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Old 03-20-2014, 10:10 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Default What would you do, re: allergies

I got Logan's VARL allergy test results back today, and there are 14 non-food allergens that have a score of 2 or greater. 12 can be put into allergy serum and used for hyposensitization therapy.

He's allergic to almost all the foods >.< The only food I have found that he can eat (and isn't crap like Hills) is TOTW Pacific Stream. Seriously, I searched three stores (Petco, TSC, and a local store specializing in natural pet food), and that's all I came up with. He can't even have Orijen or Acana because everything has peas in it. EVERYTHING. He's allergic to corn, chicken, yeast, oats, rice, turkey, lamb, peas, and barley.

But the point is, I FOUND THAT ONE FOOD. So he's no longer eating 4+ different kinds of allergens at every meal (he was on lamb and rice food most recently, and he's allergic to both lamb and rice...the two foods prior to that had a lot of peas in them, and peas is his single worst food allergen with a score of 4).

My vet is pretty much giving me free rein, and said to let her know what I want to do. I can either order the serum and start hyposensitization therapy, or I can try to manage it without the injections.

Or - and this is the option I'm leaning towards - I can use this food on him, and continue steroids and antihistamines for a month and see how it goes. And if I don't see significant improvement in a month, order the allergy serum. At the moment he takes presnisolone twice a day (he was on it every other day until I tried to wean him off and it all got worse again), Allegra in the morning, and Claritin at night, plus 10cc of Welactin split morning and evening (and vitamin E).

I can get Denosyl or Denamarin for free to help protect his liver from the steroids, though my goal is to get him to NOT need steroids at all. I'm okay with having to use antihistamines, but I'm not really comfortable with long-term steroids.

He's also on Dasuquin right now, and it has brewer's yeast in it. He is allergic to yeast (with a score of 2). I get this supplement for free every 6 months, and my current supply is suppose to last through May. Would you keep giving it, or stop it? I can use it for Gavroche, so either way it won't go to waste. Logan doesn't necessarily NEED a joint supplement, but as a working dog I feel more comfortable with him on one, just in case.

His symptoms are dandruff (it's maddening, it's okay for about 12 hours after a bath, but that's it), a watery eye (and redness around the eye when his allergies get really bad), and when it flares up, he gets staph infections (this last time I was able to keep it in check with medicated shampoo and conditioner, and didn't have to give him oral antibiotics). He doesn't act super itchy, but I can't imagine it's comfortable.

I may also be moving in the near future if I get a job out of town. The move may be as little as 3 hours away, and as much as across the country. Allergy tests are zip code specific, and hyposensitization can take 5-6 months to actually start working.

So...what would your plan of action be?
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:19 AM
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I would switch to the TOTW Pacific Stream and see what happens.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:46 AM
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Are you worried at all about him developing an intolerance to the Pacific Stream? I know that a past vet I worked with would always have the first "food trial" diet be the "sacrificial" diet, as after a few months the animals would almost always start having issues and would need to be switched one last time. (Also, have you looked into California Natural at all? I thought one of their formulas was very similar to SD's allergy formulas, only cheaper.)

But regardless, if it were me, I'd cut out EVERYTHING that wasn't the certain food, including supplements and any flavored medication. Try it. See what happens. Play with the steroid and antihistamine doses once the food has had time to kick in. Once he is stable, try adding back in the joint supplement and see how he reacts. If you still aren't satisfied, I'd start the injections. BUT if he has 14 different environmental allergens, I honestly don't know how much of a difference you'll see with just the food alone, even if he is mainly allergic to foods.

ETA: this would also be what I would do because I'm on a budget and if I could get away with a low cost option and have the dog be comfortable, I'd do it. If money weren't a concern, I would have no problem starting the injections sooner as opposed to later.
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Last edited by *blackrose; 03-21-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:00 AM
Steve Wisley Steve Wisley is offline
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Allergies are tough, even for us human folks. There are so many things that can complicate our systems. With all the chemicals in foods, air and homes it is very difficult to pin down. Sounds like you have done a lot of research. I would try to stay away from steroids if at all possible. They can do all kinds of weird things to his body.

It sounds like you may have found a reasonable food in the TOTW Pacific Stream. I would go with that, plus I would keep him on a good probiotic to help digestion. It helps our dog, who has a very sensitive stomach, to add yogurt to the food. I found a good video about probiotics that you can find here: http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html. But, this lady is selling their very expensive brand of probiotics, so keep that in mind. But, she does give some good information, including the fact that probiotics can help with allergens.

Hope that helps and good luck with your move.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:13 AM
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Hyposensitization changed Pip's life. Granted, he was miserably, miserably itchy and required several courses of steroids and antibiotics every summer to begin with so his starting point was different, but he has been essentially symptom-free for several years without medication. I wouldn't hesitate to start it in any symptomatic dog of mine. Obviously not every dog is going to respond that dramatically, but I am a big fan of it.

Moving isn't going to change what he's allergic to, just what he's exposed to. There's likely to be some crossover, maybe some allergens will be added or taken away, but personally I would start hyposensitization and the earlier, the better.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:46 PM
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GingerKid GingerKid is offline
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I would switch to TOTW Pacific Stream and also do the hyposenstization. And also spend every free moment searching for foods without his allergens... but I spend a lot of time looking at dog food anyway.

ETA:

You might want to look into Natural Balance LID (I checked these three and I didn't see any of the allergens that you listed). I know its not as "good" as TOTW but just in case you're looking for something to rotate.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Potato & Duck
L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Potato & Rabbit
L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato & Fish
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:46 PM
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I think i'd pay attention to the outdoor allergy part and ignore the food part. I read this some time back when a relative sent it to me. Pretty much says the blood tests for food allergy aren't reliable I think.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12895222
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:25 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Thank everyone! I'll reply in more detail after the weekend, it's crazy dog show weekend now

But, all the California Natural formulas I found had something in it he couldn't have. There may be others available online, I haven't looked. I don't want to feed Natural Balance because, if I remember right, the first ingredient is potatoes, and then more potatoes shortly after. I really REALLY don't want him to become allergic to potatoes, because then I'd be screwed, so I'm trying to limit those as much as possible.

I'm about 90% sure I'm going to end up doing hyposensitization, it's just a matter of when.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:13 PM
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There is a new medication out called Apoquel that is specifically for atopy. Every client at work who has tried it on their itchy dogs has seen a good response. Might be worth looking into.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegy View Post
There is a new medication out called Apoquel that is specifically for atopy. Every client at work who has tried it on their itchy dogs has seen a good response. Might be worth looking into.
Oooh, yes, this. We had AMAZING response with it. It really made a huge quality of life difference in quite a few patients we had. I plan to have my mom try it this summer with Grace instead of her Temaril-P, just so I'm not as worried about chronic steroid use with her.
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