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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Allergy Frustrations - Help!

Hello All -

It's been a while since I've posted on here, but I was hoping someone could help me out.

My 9 1/2 year old male has had allergies all his life. I got him tested very early on, and he was pretty much allergic to everything in the panel. We switched his food to grain free, but his grass allergies have persisted over the years. This means he's constantly chewing and licking his arms/legs and paws. He always has minor hot spots, but they've gotten a lot worse lately. He will lick and chew until he's bleeding. But, he can also be easily distracted. The problem is, he can't be monitored 24/7, and anytime he gets an opening to chew/lick, he'll go right back at it. The second something looks like it's healing up, he'll find a way to ruin that.

I've tried so many different things, and am hoping someone can shed some light on some new techniques. As I'm sure anyone else with this problem knows, anything that covers the legs are easily eaten/chewed off. See below for what I've tried and their results...

- hot spot sprays: don't seem to do much
- cortisone: very slight effectiveness
- liquid bandages: I noticed absolutely no effectiveness
- benadryl: no changes
- oatmeal soaks: nothing
- medicated shampoos: nothing
- a behavioral anti-depressant that my vet suggested when he was a puppy thinking that he licked because he was bored (I was very skeptical about this one): zero effectiveness
- bandages/gauze and tape: can be effective, but usually get chewed up and eaten when I'm not around
- socks: same as above

I'm sure there's some other stuff I'm forgetting.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:38 PM
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What do you feed?
How often do you vaccinate?
Have you done thyroid testing?


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SieYa View Post
What do you feed?
How often do you vaccinate?
Have you done thyroid testing?
-Natural Balance: Sweet Potato and Fish forumla
-Once a year
-I believe he had his thyroid tested when he was going through all his DCM testing (he was diagnosed with occult DCM in Aug 2014 and he visits his cardiologist every few months)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:11 PM
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If grass is the problem, can you have him wear booties when he is outside instead of wearing socks when he is inside? Are his feet inflamed? My Great Dane's feet get very irritated, I think this is partially allergies (stomach also gets very red) and partly because he has bad structure in this feet. My vet had me rub zinc oxide (Gold Bond) in between his toes top and bottom and that helped with the irritation. I also bathe him pretty frequently to address the environmental allergies, usually at least every two weeks or anytime is stomach is very red.

Where is he coming into contact with grass? If its your yard, could you create a non-grass area for him?

You could also try supplements, acupuncture, or herbs.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:15 PM
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if you are not sure about the thyroid testing.........it would be a good idea to have it done.

poor guy, I hope you and your vet can figure out what is causing his issues.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:05 PM
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Since you know your dog has these allergies I will assume and I know the problem with assumptions you went to a Vet Dermatologist. My last girl had environmental allergies, grasses, pollen and trees. She received a shot once a week which I gave her. About 1-2 times per year she skin would flair up and she was given oral medication. I do not recall the name of the orals however the shot did improve her skin about 80% and gave her relief. I wish you the best
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:05 PM
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Have you talked to your vet about Apoquel?


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorning View Post
If grass is the problem, can you have him wear booties when he is outside instead of wearing socks when he is inside? Are his feet inflamed? My Great Dane's feet get very irritated, I think this is partially allergies (stomach also gets very red) and partly because he has bad structure in this feet. My vet had me rub zinc oxide (Gold Bond) in between his toes top and bottom and that helped with the irritation. I also bathe him pretty frequently to address the environmental allergies, usually at least every two weeks or anytime is stomach is very red.

Where is he coming into contact with grass? If its your yard, could you create a non-grass area for him?

You could also try supplements, acupuncture, or herbs.
Bouncing off of this, I knew a bull terrier allergic to grass, the owners put down more patio area for the dog and on the chance he did end up in the grass they had him wear boots and a t-shirt then used baby wipes to wipe between his toes and his legs/belly as well as gold bond in a little sandwich baggie to get between his toes.

OP I know it will be difficult (have an everything on the planet allergy dog myself) but the only real fix is to do your best to eliminate the allergen from his life as much as possible (obviously pollens don't disappear but there are ways to protect him)

p.s. is he on any kind of allergy vaccine for environmental's?

