I’m looking for help/advice, as I am sure others must have been in the situation I am in.
I have a 10 year old staffy and for the past 4 years or so she been awful with her skin and ears. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed as food intolerant, but I’m in the U.K. and my vet said there was no test to show what foods are safe/unsafe for her. So upon their advise I did an elimination diet….chicken, beef, turkey, fish, kangaroo, buffalo, bison, home cooked meats, raw meats, etc nothing seemed to make a difference. Finally I found a dry food which although very boring for her did calm her down a little. It was grain free and hypoallergenic etc. She came off the steroids and went onto apoquel. She will have the odd scratch and scoot but on the whole it was bearable for her.
In December she had a big flare up – and still is – she is back on steroids as well as the apoquel, and has ear drops from the vets for her ears; she has been scratching them until they bleed then crying in pain. She is always worse in a morning.
At the moment I’m not working so can be with her, but I can’t leave the house for fear of returning to bloodied ears.
I’ve tried anti fungal/bacterial sprays, shampoos, powder enzymes for her food. I’ve tried the lot.
I’m guessing she’s built an intolerance up to the dry food. The vet gave her a strong injection of steroids yesterday she was so bad.
I am just at a loss what to do. I am so stressed out at her suffering. I wish there was a test so we could find what she can eat.
Any advice please?
What you describe sounds like environmental allergies, food would have little impact, if any, on this condition.
I would continue to work with your veterinarian, however, for best results, I would go to a specialist, a veterinary dermatologist.
Have you tried the search engine here? This subject comes up frequently.
“Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities tend to result in GI disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea. Environmental allergies tend to show up as pruritus, ear infections and such”.
“You could try a limited ingredient grain free food. My dog does well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. Wipe down her feet with water and gently dry when she comes in from outdoors”.
“Bathe her using a gentle shampoo, I use Malaseb (see chewy dot com).
I tried all kinds of things times 1 year (including going back and forth to the veterinarian), but, did not get results till I took her to a dermatologist for testing. Allergen specific immunotherapy worked in her case”.
Unfortunately, steroids and such are often necessary (for brief periods) to stop the suffering and prevent infection.
Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural treatment.
Also, I have heard that some dogs do well on apoquel, you may want to consider staying with that, talk to your vet.
are you seeing a Dermatologist that deals in these skin/ear problems also has she had her ears scrap & tested for ear mites, yeast etc
There are better drugs on the market these days, ask vet about Apoquel you will know within a week if it’s working, it doesn’t work for dogs with yeast problems….
What food was she eating? the UK as a few limited ingredient foods have you tried the Amala or Fish4Dogs also look at the wet tin food now instead of the kibbles, stop all kibbles… I know when my Staffy gets his itchy ears it’s the food, he cant eat carrot & chicken, he starts his ear scratching & shaking his head…
also look for a Omega 3 supplement for her skin/coat, joints, brain etc
My kitten I rescued had bad ear mites then was still scratching & going mad so the vet did another ear scrap & she had ear infection from the bad mites, she was given Apex Ear Drops then had another ear scrap & her infection was gone, then once a week for 1 month I had to clean her ears with Virbac Epi-Optic ear cleaner by the 3rd week she stopped scratching her ears, when my Staffy had his ear problem he was sensitive to ingredient in his vet diet for his IBD vet gave him DERMOTIC era drops it fixed his ears straight away & his vet diet was changed…. http://www.amalapetfoods.co.uk/purchaseamala
Hi also have you looked into Jean Dodds DVM, NutriScan Salvia testing? some people swear by this testing, it’s quick & easy, I don’t know, I haven’t had it done, when I went to have it all done I checked the postage from Australia to the US & it was very expensive, so I never had the Salvia testing done, I’d love to know what foods it say’s Patch is sensitive too cause I know a few foods he can’t eat, I wonder if they would come back positive to the same foods?? cause you live in the UK it’s closer & postage will be cheaper.
