Pets and allergies

youreitOctober 7, 2007

My folks' pug, Malone, had been "not right" for about 2 weeks, and Mom was thinking it might be his teeth. Pugs are famous for having bad teeth later on in life. He was bringing up tiny bits of food and foam a while after eating, poops were strange colored, small bouts of what seemed to be confusion or dementia, gas (yummy!).

Anyway, she took him to the vet, and they tested him for everything reasonable, kept him for 3 nights, no solid foods (he was tubular, dudes! LOL). Nothing could be found.

On a whim, I told Mom to be proactive and try eliminating certain grains from his diet, since my Clyde had suddenly come up with a rice allergy after we'd owned him for many years. Clyde had had the same symptoms (his dementia was actually a lot worse), so I ended up feeding him only Hill's Prescription Diet k/d food, and he LOVED it.

Sure enough, after Mom took rice out of Malone's diet, it was like night and day! He wasn't gaseous, no foamy bits, no problems breathing or pooping, more energy.

I wonder how many others go through this before allergies are considered by the pet's doctor. I was lucky to have a GREAT vet taking care of my Clyde then - not the same one who said there was no way he could be allergic to the topical flea treatment, saying there were no reported cases of such a thing....hmmmmm.

I did a quick search online, and since our days with Cly-Cly, there are tons more sites addressing allergies in pugs...and all pets. I can only imagine how many others might be struggling to find out what's wrong with their little darlings. I also told Mom to make sure and let the vet's office know what happened, so maybe others can be helped in the future. I hope she follows through with it.


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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Brenda. Good morning. Good that Mr. Clyde is non-tubular now and doing well. Little puggies can be prone to a great many issues as can just about any one.

Sometimes the simplest of things can cause allergies in dogs too. Dry food and in particular dog cookies / treats can cause allergic reactions because they contain food mites. The dogs are very sensitive to the protein in the food mites and can have profound signs of the itchies. Many a doggy has been a lot happier when just the dry dog treats are stopped! Of course one needs to give them some kind of treat like veggies or popcorn (no butter).

Plastic bowls, particularly red plastic, will cause many dogs to have a loss of pigment of the nose and may make they itchy too. Changing the bowl to ceramic or metal often reverses the loss of pigment. :-)

Everyone, fuzzy or not, is different.

"....there was no way he could be allergic to the topical flea treatment, saying there were no reported cases of such a thing....hmmmmm.....

LOL! We had Rani for two days. Since I was going to take her with me to work from time to time I put some Advantage on her. OMG! She was miserable within a half hour. Scratching herself everywhere! :-( Great. Just got a beautiful puppy and started to torture her.

She got a few baths but that did nothing. Finally she got an injection of benadryl about 2 hours after the application to stop her from being itchy. The next day she was itchy again so Mike gave her a steroid injection. That fixed it. :-)
We have used Revolution since.

There's a few dogs that had similar reactions to the Advantage too from our hospital. A few react to Frontline too. As with everything and everyone, we are all unique. So far nothing affects Daisy. What a surprise! :-)

The thing with allergies is they get worse each year. The reaction is stronger and may last longer.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:03AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Oops. Sorry. I meant to say glad that Malone is doing well. I'm sure Clyde is too. :-)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Thanks for the info Brenda. I hope the information is useful to others at the clinic.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 4:00PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

I have to check the dry-dog-food thing with my Gretchen too. She's been itchy off and on since we went camping in August, and her vet has given her steroids in case it's an allergy, twice, Revolution (in case it was a mite or something), and oatmeal shampoo. It's better but not over. I only ever feed her dry food, but the big bags spend more time in the basement than when we had two dogs eating it... so it could have been harboring all sorts of things.
Then I recently changed to a new flavor for older/less active dogs, and she doesn't want to eat it at all. I think I'll pour it back into the bag tomorrow and go back to the store to return it.
And come back with some fresh, of the variety she's used to. Smaller bag too.

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 8:15PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

It's been a whopper year for allergies - people and dogs - here in the midwest too. No doubt related to the dry conditions. What every one has said here is true, I would only add that if you are thinking food allergies, (not mites which is right on alot of the time) you can eliminate most allergens by using a novel protein food AND treats (like lamb and rice, duck and egg, whatever) and then IF the symptoms go away you can gradually (like every 4 weeks) add another ingredient to the food 'til you find one that suits your dog.

Unfortunately dog food doesn't have to sit in the basement to have mites, they come prepackaged - no extra charge.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:52PM
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That is amazing how many dogs get the mites thing! One of the few symptoms Malone and Clyde didn't have, though, was the itchies, thank goodness! Thanks for everyone's input, too!

I've been trying for a while get Mom to stop giving Malone treats, since he's already fairly chunky. And to get her to stick with one good food. It was a lucky break that she had been feeding him the same food for a bit before his allergy thing showed up, otherwise, narrowing down the culprit might have been more difficult.

It just seemed beyond coincidence that both of our pugs improved after removing rice from their diets, and it does make me wonder what it is with pugs and rice.

Because of their teeth issues (Clyde had most of his pulled when he was with us, and Malone has a few missing and a few that should probably be pulled soon...LOL), dry food was taken out of their diets completely.

Then there's Pookie kitty, who has happily been eating the same food for over 10 years and doesn't have one problem with it. :D


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 9:33AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hiya Brenda.

Hope that Mr. Malone continues to do well. :-)

".....It just seemed beyond coincidence that both of our pugs improved after removing rice from their diets, and it does make me wonder what it is with pugs and rice....."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. If one thinks about it just what makes a Pug a Pug? Or a Golden a Golden? A pure bred dog (or cat) a pure bred? It is the culmination of generation after generation of inbreeding. Pug to Pug. GSD to GSD. Boxer to Boxer and so on. Over time and generations the gene pool is becoming concentrated to keep the lines pure. By doing so we also concentrate potentially bad traits like allergies, propensity to get diabetes, seizures, hip dysplasia and so on.

