Monday, December 13, 2010

An itchy dog update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been under the weather but still as busy as ever. To get a bit of a break the one thing I try to do when over committed is to keep the online stuff to a minimum.
Jenny's skin is looking a bit better at the moment. (The photo above hides her patchiness.) She just finished some antibiotics for a secondary infection though. I've noticed she seems to be changing color in places now too. Where she used to be all pink parts of her are now turning grey. She is also on a new medication that is supposed to help with the itching. (Cyclosporine which is the generic version of Atopica) I've gotten her off the steriods but am not 100% satisfied with the new meds. If she is still itchy and I need to break out the benedryl what is the point of the Cyclosporine? We are supposed to be at the point of weaning to a smaller dose of it bi-weekly but she is still to itchy. Gahh!
I just picked up some different anti itch shampoo to also try to see if it helps. If I don't see a difference soon I have another medication to try that was recommended by another pug person with similar issues. (Thank you Terry!) Jenny's doctors wanted to try the Atopica first.
I tried to do what I could using natural remedies and even went to a full raw diet for her for quite awhile. Unfortunately her triggers seem to be more environmental than food related and without a noticeable pattern. I gave up on the raw more because I just couldn't sustain it properly with my schedule a.k.a. life. I worry about getting is just right and put a lot of work into the prep. Using a commercial raw diet would be great except they all contain liver which is one of the few food things she tested as allergic to. Once I feel 100% again I might try some honest kitchen dehydrated with the raw venison.
I haven't blogged about it much because I worry about people judging me. I know I shouldn't care about it but I do. Yes I believe in raw diets and yes I believe in (some) natural remedies and I know how not using them looks. I just want my dog to be comfortable. I believe I need to do what I can to provide relief so her quality of life is good. Constant itching is torturous! I am conflicted about everything lately. I am trying to do what is best for her while keeping in mind the long term effects of the treatments I choose as well. No matter what I do there is something to feel guilty about. The most aggravating part? Her itching spells come and go. So there are times no matter what she is on that she itches herself raw and other times she is almost off everything and she is fine. Or she isn't itchy at all but her coat gets all patchy looking. The flare ups are unpredictable and drive me (us!) insane.
If living in a bubble was a possibility for a dog I might consider it. ~sigh~
(And yes we have done multiple skin scrapings. The next step might need to be a skin biopsy.)


Anonymous said...

Hey Jenny! Sorry to hear of your allergy woes. I too had a similar issue with my dog and tried all the suppression tactics (antihistamines, steroids, atopica) and it never really got better. I ended up allergy testing my dog, Gerricurl via a blood test by a company called Spectrum.

Gerri has been on allergy injections which actually increase his tollerance to the allergens he used to react to and now he is enjoying life a while lot more (and so am I b/c I dont have to hear him lick and scratch himself to death all night long anymore). Its not exactly cheap but all the creams, shampoos, sprays and meds I tried weren't either. I hope this helps!
Jackie :)

Marie said...

Thanks for the info. We did the allergy testing too through Greer. I will have to look at their recomendations again. For some reason I was thinking they couldn't cover all her triggers which is why I decided not to go that route.

Joette said...

Thanks for the update. I have the same problem with Megan as far as the injections go; she's allergic to SO much one injection won't cover it. The funny thing with her is that her fur is always in good shape and she doesn't get patchy. It's the 'ends' that seem to have the problem, the rear end and the face and ears (her stomach gets a little blotchy at times, too). I think I'm going to have to break down and try her on some kind of medication. Benadryl doesn't cut it and she's already on the only food I could find that she's not allergic to. I feel so bad for her when she gets really bad, it must be horrible!

JulieandCaleb said...

Hi, I saw this article and thought of Jenny because you mentioned her itchiness seemed environmental.

I hope you find answers and Jenny finds some relief!

Marie said...

Thanks Julie, I'll definately check that out.

Marie said...

Julie, THANK YOU!! There was alot of helpful info in that article. The medication they mentioned was one I was going to try next with Jenny but my vet was hesitant. Will send that article to her. Thanks again!!!!

lebendesmarienkafers said...

Hi Marie! I'm just catching back up on my blog reading (darn holidays!). Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you that you are not alone in your constant worry about your pooch. I've got an itchy beast too and it is a constant struggle. We go through weeks that are great and then it's all down hill again. We're pretty sure she doesn't have food allergies but does have environmental. Ugh. She's on Atopica. Ohmygoodness, the cost! A good diet supplemented with RAW occasionally, gets fish oil, high quality (no grain) treats, medicated baths. We're on a 'bad streak' right now... rash on belly and minor infection. I've been trying to treat at home to avoid going on antibiotics (again!), but it looks like that's the direction we're headed. Which makes me think, like you, why am I spending money on Atopica if it's not helping enough??? I'm sick of having to put that damn cone of shame on her before I leave the house. And yes, I have broken down and cried several times wondering a) what we're doing wrong and b) what we could be doing better. Truth is we can only do the best we can.

Anyway, keep updating because I totally relate! Good luck to you and your pup!