Allergy Shots

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Postby BullyLady » July 28th, 2010, 10:47 pm

Anyone here tried them? Can you relate your experiences? If this latest round mixture of medications still doesn't clear up Shelby's never ending skin infection then her vet would like us to try them, but I'd like to hear some firsthand experiences.
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Postby Malli » July 29th, 2010, 3:13 am

Jenifer/Marinepits has a dog(s?) on them...

I *almost* did them with Oscar....
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Postby hugapitbull » July 29th, 2010, 5:14 am

We gave Trouble allergy shots for a while. The first batch of serum I think did some good. When they mixed the second batch to increase the resistance, we never got good results. They did endless adjustments on the dosage, but it was never regulated.

It is quite expensive. If you get good results, it is well worth it. For us, it wasn't.

Trouble decided one day she didn't like to take shots anymore, and the fight was on. She ran, she wiggled, she wriggled. We had to sneak up on her. After several bent needles, I decided to stop. I would rather continue to fight the allergies than have a needle surgically removed.

Our experience was a bad one, but there are others who are very successful. A lot depends on the dog and the clinic .
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Postby Marinepits » July 29th, 2010, 8:49 am

Yep, Mac's been on them for a few years now and we've had good results.

VERY long story short -- Mac was on a never-ending series of medications (STRONG antihistamines and antibiotics) to try and control his allergies, and we tried endless environmental and food/supplement changes. Nothing ever seemed to do more than *barely* control his symptoms. Dr Blabs gave him the blood allergy test and he came back with results off-the-charts for several types of molds and mites. Within the first month of allergy shots, he improved dramatically and has continued to do well since then. He does have occasional allergy break-outs when the weather is really bad (this humidity and constant rain is killing his feet right now), but the shots make it FAR easier to bring his symptoms back under control.

The first couple of months were expensive because you go through a LOT of the serum while you try to find a good balance in dosage that will control the dog's allergies. After you find that balance, it's MUCH less expensive. We go through maybe two vials a year now.

Initially you give the shots roughly every three days, at gradually increasing dosages. If the dog has a reaction, then you take a step or two back and gradually increase dosage again. Once you find the maintenance dosage, then you gradually increase the time between shots. If the dog reacts, then you take a step or two back and gradually increase the time again. Of course, follow the instructions your vet gives, but this is how Dr Blabs had us work the shots. As of now, Mac is at full dosage and gets a shot every four to five weeks. When his allergies flare in the spring, he gets a shot every two weeks.

Mac is not fond of the needles, but doesn't fight them too much. I usually give him a big bowl of applesauce and give him the shot while he's trying to clean the bowl. I also use the "baby" needles and they don't bother him nearly as much as the larger gauges.

Mac no longer has constant yeast infections in his ears, armpits, and feet. He doesn't need to be on year-round antibiotics to control his "bully-bumps" and staph infections. He's down to two minor antihistamines a day and doesn't explode in allergy symptoms if I skip a dose or two. He can eat virtually any food (except cheap peanut butter) and not break out in hives or start throwing up. For us, the allergy shots are well-worth the expense and "hassle".
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Postby PoodleMaMaKat » July 29th, 2010, 9:44 am

My dogs don't get allergy shots, but I personally got them for many years. As someone said to me the other day, I'm allergic to life. I had horrible allergies that caused sinus infections and ear infections at least once a month. Antihistamines barely touched my symptoms. The allergy shots made a HUGE difference. And for someone who hates needles, I didn't mind the allergy shots. I stopped 6 years ago when I went to collage. I didn't have as hard of a time with my allergies when I moved out of state, but when I moved back my allergies were back.

I'm now on 3 asthma/allergy meds and my allergies are not as controlled as they were when I was on the allergy shots. While a new medication has improved my allergies in the past year, they are still there. My cat allergy isn't nearly what it used to be. I can actually be in a house with cats and still breathe! (This NEVER happened!!!) I've been considering doing allergy shots again, and probably will in the next year. I’m tired of always having a stuffy nose, a nice rash if I come into contact with something or asthma trouble when I’m around allergies.
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Postby BullyLady » July 29th, 2010, 12:29 pm

Thanks for the input guys! Keep 'em coming if anyone else has experiences!!

So Shanna, it sounds like I will know fairly quickly if they aren't working then? The symptoms just won't go away?

Jen, that is the same thing Shelby has, she has had a skin infection in her armpits for like eight MONTHS now. The poor baby is always itchy. And then this summer her ears are flaring up, too. "Shelby, please no flapping!" has become a staple sentence in our house. :nono:
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Postby Marinepits » July 29th, 2010, 2:37 pm

BullyLady wrote:So Shanna, it sounds like I will know fairly quickly if they aren't working then? The symptoms just won't go away?


