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Anyone had pet with skin allergies? Help!

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Exit Wounds posted 4/1/2013 16:21 PM

So I have this resucue dog. He is an Afghan Hound and when I got him he was 10 years old and in terrible shape! I got him back to "normal" except he has alleriges!!! BAD BAD skin alergies!!! It is almost raw under his tummy
I took him to two different vets. They did blood work and determined his thyroid is OK. One of the vets charged me an outragous amount for shampoos and foods and nothing helped!
I am back to square one! I found a vet that specializes in skin allergies for pets but the initial visit alone is almost $200! That is just the office visit!

I am curious if any of you had issues w/ your pets allergies and what you did.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!

zebra25 posted 4/1/2013 16:29 PM

My dog has very bad allergies. She needs to eat a prescription dog food. Her skin issues cleared up after putting her on the food. No treats either.

I hope you figure out what is causing your pups problem.

Exit Wounds posted 4/1/2013 16:31 PM

Thanks Zebra!
Did you have to go to a specialist? I have been through two vets now and my next step would be a specialist!
What kind of dog food do you feed now? How did you figure out what kind of allergies it was?

RyeBread posted 4/1/2013 16:35 PM

I know how you feel. My german shepherd has pretty bad skin allergies. They get worse during the spring and fall when his coat is changing over. To alleviate the major discomfort he gets a cortisone shot that lasts 1 month. 1 during the spring and 1 during the fall. We also make sure we brush him constantly and give him fishoil with every meal. Food was a really hard one to nail down but we finally figured out that anything with wheat or corn was a major contributor. this included chicken since they tend to get fed that too and it carries over.

I think each pet is different and lots of vets make a killing off allergy testing. I wish you the best and hope your pooch feels better soon.

zebra25 posted 4/1/2013 16:40 PM

No specialist, just regular vet. I don't think the vet knew for sure what was wrong with our pup. We got lucky with the food. It is Hills z/d low allergen. The vet told us Hills was going to discontinue that particular food. When we found that out, we bought about a one year supply. We are one our last 2 bags. If we can't get more I don't know what we will do. She gets so sick and horrible skin problems on other foods.

Maybe you could just try a different food and see if it helps before spending lots more money on vet bills? I feel for you.

PippaPeach6 posted 4/1/2013 16:40 PM

We have a breed of dogs prone to food allergies (American Pit Bull Terriers). We only feed them Timberwolf Organics which we order online. The product made with fish (Ocean Blue, I think) is excellent for dogs with allergies. Sometimes food allergies manifest themselves with skin reactions, itchy paws, or ear infections. For some reason, vets seem to discount this . . . go figure (*cough* $$$ vet visit).

Good luck! I know how miserable it can be to see your critter suffer

RyeBread posted 4/1/2013 16:46 PM

2nd the fish based dog food. We feed ours a fish and potato recipe. Did a great job for us.

hemademesingle posted 4/1/2013 16:46 PM

Google apple cider vinegar skin allergies dogs

It's a holistic way to treat skin issue's,

My son's dog had a a bad spot on her skin, she lost all her hair, it was suggested to try apple cider vinegar, and it cleared up the area, all her hair has now grown back

The cream that the vet gave her didn't do anything, but the acv, worked really well

It's cheap, we never put it in her water just on her skin,

Exit Wounds posted 4/1/2013 16:57 PM

Thanks for all the responses!

we never put it in her water just on her skin

Wouldn't that burn terribly? He is raw under his tummy. I think it would burn like fire on his raw skin. Am I wrong?!

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 4/1/2013 17:53 PM

We give our hounds a corn free food and that helped A LOT. You can get it from higher end dog food stores and groomers. Although it is more expensive than regular foods, you actually feed them less though so it really isn't all that more expensive. We use Call of the Wild, it's the fish one.

dazdandconfuzed posted 4/1/2013 17:58 PM

You have my sympathy. We used to have a dog that was allergic to DUST, for crying out loud. She was allergic to just about everything. We used to take her to a specialist and had to give her allergy shots at home. We had to give that up when my H got laid off, though. We ended up giving her lots and lots of benadryl, poor girl. Since your dog is an older guy, I would discuss making him comfortable with steroids and/or benadryl and trying some of the home remedies mentioned here.

