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Unread 10-30-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
5,555 posts, read 3,801,989 times
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Default Alternative to Prednisone?

My dog has allergies which require him to be treated with Prednisone. when he recovers, I lower the dosage to 1/2 pill every other day until the itching begins until it offers him no relief. Then I have to give him two pills a day which stops the itching completely. The problem is the higher dosage makes him very tired, and it breaks my heart to see him so lethargic. I know that Prednisone should not be used for long periods of time.

I am going to the vet on Monday to talk to her about this but I wonder if any of you have any knowledge or experience on alternative medicines you have used that seemed to work for you that I can offer to the vet? Benadryl does not work for my dog.
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Unread 10-30-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Historic Springfield
549 posts, read 1,156,318 times
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I don't have an alternative, but will say this....if it's helping your baby be more comfortable, then having him a bit more lethargic would be some level of comfort to know he's resting and not feeling tormented. I hope however, that the vet can offer something else that still provides the help needed, and what would make you feel better too
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Unread 10-30-2009, 10:48 AM
 
386 posts, read 588,653 times
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One thing I can offer is to ask what your dog is allergic to. If you have not tried this already, try to figure out if he is allergic to food, grass, etc. Is it only at certain times of the year (leading toward a grass allergy) or all the time (possible food allergy). Also, if the skin is dry and this is causing some itching, medicated shampoos, extra oil for the skin may also help. My pomeranian mix had the same issue and was on prednisone during the spring/summer every year. My vet thought it was a grass allergy so we tried to keep her off of the grass during that time of the year. Last year, she did not have any allergies and the only thing I could definitely say was different was that she did not go swimming in the lake. So, it may be hard to determine what the dog is allergic to, but that may elliminate the meds if discovered.
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Unread 10-30-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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My two dogs, especially my lab/pit mix, have started itching like crazy within the last month here in AL. They are up to date on Frontline, so I guess it is some kind of environmental allergy. I've been giving them benedryl, that works for 3-4 hours, but I hate giving them drugs constantly. I'm about to give up and take them to the vet for a test. I'm afraid it is grass. How in the heck do you keep your dogs out the grass?!?! I've been feeding them the same food (Chicken Soup brand). But they are young, just over a year, so maybe their allergies changed as they developed. So I don't know. In short, I don't have any answers for you, but I feel your pain. I hate to see them uncomfortable and the scratching drives me nuts.
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Unread 10-30-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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Yes, there is a good, safe long-term alternative.

Have your dog PROPERLY allergy tested. I'm assuming these are environmental allergies - food allergies are controlled - or should be - by diet alone.

A proper allergy test will isolate the allergens your dog is reacting to. Then a special allergen serum is made specifically for your dog - I believe they can get up to 22 allergens in one serum. Over than number and you have to have two batches.

This is not cheap, no. But following the desensitisation protocol that uses the dog's own immune system, there are no side effects. There are no health risks. The dog stops itches/biting/licking. Everyone's happy.

The initial testing and the initial batches (you build up the strength of the allergens present over a period of time) is, more or less, in the region of $500. The maintenance dose, which lasts for a year, is about $100 +/-.

The only thing you have to be willing to do is give the dog an injection (just sub-q). Oh, and have a credit card.

(Yes, I have a dog that's on one. It works. If you look up Spectrum Labs, Inc. in AZ there should be details of how it all works on their website.)
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Unread 10-30-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
9,152 posts, read 5,861,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc76 View Post
My two dogs, especially my lab/pit mix, have started itching like crazy within the last month here in AL. They are up to date on Frontline, so I guess it is some kind of environmental allergy. I've been giving them benedryl, that works for 3-4 hours, but I hate giving them drugs constantly. I'm about to give up and take them to the vet for a test. I'm afraid it is grass. How in the heck do you keep your dogs out the grass?!?! I've been feeding them the same food (Chicken Soup brand). But they are young, just over a year, so maybe their allergies changed as they developed. So I don't know. In short, I don't have any answers for you, but I feel your pain. I hate to see them uncomfortable and the scratching drives me nuts.
Before I moved here from California my old beagle was constantly scraching and getting rashes. You never saw a weed there. I carried her past the places they sprayed but she was on meds constantly. She's a very old dog and it stressed lots of other things. When you consider the cause, check if the grass itself has been sprayed with anything, especially weed killer.

