He won't stop itching!!! I don't know what else to do!!!! - Page 2 - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2007, 04:36 AM
Curmudgeon
 
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I have a dog with severe allergies. After long bouts of scratching like you describe, and changing to just about every food out there, I finally went to a vet that specialized in pets with allergies, and had her tested. They shaved a patch on her back and injected very small amounts of known allergens into a grid pattern. That way we could see what she was allergic to.

Turns out she's allergic to molds and grass pollens. No way to eliminate those things totally when you live in the country on an acre of grass.

We tried allergy shots for awhile, but they were pretty expensive, and not all that effective. Like in humans, they take a long time to get really effective, and you may be on them for years. Not what we wanted for her.

After about six months, we dropped them for other treatments.

She's an older dog, so quality of life is more important to us than the length of time she's with us. We put her on mild steroids and an antihistamine, even thought the long term use of steroids can have some bad effects. We'd rather have her happy and not scratching for the time she has left.

For flareups, I have a few options now, I can increase her regular meds, add generic benadryl, or for really bad episodes, she can get a steroid shot.

The vet told me that most people are wasting their money on changing foods, as relatively few dogs are allergic to foods. Most allergens, like in people, are in the environment.

Before you go to the expense of changing out your household, or going broke on expensive food, you might try finding out what she is reacting to. The upfront costs may seem high, but in the end it can be a LOT less expensive if you know what you're dealing with

bob



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