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Dog with FAD

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My 13 month old black lab/st bernard mix has problems with flea allergy dermatitis. He has bad rashes and scabs all over his chest and belly and sometimes in other spots as well. We have taken him to the vet for it, but even with their advice he still has problems. We give him Advantage multi every month and also we do what the vet suggested and give him an OTC topical flea medicine of different ingredients 2 weeks after the other treatment. We use a "hot spot" spray to soothe the raw areas and help the itch and use a soap free all-natural shampoo for baths (every couple of weeks, or as needed when dirty). Also, the vet said we can give him benedryl as needed but this doesn't seem to work at all and I'd rather not give him medicine if it's not absolutely necessary. The only time he seems to be not itchy is the 5-7 days after the advantage mutli. The rest of the time he is constantly scratching! I feel so bad for him...it seems like about 22 hours of the day is spent scratching and licking. Even when we're playing in the backyard he'll stop and scratch in the middle of bringing a ball back. He also has bad ear build up. We use a vinegar and water mixture to clean it, but it still gets bad.

Any suggestions on how to help my poor man?! I feel so bad for him!! His chest can get so scabbed up at times
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess nobody has any suggestions on how to help Samson

Thanks anyway. I will keep searching internet and maybe look for a dog forum for help.
post #3 of 15
My Golden has allergies - to food and grass. Not fair.

I don't understand why you won't give the benadryl - it is as safe for dogs as it is for kids. My vet has us give Ben the dose that we would give a child of the same weight. It makes a huge difference in his quality of life.

You need to treat the house for fleas - and the yard. Sad to say it is an ongoing battle for us due to the wildlife in the park across the street.
And possibly treat again and again.

We use panalog ointment for his ears. Get it from the vet.

And frequent baths in cool water to sooth the skin.
post #4 of 15
Is the vet positive it is flea allergies?? With as many flea meds as you are giving I am having a hard time believing that any flea would go near your dog!
My dog has seasonal allergie and she used to scratch herself raw like you are describing. We finally had her allergy tested and know exactly what her triggers are. Since we got those results I have been giving her natural products to strengthen her immune system and better her skin pH. We still get an occasional flare-up in the summer, but we have her skin under much better control now.

We also tried Benadryl in the beginning. It did nothing for her. We have a prescription strength antihistamine for her now when she needs it. It's called Hydroxyzine.

I hope you can find something to ease your pup's itchy skin!
post #5 of 15
My family has a dog with FAD and seasonal allergies on top of it that make her chew herself to scabs and make her ears get worse. My absolute favorite ear medication I've found so far is Zymox. It uses enzymes to more naturally treat the problem. As such, it won't necessarily work on everything, but it has done wonders for our two Cockers' chronic ear infections. It took maybe four weeks to clear up initially, as they were so bad their ears were swollen nearly closed, but now they stay clear if I just clean their ears out with it every couple of weeks.

Another thing that helped them a lot was changing their food. What do you feed your baby? Food allergies can be a major contributer to these problems, especially the ear problems, even if they aren't the main cause.

Are you actually seeing fleas when she starts itching again? If not, it really might not be the fleas. Have you tried using Frontline or something for a month instead of the Advantage? We had a year were one flea med just stopped working and when we switched to a different one, the results were amazing. I don't trust any of the OTC flea meds like Biospot, Hartz, etc, and wouldn't try them personally under any circumstances.
post #6 of 15
Ouch!!! We had a bad allergy dog once. Most vets just assume flea allergies and the ones that have it the worst usually have something else going on. We got Jethro's under control thru a lot of trial and error. He was allergic to our wool rug (got rid of it). Had difficulty with some foods. Used Frontline. Shaved him when the weather permitted. And we got this great tar shampoo from the vet that was pretty stinky, but it was the best thing to sooth his skin.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

Samson eats Purina One. We used to use a cheaper brand but he didn't eat it, so we switched to Purina one, which is what my cat eats, and he loves the food. He was itching before the switch though. Maybe something all natural would help, but we just can't afford that right now but in a few months might be able to try it.

I don't like giving Benedryl because I just am not a big fan of putting medicine in the body, even my own, unless it's absolutely necessary. I think Dr's (including vets) are too quick to prescribe medicine for every little thing and it can't be good for you. If I had it their way me, my husband and our pets would be taking numerous medications daily. And as I said, the times I gave it to him t didn't do anything to help anyway.

