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Thread: Cocker Spaniel with Allergies - Advise Please

  1. #1
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    Cocker Spaniel with Allergies - Advise Please

    Hello,

    I have a two-year-old female Cocker Spaniel who has numerous environmental and food allergies. We have had her tested and a month ago started her on allergy injections. However, the injections actually seem to be make her symptoms worse. She is constantly biting her feet. The vet has prescribed several different medications to help, but nothing seems to work.

    Has anyone had this type of experience with the injections and will it pass once she becomes desensitized to what she is allergic to?

    I feel like I am making her symptoms worse with the allergy injections.

    Thank you for any input.

    Michelle
    Michigan

  2. #2
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    I am so sad for you and the pup reading about this. I don't have any ideas. I have one cat Bobby who had allergy tests and injections. I gave them to him here at home, for one year, and he has been fine ever since, for 5 years now. But I know we did not have any issues as we started the shots!

    Paws crossed this effect is short term and things work out. Maybe some others on here will have advice for you.

  3. #3
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    It does take time for the injections to work, sadly. And they do not always work 100% even after time, it varies from person to person, or dog to dog. All I can suggest is doing whatever you can to limit her exposure to things you know are causing reactions.
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
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    I am not a vet. BUT (LOL), this is what I was told by my wonderful holistic vet, and it makes sense to my small brain.

    Imagine a line, just like this______________________________________.

    Now, look at this:

    INTOLERABLE/REACTIONS
    _______________________

    TOLERABLE/NO REACTIONS

    My dog has allergies- most likely environmental and food related. I didn't have the testing done to confirm what he has. The vet explained it to me that ALL the time, my dog has allergies. And, underneath the line, we are probably dealing with food related ones, and above the line, we are dealing with food related (still) AND seasonal allergies. When he crosses the line, it is usually cause his body just can't handle it all together. So, since I can't eliminate seasonal/external allergies, I focus on where that line is. I keep him on a limited ingredient food- including snacks/treats/table food. Top allergens- beef and chicken, and various grains. So, I have him on the lowest allergen- fish (and sweet potato). That keeps him beneath the line more than if I had him on beef and wheat food, for instance.

    Then, for external/seasonal? I have him on one tab one time a day of claritin. I actually use Walitin...Walgreens generic formula.

    How does it all work? Well, in high times of seasonal allergies, he still itches- somewhat. If I have given him a lot of junk- and not been careful with what I am feeding him, AND it is high allergen time? He gets itchy, more. But, overall? It is a relatively easy, financially affordable, situation.

  5. #5
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    Reply to Cataholic

    Thank you so much for your response. What you said makes alot of sense. We have had Sophie tested for environmental and food allergies. She does not have any allergies to chicken or beef (we couldn't believe that one), but is allergic to pork, lamb, dairy, eggs, and numerous other foods that I can't remember. We have her on a fish and sweet potatoe food that we purchase from our vet (at a cost of $90 bag).

    She has a high allergy to ragwood and grasses. Tough to be a dog and be allergic to grass.

    I will be on my way to purchase Claritan. I hope this helps her. It's tough to watch her bite constantly. Not to mention, it gets on my nerves as well.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    My Chester is now 14 and we have dealt with allergies his whole life. Over the years we've done allergy injections like you're trying now, steroids, antihistamines (I can think of at least 5 different ones), steroid/antihistamine combos, holistics, even acupuncture. He's been on every food you could possibly imagine that didn't contain beef, chicken, lamb or turkey. We've seen a VERY expensive allergy specialist near Dallas and many, many, many 'regular' vets. FINALLY about a year and a half ago our awesome new vet suggested we try Atopica.

    BAM!! After having bloody paws for so many years (and I don't just mean red or irritated, I came home one day to a completely degloved paw up to the elbow) we have NOTHING. Every once in a while he has a bit of chewing, but I don't think it's anything more than some normal itchies.

    We did the prescription foods for a short time, but then finally settled on Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Fish & Sweet Potato. We occasionally throw caution to the wind and feed him the Venison and Sweet Potato in the same brand. Both are 100% grain free, which I was surprised to realize was a large portion of Chester's issues, too. (That never showed up on any tests, but I saw a difference immediately)

    There have been a few times, like that degloving incident, that I almost euthanized him because I felt that all he did was suffer constantly, for YEARS.

    All that to say don't give up. There is a workable solution out there for your baby. Who knows, maybe ask about Atopica and see how it works? It's pricey, but as you know, if it works it's worth it's weight in gold. I would give anything to have had this sooner, but at least I have it now.

