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Thread: Dust mite allergies...anyone have any success with shots?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Default Dust mite allergies...anyone have any success with shots?

    I had allergy tests done recently on a young dog that developed itchy rashes and started losing her coat this summer. Just got the results back: her thyroid was normal, but she's allergic to 2 kinds of dust mites (D. farinae & D. pteronyssinus) and what's called a storage or mold mite: Tyrophagus putrescentiae (how's that for a disgusting-sounding name?). My vets suggested I speak to the allergists (at the test Lab) directly but are thinking they might be able to desensitize her with a course of shots. I have a call into the diagnostic lab, HESKA in Colorado, to speak to their allergy specialist.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had a dog diagnosed with these specific allergies and if the shots are worth doing. From online research it seems like the shots only work in about half the cases. She is an indoor dog and our house is already hardwood/tile throughout. I washed her dog bed and crate bed, which I plan to do weekly, but guess I should probably pitch them and buy new ones...hmmm, wonder if any company makes a hypo-allergenic dog bed? If anyone has had a dog with these allergies I'd love to hear your experience with treatment, what worked and what didn't.

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    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie R. View Post
    She is an indoor dog and our house is already hardwood/tile throughout. I washed her dog bed and crate bed, which I plan to do weekly, but guess I should probably pitch them and buy new ones...hmmm, wonder if any company makes a hypo-allergenic dog bed? If anyone has had a dog with these allergies I'd love to hear your experience with treatment, what worked and what didn't.
    Because dust mite allergies are common in people there's a ton of allergy-relief products geared to minimizing exposure. Google "alergy relief catalog" and you'll find a bunch of stuff that might be helpful...dust mite-proof bedding (don't know about dog beds, but if you can sew...), dust-mite laundry detergent, etc.
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

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    Senior Member HiRollerlabs's Avatar
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    At the urging of my local vet and a TX vet, I started using ProMeris monthly flea/tick. It kills demodectic mites and helps dogs with skin issues and allergies to mites. It does have a eucalytus smell that lasts about one day--yes, it smells. However, it worked wonders on our old female that had severe allergies and skin issues. You apply it to the base of the neck, just like Frontline. It does leave a visible white residue that disappears in a couple of days. We've been using it for about a year now.
    Bob/Ann Heise
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    I have an 11 1/2 year old male with these same allergies - however, I didn't look up the species, I just know it is dust mites and mold mites.
    Ann
    Fountain City, WI
    www.terrun.com

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    Argh - a hit some key combination and my message posted before I finished writing - anyway, the old boy does not have demodectic mange, so I have not tried the Promeris. I wanted to ask Ann from HiRollers, did you test your dog to see if she is allergic to the mites referenced? Is promeris supposed to treat the condition, or is because it less reactive than frontline? Ann sent me some info last year that I should refer to.

    Anyway, our old boy has trouble year round and constantly gets secondary staph infections. His nose cracks and peels, he gets puss under his chin and sometimes in his groin and his skin will turn black. I have used those injections from Heska for several years, and did not document a change except when I disconitnued them, he got a nasty ear infection, similar to one he had when first diagnosed that cost me $1200 to treat. We caught this one earlier so it cleared up quickly, but the Vet said, put him back on the injections or you will see more of these ear infections.

    Finally, the secondary infections were so bad I broke down and treated him with Atopica, $180 for 1/2 dose for 1 month. Combined with ketaconizal and Tremadol and the injections, my last monthly Rx bill for this dog was over $400. After this treatment, he started acting like he was about 8 years old, shiny coat and happy.

    I have not done a rigorous trial to know what really works best, but I would say it is the Atopica and regular bathing with some high quality shampoo like Episoothe, the ketaconizal and tremadol interact with the Atopica somehow, that's why we only used 1/2 dose of Atopica. I put a mattres pad over his bed and wash it daily because of the staph, and I try to air the bed in the heat of the sun or when it is very cold - not sure if this kills mites, but it makes me feel better.

    Now that it has gotten colder, I haven't been able to bathe him as much as the dog bath is in the basement and he can't do the stairs anymore, and I have noticed things flaring up again.

    We also have hardwood and vinyl floors but I'm not the best housekeeper "life is too short to have a clean house", I think those dust mites are everywhere and cleaning just blows them around. However, I don't have carpet they can accumulate in.

    If anyone has any less expensive effective treatments, I'm all ears, but Atopica did work well.
    Ann
    Fountain City, WI
    www.terrun.com

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    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    I have one with food and air borne allergies. I gave him his 20th week shot yesterday. The dermatoligist says it may take 6mths to really see an improvement. The tests and 6 mths worth of meds for 6 mths were about $600 up front. But I figured it is cheaper than a vet bill every month. For the first 6 mths you start out giving a shot every week then cut back to 2 weeks and after that you go to once a month. The first 6 months is to build up their ammunity to what they are allergic to. It is kind of the same thing as when I was a kid and had to get shots every week for my allergies and then I built up some amunity to it.
    My dog started showing improvements about the 10th week.
    Yes he is allergig to dust mites and some molds and some weeds.
    In my opinion there is no relasionship between mange mites and dust mites. Mange mites live on the dog and attack the skin and live in hair follaculs and dust mites are inhailed (air borne).
    You may want to do a food trial first and make sure it is not a food allergy first.
    I did that first and it cleared all of the sores on his back. Then he still kept having flaky skin, chewed on his feat and toe nails alot, and some ear infections, intestanal problems. After starting shots , no more flaky skin, infections and doesnt chew nails as much. (Knock on wood) So far have saved alot of money from not going to vet as much.
    Hope this helps some.
    If you think its allergies dont waste alot of money going to to the vet and getting treated for staph all the time, Get them to refer you to an animal dermotoligist and it may save you in the long run.
    Just my 1 cents

