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dog with allergic reaction - losing hair fast

(10 Posts)
beesonmummyshead Mon 14-Sep-09 15:11:19

Hello, my dog is 12, and until 3 years ago had very few skin problems, had lovely shiny fur.

We moved to this house 3 years ago and every summer she gets terrible itchy skin and loses her hair on her tummy. It is nearly always fairly controllable but this year it has got out of control.

Her ski is dry and flaky and red. she has no hair under her stomach, around her bum, and now i notice she is losing it on her back

She takes piriton daily (5ml twice per day) but obviously this treats the symptoms not the cause.

I have an appointment (reluctantly) for her on wednesday because this year it has gone on too long, and if I don't act she will be bald.

I say reluctantly because the vet historically tries to take skin samples etc to no avail except a very high bill hmm

is there anything else I can try if the vet cannot help? because I am not going down the allergy testing route again..


PollyPoo Mon 14-Sep-09 15:40:48


Our dog suffers with terrible skin problems so I know how you feel.

Have you tried evening primrose oil? You can try cheap 'human' ones from boots, or you can ask your vet to get a you a special one for pets that you spray onto their food.

We started off on Boots own and our vet recommended we popped the capsules and sprayed the oil over her food, as the stuff in the capsule shell can sometimes upset them (our dog is ridiculously over sensitive, poor love)

I'm guessing she must be allergic to something in the outside/garden if its seasonal? Do you keep the grass as short as poss in the garden? And do you walk her through fields with long grass? Have you tried walking different routes, or maybe just on roads/lanes? Its not as much fun, but might help in the short term?

Hope she feels better soon.

beautifulgirls Mon 14-Sep-09 16:20:51

There are so many reasons for this and so many things they can be allergic to. Lots of things that might help but probably no cure as such.

One thing you might like to ask your vet about if they are convinced this is allery related (high chance from what you say) is to try a product called "Atopica" It is not cheap sadly but does seem to help a lot of dogs with allergic skin problems. Some only need it temporarily to get them through the allergy season that affects them, others long term. Steroids are a cheaper alternative and would also help but for many good reasons vets are reluctant to use too many as there are potential side effects with long term use - but that said a short few weeks of steroids at a reducing dosage may be all that is needed to help her through a tough time. Often when they are bad and not improving they need some antibiotics too as they can get infection in the skin - this is something your vet will need to look at too.
Has your vet considered different anti-histamines instead of piriton? Not all dogs respond the same to all medications and sometimes you need to trial more than one to find one that works better. Ucerax and Tavegil are two that spring to mind as possible options.
Evening primrose oil as mentioned above is also a very useful additional measure to any of the meds I have talked about. You need quite high doses for dogs for allergic issues though - about 1000mg for every 10kg body weight. If you compare to the human guide dose on the bottle you buy this seems like a lot! Average labrador size for example would need 3x 1000mg capsules daily.

I would talk to your vet again and see what they think about the above options. There is always the option to ask for a referral to - though of course this starts to get costly.

minimu Mon 14-Sep-09 17:04:04

Allergy in dogs is such a nightmare. We have a dog that used to rub her tummy bald every summer. She was allergic to grass!!!! clover and dust mites.

As she has got older it is not so bad we went down the allergy testing route which took forever, cost a fortune and then dissensitisation (sp)which didn't really make any difference.

Now we have wooden and tiled floors and try to keep her off lush green grass and she is much bettter. If she does walk through a field of grass she will itch but we limit this as much as we can. Ours takes evening primrose oil don't know whether it works or not.

For treatment we tried aloe vera, tea tree oil, anti stratch spray, none of it worked. Steroid cream did but obviously had other issues with that. We now give piriton if we know she is going to an area that may set her off and hose her down when we come back from a grassy walk.

Good luck

beesonmummyshead Mon 14-Sep-09 17:50:24

thanks all, I shall ask the vet for a different anti-histamine, I had wondered if that could be one of the problems. Evening Primrose oil is such a good idea! thank you, I shall order some today.

Unfortunately we have moved near to moorland (I say unfortunately, but we feel very fortunate, it is jus the dog who doesn't!) and all winter she bites her feet, but not so much that they hurt, but in summer she loses her fur, and of course she rolls on the grass both in the garden and on the moors. We could walk her on paths etc, but I also have a 2 year old and so moorland walking burns off a lot of excess energy!

Wish there was a magic treatment I could give her to make the itching go away. Poor thing is also losing weight, although I would imagine that this is because of all of the constant itching and moving rather than anything more sinister.

Thanks all.

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 17:52:52

you can buy special suits for dogs who are allergic to say, some sorts of grasses - they look a bit weird but can make a massive difference

beesonmummyshead Mon 14-Sep-09 19:14:58

loving the name mitchyinge! and will google for the suits now, am giggling at the thought. The dog does a lovely "pained" look if anyone dresses her up, so the suit should be hilarious. DH will not be impressed!

beesonmummyshead Wed 16-Sep-09 17:32:09

Well, we visited the vet today, and my little dog has mange

glad I took her now, and didn't just wait and see. The good news is that it is easily controllable, and she is on low dose steroids for a week to calm her poor old skin down.

thanks for helping me.

MitchyInge Wed 16-Sep-09 20:16:23

Aw, poor thing - glad it is all under control and hope she is better soon

MrsMagnolia Wed 16-Sep-09 20:20:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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