Allergies - Alternaria
About two months ago my dog started itching really bad. Since we had not changed food or been anywhere different we assumed he was developing an environmental allergy to something, as it was timed perfectly with the onset of spring. After a few trips to the vet and trials of a couple different allergy meds with no improvement we finally got the results of his allergy test back. Turns out he has a pretty bad allergic reaction to Alternaria. From what I understand its an outdoor fungus/mold and its pretty well everywhere and most pronounced in the warmer months.
Currently we are running short term round of steriods as that was the only thing that would keep him from scratching himself sore. Now the vet is recommending a longer term round of the medication at least for the summer months. However I'm not a huge fan of the steriods as they can/will have some serious side effects. But since the Antihistamines didn't help I think our options are pretty limited.
I know this might be a long shot, but I'm wondering if anybody else here has any experience with an allergy to Alternaria, and how did you handle the problem?
Temaril-P has a very small amount of prednisolone as a component so the corticosteroid dose is minimal. Is it a hypersensitivity to Alternia alone and how was that determined? I have not heard of Alternia hypersensitivity but much like any allergic reaction immune modifying drugs are helpful (Atopica) without the potential side effects of long term corticosteroid use.
After a long frustrating journey with allergies and trying everything, steroids, antibiotics, skin tests, blood tests and allergy shots, Atopica was the miracle drug that worked for us.
It was expensive at about $5 a pill but it was the only thing that actually helped. To keep the cost down we gave him a little smaller dose than was recommended. ($5 a pill a day) It was only a little more than the allergy shots that didn't help.
The dermatologist required a visit and blood test once or twice a year, I don't remember. So, that added to the overall cost.
I'm there with you, John. I went from a dog that scratched all nite long, had no coat on stomach and rear and overall miserable to one that now has a great coat and no longer scratches. Atopica has been great for us.
Interesting about Atopica, as I have heard it can be a "wonder drug" for these problems. Tried it last summer on a 9 year old lab and it had absolutely no effect. We tried everything under the sun. My vet gave up and passed us on to the canine dermatologist. He went through his tool box and was left scratching his head. What finally solved the problem was a long course of doxy and melatonin. The latter stimulates hair growth I gather. By this time it was late fall so I am sure cooler weather was a factor as well. So far this spring, no problem...fingers crossed. I wish you luck as these conditions can be difficult to treat.
Atopica is not 100% effective probably more like 85% and the onset of effect may take up to 2 months. We are told that it is about as effective for controlling allergic dermatitis as skin testing and desensitizing injections.
Originally Posted by awclark
Thanks for the info folks. Ill run a couple of those options by the vet. Currently the short term steroids are working great. My dog is back to his normal self, but the side effects are what really concerns me. I am curious to know if allergies are hereditary? I tried contacting the breeder to see if either of the parents were affected, but I've yet to get a return call.
Hate is a strong word...but I hate allergies. Been there done that!
Inherited. Yes. Google published data.
I think people disagree on it. I'd say it's hereditary. I think it is more common than some think. People point to certain dogs in a pedigree and say it comes from them. It is a terrible problem if you get one with it.
The dermatologist told me that if my dog lived in another part of the country he might never have had a problem.
Steroids work great but they are hard on the dog. Kidneys I think, probably more. They drink a lot, eat a lot and pee a lot. I've heard of some people keeping a dog on low dose steroids for a long time but our Vet wouldn't do it.