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Guest Bodie

Greyhound Skin Allergy Problem

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Guest Bodie

I originally posted this as a response to Monty's allergy problems, however, I did not receive much of a response, so I am re-posting it as a separate posting. I have emailed Monty's owner for more information on Monty's allergies. He is the first greyhound I have found with problems similar to mine. If you have any ideas how to help, they would be appreciated.

 

Bodie has been under treatment for allergies for almost two years. When his veterinary clinic exhausted all means of treatment - steroids, antibiotics, sprays, hypoallergic diet food, etc., they recommended a veterinary dermetologist. We saw her last September and after giving him 70 shots, she found out he is allergic to almost everything except humans and food. Molds, dust mites, cats, outdoor vegetation, you name it. She assured me she could control his allergies through steroids, sprays, and auto immune injections. It is now 8 months since we began treatment with her, and frankly, I see very little difference. Bodie gets rashes and sores on his feet and across the bridge of his nose. His nose has cleared somewhat since treatment, but not his feet which remain so bad that some days he can only limp around. He has been on several different kinds steroids, antibiotics, topical creams, Genesis spray and the autoimmune shots. Nothing in the way of medication seems to help. What does seem to help is opening up the house in the spring and fall. In other words, his allergies start to clear when the windows and doors are open and the heat and/or air conditioning are off. I have moved since his problem began, so his problems aren't house specific.

 

One of the things that makes Bodie's case different from other dogs is that he isn't itchy. He doesn't lick or chew on his sore spots or bother them in any way.

 

I've searched for other greyhounds with a similar problem at Greyhounds in Gettysburg, the Grapehound Wine Tour and Dewey Beach. I have not found one, so this does not seem to be a common problem.

 

The poor boy is starting to lose his joie de vivre. He no longer runs as he used to love to do and very seldom plays with his toys. Any ideas for getting my happy boy back?

 

 

 

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Guest Bodie
What are you feeding? Where are you located?

 

Currently, I am feeding Iams or Purina One since he tested negative on food products and a hypoallergenic diet food made no difference. We are located in South-Central Pennsylvania about 25 miles from Gettysburg.

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Guest CaroleWithRunningDogs

Oh Golly I'm so sorry to hear this. My dogs have allergies too, mostly environmental allergies. I had a blood test done for our testing, the dermatologist said they weren't accurate that I would have to go the route that you did with the individual shots. I ended up not going to the dermatologist. I decided to try and fix their system from the inside out myself. I went to raw food, and cooking their meals. I wish I could tell you that they magically improved but apparently this will take time. I've studied as much as I can and am doing an antihistamine cream from our vet and Benadryl on bad days. I bought a new vacuum, new rug shampooer, new hepa filter air purifier. The things that bothered them come and go. My dog who had it the worst is now the best he has been in months - I started the raw diet in January. My girls are more itchy right now but as I know it is their "season" for it (maple trees blooming), I just give them the antihistamine cream and Benadryl. Herbal bath will be coming when the weather warms up.

 

My foster boy is allergic to so many foods it could make your head spin. I don't dare put him on raw because I'm afraid no one will want to adopt him if I do. However it seems to me that going for a more holistic approach is maybe a better way to go if you have this option available to you. You're certainly have done the conventional route, bless your heart and maybe it is time to try something different.

 

My dad was an old fashioned country vet, and that he only gave shots every 5 years is one of the reasons I decided I needed to look into the auto-immune piece of this. It is my trying to build up their own immune system is why the change in diet. It was my "last resort", and it finally is starting to pay off I think. Good luck. Please let me hear how it goes. :gh_face Carole

 

I read books like "Shock to the System", "Pet Allergies: An epidemic", "How to have Veterinary Care without losing the Farm." I think that all the vaccinations that we put into our dogs accumulate and plays a piece in their auto immune problems. Rabies is the only thing you legally have to do and I would just do the very minimum as far as putting anything into his system internally. I'd try to cook for your dog for 3 months and see if you can't see a difference. I'd give him a bath with an herbal soothering agent and find yourself at the library, used books off Amazon, etc. I'm sorry I'm not more help than this, but it feels like for me trying to fix him from the inside out is what I had to do. Wow - it is so hard. It just hurt to hear that Bodie has sores on his feet.

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Bodie gets rashes and sores on his feet and across the bridge of his nose. His nose has cleared somewhat since treatment, but not his feet which remain so bad that some days he can only limp around.

...

One of the things that makes Bodie's case different from other dogs is that he isn't itchy. He doesn't lick or chew on his sore spots or bother them in any way.

