Allergies or Eczema?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby amazincc » August 31st, 2009, 12:24 pm

Sepp is on a "maintenance dose" of prednisone, so I'm already aware of the increased peeing, eating and drinking. lol

Faust has never had peanut butter, so that's one thing we can rule out. :wink:
I just ordered him some Wellness Venison&Potatoe, and a bag of Duck&Potatoe, as well as some of their treats for dogs w/allergies... I somehow don't envision Faust looking at veggies as something to get excited about.

When I take the cats for neutering on Wednesday I will ask our regular vet about all the details of the allergy testing... we had a sub today, and she didn't know too much about how they do it. She did mention a blood test and some kind of skin testing though.
She also said that most allergists want you to do a 3-months food trail first (which, I agree, doesn't tell you anything about environmental allergies :rolleyes2:)... so, I will have tons of questions on Wednesday.
I'd honestly prefer we do the allergy testing ASAP instead of screwing around w/his diet for months and months... because if it's environmental we obviously have to take a different approach, plus I want to KNOW. :P

Faust is zonked out on the couch right now - those vet visits and all the meds just did him in. :lol3:

Thanks for all the input - I really appreciate it immensely.
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Postby amazincc » August 31st, 2009, 12:48 pm

Edit:

The kibble is Natural Balance, not Wellness. :rolleyes2: :oops:
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Postby Malli » August 31st, 2009, 1:39 pm

Oscar really likes veggies and fruits, too. Though he is not a fan of lettuce, like his dopple ganger. Oscar will eat anything crunchy (carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, he also enjoys fruit : strawberries in particular, watermelon, apple, pear, mandarin oranges - loves those)

When & if you do do the trial diet, be very strict. Some animals can have as little as one small bite, and have a reaction that lasts weeks.

Cephalexin and Prednisone are household names here with us, so let me know if you have any questions.

Keep in mind this point of view : my own vet says that allergy testing (of any kind) varies in results with each animal. I've met some people that have gotten lucky. The injections can also vary in effectiveness.
Both my vet's dog and Oscar have allergies, and neither have had testing for the above reasons. We choose to keep them on special diets and manage any outbreaks.
But really, everyone has to figure out what works for them...
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Postby amazincc » August 31st, 2009, 1:52 pm

Malli wrote:Keep in mind this point of view : my own vet says that allergy testing (of any kind) varies in results with each animal. I've met some people that have gotten lucky. The injections can also vary in effectiveness.
Both my vet's dog and Oscar have allergies, and neither have had testing for the above reasons. We choose to keep them on special diets and manage any outbreaks.


I understand that. :)
However... I really prefer my dogs to be on a raw diet, period.
So, if Fausts allergies aren't caused by his food I'd rather not put him on kibble indefinitely, you know?
Or are environmental allergies helped by a special diet as well???

Yes, I plan on being "strict" until we figure this out... it'll be much harder on me than on him, I'm sure.
Faust DOES like fruit... I hadn't thought of that. :wink:
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Postby Marinepits » August 31st, 2009, 2:43 pm

amazincc wrote:Or are environmental allergies helped by a special diet as well???


Some may be, some aren't. Allergies are SO specific and personal per animal (and person), it's ridiculous. :shake: Also, it depends on the environmental allergy. For example, if the dog gets an allergic skin reaction to the plants while running in a wheat field, that same dog may or may not react to eating wheat and/or wheat products. The way the wheat is processed could also make a difference -- it may not be the wheat itself but rather the components that make up the entire wheat plant OR the dog's original reaction to the wheat field might have been due to something in the soil or the pesticides used or or or.....ad nauseum.

The dog could be allergic to eating beef, but rubbing against a cow in a field wouldn't cause any skin reaction, or vice versa.
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Postby Marinepits » August 31st, 2009, 3:01 pm

amazincc wrote:Sepp is on a "maintenance dose" of prednisone, so I'm already aware of the increased peeing, eating and drinking.


Sometimes the smallest change in pred dosage can drastically reduce the side effects. Check with your vet and see what s/he says.

I somehow don't envision Faust looking at veggies as something to get excited about.


I was amazed when Mac decided lettuce was the Best Treat Ever. Faust may surprise you.
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Postby dlynne1123 » August 31st, 2009, 5:15 pm

amazincc wrote:Well... the good news is that it's not a mange flare-up.

