The Return of Cash's Allergies
Best little dude
Cash spent the first year of his life living in Arizona, and when I brought him home to Alberta I envisioned us camping and hiking and frolicking in the rivers and bounding through the tall grasses. This all happened... but then he had a MASSIVE viral outbreak.
After observing him licking quite profusely for about two days, I brought him to the groomers thinking he had spear grass stuck in his coat that he couldn't get out. They completely shaved him, and revealed big massive licking sores under his armpits. I then brought him to the vet who discovered that along with the sores, he had pestules on his belly, a piece of spear grass lodged in one ear and a fricken' TICK in his other ear canal. He was a total mess.
Where did my fuzzy guy go? We named this version of Cash "Imposter Cash"
Fast forward to about $2000 later, and three months of cash being in and out of a cone, lots of drugs (like three different pills a day), creams, speciality gels, specialty food etc. etc. and by the time he was all cleared up and back to normal, fall had come and his allergies went away.
I was praying that this year would be different. I figured that maybe this year, since he had already been around grasses that his allergies would be a lot better, but we had our first sign of green grass the other day and Cash was back to licking more than usual. Sigh Sigh Sigh.
So, tomorrow we go to the vet again. This time, to proactively target his allergy problems, in the hopes that my dog (and myself) can enjoy summer together. Drug-wise I was given two options - steroid or non-steroid. The steroid option is Vanectyl-P which Cash was on last year, it has side effects of weight gain, excessive drinking, excessive urination and can be hard on the liver over a long period of time. A strong dose would cost me about $60 month. The other option is Atopica, which at a 25ml dose will cost me about $90 but has way less side effects than the steroid, and is easier on their livers. I opted to start him on Atopica for now.
Then, I have decided, in conjunction with Atopica to do Allergy Shots and the Western Panel bloodtest. The bloodtest tests for allergy flare ups to 60 common grasses, weeds and environmental factors in western canada. From there, they create speciality serum shots for him to build up his immunity to what he exhibits allergies too. The initial bloodwork will cost me around $300, and the initial treatment set of the shots will cost me $350, and the maintenance shots for the year will cost me another $300.
Cash is also on the RC Skin Support Diet which costs me about $120 every two months. I also use Malaseb Shampoo and Dermal Soothe Spray for when he seems itchy. Finally, I have heard good things about Fish Oil and Coconut Oil being added to their food, as well as coconut oil soothing treatments for their skin. So I may look into that as well.
All-in-all.... allergies suck. But, what can you do? I'm just hoping that this new plan of attack keeps him happy and not licking his skin apart this summer.
Do any of you have dogs with allergies - any tips, tricks or tidbits for me??