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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone!,

I found this site online, & figured I'd stop in and hopefully someone would be able to help me (I'll try to make the story as quick as possible!) In June of this year, we adopted the sweetest dachshund mix from our local animal shelter. The first couple of days we had him, we noticed he seemed to sneeze a lot when he came back upstairs from doing his stuff outside, or going on our walks. Slowly but surely though, it stopped and we thought nothing of it. Now-- a couple of weeks ago, he started to scratch his eyes A LOT (to the point where his eyelid areas were getting raw), so to the vet we went.

The vet examined him & did an eye stain to check for ulcers (test came back negative), so he told us it was probably allergies. He told us to give him one 25mg Benadryl tablet once a day, plus an antibiotic ointment 3x's a day for the irritated areas around his eyes. Oh and & an e-collar.

Fast forward about 2 weeks or so, and even though his eyes do look better (not raw or anything)- he STILL tries to scratch when I take his collar off (for him to eat or drink). Now- when we first picked him up from the shelter- we didn't know any better and were feeding him crappy ol' pedigree dry kibble. After doing some research, my husband & I went to Pet Supermarket & bought him a 15 lb bag of "Taste of the Wild". We also tossed his old Ol' Roy treats and bought him some wheat free, all natural peanut butter and mollasses treats. He only started on this new diet about 2-3 days ago, so I don't really know if that's long enough to start seeing progress.

I guess- my question is this. Has anyone had anything similar happen? Any suggestions? I'm driving myself nuts trying to find out what's wrong and it's like no-one seems to know. I saw another vet and she said allergies as well. But it just seems never ending.

I've also tried cool baths with oatmeal (not often- because that's not good either), wiping his paws when he comes in (because I see he licks them a lot), sterile eye solutions, warm compresses, vacuuming house quite often (along with his bed).

Thanks in advance!! :)
 

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Welcome to the world of dog allergies.
Until you determine exactly what he is allergic to you may have a difficult time getting rid of them. Once his system has stopped being exposed to the allergen he should start getting better. Some dogs to actually have "seasonal allergies" and will itch/scratch, etc for an extended period of time.
Licking at the paws is a symptom of dog allergies - not so much he is trying to get something off. If you clean them and he continues to lick - it's most likely allergies.
It's going to come down to finding what he is allergic to and getting rid of it. You may scale him back to only chicken and rice (like what you would feed a dog with an upset tummy) to clear out his system of all other ingredients and then introduce a new protein source (lamb, fish, etc.) I don't know which version of TOTW you have but it may or may not have a similar protein source to what you were feeding previously. You may also need a new plant source (sweet potato as an example). Alot of times a good quality allergy formula food will have a unique meat and plant source which may be a good place to start with his food. I would make your treats at home as well until you locate what he is allergic to. Dehydrate some liver and chicken on a rack in the oven. Go with few whole ingredients that you can easily identify what he is getting (and may be allergic to) and then slowly introduce new ones - one at a time (such as peanut butter) and one at the very least a few days apart (I would personally go once a week). If his symptoms go unchanged it may not be his food. If they suddenly improve with the elimination of an ingredient then you may have found your culprit. Same if they suddenly get worse after he gets a new ingredient.
As for seasonal allergies - if you have no where you can walk him indoors you may try medicating him before you walk him. I don't know the size of your dog but you can give more than one benadryl a day if he is big enough. I'll have to look up dosages...you may have to just medicate him (with allergy meds not sedatives) through it if they are seasonal.
As for his nails...can you put boots on him for a bit maybe to cover his nails when you need to take of his collar. I don't know if maybe one of the inflatable collars will be cumbersome enough for him to keep his eyes and paws separate.
You may also ask your vet for script strength antihistamines/allergy relief. Until you find exactly what he is allergic to and eliminate it you will be treating the symptoms for relief and you just have to do what you can there.

