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Have you had to deal with Dog Skin Allergies?
This is my first dog that I know of with dog allergies.
I’m sure our past dogs may have had minor allergies that went unnoticed.
However, Stetson’s dog skin allergies are very irritating for him and definitely require the attention of a vet.
Stetson and Linus are so different in many ways.
People often say they look like brothers, but if you look closely or are accustomed to distinguishing the differences between two breeds you’ll know they do not have the same mama or papa.
Stetson is a pure-bred Black Labrador Retriever bred for the Guide Dog program and career-changed just over a year ago.
Linus is from the shelter and is presumed to be an Australian Shepherd mixed with possibly a Chow, maybe some Lab, possibly some Husky…we really don’t know.
He may be a good candidate for one of those breed identification tests.
There are many other differences, but today I wanted to talk about the difference in their health and visits to the vet.
Our Healthy Aussie Mix Rescue Pup
When we first picked up Linus from the shelter he was very sickly and tired.
He was covered in fleas, anemic, had a stomach infection, worms, and basically didn’t want to move his first couple of days home.
We cleaned him up, got him meds from the vet, and ever since he has been a very healthy dog.
UPDATE: Our beloved Linus passed on May 7, 2018. He was 13 1/2 years old and will always have a place in my heart.
Our Not So Healthy Lab
Stetson came from a sterile environment and was perfectly healthy when we picked him up.
He did require the regular vaccinations (Linus went through the same series of vaccinations), but that’s where similarities ended.
Stetson has had at least four trips to the vet for ear infections, four trips to the vet for his dog skin problems, and two trips to the vet for injuring his foot.
While I don’t consider this a lot of visits it’s a steep contrast compared to Linus’s yearly checkups.
Dog Skin Allergies
That brings us to our visit with the veterinarian the other day for Stetson’s latest run in with his dog skin allergy.
As I mentioned earlier Stetson has already been to the vet several times for this dog skin condition.
In response, we changed his food to Natural Balance Duck and Potato Allergy Formula.
We thought that helped, but later this summer realized Stetson’s skin was red and irritated again…thus our latest visit to the vet.
Here’s what we were told about Dog Skin Allergies and Stetson’s condition.
- No ear infections which commonly occur from allergies – good news!
- Red irritated skin and scabs are a result of allergies and bacteria setting in as a result of an allergic reaction
- Could be mites – Derby had Demodex also known as mange not long ago which was very nasty. After looking under the microscope the vet said she didn’t see any mites, but they could still be causing the allergies
- It’s probably not from his food since we have him on Natural Balance Duck and Potato Allergy Formula
- The most likely culprit is fleas. We’re not diligent about giving Stetson flea medication only applying his Frontline plus during the warmer months.
- She said it could be, but most likely wasn’t ringworms. She checked under a black light and didn’t see ringworms.
She concluded that the skin allergies were most likely caused by fleas and recommended we keep Stetson on a strict flea prevention schedule.
She started us out with a flea and mite medication just in case the mites were causing Stetson’s allergies.
We went home with a topical medication called ProMeris and antibiotics called Cephalexin to clear up Stetson’s skins.
UPDATE: More recently we’ve used Frontline Plus topical medication to keep the fleas and ticks at bay.
She Stetson should be clear of his allergies within a couple of weeks and if not we have to head back to the vet.
Eeeeekkk…and the vet bill was almost $200…lucky for us a couple of months ago we won a $200 gift certificate to our vet at the Orange County Super Pet Adoption at the Irvine Animal Care Center, but it really got us to thinking is it time to go Pet Insurance for Stetson and Linus?
Are you dealing with dog skin allergies?
If so, how do you treat it?
I’ve also actually heard that my aunt treats her dogs with simply a mixture of vinegar and water.
I’ll have to check in with her and find out how that works and report back.
UPDATE: We wrote a follow-up article that goes over the many remedies we tried with Stetson to try and clear up his allergies. Guess what? There’s a happy ending here. Check out: Dog Skin Problems – 10 Remedies To Help Alleviate An Itchy Dog
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