 

I don't know who to send you to, to talk to, but I wonder if your Bodie doesn't have allergies at all. The bits of your description above sound like an autoimmune disorder -- lupus or similar. Friend had a non-grey with an autoimmune condition that presented much like you describe, but it responded to a simple course of prednisone and never recurred. I know MomOfSweetPotatoes has a dog with lupus; she might have some suggestions as to what to ask your vet.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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A couple of things:

 

I'd email your post to the consult at Ohio State. Consult: greyosu@osu.edu

 

what kind of blood work was done? Did they test for lupus and the disorders in that "family"?

 

how many vaccines has he had?

 

has he been test for ALL the TBDs?

 

Erlichia

 

Phases:

Acute - This phase is of short duration, and is where the dog is initially infected with the disease. If the dog does not die outright from the infection, then it moves on to the next phase.

Subclinical - This phase can last months or years. It is characterized by a fine equilibrium between the parasite and the immune system of the host. This equilibrium can be disturbed by a number of things: environmental stress, additional diseases/infections, (especially Babesiosis), immunodeficiency, spleen removal, surgery, stress, hard work, imunosuppressive treatment, use of corticosteroids (Prednisone is a no-no). The dog may exhibit few clinical symptoms during this phase, beyond intermittent fever and loss of appetite. If the equilibrium is disturbed, the parasite will begin to slowly grow in number and the dog will move into the next phase. Infected Greyhounds are often in this phase when they are adopted out.

 

Chronic - If the dogs system remains unable to clear the parasite, it enters this final phase. The most obvious initial signs to an owner are a cycle of: lethargy, loss of interest in food, and a gradual loss of body condition especially evident around the eyes and along the spine. Other symptoms are: viral tumors on the face/mouth/muzzle, hemorrhaging even when blood count looks normal, clotting problems, low or high calcium level, seizures, muscle wasting, skin infections, neurological signs (repetitive obsessive actions, or palsy), diarrhea, low Platelet count, urine too alkaline, vomiting, hyper reflective eyes, low White Blood Cell count (thrombocytopenia), anemia, glomerulonephritis, bleeding from the nose or eyes, ocular signs, arthritis, weakness, pallor, incontinence, pneumonia, cough, kidney failure, increased thirst and urination, incoordination, neck or back pain, bleeding under the skin or a rash (purpura), swelling of the legs or joints, enlarged lymph nodes, irreversible bone marrow suppression.

 

 

Misdiagnosed as:

reticulosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, brucellosis, blastomycosis, thrombocytopenia, endocarditis, immune mediated disease, myelophthisis, cancer of spleen or liver, Valley Fever, plasma cell myeloma, leukemia.

 

Lupus, Discoid

 

Discoid lupus is an immune mediated skin disease that is probably related to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but instead of affecting the whole body as SLE does, it primarily affects the nose and face. As far as I know, there is no known cause of this problem but it does seem more frequent in dogs of the German Shepherd, Collie, Brittany Spaniel. Shetland Sheepdog, Siberian Husky and German Shorthaired Pointer breeds.

 

The disease normally starts as loss of pigment around the nose. There may be scabby sores or just scaling of the nasal tissue. The surface of the nose may change from its typical cobblestoned appearance to a smooth surface. As this disease progresses it can cause deep sores on the borders of the nose where it meets normal skin and the sores start to progress up the bridge of the nose. Some dogs seem to be really bothered by this condition and others show little reaction to the sores.

 

Ultraviolet light seems to make the sores worse, so the disease may appear to be seasonal. It is more common in areas in which exposure to ultraviolet light is increased, such as high altitudes. If the depigmentation leads to sunburn, squamous cell carcinoma becomes more likely than in other dogs. Topical sunscreens can be very beneficial, although it is hard to get dogs to leave them on. Keeping the dog in during the peak sunlight hours is probably the most effective way to prevent excessive exposure to UV light.

 

Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In many cases, topical treatment will be all that is necessary, using a corticosteroid ointment (Panalog, Synalar and others). It is usually necessary to use a fairly potent corticosteroid. Vitamin E supplementation is sometimes beneficial but can take several months to show much effect. Severe cases require treatment with corticosteroids. It is possible that other immunosuppressive therapy such as gold salts or azathioprine (Immuran) could be beneficial but this is rarely necessary to consider. In people, this condition is often responsive to antimalarial medications but I do not know if this is safe or effective therapy for dogs.


Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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I agree that you should pursue the possibility of your pup having an autoimmune disorder.

