i adopted an 8yo cockapoo 2 weeks ago. prior owners said they needed to rehome her, that she is allergic to chicken and that she continues to occasionally have allergy flareups after vet put her on royal canin about three months ago. I find that lucy scratches a lot and goes extended periods of the day chewing at her hiney, and licking at her paws. I took her to Petco and vet recommends prednisone and a change in food. I’m concerned about putting her on prednisone since i don’t have bloodwork for her to know if it likely is ok for her; also concerned about giving her a med because her record show she had an allergic reaction to rabies vaccine. I know that and prednisone are different but i’m new to this and don’t want to take any chances until i see an experienced vet and until i have insurance in place. Can anyone advise me on what they think i should do;
1) Give her pred/ transition diet (i think i’ll slowly incorporate Performatin Ultra Limited) or
2)Keep her on Royal Canin/ keep her off grass in case this is environmental until i can see a regular vet or
3) Do 2 above but also give her benedryl 2 doses of 25 mlg daily for no more than 4 days until i can see a real vet
Any help is greatly appreciated. I would greatly appreciat an opinion on what you would do if you were me and why. Please also tell me if you’ve owned dogs alot in your lifetime or if you are a novice like meanonymousMember
Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities usually result in GI disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea. Environmental allergies usually result in pruritus (itching).
I would go by the recommendations of the veterinarian that examined the dog. Prednisone and such are necessary for short periods to stop the suffering and prevent skin infections. Make an appointment with a board certified veterinary dermatologist asap.
Avoidance doesn’t work, many allergens are air-borne and present all year round indoors and outdoors.
Don’t be fooled by mail-in saliva and hair tests to identify food sensitivities. They tend to be scams and are not diagnostic tools.
You can try frequent bathing with a shampoo such as Malaseb it may help a little but it works best in conjunction with other treatments prescribed by the dermatologist.
Air purifiers and dehumidifiers didn’t do anything to help my dog, gave that stuff to the Goodwill. Homeopathic remedies were a waste of money in my experience.
Have you tried the search engine here for “allergies”, this subject comes up at least once a week.
Hope this helps:
By Klaus Loft, DVM
Angell Dermatology Service
Anyone who suffers debilitating environmental allergies tied to changing seasons, pet dander or household dust mites knows first-hand the misery of a scratchy throat, itchy eyes or painful rashes.
Not everyone knows, however, that our pets can experience similar allergic reactions — and other very bothersome dermatological issues. But our pets need not suffer in silence. Modern veterinary science has evolved such that advanced, comprehensive treatments are now available to treat a range of skin conditions.
Top pet dermatological issues
Our four-legged friends suffer from some of the same skin issues as we do — and several that we do not. The most common conditions we see at Angell include:
•Parasites, such as mites, fleas and mange (scabies)
•Infectious diseases, such as Staphylococcal pyoderma (“Staph”) skin infections, yeast and fungal infections and skin fold infections
•Systemic diseases, such as autoimmune diseases
•Skin cancer, such as Squamous cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, Mast cell tumors
•Allergies, such as flea allergy dermatitis, adverse food reactions, environmental allergies, etc.
All of these conditions can become serious and, if untreated, dramatically reduce quality of life. But the tremendous strides made in veterinary innovation, however, is very good news for our pets. Specifically, the testing and treatments for allergies now rivals human healthcare in its sophistication, quality of care and long-term health outcomes.
Unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot tell us about their dermatological health issues. So we as pet owners must look for the signs. The most common indicators that a pet is suffering from some kind of allergy involve frequent episodes of ear infections, red raised or open sores on the skin, constant licking or biting of paws or groin — sometimes causing wounds that will not go away.
Allergies present a particular challenge because there can be hundreds (even thousands) of potential allergens that impact pet health, from foods to pollen from grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites and more. Today’s specialty veterinary hospitals have access to the very latest diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of what’s ailing our pet. Among these tests is the Intra Dermal Test (IDT).
IDT is generally considered the gold standard of testing for identifying allergens that cause pets to suffer from chronic skin and/or ear diseases. IDT involves injections of a series of concentrated allergens into the skin to determine which of them generate allergic reactions in a given animal. The use of fluorescein — a chemical that illuminates the inflammation caused by the injected allergens in order to visualize the strength of individual reactions — is key to accurately diagnosing pet allergies, and is just one of the many ways veterinarians use new technologies to improve care and diagnostics.