Since I moved she's been better though this summer she itched a lot and Frontline didn't quite work properly. But I have noticed when the "grass" is growing well ( a little grass and a bit of everything else ) she seems to be itchy. If your dog has problems with grass but not always, maybe its something seasonal that grows in the grass. Also consider mold or the like which shows up when there is a lot of rain.

The last week or so my old dog has been sneezing and is conjested but that seems to be all. My young dog is also sneezing. They seem to react after being outside so I suspect a plant or mold somewhere.

I give my dogs benedryl and so far its worked. Hoping not to have to see the vet and get something stronger.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:02 AM
 
386 posts, read 588,653 times
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For any new readers to this thread - if you decide to give you dog Benadryl or any other over the counter med, please ask your vet for the proper dosage.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:08 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 3,961,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
Before I moved here from California my old beagle was constantly scraching and getting rashes. You never saw a weed there. I carried her past the places they sprayed but she was on meds constantly. She's a very old dog and it stressed lots of other things. When you consider the cause, check if the grass itself has been sprayed with anything, especially weed killer.

Since I moved she's been better though this summer she itched a lot and Frontline didn't quite work properly. But I have noticed when the "grass" is growing well ( a little grass and a bit of everything else ) she seems to be itchy. If your dog has problems with grass but not always, maybe its something seasonal that grows in the grass. Also consider mold or the like which shows up when there is a lot of rain.

The last week or so my old dog has been sneezing and is conjested but that seems to be all. My young dog is also sneezing. They seem to react after being outside so I suspect a plant or mold somewhere.

I give my dogs benedryl and so far its worked. Hoping not to have to see the vet and get something stronger.
Mmmm... I sprayed the perimeter of the yard with weed killer several weeks ago. Wouldn't that have soaked in by now?

We have had an unusually wet summer and fall. Usually by early August, the bermuda grass is brown, not this year, it is still green. It is actually raining right now. Maybe it is mold...
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:21 AM
 
9,926 posts, read 8,104,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylalou View Post
My dog has allergies which require him to be treated with Prednisone. when he recovers, I lower the dosage to 1/2 pill every other day until the itching begins until it offers him no relief. Then I have to give him two pills a day which stops the itching completely. The problem is the higher dosage makes him very tired, and it breaks my heart to see him so lethargic. I know that Prednisone should not be used for long periods of time.

I am going to the vet on Monday to talk to her about this but I wonder if any of you have any knowledge or experience on alternative medicines you have used that seemed to work for you that I can offer to the vet? Benadryl does not work for my dog.
Aylalou, have you tried bathing the pup more regularly?

I only ask because the mutt here got himself into an awful mess with allergies and we had him on steroids (which turned him into Cujo ) and he spent a good deal of time running around with an Elizabethan collar to stop him from chewing the flesh from his bones in his agitation. He was incredibly adept at slamming the hard edge of the damn thing right into the back of your leg. I was covered in bruises for weeks!

I tried feeding him only brown rice and boiled chicken, Mum made up some awful green paste she'd heard about on the radio (don't ask me what was in it) and he'd RUN everytime we tried to paint it on him, we slathered him in cortisone cream but in the end what worked for us was to wash him EVERY time he went into the spot in the garden where the wandering dew was. Well that and REMOVING all the wandering dew from the property.

Maybe keep an eye on where in the garden the dog is going? And go back to a very basic diet of brown rice and boiled chicken to see if it might be his diet?
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