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Jenn
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Discussion Starter #1
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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Huggie's Mom
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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/nat...olling-side-effects-of-prednisone-in-canines/
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Jenn
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Discussion Starter #7
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:hug: Thanks for all the info!
 

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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...!
 

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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!
 

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Jenn
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Discussion Starter #10
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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Jenn
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Kathie~ I know, you are right about just enjoying them while they are here for however long that might be. Thank you for the optimism. I know that I am doing everything possible to make his life more tolerable and joyous. Sometimes when he is having an outbreak, I just feel bad and second guess myself, wondering if there is something more I could be doing for him that I am not already. They are my fuzzy four-legged children:)
 

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Ha! Tess hates any fish-based foods too! Tess gets 2mg of Orasone every other day and 10mg of Atarax 2x a day. (I've just recently cut back from 2.5mg of the Orasone every other day. At 12 pounds, the allergist said 2.5mg was still a safe dosage. You might want to talk to your vet about doing the pred every other day? The allergist said there are studies that now show there is less damage done if the steroids are given every other day versus every day. Tess is definitely itching more by the end of the second day but it's not too bad.
 

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Karen~ Brodie takes 2.5mg of prednisone once a day. We give it to him with his dinner. <snip> I have not tried the Temeril-P, is it more successful than regular pred?
To be honest, I don't blame you for not wanting to mess with changing food!

Here is Pfizer's Temaril page: Temaril-P

Obviously I am not a vet, but, with environmental allergies, I think it makes sense. In addition to the anti-inflammatory from the pred, it provides relief from coughing and itching. When Clove landed on this last year, his throat was so inflamed he couldn't keep food down, he sounded like a pig, and his skin was scaly from scratching. Two weeks later my vet took another set of radiographs and said the inflammation was so reduced that his esophagus/throat/windpipe looked like a totally different dog. Coughing, itching was pretty much a different dog, too. They're not gone, but man he is in better shape.

In general, Clover takes one tab once a day; I believe 1 tablet is 2 mg of pred, which is close to where you are now. At the height of spring pollen season, he's on 1 tab in the morning, 1 tab at night. In the middle of winter, he can taper down to 1 tab every 2 or 3 days to control his more mild dust allergies.

I've had several vets tell me that 2mg/day is really a pretty low dose. As I understand, dog with an autoimmune disease can be on 3 mg per pound, per day - so a 12 lb dog would be looking at 36 mg per day! That sure made me feel better.

Depending on Brodie's unique situation and symptoms, Temaril may or may not make sense. But I might run it by my vet and see what they think.
 

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When I'm really in a bind, I use Nova Pearls Coal Tar shampoo - it is NOT an every day/every week shampoo, but I've found works a lot better on seriously itchy skin (without open wounds) than even most Rx strength shampoos.

Same company (Tomlyn) also has some sensitive skin shampoos and a super-moisturizing shampoo that I like for more regular bath times.

How often to bathe is entirely dependent on the cause of the allergies. If they're environmental (pollen, dust) then washing them weekly or bi-weekly to keep the allergens off is a good idea. If it's not something that can wash out of a coat, or if it's sensitive skin that will be irritated by shampoo, then bathe every 4-8 weeks or as needed.
 

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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!!
Our human kids had dust allergies many years ago and I'd have to vacuum several times a week. But we retired and moved 5 years ago to a place where tile floors are the norm. Now I see the dust--I have to mop at least once a week or else Bella will have a game of chasing dust bunnies.

But I'm wondering if you can use Endust that kills dust mites. That would take care of some of the areas. And maybe keeping your furry kid's coat shorter so you can wipe it off daily or during the day?

Bella was on prednisone last year and we found out accidently that her allergies was to our grasses in the back yard. She's not out long but it doesn't take much time to come in contact with the stuff.

She also gets benedryl when it's allergy time. That has taken care of the worst symptoms but I also wash her weekly.

These dust allergies are difficult to deal with because no matter how hard you work at it, the dust never goes away. Hope things improve with you all.
 

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Cassie’s skin problems became so bad that the vet decided to do an allergy panel for environmental allergies. The pads of her feet were even swollen and it was difficult for her to walk on gravel or weeded areas. She does have environmental allergies to some trees, some weeds, human dander and two different dust mites. The vet felt that she had food allergies as well and I had actually had a significant flare up with a duck/potato roll to mix with her Chlor-Trimeton antihistamine. I also noticed that she flared up when I gave a beef bully stick back to her. Our vet felt that she was probably allergic to all poultry and beef. The options that our vet gave me for treating her were allergy shots and prednisone. I decided to try a raw diet first as my trainer had suggested. While I was on the Nature’s Variety website I found some information about a certified clinical pet nutritionist. She had her own website where she offered a number of holistic products. I set up a phone consultation with her and she recommended a raw diet and some natural supplements for Cassie. I have been feeding Cassie the raw diet for about two weeks now including the week it took to transition her from the prescription food that she was on. I have been using the supplements that were recommended for about one week. I have noticed a huge improvement in Cassie’s energy level and her disposition. She has gone from being very lethargic and pouty to very active and happy. Her itching and chewing increased for the first few days of the supplements, but now seems about the same as always. The nutritionist said it would take about a month to detoxify from all the drugs she had been given and get the old food completely out of her system. So I will post again in three weeks to let you know if this is working. I just wanted to try this route before resigning Cassie to a life of allergy shots and prednisone.
 

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Dave T
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Cassie's skin problems became so bad that the vet decided to do an allergy panel for environmental allergies. The pads of her feet were even swollen and it was difficult for her to walk on gravel or weeded areas. She does have environmental allergies to some trees, some weeds, human dander and two different dust mites. The vet felt that she had food allergies as well and I had actually had a significant flare up with a duck/potato roll to mix with her Chlor-Trimeton antihistamine. I also noticed that she flared up when I gave a beef bully stick back to her. Our vet felt that she was probably allergic to all poultry and beef. The options that our vet gave me for treating her were allergy shots and prednisone. I decided to try a raw diet first as my trainer had suggested. While I was on the Nature's Variety website I found some information about a certified clinical pet nutritionist. She had her own website where she offered a number of holistic products. I set up a phone consultation with her and she recommended a raw diet and some natural supplements for Cassie. I have been feeding Cassie the raw diet for about two weeks now including the week it took to transition her from the prescription food that she was on. I have been using the supplements that were recommended for about one week. I have noticed a huge improvement in Cassie's energy level and her disposition. She has gone from being very lethargic and pouty to very active and happy. Her itching and chewing increased for the first few days of the supplements, but now seems about the same as always. The nutritionist said it would take about a month to detoxify from all the drugs she had been given and get the old food completely out of her system. So I will post again in three weeks to let you know if this is working. I just wanted to try this route before resigning Cassie to a life of allergy shots and prednisone.
Can you please provide the link to the certified clinical pet nutritionist? Thank you!
 
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