As for similar things happening to me -
my dog (Sierra in sigy) is allergic to catnip, possibly vaccines (or ingredients in them), occasional treats and seasonal. She has a "med box" with her bottle of children's benadryl, pill benadryl, allergy formula pill pockets and a oral syringe. On a good day she gets nothing. On a bad day I'm giving her a benadryl every 4-6 hours. She will start licking her paws, her face swells up like crazy, her eyes turn red and swell closed, yeah she's my trouble child.
 

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You've gotten some pretty good info from Charis... allergies are a usually life long problem, but definitely something that can be handled. So don't feel overwhelmed!

As for him scratching his eyes, I've found baby socks (taped on with medical tape/wrap) help to keep them from tearing themselves up. Obviously your dog probably won't be a HUGE fan of the socks, so you'll just have to watch him to make sure he doesn't chew through them, rip them off, or in Deebs' case... try to eat them.

Best of luck, and I hope you can figure it all out for him soon!
 

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Benadryl should be given every 8 hours to have a real effect. Dogs can have up to 1mg per pound body weight every 8 hours. My dog has severe allergy issues, and its insanely difficult to keep him away from everything that irritates him, so his vet suggested amping his antihistamine up to Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCl - generic is much cheaper!). It's easier to give, as you only need to administer once a day, and its cheaper than prescription. From the information sheet the vet gave me, a dog can have up to .45mg of Zyrtec per pound body weight per day. The vet did tell me that its not for acute (popped up in a couple hours) problems; it takes a week to build up in the system, so its something that needs to be given every day for some period of time. It's worked wonders for Mason. Granted he's still itchy at times, and I do sometimes catch him licking his feet, but he's no longer a patchy, oozy, covered in hives mess. Perhaps consider talking to your vet about this, as well as the other suggestions from Charis and Mizuno. Hope your pup gets to feeling better :)
 

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From the information sheet the vet gave me, a dog can have up to .45mg of Zyrtec per pound body weight per day.
Look... I learned something from this thread too! I will have to do some research (because I'm anal that way) but this sounds awesome and right up Deebs' alley. On really bad days she was turned in to a Benadryl zombie because I was giving her 8-9 pills throughout the day (vet ok'd this, but still...). That's a lot of pink pills.

Thanks, Mason!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@ Mason: it's so funny you actually say that because today, Buddy's eyes looked really raw, so I called the vet & asked if I could just try something else b/c the Benadryl didn't seem to be working. The vet tech called me back & said I should be giving him 1 25mg pill every 8 hours (which ends up being 3x's a day). I was only giving it to him once (that is what they told me originally). I guess given the circumstances they said it was a-okay. I really hope it helps! It breaks my heart to see him trying to claw his eyes out! :(

If it doesn't work then we have to try something else, so here's to hoping he gets some much needed relief!!! **fingers crossed**

@ Mizuno: 8-9; wow!!! That is a lot of pink pills alright! These dog allergies are no joke.

I can't help but wonder if they have any sort of complications later on or not from having to take so much medication to control their allergies? :confused:
 

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If it's food related, and you just switched to taste of the wild, it may take a couple of weeks to see a difference.

If you are cleaning with Pine sol on the floors or using carpet powder on carpets, try quitting using them. You might also try to avoid walking him in grass. Fescues can cause allergies pretty commonly. Wiping him down with a baby wipe when you come back from walks may help.
 

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@ Mizuno: 8-9; wow!!! That is a lot of pink pills alright! These dog allergies are no joke.

I can't help but wonder if they have any sort of complications later on or not from having to take so much medication to control their allergies? :confused:
Deebs has successfully been off of Benadryl for about a month and a half now. Her eyes were red yesterday (everyone's allergies were bad yesterday, dog and human alike!) and I considered giving her some, but after watching her, she wasn't really itchy. So there IS hope.

Some times of the year are better than others for allergy suffering dogs, too. Spring/Summer is the bane of my existence with Deebs, it's when she is at her worst with the itching and chewing. She has barely gone anywhere this summer because she had horrible scabs and chewed all of her hair off this time around and it looked like I bathed her in kerosine and dried her off with a fire.

