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Discussion Starter #1
Owen has what is probably a very unusual allergy. He doesn't have much of the normal skin symptoms of allergies (little dandruff sometimes is all), and he doesn't get external ear canal infections, or intestinal problems. He gets fluid buildup and infection BEHIND his ear drum, in the middle ear, not in the ear canal, and by the time fluid in the middle ear is evident, it requires a surgical procedure to correct-- expensive, painful, and dangerous.

I need to prevent this from happening, but without the normal symptoms of allergy you can see, it's a little tricky to know when something is working for him. His vets haven't even been able to determine what he's allergic to, whether it's a food allergy or atopy, or even whether it is really an allergy for that matter, but that's the most likely culprit.

Drugs have caused more harm than good, so we're attempting to minimize symptoms using diet, etc. He gets a lot of fish and cod liver oil, and he takes a zinc supplement. He doesn't get black current oil or walnut oil because they're insanely expensive and the vet says dogs can't digest oils in that form, and there is no evidence that they work.

Some of you must have experience with allergies. I'd like to hear what you have have found works. Any vitamins, supplements, etc.? I don't think shampoos would be of any use in his case except that frequent bathing would help remove allergens from his coat.
 

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You don't say how old your dog is. Does your dog scratch or lick the affected area around the ears much? Some Atopic problems are more prone to younger dogs. This could be an issue due to heredity which you may want to check on . . . was it an issue for either of the parents? I'm puzzled that vets (I'm assuming you have been to more than one) haven't a clue, and can't recommend some diagnosis process. Good luck in the process.
 

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He is a rescue, parentage is unknown, age 12 to 14.

I'd like to know what other people have seen make a difference with their dogs' allergies because with Owen's unusual condition, I can't tell if something is working. I can only tell if it doesn't work when months later his middle ear is still filling with fluid. The area around his ears is not affected. It is only his middle ear (the bula-- the part on the other side of the ear drum where the hearing apparatus is).

He has seen literally dozens of vets, lost a kidney to a misdiagnosis, been to many emergency rooms, and I've spent many thousands of dollars. One particularly daft vet said he was going to die (because she mistook a middle ear infection for cancer in his abdomen-- don't even get me started). It's not a typical allergy, and most vets don't know squat about middle ear conditions. If they don't see a ruptured ear drum or external ear infection, they don't recognize it as a middle ear problem. He had a good dermatologist at one point, but now she's about a thousand miles away.

So, who has had allergic dogs?
 
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