Each dog is very different in response -- some will show good results very quickly, others take a bit longer, and some may not respond at all. If you start the shots when she's in full flare-up, the symptoms may take longer to go away.

Jen, that is the same thing Shelby has, she has had a skin infection in her armpits for like eight MONTHS now. The poor baby is always itchy. And then this summer her ears are flaring up, too. "Shelby, please no flapping!" has become a staple sentence in our house. :nono:


We've continued Mac on acidophilous supplements, but he's gone from 4 or 5 per day to one. For him, it really helps keep the yeast under control. Shorty recently broke yet another toe :rolleyes2: and was in a hard splint for about a month. She's a sweaty girl and drools a lot, so it's hard to keep her splints dry. Because of the damp, she got some yeast in between her splinted toes. So, we put her on acidophilous while she had to wear the splint, and Dr Cary applied some animax to her toes every time her splint was changed. I just took her final splint off yesterday and her foot is fairly clear of yeast and not nearly as funky as she usually gets with a splint.

Have you tried the frito feet solution for Shelby's armpits?
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2028

We used it quite often on Mac's ears, feet, and armpits when he was in flare-up. I still use it on Mac's feet when they flare up (like now). Works like a charm, but you do have to use it religiously until the infection starts to dry up, then you can cut back to once a day. Of course, stopping her from scratching is the hardest part -- Mac used to wake us up in the middle of the night because he'd be scratching so hard his leg would just THUMP on the wood floors, LOL.
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Postby hugapitbull » July 29th, 2010, 6:14 pm

BullyLady wrote:Thanks for the input guys! Keep 'em coming if anyone else has experiences!!

So Shanna, it sounds like I will know fairly quickly if they aren't working then? The symptoms just won't go away?



I would not go so far as to say you will know fairly quickly, as Jen pointed out it takes some of them a while to begin to respond. But yes, it is safe to say if the symptoms just will not go away, and you have given it a reasonable amount of time, it isn't working. I cannot recall the exact statistics, but a small percentage (I think in the 20-30% range) will not respond, so the odds are fairly good that you will get good results.

Since the cancer, Trouble has been off Atopica, and we (and she) are suffering the consequences. Right now she is on prednisone because she chewed a place raw on her hip while Bob was outside mowing earlier in the week. And our phrase is 'No licky' I think I say it in my sleep. :nono:
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Postby BullyLady » July 29th, 2010, 8:21 pm

I was reading the brochure that Dr. Katie gave me this morning, it's about 20% who get no benefit at all. Hopefully she's in the 80%! No, nix that, hopefully the anitfungals clear it up...... :rolleyes2: :lol:

Oh, and we should start a list of "Allergy dog specific commands"

Ours would be "No flapping!" and "No itching!" (said all as one word like: No-witching!) :giggle:
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Postby Malli » July 30th, 2010, 2:25 am

"don't lick!" followed by explitives and walking over to tell the dog off :)

Topagen is our friend. Right now Oscar is covered in scabby bumps but they are starting to settle a bit I think after a couple of days of Topagen; since he often gets pustules(I can assume, I often just find scabs or epidermal collarettes) without redness, we find it works quite well.

Oddly, in Oscar's case I found less bathing works well, or not bathing until needed, which isn't as often as if we were to do it on a schedule, if that makes sense. I've also found tar shampoo seems to do the best with him...
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby BullyLady » July 31st, 2010, 5:51 pm

Marinepits wrote:
Have you tried the frito feet solution for Shelby's armpits?
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2028

We used it quite often on Mac's ears, feet, and armpits when he was in flare-up. I still use it on Mac's feet when they flare up (like now). Works like a charm, but you do have to use it religiously until the infection starts to dry up, then you can cut back to once a day. Of course, stopping her from scratching is the hardest part -- Mac used to wake us up in the middle of the night because he'd be scratching so hard his leg would just THUMP on the wood floors, LOL.


I have not, buying a little travel squirt bottle tonight to try this. I will do ANYTHING to get rid of this stupid infection! If I thought it would help I would lick it! LOL
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 6th, 2010, 9:39 pm

Sidda was on allergy shots (two formulas-- two shots a week)for about a year and a half and it didn't make much difference.
We tried everything under the sun for her allergies.
Finally, after struggling for years, she's doing well on Atopica, raw diet, and zymox for ear maintenance.

Good luck. I feel for owners with allergies dogs. It is so frustrating and heartbreaking sometimes.
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