Saliva and hair mail-in tests are not allergy tests.
“Atopic dermatitis is a hypersensitivity or over-reaction to a variety of commonplace and otherwise harmless substances in the environment such as plant pollens, house dust mites or mold spores. Most pets with atopic dermatitis either inhale or absorb their allergens through their skin. Allergy tests are used to identify what a pet is allergic to in their environment”.
“There are two types of allergy tests, the intradermal allergy test and blood testing for allergies (serologic allergy testing). In an intradermal allergy test, the fur is clipped on one side of the chest and very small amounts of common allergens are injected into the skin. This test is very precise and is only performed by Veterinary Dermatology services. Because most pets with environmental allergies become exposed to their allergens through their skin, the intradermal allergy test may also best simulate a pet’s natural allergies. In a blood allergy test, a blood sample is obtained and submitted to a laboratory for testing”.
“If a pet is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, there are three methods of therapy. The first method of therapy involves removing the allergen from the pet’s environment”. “Unfortunately, this is not possible in most cases. The second method of therapy involves the use of anti-itch drugs such as anti-histamines or steroids (cortisone). Some of these anti-itch medications do not work in every pet. Other pets develop side-effects from taking certain anti-itch medications”.
“The third method of therapy for atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) is allergy injections. Other names for allergy injections include desensitization, hyposensitization, allergy vaccine, or allergen-specific immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves a series of injections of diluted allergens. Over time, these injections make a pet less sensitive to their allergens and thus less allergic. Most pet owners are able to learn how to give the injections at home. When based on the results of intradermal allergy testing, immunotherapy helps manage the allergies in approximately 70-90% of pets. Most pets will respond to immunotherapy within 6-9 months, but some pets will require up to a year of immunotherapy injections before a full benefit can be noted”.
Our lab has allergies with skin issues as well. We had tried Zyrtec, Benadryl, Prednisone and Apoquel without significant success. Our vet recommended trying the Cytopoint injection. He had his first one about 5 weeks ago and his second injection yesterday. We were incredibly surprised with how much his itching, sneezing and licking improved after the first injection. There was a straight week where we didn’t hear him sneeze, which was unheard of before. He would often wake us up in the middle of the night with his sneezing and scratching his ears. Prior to starting the Cytopoint we would constantly find new wounds/skin problems on our dog. Since we started the injections, we haven’t noticed a single skin issue (knock on wood). We’re very pleased with our early results.
Hi Meagan yes Cytopoint was released 2016 & CADI was released 2015 both are made by Zoetis…..there’s a few people on the Dog issues, allergies and other information support F/B group that are having very good results with both products….one lady in group has just started the injections & asked is it normal for her dog he’s drinking more water ?? I don’t know, I control Patches skin allergies with weekly bathing in Malaseb & wipe him down with baby wipes after going on walks when the pollens are high & he’s done a lot of sniffing I always wipes around his snout & I don’t feed any of the foods he’s sensitive too for his food sensitivities…… Patch only has seasonal environment allergies & IBD he isn’t as bad as some poor dogs that have allergies all year round, he has a break thru the cooler months….
Last January we put down Dylan, our almost 13-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever (and the best brown dog in the world).
About a year earlier I wrote a post about finally acknowledging that he wouldn’t be around much longer because he stopped running upstairs to the kitchen when he heard me making a meal (or doing anything with food).
Being a soft touch, I always “dropped” something I was making on the floor for him. But when he started staying on the couch in basement instead of coming upstairs to mooch food I knew his health had started to deteriorate.
As I had never put one of my dogs down before, I was petrified that I wouldn’t know when it was time to let him go.
I didn’t want to hang on to him if was suffering. And I obviously didn’t want to euthanize him while his quality of life was still good.
Most dog owners who have had to put down a dog will say that you shouldn’t worry because your dog will let you know when it’s time to let him/her go, and while that was true in Dylan’s case, it may not be true for every dog in every situation.
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