Join Date: Sep 2007
Dogs Name: Kip, Capri (RIP)
Titles: Kip Mr. Behavior; Capri Mis-Behavior, DS#15
Dogs Age: 10 years Dec. 15, 2005, 7 years Dec. 14, 2008--January 20, 2016
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Kip sees a dermatologist for his allergies--get shots, antihistamines, antibiotics from time to time--not with the problems you describe, but with somewhat incomplete results too. I do think you would be better off to consult with a dermatologist, if only to be sure you have done EVERYTHING that can be done for her, and be as comfortable as you can be with whatever decision you have to make.
Just a few things we do that you didn't mention:
A couple of topicals you could try, if you haven't already--Allerderm spot-on, Duoxo Chlorhexidine spray on, Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray on--I think they may all be prescription, but they certainly work with Kip (as a part of his treatment) to ease the itching and to bring more health to his skin. My vet said that they used to think the dog itches, and then scratches irritating the skin, and then itches more, and scratches more and so on--now I guess they are determining that the cracked and irritated skin comes first and if they can treat that, they have a head start on keeping the skin from getting in even worse shape. I'm not sure if these meds can be applied over open sores, however.
You should also use hypoallergenic baby wipes and wipe off her coat and feet whenever she comes in from outside or is in contact with things you know bother her. If you're feeding dry food, don't store it in containers unless you are practically sterilizing them in-between bags, because storage mites love the little crumbs of food that are left over in a container when you add a new bag. Just keep the food in the bag it comes in and throw it out when you go to a new one. If she has been getting antihistamines for the bacterial infections that are common with allergies, she should be tested for resistant bacterial like MRSA (stands for something like multiply resistant Staph Aureus). She may need special antibiotics that are aimed at the specific infection that she has, and may also need to take these antibiotics for a month or more to make sure they get rid of ALL the infection.
There are also a couple of mental health type drugs (doxepin is one) you could try if you feel she is ripping at her skin or opening lick sores in an obsessive way--some of those even have a little antihistamine action so you get more bang for your buck, so to speak.
Apparently different dogs respond to different antihistamines, and not at all to others. It is a matter of trial and error to find out which will work with your dog. If you are giving antihistamines, some of them can be given in combination with others too. The dosages for a doberman are roughly twice what is listed on the bottle for people--but you need to ask your doctor about all that if he hasn't told you already.
Allergy treatment is a big bother, and expensive, but I think you should be able to find something that you can afford that will give your dog enough relief. Good luck!!
Last edited by melbrod; 04-12-2012 at 02:07 PM.