The bad news is that he's probably got allergies. Or scabies... :shock:
Scabies is very contagious and the other dogs have no symptoms, so I kind of doubt that it's that.
They sent us home w/Cephalexin, Prednisone, and a medicated shampoo. He also needs to take Benadryl twice a day, and I made an appointment for allergy testing.

The vet wants me to take Faust off the raw diet, and try him on a kibble w/venison, duck or rabbit. I'm not happy about it, but IF he turns out to be allergic to chicken, beef, or eggs... it would make sense.
What do you guys think???

His blood work came back all in the normal range... woot! :dance:


AT the vet I work at, we diagnose on respone to treatment (especially with scabies) If benadryl or steroids releive the itching, its probably not sarcopic mange. its most likely an immune respone to allergies, which compounded a secondary bacterial infection (staph)....also having skin issues from Ryders 18 month mark I'd say grin and bare it, and get ready for an eye for controlling flare ups. Keep some meds on hand at home if your vet will let you, so you can use ABs or anti itch remedies asap and keep vet visits regularly to rule out any other immune problems.

The first start if this becomes year round, vs seasonal is a food trial. Good luck!

After 3 years of steroids, bathes, holistic remedies and a food trial, she had a skin biopsy to diagnose atopy and we're now on Atopica. This is long term of course, hers is chronic and probably genetic.
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Postby dlynne1123 » August 31st, 2009, 5:20 pm

[quote="Malli"]

Cephalexin and Prednisone are household names here with us, so let me know if you have any questions.

Keep in mind this point of view : my own vet says that allergy testing (of any kind) varies in results with each animal. I've met some people that have gotten lucky. The injections can also vary in effectiveness.
quote]

At a skin seminar I learned the 'lucky' ones are dogs with only a couple severe allergens. The unfortunate dogs, are the ones who have a nice long list of allergens, and it makes the immunotherapy injections less effective if effective at all. My dogs list was three pages, ranging from egg, to grass, to pollens and mites and molds. Ugh...
And ditto on the meds! Got a long list of them in my cabinets at home...
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Postby hugapitbull » August 31st, 2009, 5:40 pm

What they all said...Trouble had the full panel, shaved side, skin prick allergy test and came back with a list that was too long to remember, much less manage. The antigens were not effective for her, she did well for the first round of serum, but the minute they tried to adjust it everything went out of whack. A few thousand dollars later, it still was not under control AND she decided she wasn't taking any more shots. After I bent the second needle, I stopped trying. Didn't see the need to spend another fortune to have a needle surgically removed. Oh and during all of this they never tested for food allergies, they told us it would likely be inconclusive.

We then went on a long period of trial and error to determine what worked for her. What food could she eat, what shampoo could she use, how often between baths, how many and what kind(s) of antihistamines could we use. Trouble has always used an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal shampoo. I was warned it was very drying, but it worked for her with weekly baths. We used topical ointments, sprays, etc with little real improvement. We resorted to seasonal steroid shots to get her though the really rough spots, prednisone for the not to tough times, and maintenance antihistamines all the time.

It is very difficult. Each case is individual. Everyone has given excellent information for you to absorb. Don't be afraid to try the Atopica, unless it isn't recommended for compromised immune systems. You'll have to do some research on this one, as it inhibits the immune system, so it may not be an option.

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Postby call2arms » August 31st, 2009, 7:28 pm

I'm thinking Faust may not be an ideal candidate for Atopica, if he's already had demodex, it's likely from a weakened immune system (by parvo, perhaps)... Although he may not always be that way, but probably not a good idea at the moment.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 31st, 2009, 8:33 pm

Just saw this - poor little kid!
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Postby Malli » September 1st, 2009, 2:45 am

amazincc wrote:
Malli wrote:Or are environmental allergies helped by a special diet as well???


I think the approach is kind of "can't hurt" :| Its pretty much what Jen said, there are so many variables and factors and they change drastically with each individual.

I hadn't even thought about kibble vs. raw thing...
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 1st, 2009, 9:26 am

I can't add anything, as I'm not used to dealing with skin problems...but I'll be checking in to see how the little bugger is doing...poor guy. :hug3:
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Postby call2arms » September 1st, 2009, 10:29 pm

I just read that Atopica is not necessarily contraindicated in animals with a weaker immune system, more in those that have a history of neoplasia or allergies to cyclosporine. On the other hand, it hasn't been tested in dogs younger than 6 months and if administered to dogs that don't have their full adult dentition, it can cause gingival hyperplasia (over growth) and then cause issues with the new erupting teeth.