The results of IDT (as well as a review of the pet’s medical history) can then inform comprehensive immunotherapy treatments to relieve suffering. Veterinary dermatologists rely on IDT to build customized treatment plans for patients called Allergen Specific Immuno Therapy or “ASIT” for short.
ASIT involves a series of injections specifically created for the allergic animal’s skin. These injections, of diluted allergens, are designed to make a pet less sensitive to their allergens over time. In most cases these injections must be continued for life to reduce symptoms, but they are highly effective. Seventy to 90 percent of pets experience a reduction in symptoms as a result of ASIT treatment. These treatments can be delivered even more easily via droplets under the tongue, perfect for pet owners who are squeamish about giving injections to their pet.
This treatment is very new to the North American field of medicine (both human and veterinary) and underscores just how far innovation in veterinary medicine has come.
When it’s time to see the vet
Many pet owners are understandably concerned about taking their animals to the veterinarian because the cost (to say nothing of the fear some animals experience when going do the doctor) may outweigh any perceived reduction in suffering. To help pet owners know when it’s time to bring Fido to the doctor I’ve compiled my “Top Ten” list of dermatological symptoms that should never be ignored:
•Intense itching of the skin (head shaking, running the face into the carpet, furniture, etc.)
•Biting at the skin that creates red, raw crusting areas of the skin
•Multiple ear infections (head shaking, odor from ears, scratching at the ears with hind legs)
•Paw licking or chewing and frequent infections of the skin in the webbed skin of the paws
•Staining of the fur of the paws and nails on multiple feet
•Reoccurring skin infections in the groin, under the shoulders, perianal areas (on or under the tail)
•Greasy scaling skin and/or fur with odorous skin
•Hair loss, or thinning of the fur
•Dark pigmentation of the skin that is chronically infected
•Sudden depigmentation of skin
Allergies and other dermatological issues can be as frustrating for pet owners and their veterinarians as they can be for pets. I encourage any pet owner whose animal is experiencing any of these symptoms to consult with their veterinarian.
Hi it’s great you have rescued an older dog, since her old owner said she cant eat chicken then she must suffer with food sensitivities, I would change her food ASAP, my boy scratched & scratched on Royal Canine HP & Gastrointestinal & Hills Z/d vet diets, made him worse…..
Find a limited ingredient food with least ingredients 3-5 ingredients also make sure the fat & protein isn’t too high and is around the same as what she is use to eating….
Baths go & get some Malaseb medicated shampoo, Malaseb kills any bacteria on the skin, it softens the coat & relieves itchy skin, as soon as she starts her scratching give her a bath & wash off any allergens & pollens on her skin & paws that’s if she is having environment allergies, it may be food sensitives, my boy has both… Baths relieve their skin, I bath my boy weekly every Thursday, I use to bath him daily especially when his paws were red & itchy now I put Hydrocortisone 1% cream I check his paws every night while he’s sleeping.. You leave the Malaseb on for 5-10mins if you can, I massage Patch as long as I can about 5mins then rinse off with bath water then empty the bath & rinse all the Malaseb off with clean water…..
I did elimination diet & found he can’t eat chicken, barley, oats, maize, corn meal, carrot, he would get his red paws 20mins after eating chicken & barley, itchy body after eating carrot, oats, barley, corn…. also look for an omega 3 supplement & add to her diet or feed tin sardines in spring water or olive oil, give about 3 small sardines a day as a treat or added to her meal… I would start adding 1/4 new kibble for 2 days then 1/2 cup new kibble for the next 2 days see how her poos are going, if poos are good then on the 5th day just feed the new kibble you have bought…..With the new kibble you have bought I hope the ingredients are different to the Royal Canine she is eating at the moment…. Normally a fish kibble is the best to start on…
“Canidae” Pure Sea http://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products
“California Natural” Lamb & Brown Rice has just 3 ingredients.. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products
I wouldn’t start any prednisone yet all prednisone does is puts the immune system in remission then as soon as you reduce the prednisone & stop giving it, your back to where you were before you started the Prednisone, Prednisone is just a band aid… If after the baths twice a week & new food & cream she is still in a bad way then book appointment to see a Dermatologist as they specialize in dogs skin problems. In the long run you’ll save money seeing a Dermatologist.