Good luck!

betrayedfriend posted 4/1/2013 18:02 PM

one of my dogs (a Beagle-Bassett) and my cat both have serious allergies, the Bagle is on a steroid every ay, it certainly helps her out a ton. Our cat is allergic to fleas and has sore spots all over here, whenever she gets one bite, she ends up with dime to quarter sized sores all over her body, Needless to say we're hyper vigilent about fleas and flea treatment/prevention with all of our animals, but it's not fool proof, she's broken out right now. I'd ask the vet about putting your dog on a daily steroid dose to calm the itching and reactions to see if that helps. If it does great, if it doesn't switch to a gluten free or raw meat only diet, and be crazy vigilent about fleas, and see if you can narrow some of the allergens down (grasses/trees/pollens)

tired girl posted 4/1/2013 18:09 PM


I worked for the kind of vet specialist that you are looking at taking your dog too. A veterinary dermatologist. What kind of questions do you have?

Jrazz posted 4/1/2013 18:28 PM

My pugs have pretty bad skin allergies, but we've been able to make it all but nonexistent with diet modifications. NO wheat. NO corn. NO soy.... the little girl has dairy allergies (no cottage cheese for bland diet) and the little boy has protein allergies (no fowl).

It took us years of trial and error, and medication and lotions etc, to hone in on what they could and couldn't eat individually.

A lot of people had us look into game vs traditional meat-protein sources. That was a step in a great direction.

Kajem posted 4/1/2013 21:33 PM

My Golden had skin allergies her belly sounds like your rescue's belly.

The vet couldn't figure it out.. a friend of mine who rescues Italian greyhounds in another state told me to eliminate all grains from her diet for 60 days and see if anything changed.

It took one bag of fish and sweet potato dog food and one month for me to be sold. The dog food was expensive... but with her sleeping in my room, and her waking me up with her scratching... it was well worth the price I paid to get a good nights sleep.

I got the food at pet supermarket.. if you join their club and buy 12 bags (make sure they are the same size) you get a bag free.

We were both happy campers with the results. Poor dog was miserable and smelled awful.

Try a grain free food(no grain treats) for a month see if there are any changes... a bag of dog food is cheaper than the vet.



lost_in_toronto posted 4/1/2013 22:13 PM

Yes, our dog had horrible allergies.

Our vet put him on a food called K/O, made by Iams. At the time we could only get it at the vet. It is made with kangaroo and oats and is specifically formulated for dogs with skin allergies. I would try it before spending more money.

Our vet told us it could cost a lot of money to identify our dog's allergy. He said that most allergies in dogs are caused by poultry, wheat and corn. So he suggested going with a food that had none of those ingredients. The K/O worked great for him..

hemademesingle posted 4/2/2013 04:54 AM

Sorry, we diluted the apple cider vinegar, about 1/3 acv, to 2/3 water, we used a mister bottle, so never saturated the area, she had no open wounds, just red thick skinned scaly area, the vet assumed she was allergic to fleas,

She liked the taste, I'm going to try adding a little bit to the water to see if it really does help with the different things that I read it does,there are people that swear by it for flea control,

She eats Natural Balance duck and sweet potatoe, always has even before she had her skin issue,

luvbug0915 posted 4/2/2013 09:54 AM

One of my dogs has horrible skin allergies and after years of trial and error with commercial kibble I finally broke down and started cooking for all 3 of my dogs.

I had moderate success going grain free but then had to narrow down which protein was still causing issues. Natural Balance has a Limited Ingredient Diet that comes in a variety of proteins. I had the best success with the Potato and Duck variety. I only decided to start cooking because each dog had a different need and by preparing it myself I can tailor the recipe to suite all 3.

I've been involved in a breed specific rescue for 5 years now and we council our adopters about proper nutrition for our breed. Although quality food can be expensive you will save money on future vet bills if you spend more on what you feed them.

tired girl posted 4/2/2013 12:14 PM

There is a way to tell if your dog has food allergies vs environmental allergies. They are different and will present differently.

Exit Wounds posted 4/2/2013 13:36 PM

Thank you ALL!

Tired Girl,
thanks for your post. My dog scatches under his belly all the time. He smells TERRIBLE even though I bathe him with the very expensive shampoo from the vet. I have been to two vets. Noone could tell me anything.
How do I find out if it is food allergies?
Any pointers will be GREATLY appreciated!
I don't have the money to keep going to vets or the specialist.
I can afford good food for him. What do you suggest?

Thanks again you guys!!!

ETA He also have a large sore on his tail that seems to grow and get smaller at different times.

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 1:37 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

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