    Best of luck and let me know if you have any questions. I have years of experiences both good and bad, and understand the stress of your situation.

  7. #7
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    Long time, no see Micki76!! I will look up Atopica. Thanks for that.

    Mrich- not sure where you are, but the food Micki 76 and I both feed our dogs is no where near $90/bag. It is a great, high quality food. It comes in wet, dry and treats.

  8. #8
    My mother's cocker spaniel has allergies and is CONSTANTLY chewing on his feet - or his ears. He takes benedril and eats food with no grains in it. It has helped.

  9. #9
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    Thanks to all for sharing their stories.

    I will definitely look for the Natural Balance food and also ask for the Atopica. At this point, I don't care what it costs, but I bet the food is not $90 a bag.

    By the way, I am from Michigan. I'm sure I could find the Natural Balance food at either Pet Smart or Pet Supplies.

    The vet just put her on streroids for 10 days. A little relief for Sophie, but short lived.

    I am hesitant about continuing the allergy shots. I do believe they are making her worse.

    The other option my vet told me was after she goes for a walk to rinse her feet off. This will remove any environmental allergies that she came in to contact with. I will start this as well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRichardson50 View Post
    The other option my vet told me was after she goes for a walk to rinse her feet off. This will remove any environmental allergies that she came in to contact with. I will start this as well.
    Also keep a (used is fine) dryer sheet or damp towel near the door, and wipe her body off as well, just a quick rub down will be nice for her, and remove any pollen that has settled on her coat!
    I've Been Frosted

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Also keep a (used is fine) dryer sheet or damp towel near the door, and wipe her body off as well, just a quick rub down will be nice for her, and remove any pollen that has settled on her coat!
    ^This. I had many vets tell me the grass allergies Chester has are from contact, but contact allergies are rare and the grass allergies are actually from INHALED pollen. Most inhaled allergies present in dogs as itching, either feet or ears, whereas in humans, we just sneeze and have itchy eyes.

    Be careful with the steroids and use them sparingly in short courses like you're doing. Not only do they cause systemic issues, but they can also make the allergies worse by lowering the immune system. You get a temporary benefit, but it creates a worse problem long term, especially if you use them for more than a 10-14 day course.

    I haven't found the Natural Balance in the Dallas area at Petsmart, but our Petco stores carry all the flavors. It also comes in Duck & Potato and Bison and Potato, but those didn't work as well for us. I buy the largest bag (28lbs) and I think it's maybe $50?

    Cataholic - I still read PT a lot. Probably should post occasionally, but I don't feel like I know anyone here anymore so I'm hesitant to do so. I shouldn't be, though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by micki76 View Post
    ^This. I had many vets tell me the grass allergies Chester has are from contact, but contact allergies are rare and the grass allergies are actually from INHALED pollen. Most inhaled allergies present in dogs as itching, either feet or ears, whereas in humans, we just sneeze and have itchy eyes.
    Yes, the dryer sheet/damp cloth wipe down is just an extra preventative, as dogs often curl up to seep, and will then inhale whatever's on their coat as well, or get it on their beds, and when they roll over, breathe it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by micki76 View Post
    Cataholic - I still read PT a lot. Probably should post occasionally, but I don't feel like I know anyone here anymore so I'm hesitant to do so. I shouldn't be, though.
    Lots of folks here know you, and don't post as much, but keep on posting and new folks will get to know you, too!
    I've Been Frosted

  13. #13
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    My old dachshund had horrible allergies. He would chew his feet to the point where they were raw and I was frantic. We put him on a grain free diet and took him for acupuncture. Made a world of difference.

    Praying that you find your answer. We always hate to see them suffer.

  14. #14
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    Food allergies are so tricky to treat. The key is feeding a limited ingredient diet that works and sticking to it.

    As for allergy injections, some dogs come in once a month for injections for the rest of their lives. The testing leading up to it is expensive, and buying the vials for the injections can be expensive as well, but it makes a WORLD of difference in these pets!!!
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  15. #15
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    My Cocker Spaniel has numerous food allergies. We feed him grain free only, currently he gets Orijen fish formula. We noticed fish and potato formulas tend to work better than poultry or red meats.

    From my understanding, injections are doses of the allergens themselves and that is why his allergies are worse. The goal is for him to build an immunity to it, so it will get worse before it gets better.

    Good luck with your pup! Cocker Spaniels are such a wonderful breed, I'm sad that they often come with many health issues!

    *Sammy*Springen*Molli*

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