MuleNag- is it expensive to get dogs allergy tested? That might be a good option. I couldn't find any fleas on him so I didn't even think he had fleas when I took him in but the vet found one and so came to the conclusion that was the problem. Unfortunately, even with the flea meds he still gets fleas from the yard because there is a colony of ferals (that I am trapping tonight for TNR!) that hangs around and I am sure they are infested with fleas.

wishiwas- where did you get the zymox?

I guess what it sounds like is it may not be the fleas causing the problem. And I did read that labs were prone to different types of allergies. Maybe I will look into allergy testing, or do trial and error to figure out what may be causing it

THANKS for your responses! (P.S. how do I put a quote from someone's post in my reply??)

Here's a picture of the big baby

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxsam View Post
THANKS for your responses! (P.S. how do I put a quote from someone's post in my reply??)
He's adorable!!

To Quote, go to the bottom of the post that you want to quote and click on the "QUOTE" button. The person's post will appear and you can delete out the parts you don't want to repeat.
post #9 of 15
OH my!! What a cutie!!

Yes, allergy testing is costly. We had to drive over 2 hrs to the nearest doggy dermatologist and then the visit and testing cost $500. I don't know the "real" term for the test, but they shaved a small section of fur and injected small amounts of allergens to see what triggered a reaction. I call it the poke test! But to me, that $500 was completely worth it! It is so much easier keeping her skin under control knowing exactly what is irritating it!

Zymox can be found at most online retailers. kvvet is one vetamerica is another. I think most vets can get it too, but they rarely suggest it...they love giving out drugs instead of more natural products!

My favorite ear cleaner is called Blue Power. I haven't tried Zymox (which I have heard wonderful things about from many dog owners, btw), but the Blue Power is the best thing I have tried!
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/BLUE.HTM

Whenever possible check out some better foods. Corn, wheat, soy and any thing that says by-product should be kept far away from allergy dogs....any dogs IMO. And that goes for treats too...no point in changing foods if the treats still contain the bad stuff.

Good luck!
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuleNag View Post

Whenever possible check out some better foods. Corn, wheat, soy and any thing that says by-product should be kept far away from allergy dogs....any dogs IMO. And that goes for treats too...no point in changing foods if the treats still contain the bad stuff.

Good luck!
What brands of dog(and cat) food and treats do you recommend? We def can't do the allergy testing right now, especially with the 4 orphaned kitties that weren't in our budget...I will just keep a log on what he eats and comes in contact with each day and when he seems the itchiest. Maybe that way I can narrow it down myself

Yay, I did the quote thing!
(now how do you quote more than one person? sorry, I'm MB clueless!)



Thanks
post #11 of 15
There are a lot of good foods out there, you just have to check the labels. Basically if you haven't heard of it, it's probably good! It seems like the better foods don't advertise as much.
Here are just a few brand names, but as I said, read the labels, there are a lot to choose from....
California Natural
Innova
Canidae
Nature's Variety
Wellness
Eagle Pak
Blue Buffalo
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuleNag View Post
There are a lot of good foods out there, you just have to check the labels. Basically if you haven't heard of it, it's probably good! It seems like the better foods don't advertise as much.
I feel that is so true with almost everything! The good things don't need to advertise b/c they are that good!

I have actually heard a lot about Innova and Canidae from other people. Found a store near me that caries them both. Think I will check it out this weekend and see how it goes. Hopefully DH will agree to spending a little extra money on our babies!!!

I also checked out that website for that Blue Ear stuff. Sounds great...I'm all about all natural stuff before putting artificial crap into the body!! Maybe I'll look for those ingredients this weekend as well!
post #13 of 15
Hang on....you're concerned about giving your dog benadryl, yet you use 2 flea medicines? I wouldn't worry about benadryl, the flea stuff is far more hazardous.

There has to be something you can do....I have no experience with flea allergies so I'm next to useless on this. Perhaps get a 2nd opinion from another vet? You never know what a fresh pair of eyes can find!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Hang on....you're concerned about giving your dog benadryl, yet you use 2 flea medicines?
Ya, I guess that does sound weird. But the stuff we are giving him is flea and heartworm preventative and I consider that a medicine that is necessary. The second flea medicine I just tried to see if it would work since the vet recommended it. Well it didn't work so we did not continue giving him the 2 meds. The benedryl isn't necessary as there are other ways to help him with being itchy, one of which is trying to fix the cause rather than just treating the symptoms!

We'll see if the new food has any impact on his skin, if not at least he will be getting better nutrition

Thanks
post #15 of 15
He's a beautiful dog. I sure hope you end up finding something that helps him!
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