Tucker has always had REALLY bad allergies...he has both food and environmental allergies...while I have seen it get better over the years, I have never been "satisfied" that it was controlled...I have done EXTENSIVE testing - taken him all over the state, thousands of dollars, numerous specialists...still not fixed and at this point, I am out of money...
When Tucker was diagnosed, he was on Royal Canin Duck and Potato + daily Atopica +Ketoconozole...it helped a bit, but still not fixed and it was literally taking me broke...in addition, because of the medications, the doctor wanted to check his blood frequently at $400/each time...(for those of you that are about to tell me it is my dog and if I need to live in a cardboard box to pay for this, then that is what I need to do - please don't respond to this thread...I am looking for VIABLE options)...
I phased down the Atopica/Ketoconozole and eventually switched to 2 Benedryl daily...I changed the Royal Canin to Natural Balance...this worked for a while, but now I am back to square one...
I am looking to switch foods again to Wellness Core and I don't know what to do about the Benedryl/Atopica...unless I give the Atopica daily, it is useless...even then, it is better but not cured...
Honestly, I can't afford $400-$800/month for his allergies and I am not willing to go to the poorhouse for a solution that isn't even 90+%
Suggestions PLEASE!! Anyone have thoughts on Wellness Core vs Natural Balance or Royal Canin?
A few thoughts - have you tried generic Atopica (cyclosporine)? Compounding pharmacies will make it but it isn't usually a significant savings ($50/month? maybe less). Have you tried other antihistamines? Is he on fish oil/Vit E supplements?
I'd be hesitant to switch foods again when he's in a bad spot - if he gets worse was it the food or not? if he gets better was it the food or just the end of an allergy season? Can you use something like Temaril-P to get you through his itchy seasons instead of atopica? Have you tried anything topically (shampoos, sprays, Duoxo, etc.) Any chance you have fleas? Lots of critters trying to get inside now that it's cold so we've seen lots of animals with fleas lately.
I'm assuming you've had him skin tested for allergies? What about trying allergy injections? They're about the same price as Atopica for the first month or so then gradually decrease monthly as the dose and frequency decrease.
Lastly, I'd try a homeopathic veterinarian. I had great luck with ours and Jake's ear problems.
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
Geeze, do I know those bills too! Don't know if your willing to try this - but I ended up putting Morgan on EVO (original formula) no grain. PULLED ALL MEDS, including Atopica (great savings!) and other than occasional bad patches which I cover with 5 days of 1/2 dose pred - we're doing great. Not sure why that worked - neither is the vet - but at the cost savings - and the joy the dog exihibits now, she's willing to go with it...God, I wish there were an easy answer for this for all of us - Morgan is now 8 y/2 m and I've done this for only around 2 yrs - but the happy puppy is back and the pred has only been used approx 4 times in that 2 years. GOOD LUCK!!!
Which Natural Balance do you have him on? Frankie has allergies, we determined he can't have eggs or any fishy stuff, so I tried the Venison and Sweet Potato. It works wonders for him. He can ONLY have this food though, no treats or anything else, otherwise his ear flares up again.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
Derby was on Natural Balance Potato and Duck for years and then got sick on it. I switched him to CORE. After about a year, I tried Natural Balance Venison. He got sick again. So, needless to say, I don't do Natural Balance any more. He's back on CORE, has been for about 3 years now and does extremely well with it.
Some people have great luck with a raw diet.
"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thank you guys so much!! I am actually going to schedule a vet appointment next week and print this out to bring with me. I have tried SO many things at this point, I can't remember what I tried and what I didn't...after a while, the drugs all sound the same...I have been going through this for over 7 years and I am just at a loss. Again, thank you for your responses - they were all helpful and insightful!!
I hope you find the answer and that it doesn't keep breaking the bank. I also know the pain of high vet bills regularly. I will keep my fingers crossed for you
Hunter & Chrome
Mitzi has done well on Core. Her ears do not flare up often, but she still licks paws excessively. I took her off of keto a few years ago because of her age.
The ears I can deal with...he actually likes having them cleaned - it is the licking/chewing the paws that drives me nuts! Also, I can tell he is uncomfortable...he has a few mini bald spots and his eyes are boogery...
The keto made me nervous keeping him on indefinitely...I personally don't like taking medications every day, so I really wasn't ever comfortable with the whole daily atopica/keto combo.
-organic Apple Cider Vinegar every morning (1 tablespoon. You want the stuff with "The Mother" in it)
-Salmon Oil capsules every morning (1,000 mg)
-Benadryll during the summer and fall (I buy generic at WalMart). The doseage depends on weight. Caleb is 67 pounds and can have up to 75 mg 3 times a day (per my vet). This past summer/fall he only got it twice a day.
-Hosing/rinsing/wiping him off as needed (or at least his feet and pads)
-A can of sardines (in either water or oil) once a week
I've also sprayed Caleb down with a 50/50 mix of regular Listerene and water after he's been swimming in ponds/streams/etc or other times he seems extra itchy.
Something else "new" I've been doing is vacuuming downstairs more often and spraying the carpet and dog bed with the Febreeze Allergen stuff.
And, believe it or not, brushing. Not only does it help stimulate the oils in the skin, it also helps get rid of some of the allergens on the coat.