Like Spotted Nikes said, if you just switched foods, give it some time to kick in. I could tell Deebs was a little less itchy a week or so in, but didn't see any drastic improvement until about three weeks. But remember, don't slip and give him something that might set off his allergies if it is food related. It may take awhile to see a less itchy dog, but one thing can cause instant discomfort. This summer I accidentally fed Deebs Zuni's food (Wellness Super 5 Mix) and she chewed a new "hole" in her back within 20 minutes and scratched non-stop for about three days afterward.

I would give him the vet recommended three Benadryl a day to try and get his itching under control/stopped, then slowly wean and see if he can survive with 2.5 a day, then 2, etc. You'll know his minimum, lol, don't worry.
 

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TY! I feel SO much better now. I was starting to get so discouraged before I came on this site! All of you have given me such great advice! I really appreciate it! I'm def going to keep up the Benadryl... and I hope the food helps as well! Even if it turns out not be a food allergy, I feel a lot better knowing he is eating TOTW, rather than the corn filled commercial stuff I was feeding him! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
An update: Buddy is still attempting to scratch (even with the benadryl every 8 hours.) Have I given it enough time to work? I'm seeing another trip back to the vet, soon. Now I'm just wondering what's the best thing to do from here. I've read up on some shots but they seem to have more harmful side effects than good??

Now that I look back: it hasn't been very long since I last posted. :confused: Guess it just seems like it's been a while (sigh).
 

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Honesty, get him screened...over all you might find the cost less then trying a bunch of different things and nothing helps...turns out my girl is allergic to salmon! Who would have guessed? She is on turkey now andmmuch happier
 

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Just called the a vet clinic around me: they said for the testing its $400. Then after they find out what he's allergic to, each vile costs about $150 a piece (for the injections). Office visit is $55. Does this sound pretty typical? I tried calling around to other places but they won't give me any information over the phone. I'd have to take him in for an exam first (which I expected). Others don't do it there, they say I have to go to a specialist. I don't mind the costs, I just don't know what's typical, so would love to hear it from anyone whose had it done? I'm not taking him back to Banfield Animal Clinic b/c I've heard horrible things about them, so don't want to stick around (in case you're wondering).

Another place nearby I called said they don't do the testing there but that they could do a "skin scrape" first to see if its mites and then we could go from there?
 

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Just called the a vet clinic around me: they said for the testing its $400. Then after they find out what he's allergic to, each vile costs about $150 a piece (for the injections). Office visit is $55. Does this sound pretty typical? I tried calling around to other places but they won't give me any information over the phone. I'd have to take him in for an exam first (which I expected). Others don't do it there, they say I have to go to a specialist. I don't mind the costs, I just don't know what's typical, so would love to hear it from anyone whose had it done? I'm not taking him back to Banfield Animal Clinic b/c I've heard horrible things about them, so don't want to stick around (in case you're wondering).

Another place nearby I called said they don't do the testing there but that they could do a "skin scrape" first to see if its mites and then we could go from there?
I don't know what the typical costs for testing is (other than that it is expensive, generally speaking) but I do know that Banfield's prices run high....so if that's who you got the quotes from, then there's a possibility that it won't be that much. And yeah, I've heard bad things about them too, although my experience with them has been fine...they neutered two of my dogs, cleaned one's teeth, and did my puppies vaccinations. The only thing I didn't like was that they insisted on giving my puppy a 3rd dose of DPP AFTER he'd had a mild reaction (swelling, tenderness, nothing too awful...that's why I went ahead and let them do it, seeing as they were refusing to "certify" me for a yr on the DPP. :p ). Anyway, I hope you figure out what's wrong with your furkid. :)
 

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I took Mason to a veterinary dermatologist. She charged $250 up front for the initial visit, plus the cost of a skin scrape, and ringworm and parasite tests. She then told me that the cost of a full skin allergy test would be around $600. Needless to say, I could not afford to continue. As I stated previously, his usual vet suggested Zyrtec, as I didn't want to pay for Hydroxyzine. It's worked wonderfully for him, minimizing the allergic response if he does happen to get into something his body doesn't like.
 
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