 

However, if you wish to follow the allergy route, I would suggest changing the HVAC filters to high efficiency filters such as a high-performance 3M Filtrete air filter. The higher end filters from 3M with the red labels have efficiency numbers around 700-1000, and the purple-blue label ones run numbers over 1200. In conjunction with a vacuum that has HEPA filtration (to keep dust from getting knocked back into the air), that will reduce the number of allergens.

 

Have you determined if there is a food allergy at hand? If not, and you are not smitten with your food, you might try Nutro; Purina ONE isn't the best stuff out there, contrary to what Purina has to say. I am not particularly enamored with Nutro, but it's a good starting place. Unless you find he does particularly well on Purina, I would recommend trying something new.

 

Similarly, if you're up to it, feeding raw food may have some benefits. I didn't used to be a raw feeding whacko, but I've turned into one.


Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Don't want to start a huge debate ... but ... I wouldn't switch to Nutro. I've never had a dog do well on it and it's made two of my personal pets ill. Have had no such problems with Purina ONE/ProPlan. The one dog I know who was allergic an ingredient in ONE had the classic itchy allergy symptoms.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I am no longer a Nutro fan and since no one can answer as to what Purina is adding to their foods I'm not a Purina fan either.

 

With a dog that has problems, and has been tested for all of the auto immune things (including TBDs) and everything was negative, I'd try raw.


Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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Guest Bodie
A couple of things:

 

I'd email your post to the consult at Ohio State. Consult: greyosu@osu.edu

 

what kind of blood work was done? Did they test for lupus and the disorders in that "family"?

 

how many vaccines has he had?

 

has he been test for ALL the TBDs?

 

Thanks for all the information. I'm going to try sending his symptoms to Ohio State, as you suggested. By the way, you are going to have to help me a bit. As you can see, I'm a newbie to the list -what does TBD stand for - tick borne disease was my best guess.

 

Bodie had a round of blood tests initially, but I have to say that was almost two years ago and I can't remember everything they looked for. I have no idea if they looked for lupus. I can call and find out. He has an annual vaccine of "dog shots" each year and the three year booster for rabies. I think, based on the comments of this list, I'm going to skip this year's round of dog shots. He also gets Frontline Plus for fleas in the summer, but that seems to have no bearing on his condition as he doesn't get Frontline in winter and the "allergies" are just as bad.

 

Rhonda

 

Erlichia

 

Phases:

Acute - This phase is of short duration, and is where the dog is initially infected with the disease. If the dog does not die outright from the infection, then it moves on to the next phase.

Subclinical - This phase can last months or years. It is characterized by a fine equilibrium between the parasite and the immune system of the host. This equilibrium can be disturbed by a number of things: environmental stress, additional diseases/infections, (especially Babesiosis), immunodeficiency, spleen removal, surgery, stress, hard work, imunosuppressive treatment, use of corticosteroids (Prednisone is a no-no). The dog may exhibit few clinical symptoms during this phase, beyond intermittent fever and loss of appetite. If the equilibrium is disturbed, the parasite will begin to slowly grow in number and the dog will move into the next phase. Infected Greyhounds are often in this phase when they are adopted out.

 

Chronic - If the dogs system remains unable to clear the parasite, it enters this final phase. The most obvious initial signs to an owner are a cycle of: lethargy, loss of interest in food, and a gradual loss of body condition especially evident around the eyes and along the spine. Other symptoms are: viral tumors on the face/mouth/muzzle, hemorrhaging even when blood count looks normal, clotting problems, low or high calcium level, seizures, muscle wasting, skin infections, neurological signs (repetitive obsessive actions, or palsy), diarrhea, low Platelet count, urine too alkaline, vomiting, hyper reflective eyes, low White Blood Cell count (thrombocytopenia), anemia, glomerulonephritis, bleeding from the nose or eyes, ocular signs, arthritis, weakness, pallor, incontinence, pneumonia, cough, kidney failure, increased thirst and urination, incoordination, neck or back pain, bleeding under the skin or a rash (purpura), swelling of the legs or joints, enlarged lymph nodes, irreversible bone marrow suppression.

 

 

Misdiagnosed as:

reticulosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, brucellosis, blastomycosis, thrombocytopenia, endocarditis, immune mediated disease, myelophthisis, cancer of spleen or liver, Valley Fever, plasma cell myeloma, leukemia.

 

Lupus, Discoid

 

Discoid lupus is an immune mediated skin disease that is probably related to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but instead of affecting the whole body as SLE does, it primarily affects the nose and face. As far as I know, there is no known cause of this problem but it does seem more frequent in dogs of the German Shepherd, Collie, Brittany Spaniel. Shetland Sheepdog, Siberian Husky and German Shorthaired Pointer breeds.

