Prednisone for allergies - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Prednisone for allergies

As many of you know, I have Neezers and Tzu's. I have one Tzu that I have not introduced on here yet, his name is Brodie and he has EXTREME allergies. We have run the gamut on medical testing and food trials and medications for this pup. He has been through it all. He is extremely allergic to dust mites and flea saliva. The fleas we control. The dust mites, what the heck are you supposed to do there?? Anyhow after many trials of this and that, unfortunately the only thing that has ever improved his quality of life is Prednisone. We keep him on the lowest effective dose that we can, however he is starving all the time. I try to keep his weight low and recently we have discovered that he has been secretly eating the cat food. Needless to say the cat food has been the equivalent of eating a bunch of twinkies everyday and he has gained some weight. We also have him on Nutro Natural Choice Venison Meal and Whole Brown Rice. It is a very limited ingredient food, that seems to work well for him, he just thinks he doesn't receive enough of it Now that you know his back story, I have a few questions

1. Is anyone in a similar situation with the Prednisone and allergies?

2. Any tips on reducing his allergic symptoms naturally?

3. Is the food I have him on a decent food? (I think they have had some bad press in the past) Is there a better alternative?

Any additional advice on how to handle this better is greatly appreciated. At this point he will be 6 years old this month, and I am constantly trying to make sure he has a long good quality life ahead of him

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 02:55 PM
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Hi. I had a Westie a long time ago that had a severe allergy to flea saliva and he was also prescribed the Prednisone which I believe shortened his life span and had a lot of bad side effects. It caused him to lose control of his bladder and he would wet on my bed or anywhere he was, which he had never done before the Prednisone. It also caused weight gain. He used to rub his back so hard on the lower part of the patio table that it would rub all his fur off. My vet at that time didn't tell me about the bad side effects it had and I didn't know about natural remedies either back then.

There's a lot of good info about the side effects here: http://www.natural-pet-care.com/natu...ne-in-canines/
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:08 PM
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Here's a good link for controlling dust mites. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm...l.jsp?id=81712
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:15 PM
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Tess is on Orosone (similar to Prednisone), Atarax (an antihistamine), prescription-strength Omega 3 (to reduce inflammation) and weekly allergy shots. I've tried just about everything and this is the combination that has worked the best for us. Fortunately Tess isn't much of an eater so I haven't had a problem with her gaining weight. In terms of natural remedies to fight the dust mites (which Tess is also highly allergic to) I take the following steps (recommended by the allergist):
* All of their soft toys should be frozen for 24 hours, once a week (This kills the dust mites in the toys. I just keep half their toys in the freezer for a week and then switch them out.)
* Any sheets, blankets, etc. that the dogs come in contact with are washed in HOT water once a week (The hot water kills the dust mites) using an allergen-free detergent.
* Everything in the house (blinds, light fixtures, pictures on the walls, furniture, etc.) is dusted with a wet cloth once a week.
* Everything in the house (carpets, furniture, drapes, etc.) is vacuumed (after dusting) once a week using a 3-layer, allergen filter
* Whenever possible, Tess is removed from the house during the dusting & vacuuming
* Bathed once a week with a perscription-strength allergen shampoo that reduces skin irritation/inflammation. I never use any other type of shampoo, rinse, etc. on her, even when she goes to the groomer (I take her shampoo with me).

The vet also recommended keeping her in a puppy cut with the legs as short as possible since their hair picks up so much of the dust. Because Tess also has severe allergies to trees/grasses/weeds, I'm also supposed to keep wipe her down completely with a wet cloth every time she comes in the house.

I don't know how much this has helped Tess' allergies but it's helped mine!

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:20 PM
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As you probably have also, I realize the side effects from using prednisone and am aware their use could shorten Tess' life. I spent thousands of dollars looking for any alternative possible and nothing else gave her any relief. I finally accepted that I preferred to provide Tess with better quality of life for a shorter amount of time than a longer life being miserable.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:26 PM
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A number of articles I've read on the dust mite detection devices indicates they don't work. They can only detect the dust mites on the surface of carpeting when most live deeper in the carpeting. A couple things mentioned in the above-mentioned article I forgot - 1) Dog beds should always have covers that can be washed and are included in the weekly hot water laundry and 2) I purchased allergen covers for my mattresses & pillows.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jill, it's good that at least one other person knows what I am dealing with. I also came to the conclusion that only the Pred worked and decided that I did not want to watch Brodie be miserable for the rest of his life. That conclusion also came after thousands of dollars worth of different treatments. I suffer from mild allergies as well as my 2 daughters. I do just about everything you mentioned, except for freezing his stuffed toys. A vet that we used to use told me to get rid of all of his stuffed toys Brodie loves his squeaker toys more than anything and I couldn't bear to throw them out. I did not know that freezing could kill the dust mites. I will definitely add this to my dust mite killing regimen That's why I love this forum, always learning something new And it's good to know I am not alone Thanks for all the info!

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:48 PM
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Sorry to hear Brodie has such a bad time. Clover has really wicked pollen allergies (mostly spring/summer) and a more minor dust mite problem year round. I completely agree with the above, that the quality of life, in some cases, will totally outweigh the actual span of it.

At this point in his life, he is on Temeril-P year round - this is an Rx strength antihistamine and prednisone. His dosage depends on the time of year (and how often I vacuum!). The side effects of pred depend a LOT on not only the dog's ability to tolerate it, but the dosage. What's he on and how often?

Nutro is a decent food, but not great. It's mostly Rice. Look at the first ten ingredients:
Venison Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Rice Gluten, Rice Bran, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Rice Flour, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Oatmeal, Natural Flavors
It's basically rice over and over again, just split out differently so it wasn't as high up on the list, and flavors. It seems that a lot of Havanese do really well on Wellness (who have Limited Ingredient Diets, although their regular Super 5 or Grain-Free are pretty limited, too). I might consider switching to a fish-based food because of the Omegas that help with skin and coat. But sometimes, if it ain't broke...!

~Kat, Clover, CDX RN NA NAJ, & AKC/UKC Ch. William


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People in the dog show world know me as Karen, but the rest of the world knows me & I will introduce myself as Kat... I've been showing dogs longer than I've had the nickname, and the nickname is not new!
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 07:21 PM
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Jenn, I had a peke-a-poo with flea allergies who had to be on prednisone and she lived to be 14 and that was because she develped a melanoma in her mouth. Just enjoy her for as long as she is with you and don't second guess her life span - only God knows that!

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Karen~ Brodie takes 2.5mg of prednisone once a day. We give it to him with his dinner. I will check out the Wellness food. I think they have a new limited one out now. Brodie will not touch anything that smells fishy. We used to have him on Wellness fish and sweet potato. He hated it, went for days without eating. I know the Natural Choice food is probably not the best, but in a way I am scared to try anything new too. It is so much worse changing diets with an allergy dog than with a normal dog. I have not tried the Temeril-P, is it more successful than regular pred?

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