I think I have a problem - I like reading monographies.

How's Faust holding up?
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Postby hugapitbull » September 1st, 2009, 11:42 pm

call2arms wrote:I just read that Atopica is not necessarily contraindicated in animals with a weaker immune system, more in those that have a history of neoplasia or allergies to cyclosporine. On the other hand, it hasn't been tested in dogs younger than 6 months and if administered to dogs that don't have their full adult dentition, it can cause gingival hyperplasia (over growth) and then cause issues with the new erupting teeth.

I think I have a problem - I like reading monographies.

How's Faust holding up?


I think it is great we have someone who will read and interpret the drug inserts for us :dance:

I wish we had you around when we started Trouble on it. Bob has this nagging thought that since it has the contraindication with tumors, maybe it contributed to the osteosarcoma. I think the real point here would be to make sure the vet is fully informed of any and all past history, do your research, ask questions, and remind the vet of past treatment(s) if necessary.

It really is tough to be a doggie mom!
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Postby Malli » September 2nd, 2009, 2:55 am

hugapitbull wrote:Bob has this nagging thought that since it has the contraindication with tumors, maybe it contributed to the osteosarcoma.


Nope. I don't think so! There may be factors wich may accellerate cancer, but the condition is always there, its just a matter of when a tumor surfaces, IMO.

I don't think they could license it and sell it if it was carcinogenic. I'm thinking its contraindicated for animals with tumors because I think cancer as a whole weakens the body, immune system included, and chemotherapy drugs are often highly immuno suppressive.

well, thats my uneducated impression of it, anyway :lol3:
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Postby amazincc » September 2nd, 2009, 10:31 am

We're on our third day of meds, and Faust is looking SO MUCH BETTER already!!! :shock: :D

All the "wet spots" have dried up and scabbed over, and the meds are not affecting him adversely... no vomiting, no diarrhea. Appetite and thirst are "normal", as is peeing, as far as I can tell. :dance: :clap:

I've decided to try him on low-allergen food first before going through extensive (and probably inconclusive) allery testing... unless he doesn't improve, or gets another bad flare-up.

Thanks for all the great info, everyone. :)
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Postby dlynne1123 » September 2nd, 2009, 6:19 pm

Malli wrote:
hugapitbull wrote:Bob has this nagging thought that since it has the contraindication with tumors, maybe it contributed to the osteosarcoma.


Nope. I don't think so! There may be factors wich may accellerate cancer, but the condition is always there, its just a matter of when a tumor surfaces, IMO.

I don't think they could license it and sell it if it was carcinogenic. I'm thinking its contraindicated for animals with tumors because I think cancer as a whole weakens the body, immune system included, and chemotherapy drugs are often highly immuno suppressive.

well, thats my uneducated impression of it, anyway :lol3:


I agree, when I went to the skin seminar, they mentioned that because it is Immune Suppressive that any major condition that can incur an infection, is not recommended. Even dogs with severe Kidney infections need to stop their meds to focus on the more severe issue. i.e. liver disease, lyme disease, and cancers. It doesn't cause neoplasia but can accelerate the spread, b/c its slowing your immune systems attempt at fending it off.
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Postby HappyChick » September 2nd, 2009, 8:28 pm

amazincc wrote:We're on our third day of meds, and Faust is looking SO MUCH BETTER already!!! :shock: :D

All the "wet spots" have dried up and scabbed over, and the meds are not affecting him adversely... no vomiting, no diarrhea. Appetite and thirst are "normal", as is peeing, as far as I can tell. :dance: :clap:

I've decided to try him on low-allergen food first before going through extensive (and probably inconclusive) allery testing... unless he doesn't improve, or gets another bad flare-up.

Thanks for all the great info, everyone. :)


I'm happy to read that the treatment is working! I hope the food helps too.
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Postby call2arms » September 2nd, 2009, 9:32 pm

Go Faust! I'm glad to know he feels better... Now hopefully the diet may have some ingredients you'll be able to replicate in a raw fashion, if it is a food allergy.

Shanna, Cyclosporine has an inhibiting effect on T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which destroys foreing cells, cancer cells and cells attacked by viruses. So it can't cause cancer, but can keep the body from having a good response to it.
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