 

The disease normally starts as loss of pigment around the nose. There may be scabby sores or just scaling of the nasal tissue. The surface of the nose may change from its typical cobblestoned appearance to a smooth surface. As this disease progresses it can cause deep sores on the borders of the nose where it meets normal skin and the sores start to progress up the bridge of the nose. Some dogs seem to be really bothered by this condition and others show little reaction to the sores.

 

Ultraviolet light seems to make the sores worse, so the disease may appear to be seasonal. It is more common in areas in which exposure to ultraviolet light is increased, such as high altitudes. If the depigmentation leads to sunburn, squamous cell carcinoma becomes more likely than in other dogs. Topical sunscreens can be very beneficial, although it is hard to get dogs to leave them on. Keeping the dog in during the peak sunlight hours is probably the most effective way to prevent excessive exposure to UV light.

 

Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In many cases, topical treatment will be all that is necessary, using a corticosteroid ointment (Panalog, Synalar and others). It is usually necessary to use a fairly potent corticosteroid. Vitamin E supplementation is sometimes beneficial but can take several months to show much effect. Severe cases require treatment with corticosteroids. It is possible that other immunosuppressive therapy such as gold salts or azathioprine (Immuran) could be beneficial but this is rarely necessary to consider. In people, this condition is often responsive to antimalarial medications but I do not know if this is safe or effective therapy for dogs.

 

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Guest Bodie
Oh Golly I'm so sorry to hear this. My dogs have allergies too, mostly environmental allergies. I had a blood test done for our testing, the dermatologist said they weren't accurate that I would have to go the route that you did with the individual shots. I ended up not going to the dermatologist. I decided to try and fix their system from the inside out myself. I went to raw food, and cooking their meals. I wish I could tell you that they magically improved but apparently this will take time. I've studied as much as I can and am doing an antihistamine cream from our vet and Benadryl on bad days. I bought a new vacuum, new rug shampooer, new hepa filter air purifier. The things that bothered them come and go. My dog who had it the worst is now the best he has been in months - I started the raw diet in January. My girls are more itchy right now but as I know it is their "season" for it (maple trees blooming), I just give them the antihistamine cream and Benadryl. Herbal bath will be coming when the weather warms up.

 

My foster boy is allergic to so many foods it could make your head spin. I don't dare put him on raw because I'm afraid no one will want to adopt him if I do. However it seems to me that going for a more holistic approach is maybe a better way to go if you have this option available to you. You're certainly have done the conventional route, bless your heart and maybe it is time to try something different.

 

My dad was an old fashioned country vet, and that he only gave shots every 5 years is one of the reasons I decided I needed to look into the auto-immune piece of this. It is my trying to build up their own immune system is why the change in diet. It was my "last resort", and it finally is starting to pay off I think. Good luck. Please let me hear how it goes. :gh_face Carole

 

I read books like "Shock to the System", "Pet Allergies: An epidemic", "How to have Veterinary Care without losing the Farm." I think that all the vaccinations that we put into our dogs accumulate and plays a piece in their auto immune problems. Rabies is the only thing you legally have to do and I would just do the very minimum as far as putting anything into his system internally. I'd try to cook for your dog for 3 months and see if you can't see a difference. I'd give him a bath with an herbal soothering agent and find yourself at the library, used books off Amazon, etc. I'm sorry I'm not more help than this, but it feels like for me trying to fix him from the inside out is what I had to do. Wow - it is so hard. It just hurt to hear that Bodie has sores on his feet.

 

 

Thanks for all your concern for my Bodie. Your approach intrigues me, but I know very little about "home cooking" or feeding raw, etc. I'm going to have to do some reading about the subject.

 

Benadryl was one of the things the vet tried with Bodie - it had absolutely no effect, one way or another. The thing that intrigued his derm/vet was that Bodie actually improves as Spring arrives. Open the doors and windows and he gets better, close them for air conditioning or heat and he gets worse. I was sure it was something in my last house, but I moved 6 weeks ago and he seems to be no different in this house. And he tested allergic for so many things, it is hard to narrow down. I suspect dust mites, but what do you do for a dog who has his nose buried in the carpet all day? Yes, I have a HEPA filter vacuum, but it is a losing battle. You never get rid of dust mites.

 

I'm going to keep working on it. Thanks again for your input. It was interesting and I'm going to give it some thought.

 

Rhonda

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Not sure if my experience can help, because I never bothered to test ours for Allergies.