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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He goes to acupuncture once a month (for neck/back issues). The grass is in my backyard, where he spends his outdoor time. A non-grass area isn't realistic for me, but I could try booties when he goes outside. Would stopping direct contact with the grass improve things? I thought the allergens/pollen were airborne.

I've read bad things about apoquel and its side effects, so I haven't tried that.

He's not on any meds/vaccines for allergies.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:21 PM
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I am not a vet however there are reports regarding not giving your dog Apoquel. I train with some vet techs from the University of Florida vet school and they were talking about never giving their dogs Apoquel. I would visit a Vet Dermatologist and get blood work. Blood work will determine exactly what your dog is allergic to. You can spend a lot of money on quick fixes I did that at first with my female however in the end it was best to get at the problem with correct medication (shots)
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 07:34 PM
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Ivan is on Apoquel. Does wonderful things in terms of itching. No side affects at this point.

I went to a dermatologist early on. All she did was piss me off. Didn't want to help with a food trial - said I should just stick with prescription food. When I questioned restarting use of an antibiotic mousse she told me to get, she said it didn't really do anything. Then why did she have me get it in the first place?! I also asked for skin testing so we'd have ALL our bases covered. She wouldn't schedule it.

Ivan was controlled by Benadryl for a while. When that stopped working is when we switched to Apoquel.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 07:37 PM
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I also had very good results with Apoquel with Shanoa. We didn't need to use it very long, but it was a wonder drug for her (environmental allergy for something that only lasted a season).


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukeinator View Post
He goes to acupuncture once a month (for neck/back issues). The grass is in my backyard, where he spends his outdoor time. A non-grass area isn't realistic for me, but I could try booties when he goes outside. Would stopping direct contact with the grass improve things? I thought the allergens/pollen were airborne.

I've read bad things about apoquel and its side effects, so I haven't tried that.

He's not on any meds/vaccines for allergies.
For environmental triggers, yes, it could/would be both.
As an example, my SO is allergic to peanuts and has a friend who is allergic to peanuts as well, my SO only has an issue with contact or ingestion where his friend is so severe that if he smells peanut he can start getting itchy and his throat will begin to itch and potentially swell. Allergens and how they trigger the body can vary but I would be very far from surprised if he's allergic to grass that both airborne and physical are triggers.

Don't forget to pick up some hypoallergenic baby wipes for wiping him down after being outside too!

I'd highly recommend seeing a dermatologist or educated vet and conducting a fresh skin test to have an allergy serum made up. My boy has one and it's a huge help to him, the first few doses are low and close together and then eventually maintenance is once a month.


ETA:
We haven't had to go as far as Apoquel, but we did switch to Zyrtec on our vets recommendation as Benadryl did nothing for Bubba, and we also were given an over the counter anti-histamine from the vet, we've found for Bubba personally, that alternating each month (Jan- Zyrtec/Feb- Prescription, etc...) seems to alleviate his itching during his worst months (winter) and avoid the horror that is his body on steroids. So i'd also recommend asking your vet or dermatologist about other itch relief methods.


As a reference:
Bubba gets a once a month allergy shot for environmental's, has a (thankfully) non prescription limited ingredient food, gets a bath with prescription Duoxo shampoo twice a month, and the Zyrtec or prescription twice a day (the last being only in the fall and winter when he gets the worst).
All that and he's still ended up itching himself raw into a skin infection and antibiotics three times and given himself a hematoma on his ear twice in the 2.5 years we've had him

He's allergic to almost every main protein, crap filler, or crap filler substitute, molds, dusts, pollens, trees, grasses, and mice and feathers.

The Red Devil Diva & Her Shamelessly Obedient Human
Bubba: Allergy King and Chief of Naps

Last edited by Sam1491; 02-15-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 05:59 PM
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I groom a shihtzu that has environmental allergies. He does get a shot once a month, but what has helped him a lot (his flank and stomach and feet were affected the most) is coconut oil spread on his affected areas. Just a thin layer. His flank and stomach areas are not near as inflamed as they used to be.
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