So we were doing good with Albie's itchiness until about a month ago, treating daily with Chlorpheniramine 4mg 2x a day, on Nature's Recipe Venison and Rice Healthy Skin Recipe food, and treated with Frontline for fleas every 2 weeks. But he's started itching again, and is starting a new hotspot, so back to the vet we go.
They (they being the vet tech, since my vet wasn't in today, but she assures me she's worked with many allergy cases before) want to put him on a long-term (possibly permanent) steroid, change his food to Science Diet D/D, and keep treating for fleas with Fronline every two weeks, plus treat my house because OBVIOUSLY I must not know how to do it right, or he wouldn't still pick up fleas with the Frontline. She seemed confused why my "indoor" dog would be outdoors for an hour or two each day, and said nothing about treating the YARD for fleas, as he must be getting them from indoors. They assure me an allergy test isn't needed, cause it 'seems like' flea allergies since the itching is concentrated around his little nub, and food allergies are concentrated around the face, armpits, feet, and bellies. This was after assuring me it must be food allergies because food allergies start showing up before one year of age.
I want a allergy test done to figure out what he is allergic to. I think it is just silly to pay $50 a bag for some cr@p food from Hills S.D. and pay twice a month for Frontline, which isn't keeping the fleas off, if he may be allergic to only fleas, or only food, or to neither flea nor food, but grass. I also don't want to start him on a long term steroid uless it is to grass, which I can't avoid, as I hear that long-term steroid use has negative affects on dogs, and would prefer to control his allergies through diet, or flea treaments, if possible. In fact, I want to try a different flea treatment, as I hear good things about Revolution, and that the fleas around here may have developed a tolerance to Frontline. But the vet tech assures me that Revolution is not any good, and I want to stick with Frontline 2x a month, even though it isn't working. And that I need to treat my house, when it hasn't been but a few months since the last time I treated and the treaments should last 9 months. (And he's getting the fleas from outside!) Also, I want to stick to a reasonably priced premium food, though I am willing to pay more for another premium food, either grain-free or <insert protein here> free, I will NOT pay more for a food with a #1 ingredient of "Potato." I can buy a 10lb bag of potato for much less than $50. I am very nearly ready to convince Nikki to go RAW, if it turns out that it is a food allergy, I would before I'd pay that much for that cr@p.
So aftering argueing the tech at every point, we left with no steroids, no Science Diet, no Frontline, and no flea spray, with a recommendation to a vet in Indianapolis (over an hours drive away) to do a allergy test, some Revolution, and a very peturbed vet tech who is convinced we are out to ruin her day and 'just don't want to pay' for what our dog needs.
Did we do the right thing? Nik is having second thoughts. Also thoughts on Revolution? We hear good things about it from others in this area, but now the tech has us concerned about it. Surely it is worth a try, can't be worse than 2x a month Frontline Plus.
I'd try advantix or advantage before I tried revolution, that's just me.
Have you got any plans for treating the yard, since that seems to be where he's picking up the fleas from? Nematodes in the soil are a natural flea deterrent, you can buy bags of them in the pestidcides department at Lowes and Home Depot (at least that's where they are in our area).
I'd have been pretty irritated by the vet tech :P
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
I use Revolution because to my mind it has the safer of the drugs in it.The active ingredient in it is selamectin, a parasitiside. I refuse to use anything with permethrins in it (Advantix), and I believe the reason that Frontline does'nt work for you is that the fleas have become resistant to it, because of it's frequent use. I wouldn't use it anyway because it contains fipronil and (S) methoprene. I really hate the winters here, but when I hear about the flea infestations in the south, it almost makes me glad when we have -40 weather, with a brisk breeze.
My dog never rsponded to the flea treatment you put on their neck. Sounds like your dogs body is over loaded with chemicals. When the vet can not fix a problem and I'm frustrated as you are, I have a simple solution -- plain old tea. I make the tea as strong as you want--more tea less water-- and put in bathtub. Put the dog in the tea water--cooled of course. There is no harm to the dog and can be used for dog and man. Repeat as neccessary. My second trick is oatmeal. It is messy, esp. large dogs. You can make it as thick or thin as you like. You can pour it on(outside), dip, or use as a paste. My dogs are rescue dogs. I suffered from the notion that with any amount of money the dog's problem could be fixed. That belief has put me in debt. Many, many times the vet could not "fix" the problem. So I've learned to make do naturally. Everyone is more relaxed. If I could learn to give shots, I'd be ok.
Stay away from the Science Diet. I have four French Bulldogs and also foster French and English Bulldogs. Allergies are prevelant among these breeds. When we got Jean Luc, a foster frenchie, he was covered from head to toe in Staph infection. Daisy our foster English Bulldog was eating the fur off her feet and rubbing it off her face. I bathed them both in Oxydex shampoo and switched their food to Innova Evo, a grain free food. The staph cleared up and the skin grew back. The itching went away also. Some dogs just can not have grains. It may be the same with yours.
As for the fleas. We have always used the Advantage. I tried frontline one time and we think it is what made Annie so sick. I do not use anything now as we have no fleas whatsoever. * knocks on wood * . But if they ever come back , i will only trust the Advantage.
"No Matter how little money and how few possessions, you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin
Thanks for the feedback! So after that completely unhelpful trip, did a lot of reading online, and found that the allergy testing they do does not usually pick up on food allergies! We switched to revolution to see how that works, and we treated the yard as well. I am not the only one having problems with frontline this past year, a lot of people I've talked to are saying it just isn't working on the fleas anymore. Can fleas develop a resistance to it? So far its been 2 weeks on the revolution, so we will see this week if the revolution works any better. We went to a feed store in the next town and looked at some different foods, don't worry I'm not buying the science diet! The lady there was really helpful, but she was pushing California Natural, and we were wanting to go grain free and be done with it! =) She said the problem with the grain free foods we were looking at, is that they have chicken fat in them , so if it is a chicken allergy, it will still flare up. So she sent us home with a big bag of samples of both the california natural and of taste of the wild. So we are putting the taste of the wild (grainfree) in Albie's food, he is a bit put off by the taste but it has not upset his tummy at all. If it seems to help we'll go by a big bag, if not we will go with the chicken-free grain food I guess! Still not trying the steroids, unless it gets as bad as it was this past spring.