We have a 4-1/2 year old English Mastiff girl. Several years ago, she developed what we now believe are inhalent allergies - they dissipate when the weather cools off, but as soon as the grasses start growing and the weather warms up, she starts scratching. We've had her to the vet numerous times and have tried several prescription meds (hydroxyzine), as well as Benadryl and a generic Claritin-type allergy medicine. I also give her salmon oil capsules every day, a flaxseed capsule and mixed fish oil capsule. She is a picky eater - she mainly eats Merrick Wilderness Blend and Merrick Before the Grain in salmon or buffalo mixed. Has anyone else found a solution for this? I purchased a spray and oral drops at Mud Bay (a local natural pet food store in Washington State) yesterday, and I could swear they made her worse. Hubby isn't keen on the idea of spending $$ for allergy testing (we've already probably invested over $1500 taking her to 2 different vets without any relief) - especially since I lost my job in March. Any advise would be appreciated.
Well,allergies are truly obnoxious. The food you are feeding, is it all novel protein? The top three canine food allergens are beef, wheat and dairy. And make sure you are (or no one else in the home is) sneaking her stuff. One tablespoon of a allergic food can keep a dog itching for one month. You need to give the food trial at least 12 weeks to rule it out, however, I would just keep it up year round since he seems atopic(inhallent allergies) There may be hidden portions of those trigger foods in there, read the label carefully. And if there are snacks involved you ae wasting your money buying the hypoallergenic food.
There is also a medication called Atopica that is expensive for a big dog, but does work pretty well. Has your vet diagnosed Atopy, or is this an assumption based on the seasonal component?
Keep in mind that allergies are cumulative and dogs that have one allergy often have others. Is she on a good flea prevention(purchased from the vet only?)
The blood test is expensive and then you must give the allergy shots which are also expensive. And you would have to give it one full year to see if t is truly helping. It does carry a high percentage rate of success
What we hope to do by changing diet and adding flea prevention is to lower the dogs allergen threshold. If we remove those two things then hopefully when the problem allergen blooms, it won't case the dog to have a flare up.
You can also wipe down the coat and paws wth alcohol free baby wipes everytime she comes in. This will reduce the amount of microscopic dust, pollen, etc is inhaled.
If anyone smokes in the house, stop that immediately. Tobacco smoke is a big allergen for dogs.
Where exactly is the dog itching? THat can narrow down the type of allergy it is. Good luck and keep us posted.