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    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerRun View Post
    Anyway, our old boy has trouble year round and constantly gets secondary staph infections. His nose cracks and peels, he gets puss under his chin and sometimes in his groin and his skin will turn black. I have used those injections from Heska for several years, and did not document a change except when I disconitnued them,
    Heska is the labratory that did the testing and is recommending the injections. They will not speak to the owner, only the veterinarian, and my vet won't be back til after Thanksgiving. I am finding out from people that have tried the injections they only work in about 50 percent of the cases.

    The mites my dog is allergic to are not demodex or scarcoptic mites; she tested negative for those. She's allergic to two specific kinds of dust mites and what's called a mold or storage mite. According to the lab report and online research I did, these mites are highly allergenic to both dogs and people, both inhaled and to the skin. It's not mite bites; it's the fecal matter and debris they leave when they die that is microscopic but present in all household dust.

    So far my dog hasn't had any other symptoms except a brittle, dry itchy coat and occasional rashes. No problem with nails/feet. I am scrupulous about keeping her ears clean; she's never had a full blown ear infection but occasionally her ears smell a little funky and look too pink so I think she could be prone to them. She swims daily since we have ponds on my farm and I always dry her and her ears with a shammy and clean her ears regularly.

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    I think you are right on regarding the mites.

    Regarding the severe ear infection, it started out like any other. Took him to the vet and got some prednisone and either an anti-b or anti-fungal - don't remember the specifics anymore. Things didn't get better even after a few days, and I made the mistake of calling the vet and not doing a very good job of describing what was going on. The prednisone was reducing is immune system and the ear infection worsened, fortunately I took him in before it reached the inner ear, but the medicine he needed after that was extremely expensive, a couple $'s per day for 12 weeks.

    He started having all these troubles at age 7, and if I had known what I know now, I should have done some rigorous testing to really narrow down what helped and what didn't. At the time, I had a new infant with some health issues, and the dog really wasn't getting the detailed attention he needed to nail down the problem. We just started the shots and continued them and he did OK - no ear infections, wasn't scratching, but his skin was dry and flaky and his coat wasn't that great either. By the time he was 10, he started getting the secondary staph, and when it would get bad, I'd take him in and he'd take a round of anti-b's to clear it up for a while. This year, the staph just kept coming back within a week or 2 of finishing the anti-b's, so thats when we started the Atopica in combination with Tremadol and Ketaconizal.

    So my recommendation is to do whatever rigorous trials necesary to narrow down the problem and find out what helps. Oh - and I'm not sure I have complete faith in the Heska test. How can they test for all those allergans with a blood sample? Any biochemists out there to answer that? I would also consider a dermatological specialist. We are fresh out of those in my town, but I would take him to the U on a good recommendation. I'm not doing it now- I don't think the old boy will make it through the winter.

    Good luck, and I'd like to hear what you learn and how things progress.
    Thanks,
    Ann
    Fountain City, WI
    www.terrun.com

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    Senior Member HiRollerlabs's Avatar
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    ProMeris flea/tick uses the ingredient Amitraz, which is the ingredient used in shampoos for dogs with mange, mites, etc. The application that absorbs into the skin kills mites that are imbedded in all dogs. All dogs have demodectic mites. Whether ProMeris kills dust mites, I don't know. I do know that ProMeris helped my old female that had horrible skin issues, tested positive for lots of bugs when we did allergy testing (spent $800 on testing over the years & a few thousand trying to get her comfortable), and was on $150 a month of generic Atopica (purchased with vet prescription at Allivet.com). After 3 months of ProMeris, I was able to cut her Atopica/cyclosporine to 1 capsule every three days. I had tried to cut back before and her skin allergies flared up. So, I went form $150 a month to $50 a month of cyclosporine plus about $10 a month for ProMeris flea/tick.

    Shots--early in the diagnosis process we tried allergy shots for 1.5 years without success. When we retested her allergies at ISU (another $400), the vet there would have upped the amount of allergens in the shots had we chosen to try shots again. We did not try a second round of shots. I bathed weekly in Malaseb shampoo (yeast killer shampoo), treated skin infections as they arose with keflex (which brought on more yeast infection), gave her Benadryl for itchiing, and tried to keep her comfortable in the years prior to starting cyclosporine and ProMeris.

    If you are using a monthly flea/tick anyway, IMO ProMeris would be worth a try. It doesn't cost any more than Frontline, applies the same way on base of the neck, smells like eucalytus for a day so I put my dogs outside on day of application. I buy mine at maak4pets.com, or your vet can get it for you.
    Last edited by HiRollerlabs; 11-28-2009 at 03:48 PM.
    Bob/Ann Heise
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    "There is no such thing as perfection. There is always a higher level." Dan Gable


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    "I like to relax with a chainsaw." Tom Brands 2010

    I don't believe in allowing wine to breathe. I prefer mouth-to-wine resuscitation.

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