem again.

Kathie

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We currently use Ukanuba and have used Royal Canine.  As our bitch was sterilized we were recommended to give her a bit less than the prescribed dose on the packet, which we do. It doesn't look a lot for a big dog. However, the vet always says what good health she is in and has been on this food for over 10 years now and she isn't over weight, and certainly not under weight.

 

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i will try her on this - thanks again everyone.  And good luck to all of you out there going through this also, as i really feel for you (especially as my dog's allergy sounds almost mild by comparison to some).     It is so frustrating to watch her in discomfort and not be able to find a solution.
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A neighbour has had terrible problems with his dog - leading to her (the dog!) having to wear a surgical collar for weeks to stop her attacking herself.

In desparation and penury, havong exhausted all other suggestions and medicaments, the neighbour put the dog on aloe vera - 100% juice. I am VERY sceptical about all such alternative prodicts and have rarely seen the wonderous results that others claim for so many such products. BUT I am humbled by the success this has had, with no other changes being tried at the same time. Collar free, the dog has been irritation/ sores free for 12 months now and has a coat that is an example to all us dog lovers.

This juice was NOT one available over the counter, I am sure that if I mention it the mods will forgive me as I am trying to help and have no connection with the product, not even as a consumer. You could trace a supplier over the internet - it is from 'forever living products'.

I am sure I could put the OP in touch with the neighbour offline if that would help.

Pouyade

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Along with the other suggestions you've gotten, I would recommend trying to find a food that does not contain brewer's yeast. There seem to be a fair number of dogs allergic to it, which is a problem since it's used in most dog foods for the B vitamins.  This is Maggie's main trigger food and, yes, it does cause itching as well as diarrhea.

Also, I noticed that she is much better on a food with a higher protein and fat content.  For example, when we fed Burns, which is an excellent quality food, she had a lot of dandruff and dry skin.  Now that we're using Nature's Variety Prairie, which has more protein and fat, she doesn't scratch at all.

PG

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actually pouyade, i would not have been suprised if it had actually been the neighbour who had to wear a surgical collar to stop her attacking herself.   there have been many nights when i have awoken to the pitiful sound of dog scratching and whining, that I have wanted to do just that !!!

will have a look at this - anything half sensible (as long as i am sure that it cannot harm, but its up to me to check that out), is worth a try at this point.

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Having owned and bred dogs for over thirty years, I would suspect the most likely cause to be a food allergy. I never cease to be amazed at how many dogs are allergic to beef. Try a complete diet based on chicken and rice and, preferably, no artificial additives. This does not need to cost the earth as most common brands, such as Purina, will have such a diet at your local supplier.
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We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch who used to scratch incessantly, she is on fish and rice complete hypo allergenic food from Viking.  It is very good and she and our other two dogs love it. 

She is very inclined to get ear infections and shakes her head constantly, which would be okay but she is housed in an indoor kennel at night and with the head shaking catches her ear tips which causes sores.  We have been to the vet on 8 to 10 occasions since moving to France in October 2006.  He is superb and always puts samples from her ear canal under the microscope to check.  She has only been found to have a parasite once (and of course the other two dogs had to be checked then).

Anyway good luck.

Suey

 

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[quote user="katy1975"]

We are currently going through the same problem the dog has bald spots all over her tummy and legs, she nibbles until she bleeds. We have tried, different food, allergy test (£100) that showed nothing, hypo-allergenic bed, shampoos, creams and sprays. The only thing that has worked so far is steroids but the vet is not keen for her to be on these for prolonged periods. We are currently trying anti-histamine- 4 different kinds for seven days, but this hasn't done anything so far. Vet is recommending "Atopica" a drug produced to help transplant patients with rejection of organs, only problem is the price £150 per month for life.
Should of got pet insurance!![/quote]

We have a Lhasa Apso called Thomas who has allergies to 15 different things.  We had him tested at Cambridge University Veterinary Hospital.  He is allergic to everyday things like house dust, house mites, human dander, pollen, spring grass, spring trees(?) etc etc.  He does not have a food allergy.  The university hospital made up a desensitizing vaccine for him which my husband injects him with every month.  It started when he was one year old.  He is now eight and it has been a constant struggle.  Though we continue with the vaccine its effect is minimal and we resorted to steroids many years ago.  I find that a cream for itchy skin for human use called Eurax gives him some relief when I apply it to the outbreaks.  We have tried him on 'Atopica' but it did have very nasty side effects.  When I researched it on the net and discovered that it suppresses the immune system we stopped the medication immediately.  We accepted long ago that priority number one is that he has as comfortable an existence as possible for the rest of his days.  If this means steroids, so be it.  We are fully aware that this will shorten his life due to possible liver/kidney damage but we can't bear to see him being driven mad by the constant itching, we love him too much.  Our vets have been absolutely marvellous and continue to try and find some alternative to steroids but don't hold out too much hope.

Sue

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An additional thought - our dog is so much better (but she wasn't as bad as some described here) after she started having sardines in sunflower oil (olive too dear) for one of her 2 meals most days. I guess adding oil to other food might assist similarly .

Pouyade

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You could try a homemade diet, either raw or cooked but don't feed cooked bones.  Start with one ingredient for 2 weeks and then every 2 weeks add a new ingredient then by a process of elimination you will be able to find out what, if any, foods she is allergic to.

Our lurcher girl has a flea allergy, one bite and her tummy flares up into red sores, of course we use a flea treatment regularly but it only takes one bite.  I was recommended skincure made by Bob Grass, smells a bit but it really seemed to soothe her red patches and she would voluntarily turn on her back to expose her tummy when it came to cream application time which made me really think it must be soothing, the red patches soon disappeared.  He also makes tablets that cool the blood which can also help with skin flare ups.  The website is www.bobgrass.co.uk well worth a look.

They are really helpful and if you're not sure what you need then are happy to be contacted either by email or phone.

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We have a cat who has a severe skin allegy which is kept more or less under control by feeding him a hypo-allergenic food.  Just a reminder that it can take up to eight weeks before you start seeing any results after changing a diet so do persevere even if it doesn't seem to be having any effect.

Good luck,

Val

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