I also wipe my boy paws after walking with the Huggie baby wipes Aloe & Cucumber or they have just brought out new baby wipe Coconut wipes, I use 1 baby wipe per paw & a new wipe for face/head.. When at supermarket or chemist look in baby section for “Sudocrem”… I put the Sudocrem cream on Patches paws when it’s been raining for a few days as Patch gets red paws from walking in rain water & the Sudocrem acts as a barrier & stops any red & itchy paws… Between the new food, the baths twice a week or as soon as she scratches & using the Sudocrem cream you will see an improvement..
Keep a diary & you will start to see a pattern over the years… My boy has seasonal allergies & food sensitivities, he’s fine thru the winter months as long as he’s eating foods that agree with him, then as soon as Spring/Summer come he starts rolling & rubbing his body on my rug & is itchy…. Good luck Lucy I hope she is feeling better soon.
I sincerely appreciate all the time you took to provide me with so much detail. i did buy different dog food and today is day 3 on 25% proformatrin ultra limited / 75% royal canin. The Proformatrin is 21%protein/10%fat; the royal canin is 19%protein/ 17%fat. I have held off on the prednisone. Her poops have firmed up a bit but the little looser ones could have been from stress and transitioning to a new home. I like the idea of rinsing off her feet in case her allergy is environmental. I read about using providone iodine at a ratio of 1 to 10 parts water. It too kills bacteria, doesn’t sting and is not harmful to dogs if swallowed. I’m thinking of trying that today providing that i find it doesn’t stain. A neighbor also recommended epsom salt but i read it could cause diarrhea if swallowed. She was born without one pad on her rear right paw. She’s walking ok but snapped when i brushed it to put a sock on it before her walk just now. It is red this morning. I think i will try the iodine.anonymousMember
Please do not apply anything to the rash or give over the counter meds unless recommended by a veterinarian that has examined the dog. That’s how we ended up at the emergency vet the first time.
Many allergens are airborne and present indoors and outdoors all year round. Take dust mites for example.
Please listen ONLY to healthcare professionals that have examined your dog.
Prednisone prescribed for short periods is often necessary to stop the suffering, please don’t let well meaning folks sabotage your pet’s treatment.
You are concerned about an allergic reaction to meds? A shot of prednisone is what the vet gave my dog when she had an allergic reaction. In fact, I have a little liquid prednisone on hand for emergency reactions as prescribed by the vet although I have not had to use it in a long time. When used correctly it is a helpful medication. Side effects may occur if the dog is on it a long time, something you could ask your vet to clarify.
This is my last word on the subject.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by anonymous.
Hi Nancy, your better off using Malaseb Medicated Shampoo for Lucys paws skin, it keeps the skin moist & soft & kills any bacteria on her paws, probably after the diet change you will see an improvement, Don’t use the Iodine daily as it can dry out the skin & paws, I was putting Patch in a shallow bath with a few caps of Betadine about 3 times a week, it helped his paws at first BUT then the Betadine started to dry out his big pads, toe pads & dried out in between his paw toes, he ended up with red wrinkled dry paws, so now I just use the Malaseb medicated shampoo & soap up his paws & leave as long as he’ll let me & of a night apply either the Hydrocortisone 1% cream with a cotton tip so I get the cream in between his toes, you can buy Hydrocortisone 1% cream at chemist or I use the Sudocrem Healing cream, I rotate between the 2 creams, on the Sudocrem container it says it’s for Nappy Rash, Dermatitis, Abrasions, Pressure Sores & Eczema, the Sudocrem acts as a barrier & seems to really work.. In time you will work out what is working but it’s best to use 1 thing for 1 week & don’t use too many things cause you won’t know what is working & what isn’t helping.. The best kibble I have found that firmed up Patches poos was the “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & the TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon there’s no chicken in both formulas I read on a few IBD & EPI Face Book groups that Taste Of The Wild kibble was helping their dogs poos & they were finally doing firm poos, I couldn’t believe it, I only took 3-4 days too introduce the new TOTW Roasted Lamb & his poos were firm the firmest that they have ever been… In a few months Lucy will feel like a young pup & start looking better.
Thankyou everyone. Lucy took to the iodine ok but I won’t used it again given the new knowledge that it can dry out the skin/paws. I did start her on the predisone this morning (reluctantly) because she was pretty aggitated last night. Her food starting today is also at 50/50 Proformatrin and Royal CaninSusan WMember
Treat for external parasites. Use food grade DE powder & a sock & pat it on her. I can almost guarantee it’ll make a huge positive difference.
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