 

A month after we adopted Atlas, he started to chew himself. We did skin scrapings to test for infection and mange. We did bloodwork to make sure his levels were normal. Then Icarus started to exhibit the same symptoms (we had Icarus about 8 months by then and never had a problem). They both were chewing holes into themselves. On the open sores, the vet prescribed Variton, a cream and an antibiotic for each of them. During the day, they had to be t-shirted and muzzled since while I was at work, they'd go to town. I was in tears over it because every time they'd start to heal, they'd chew themselves and revert back. I couldn't even sleep because I knew as soon as I was, they'd chew themselves.

Then one morning, it dawned on me. Their Food! Something in their food was causing this reaction.. not the fall pollen, not the grass. In the course of several months, we tried about 12 different foods.

Finally, by December (this is 4 months since the allergic reaction started), I had found a food that worked.... at that time it was Sensible Choice Lamb Meal and Rice.

I haven't ever tested them for allergies, but I narrowed it down to chicken and corn. They both react to them if they are in the top 5 ingredients.

We're now using Royal Canin's Technical Lamb Meal and Rice (since they stopped making/selling Sensible Choice in Canada). Atlas has been allergy-free since January 2005.

 

During our whole experience, the 3 Vets we consulted never once suggested that it could be the food. It didn't present like a food allergy so they just ignored that possibility.


Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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Guest caro

Sorry your pup has to go through this.

 

If you're worried about food allergies, Eagle Pack Holistic Select is a great one to try. Sardine & Anchovies or the Duck with Oatmeal are good ones for allergies. http://www.eaglepack.com/Pages/HS_Home.html

 

Also, if dust mites are a problem... you might want to consider investing in hardwood floors. Dust mites can't hide in the fibers if they don't exist. Yes, it's a big investment.

 

I hope you find relief for your pup soon. :goodluck

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Guest BugsBunny

Iam sorry to hear about poor Brodie and hope you get to the bottom of things soon.

 

You say that you suspect dust mite and comment about the carpet, have you considered having wooden/laminate flooring ?

A friend of mine and her dog ( not a grey but a staffie) have a dust mite allergy ( her DH says that they take the line "dogs like their owners too far :colgate )), over a period of time she has changed her flooring to a mixture of tiles/ lino and wood, had a leather sofa and bought an air filter ( we don't have air con in the UK). She said it has greatly improved things .....they also have acupuncture once a month which also helps ( as well, as tablets). You can buy special dustmite covers to put on the matress of your bed, she has also used one to make a cover for the dogs and then used a plain cotton sheet to make an overall cover. Our office where we work has A/C and my friend says that it plays havoc with her allergy, especally just before she's due for an acupuncture session. ( your filters are probably cleaned a lot more often thn ourd in work)

 

:goodluck let us know what happens.

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Guest Bodie
Sorry your pup has to go through this.

 

If you're worried about food allergies, Eagle Pack Holistic Select is a great one to try. Sardine & Anchovies or the Duck with Oatmeal are good ones for allergies. http://www.eaglepack.com/Pages/HS_Home.html

 

Also, if dust mites are a problem... you might want to consider investing in hardwood floors. Dust mites can't hide in the fibers if they don't exist. Yes, it's a big investment.

 

I hope you find relief for your pup soon. :goodluck

 

Thanks for the food suggestion. I'll give the website a look, although he was on the hypoallergenic dog food (looked awful to me, but he liked it) for awhile, but it made no difference.

 

Hardwood or laminate floors are just not an option at this point. We just bought this house, and putting in new flooring is just not something we can financially manage at this point. Particularly when it is only a guess that that is the problem. Yes, he was tested as allergic to dust mites, but he is also allergic to so many other things (the derm/vet said she had never seen such a variety of allergies in one dog). It's just my guess that it MIGHT be dust mites since he gets better when we open the doors and windows.

 

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm exploring a lot of different options right now and hope to find relief for my boy soon.

 

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Guest patti909

Gracie has 24 environmental allergies and she has good days and bad days.

She gets monthly allergy shots and anti histamines 3 times a day. if i miss a pill, her belly and feet break out.

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Guest greytmonty

As you know Monty has major environmental allergies. One of his many is dust mites but we were lucky to have hardwood floors and then we wash his bedding every week in hot water.

The shots are doing bupkus (sp?) so far, and we are done with all the meds except Benadryl due to side effects.

However I would consult with another vet as his presentation and symptoms are so different from classic allergy presentations.

I will email you back, too.

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Guest CaroleWithRunningDogs

Just thinking if you can't put in hardwood floors - I really liked the rug shampoo thing I got - made a HUGE difference for one of my dogs...and then there is the option of bed sheets on the floor that you can take up and wash in hot water....just a thought. :gh_face Carole

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