Sometimes it seems like the very mixed breed dogs fair better than others but then again it is an individual health issue also how well they are cared for by their people.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:08PM
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Doh! That makes total sense, Chicka, about pure bred dogs! Of course they would be more sensitive! Thanks for the info, lady! :)

On last report, Malone is doing incredibly well, too! We're heading up there later today to stay for a couple days. I'm going to cuddle his little healthy cakes right off. LOL Whenever I talk to Mom on the phone, she holds the phone up to his ear so I can say a few syllables, and he can snort back at me. It's never as good as cuddling him in person, though. :D


    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 9:39AM
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Oreo has been quite itchy lately too. He's been a bit pink also. Our chemo vet placed him back on pred and he's also getting benedyrl twice a day.... I just don't loke him being on pred again! We know it's allergies but don't know to what! He's already on a no grain/rice diet. What would Boston's be allergic to that Brenda's pugs are too? Gotta be something in the air! I'm in NY and she's in CA.....

any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 3:59PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Heather.

Glad that dear sweet Oreo is doing well, aside from the itchies. Is he itchy all over or mostly on his feet? If it is primarily a foot thing it may be a grass allergy or some pollen that he's inhaled like ragweed. Allergies can develop over time although someone was OK with the allergin earlier in life. Could be a food allergy or combination of any of the following or more.

Any new shampoo used? Flea stuff used? Fleas? Poison ivy or poison oak in your yard? Pet fresh? Gone to the groomer to get foofed up? Cedar filled bedding? New mulch in the yard? New food or new dog cookies?

Pink? Around the nose or lips? Plastic dishes to eat or drink from? Any balding areas or crusty skin on the body? Sometimes a run of pred may supress the immune system enough that previously dormant mites like Demodex or Sarcoptic mange can start to cause problems. Need a skin scrape to see those guys under the microscope.

Pink around the mucus membranes? Could be an autoimmune issue. Need a biopsy to diagnose that one.

One of the more common allergins are dust mites. Something like an Ionic Breeze air filter will greatly reduce those guys.

Is the itchy skin area thickened, kinda oily and darker than the surrounding skin? Could be a yeast infection.

Everyone has their own cause for itchies.

Maybe Sarah has more insights to add? She knows lots! :-)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Oreo is itchy on his front feet and front legs. Right in the bend of the elbow he gets sores. His ears get pink and his muzzle, he's also a little warmer to the touch when he's pinky. Seeing that we had this exact problem last year at this time, I'm thinking allergy. No flea stuff(not with his lymphoma), has a metal bowl, no new bedding, mulch, nothing outside, no poision ivy. I haven't bathed him, but I use proban when I do (medicated shampoo). I could try the Ionic Breeze air filter. At least the benedryl helps a little!

Thanks Cd3!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 11:10AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Itchiness in the front half is usually related to an allergy like inhaled pollens and stuff like that. Each year the allergic reaction gets worse too because their body is already for a reaction to their allergen then they add a little more response when it happens. And so it goes little by little each year.

The Ionic Breeze is a great invention! Our little asthmatic kitty hardly needs to use his inhaler since we got one a few years ago. yes. We did get it for him! LOL!

C with 3 Ds and a kitty with asthma.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 10:26PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

I would defer to the vet; and all the questions in one 3D post! :)

SOOO glad to here Oreo is doing well!!!! Hmmm, I think it would make sense that individuals that are immune compromised would have a worse problem with allergies.?. My best wishes for continued success w/ treatments! And a better one for the itchies.

And I'm behind the times, I'm off to google Ionic Breeze! I'll be back when I know more (seriously!)

Allergies are the pits, good luck guys. And thanks again, you all are a wealth of info, and I can ALWAYS learn more, especially if I can help MY clients!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 10:55PM
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I had a cat with rodent ulcer which is an allergic reaction to fleas or plastics. All of my pets eat from china, stainless steel or glass dishes. All get flea protection.

I don't use carpet deodorizer or sprays in the house which helps reduce the environmental possibilities of allergic reactions.

vacuum frequently and empty the dust cup each time and wipe out with a slightly damp papertowel. I would not have a vacuum with a bag that holds the dust.

Leave the AC on during the fall until the ragweed is done blooming. Goldenrod is often blamed for allergies but it is the ragweed that blooms at the same time.

Two source foods (like fish and sweet potato, duck and pea, or duck and potato).

Reguarly change (and upgrade) the furnace filter. Clean out the ducts if possible.

Don't use wood fires.

The object is to stop polluting the inside environment as much as possible with possible irritants.

Change bedsheets and pet bedding frequently and wash only in non-deodorant type detergents. Vacuum under beds, sofas, curtains (all the things we might not do each time) or highly consider having a bare floor instead of carpet everywhere. It is easier to get really clean.

Watch for mold on shower curtains, drain tiles, inside tight cabinets that store clothes, basements, etc.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 8:52AM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Good advice for us AND our pets CT.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 11:30PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about poor Oreo having allergies! The last thing he needs after all he's been through. I sure hope he starts feeling better REAL soon! Big, wet kisses for Oreo!

Thanks for all of your help, too, ladies! I'm SO happy to report that Malone was full of healthy kisses when we visited. I've never seen him eat food like he ate the Hill's Science Diet that Mom was feeding him! It was like one of those pet food commercials. LOL It's so amazing what the right food can do for a pet.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 2:40PM
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