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Previous Next Up Topic Dog Boards / Health / Skin Allergies Atopica vs steroids
By shmo [ca] Date 29.11.07 17:53 GMT
i have a Maltese Bichon mix. She is just about 8.5 lbs and she is a wonderful dog. When she was about a year and a half it was october and it was starting to get cold. She started to develop really pink skin and she was bitting her paws terribly to the point where she had no fur. we thought it was maybe in relation to the heat in the apartment, it seemed she was itchy all over and she was suffering. At that time the vet put her on a steroid called Venectyl P and we had her on a strong dose at first and then she was eventually on a quarter tablet a day and quarter tablet at night. we tried to test her and see if it was a food allergy also - she was on hypoallergenic food for about 2 months...and she loved the food but we still could not take her off the meds cause she would start to bite her paws. we also took her for allergy test and it was concluded that she was allergic to many household things - dust mites, linen, cotton etc. they put her on allergy shots for a year and it helped a little bit but she is still scratching. so they put her on another year of allergy shots and now we are half way through.

then we got to the vet this year and there is this new med called atopica. we try her on this medication but we have not been able to take her off the steroid. she is currently taking quarter tablet steroid morning and 1 atopica pill at night. both with her food. she is eating holistic select the duck formula. the vet again suggested we try the hypoallergenic food because maybe she has a food allergy that we are not detecting.

i feel bad for my dog...i want her to have a happy good life. i dont know if taking her off dog food is the answer - or i dont know what. we dont think its yeast because we have been to the vet and her ears are fine and she seems to have healthy paws otherwise.

in the end...i would ideally like to have her itchy free but keep her healthy. i would really love to know what she is really suffering from so we could find the best solution possible. thought maybe someone up here would have some feedback or possible suggestions.
By zarah (***) [gb] Date 29.11.07 18:43 GMT
Have you tried Naturediet? It's a very basic but high quality complete food with minimal ingredients. You would need to feed just one variety for 12 weeks ideally, with nothing else at all (treats are ok if made from the same ingredients as in the food if that makes sense!). I looked up the Holistic Select and it has a lot of ingredients in. Flaxseed for a start can give some dogs the itchies. Going through a similar process with my dog at the moment. He's been having the immunotherapy injections for almost a year and a half.
By shmo [ca] Date 29.11.07 22:21 GMT
i looked up the food you mentioned. its only offered out in the UK. maybe there is a similar food in north america. well see i guess. thanks for the info.
By zarah (***) [gb] Date 30.11.07 00:45 GMT Edited 30.11.07 00:48 GMT
Oh, sorry bout that - didn't realise you weren't in the UK. Maybe someone else will come along with some more ideas for you. I don't know much about Atopica but I think a couple of people here have used it.

I know it's awful watching them scratch themselves to pieces. My dog started scratching when he was just a pup (he's 3 now). I tried just about every lotion and potion I could get my hands on, homeopathy, prescription shampoos, various flea remedies, antihistamines, supplements, he's been on 2 month courses of antibiotics for his feet because they got so bad, immunotherapy injections, etc. We also changed cleaning products and washing powders to more natural varieties. He'd been fed on all raw for the past year and a half but he was on such a huge selection that it proved impossible to try and detect if a particular food was causing him to scratch more. I was at the end of my tether as the scratching had reached such a peak so I ended up stopping everything two and a bit months ago and put him on Naturediet and he improved a lot within just 7 weeks. Even though he does have allergies to pollen, dust mites, flea bites, moulds, etc..I'm now pretty sure that a big chunk of the scratching is food related - to what food(s) in particular I haven't figured out yet! I was thinking that the allergy injections weren't working but now I wonder if any good they were doing was being clouded by a food allergy. I guess I'll find out when spring/summer come back round. He wears a t shirt and dog boots on his back feet when inside so that he doesn't cause too much damage to his skin which has helped hugely (might not work for your dog if she has a problem with various materials/fabrics). I now use a steroid cream on his feet although it is rather difficult keeping up with so many toes and a new sore area will seem to appear out of nowhere.

Not sure if that has been any help, but just thought I'd let you now that you're not alone! There are some other people here with dogs with bad allergies as well (not sure where they're all hiding though :D). Good luck with it :-)
By Ktee (***) [au] Date 30.11.07 01:14 GMT
Shmo,you live in America so you have an endless selection of terrific foods at your disposal.Did the vet do a food allergy test??? Although many say these are often inconclusive,but worth a bash IMO.

As for foods, people with allergy dogs have had great success with Natural balance formula's,duck&potato,venison,fish.NB is available from Petco.Also California natural seems to be used alot for allergic dogs http://www.naturapet.com All of these foods have very simple ingredient profiles.
I'm assuming the holistic select is eaglepack? Whats the main protein source in it? If he's itching on this food i would try another food with as simple ingredients as possible,as mentioned above,and with a different protein source than EP.

Atopica... Personally i would be too scared to use it as i have heard dogs develop liver issues as a side effect.
By Anna (**) [gb] Date 30.11.07 11:29 GMT
Have you tried Stronghold to see if it is sarcoptic mange?  My Bichon had this for 18 months before he was diagnosed by a blood test.  The vet had been giving him steroids every few weeks because he thought it was a food allergy he had. 
By LurcherGirl (**) [gb] Date 30.11.07 15:36 GMT
You might want to look at unusual food allergies. I have for example a lurcher that is allergic to all animal proteins. One of the symptoms he gets when he eats meat is dandruff and itchy skin! (The other symptoms are behavioural). So it might be worth putting him on a vegetarian diet to see whether that makes any difference.

I am currently in the beginning stages with my ACS as he has skin problems too. I know he has a flea allergy which seems to have triggered a food allergy. At the moment, I am still trying to work out what foods he is allergic to... the only one so far that I have determined for sure is gluten.

Vera
By Ktee (***) [au] Date 01.12.07 02:19 GMT

>So it might be worth putting him on a vegetarian diet to see whether that makes any difference.


I would exhaust every other option available to me before i considered this one....
By Jeangenie (*****) [gb] Date 01.12.07 11:15 GMT Edited 01.12.07 11:18 GMT

>I would exhaust every other option available to me before i considered this one....


Britain's oldest dog is vegetarian ...
A closed mouth gathers no feet
By shmo [ca] Date 02.12.07 15:55 GMT
thank you to all of you for your feedback. i really appreciate it. i will speak to my vet and address all that we discussed. hopefully there will be a solution. all the best!
By LurcherGirl (**) [gb] Date 04.12.07 13:35 GMT Edited 04.12.07 13:40 GMT
>So it might be worth putting him on a vegetarian diet to see whether that makes any difference.

I would exhaust every other option available to me before i considered this one....


So do I, but I have a dog that is allergic to all animal protein and he is doing fantastically well on a vegan diet! He has been on it for just over a year and is in better condition than most dogs I see out and about! So it is a perfectly good option if that's what it turns out to be!

Vera
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