Post # 1
I am wanting to get some opinions before calling the vet, again.
Backstory. I have an almost 7 year old shih-tzu/lhapsa-apso mix named Bryar. She is literally like my child 🙂 Anyways, Bryar started having a lot of GI issues and chronic ear infections about 3 years ago. We have since changed to all organic grain-free, chicken & corn free dog food and treats. GI symptoms and the majority of ear infections gone! Last fall, she began developing itchy paws & rear end and a few more ear infections returned. We figured it was seasonal allergies so back to the vet we went (By this point, they know us by name lol) We ended up on a few doses of steriods which helped but she ate 24/7, gained weight & didnt sleep well – which made for a mom & dad not sleeping well either. I work in a pediatric intensive care unit so I understand how long term steriods is not a good choice as far as immune suppression is concerned. Symptoms returned after stopping steriods. At that time, we also tried Benadryl which didnt help in the slightest. Over the winter, her itchy bum was keeping her up at night because she couldnt get comfortable (she has always had her anal glands expressed every 6 weeks but didnt help this time like it normally did). We ended up having to take her in for a procedure where they inject steriods & antibiotics into her anal glands. Luckily that worked & her itchy bum is a thing of the past. Her itchy paws went away once winter hit & killed all the allergens. Now, since the pollen in Cincinnati is sky-high again, her itchy paws have returned but no other symptoms as of yet. Last winter, our vet said that allergy testing & daily injections are the next step but that sounds super expensive & to be honest, jumping the gun a bit. Her paw itching isnt HORRIBLE. She doesnt have any open wounds or thinning hair from it. We just notice her licking her paws a lot more in the past few weeks. Dont get me wrong, money isnt an issue and I will do daily injections if that is what she needs. I just want to explore other options before committing to that plan.
Has anyone ever tried OTC allergy medication? Ive heard of some dogs taking Zyrtec. Has something worked for your pup? Or any vet bees out there with ideas?
Post # 3
Oh poor thing! There was another thread about dogs with allergies a couple of days ago which may help? http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/what-do-you-give-your-dog-for-allergies#axzz2RfeTAgER
But we give our Maltese over the counter antihistamine tablets every time she gets itchy and they help very quickly (just half once every couple of days). She has chronic itches. Also natural foods, medications, and moisturisers might help? Loads of recipes on google. We are currently trying a rose hip powder on her food which is supposed to help too.
Post # 4
@IUrebekah3RT: Do you know if she currently has any active skin or infection? Dogs with allergies can very easily get skin and ear infections (bacteria or yeast) and treating that before starting allergy medication is a good idea. Usually that treatment involves topical shampoos or ointments. There is another immunosuppressive medication used for allergies in dogs that has much less side effects than steroids that may help her. Some dogs with allergies need that medication and low doses of steroids to control their symptoms. Do you have any veterinary dermatologists near you or could you go to the vet school at Ohio State? Allergies in dogs can be very frustrating to get under control but the dogs feel so much better once they are!
Post # 5
my baby girl had seasonal allergies in the spring every year which would cause bacterial skin infections from the itching that were difficult and lengthy to treat! I wasn’t jazzed about steriodal treatments long term, but working closely with my vet we developed a short course of steriods with a tapering dose used just for the worst part of allergy season each year. As she got older, her allergies diminished. Now she just gets itchy paws in the springtime, and I keep a close eye on them to make sure there’s no signs of excessive irritation – open sores, infections, excessive licking. For the past two years, they have been a bit itchy but not to the point of needing treatment – they haven’t impacted her quality of life at all – so I don’t treat them.
Post # 6
@pixiecat: No, she currently does not have any active skin infections. Luckily, her itchy paws have actually never got to the point of open sores or infections. My vet checks every time we take her in.
@MsKeee: Her itchiness isnt affecting her quality of life right now either, thank goodness, which is why I hadn’t taken her to the vet yet. We just noticed they were becoming a bit more itchy in the past few weeks. Since it doesn’t impact her quality of life, I am not wanting to jump to the daily injections. I don’t feel she is that severe now that we have the GI issues & chronic ear/anal gland infections more under control.
@Dogsbody92: Thanks. I will look at that thread!
Post # 7
No, but seriously — there could be other allergens in the food. Have you changed it since switching to this organic food? Allergy-prone dogs develop allergies after being exposed to a certain protein. It’s best to jump around from food to food, rather, from protein to protein. Have you tried bison? Venison? Heck, you can even get kangaroo. Organic doesn’t even necessarily play a role in that. Other grains aside from corn are also common causes of allergies.
Please PM me if you have any questions about food allergies, if you think it may be a cause. This is what I do for a living 🙂
Post # 8
One of our dogs has terrible seasonal allergies and actually gives herself sores and has lost some fur etc. We started feeding her chicken and vegetables instead of dog food and gave her some supplements her holistic vet recommended. It has helped quite a bit. She still licks her laws more than our other dog but she’s not near as miserable and hasn’t lost more fur.
Post # 9
@winstonchurchill: Benadryl doesnt touch her. Yes, we have changed up her foods often. We rotate between venison, salmon, and a few others and two specific brands. The food allergy is not playing a role in this particular situation. Thank you for your advice though.