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Old April 1st, 2010, 12:40 AM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Red face Last resort - getting allergy test done :(

As some of you may know, my little fella has serious allergies (to what... I don't know).

He has had them for approx. 3-4 years and they have become progressively worse as he ages.

I have tried and exhausated everything... I have tried every type of food out there (incl. Acana, Orijen, Vet Food, now RAW), special shampoos and conditioners, medications (he has been on Vanectyl - P [steroids for dogs - ick! ]), sprays, etc. to no relief.

I recently made the switch to RAW, almost entirely for my little fella. It has helped ALOT , but he still is licking, itching, and scratching. His paws and genital area are very, very red. However the RAW has helped alot... his chronic ear infections are almost non-existant anymore, I have been able to wean him from a Vanectyl - P pill every 2nd day to one a WEEK, and his energy and skin are much better, so this by far is the best food for him.

However, while I have seen about a 50% improvement with RAW, he still is not doing great. Food is the easiest allergy to control, so I have been sticking to novel proteins like elk, rabbit, bison etc. and avoiding chicken and beef. I have been giving him meat and nothing else - no treats or anything else that might trigger it. I have tried introducing a meat one at a time to see what works best with him, trying it for a few months, and none of them have seen an improvement. But as I understand only 20% of allergies are food - related.

So I am biting the bullet & having allergy testing done once and for all. I have put it off for the obvious cost, but I feel so bad for the little guy. Has anyone else had their dog allergy tested, and if so were the results accurate and helpful? In about a week's time both the little's are going in to have their teeth cleaned and he is getting the allergy test done. (Yay for tax refunds, LOL. This is going to be a HUGE bill, eep!)

The vet withdraws 2-3 mL of serum and ships it to Calgary. They test for 20+ food allergens, and 50+ environmental allergens. I think he may have a combo of both? He defaintly does terrible on grains, so we will stick with the raw.

It's expensive... $200 for the test (plus what my vet charges me to take the sample), $200 for the initial treatment, and then its about $20 a month for the maintenance. It's expensive, but I figure I easily spend $20 a month on special food and his meds, so if its not a food allergy to chicken or beef, that will bring my costs down.

I just want the little guy to be happy. Is there any other alternatives I should try 1st? I feel as if I have used every option...
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Old April 1st, 2010, 01:13 AM
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I hope they get to the bottom of it finally for you.

I know allergies can be miserable. I have more than my pets ever have, but found that removing all the carpeting in the house helped the most. Our first dog benefited enormously from that and so have I. Much easier to clean too.

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Old April 2nd, 2010, 02:55 AM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Well, Wednesday is the big day so hopefully all goes well and it doesn't take them too long to get the results back to me and a treatment plan started.

Hardwod would be soooo nice. Unfortunately renting (and with 3 dogs to boot!) I am at the mercy of my landlord but as soon as SO and I buy our 1st place together its almost a must to have hardwood, with one of the biggest benefits being its sooo much easier to clean with the dogs!
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Sib.HuskyMom Sib.HuskyMom is offline
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Good luck with the testing.
My in-laws had it done with their GSD and it was great.
WHen they originally thought he had allergies, they tried switching him to a novel protein - duck.
Turns out, a year later when they had the allergy testing done, he's allergic to duck! (and a few other things).
Go figure.
Now, they've adjusted his diet to what they know he can have, and it's made a huge difference for him.

for Wednesday!

(p.s., I hear you about the carpet vs. hardwood. DH and I are building a new house and I refuse carpet! I can't afford to put hardwood throughout, so I'm choosing a good quality laminet instead. Cheaper, plus, it'll probably stand up a lot better to my 2 dogs over time) .
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Have you had a skin scrape and ear ceruman tested for candida?

The other possibility to consider is a thyroid issue.

for an answer!
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  #6  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:15 PM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Thanks for the support and good wishes everyone

I have really debated over the past few years about getting the allergy test done, wondering if it really is necessary, if it will be accurate etc. but I feel very confident at this point that it is the best option (and the last!). I just feel so bad for the little guy, and really hope this will give us some answers!! Plus, monetary wise even though it will be expensive initially, the monthly treatment price is a mere $20. Pennies if it means keeping my pooch happy and healthy!

I will keep you all posted!
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  #7  
Old August 8th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Victoriam Victoriam is offline
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Sooo.. How did it all go?

So how did the testing all go?

My puppy is going through hell right now, my current vet doesn't even admit that tests like this exist. What vet suggested testing?
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Old August 8th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Welcome to the board, Victoriam.

What symptoms is your puppy having?
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Old August 8th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Good luck cassiek - I'm VERY happy they are also doing environmental tests as you are right it could be a combination of both food and environmental allergens (some of which you may not have thought of).
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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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I just realized this thread is old, sorry.....but I am probably going to get allergy blood tests too, however I was told that allergy shots aren't reliable. I'm weaning my dog down to 2-3 pills a week, she has beautiful coat and nice feet, she itches in the torso area and under the arm pits, I believe it's environmental myself.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 01:14 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I've had blood allergy tests on both of my dogs, for both food and environmental. There were surprises on both tests that really helped me.

I've never gone the allergy shot route with a dog, seems like it really helps some, not so much others.
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