EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

mercer5
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EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:15 am

Let me first start by saying I have poured through all the posts regarding anything to do with allergies on this site and many more and am coming to the conclusion I didnt want to....
Heres the skinny-
English Pointer "Turbo" born 9/04-developed minor allergies in 06, gotten significantly worse in 08 to present. Typical itching, scratching, hair loss, hot spots, sneezing, wheezing,etc.
One odditie-He got into rat poison in 11/08, $2400 later and he lived to bark about it, BUUUUT, almost 1 year later it happended again, same thing except I got smart and told Veterinary Cardiologist (sounds expensvie and is!) to just give me the heavy dose of vitamin K and we'll take our chances and once again he lived to bark about it.-Not sure if that has anything to do with allergies but I believe rat poison can have a negative affect on the immune system.
With that said here is what I have tried with minimal to no results
1. Change his food- A. put on Science Diet test per vet, no changes B.Tried Abady, slim to no changes C. Tried Solid Gold, VAn PAttens, Iams, all with no changes
2. Holisitc methods-A. Tried fish oil pills both off the shelf and spendy ones, no changes
3. Bathing methods-A. Tried all the soaps and lotions, no changes
4. Benadryl- A. Tried 50mg twice a day, very minor changes
5. Household changes-no fabric softener, synthetic dog beds, no fragrant cleaners, etc
6. Tried Prednisone and Cephalexin-This works but I have to keep him on 50Mg daily JUST to control it, the minute I reduce to 25mg daily then, EOD it comes right back, I cannot keep him on that for the entire winter (summer not as bad). I feel he would have to stay on Prednisone at one level or another almost all year-not an option. The skin infection/stink comes back right away if I stop the Cephalexin
7. Feb of 2009 I had his blood tested by the vet and sent off to Spectrum LAbs in Phoenix, results came back with allergies to almost everything, i didnt want to buy into all the allergies so that is what prompted the food testing. No real changes so in Feb of 2010 I ordered the shots from Spectrum. Did the whole series through 2010 with 3 different vials and starting again this winter they got even worse, he is currently on the "maintenance" shots monthly and still no changes.

Hence why I am saying i'm at wits end. Here are the questions I pose to the group and would be happy to entertain anything as the quality of life for my ,still very energetic pointer, is getting worse.

1. Do I take him to a board certifed veterinary dermatologist? I have already talked to their office and told them of my plight and they would basically do the same thing only they will "skin test" my dog, they then prescribe shots.

2. Do I keep him on Prednisone? what are long term affects? When he is on for a long time he gets very naughty

3. How much worse can it get before he is a bloody mess? I can put booties, nose cone and a jacket on to prevent that but is that realsitic?

4. Did I miss not trying something?

5. Has anyone had experince with SPectrum Labs?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, I feel as if I have tried almost everything and YES I have invested GOBS of cash into this project, way more than what my wife knows--shhhhhhhh!

Thanks

JIm and Turbo !

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:30 am

Check his thyroid and pancreas.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by dog dr » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:39 am

you never mentioned if he had ever been skin scraped. hopefully the vet did, but you never know. would hate to think this is a chronic case of sarcoptic mange. sometimes sarcoptes can be hard to find, so it might not hurt to run a course of ivomec thru him, but talk to your vet. and yes, check his thyroid as well. a full thickness skin bipsy sent to a good pathologist might not be a bad idea either. pemphigus comes to mind, but would be farther down on the list for me.
Last edited by dog dr on Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:40 am

Looking for what? Just an abnormality, woudl a blood test show?
Jim

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Nhuskr » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:41 am

Sorry to hear about your allergy issues. They are not fun. You've probably read my posts about my lab's allergies if you've searched the archives. I will say I didn't notice an improvement to resistance with the allergy shots until after the second year. Keep up the shots. I've no experience with the allergy labs myself, but my vet uses Dr. John MacDonald in Auburn, Al; at least that's where the serum comes from. PM if you want the address.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:42 am

I did have his head scraped twice looking for the mange and both times came back negative. What would the thyroid be doing or not doing?
I am just trying to get as detailed as I can to avoid a vet chasing his tail

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by dog dr » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:43 am

mercer5 wrote:Looking for what? Just an abnormality, woudl a blood test show?
Jim
not sure what you mean jim. if you are asking about the thyroid, yes, a blood test will tell you what you need to know. is the dog an easy keeper??

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:50 am

Yea, hes a keeper, more a family dog now.
What about Atopica, I havent tried that yet?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by jlp8cornell » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:54 am

A trip to a derm specialist seems long overdue. How far are you from U Wisc?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by big steve46 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:00 am

Thyroid is the first thing I thought of due to it's overall effect on metabolism and the immune system. A test that's low normal could be an indication for treatment according to some. Nothing to lose, and keep in mind dogs don't assimilate thyroid meds as well as humans do. Just a thought, and don't be afraid to distrust "normal ranges" of tests.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:30 am

UW vet clinic is 50 minutes, I talked with tthem and they didnt seem very helpful, the other clinic is in Appleton which is 90 minutes north.

I will call them today for an update

I might look at a different vet, mine doesnt seem to have a ton of expertise on allergies since the good one left for another clinic. I hate to keep chasing since I will have to go through all the BS again.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by dog dr » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:41 am

mercer5 wrote:Yea, hes a keeper, more a family dog now.
What about Atopica, I havent tried that yet?
what i meant by the keeper question is does he hold his weight well, or is he even a little over weight maybe. if so, that would also lean toward a thyroid issue.

atopica may help, i have had pretty good success with it. kinda hard on the wallet, IMHO, though.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:47 am

As a matter of fact, he has gotten fat and cannot stop eating..................hmmmmmmmmmm

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:07 pm

Thyroid.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:39 pm

I have experienced what you are going through with your EP with my dog (a boxer) although the implications that he is a "lap dog" and to some on the forum is not as important i will tell you the thyroid advice is good advice..its one of the things my dog was tested for as well and he had all the symptoms your dog has..the only thing is just make sure you ask about the CANINE THYROID PROFILE as well as the in house test they often do because the CANINE THYROID PROFILE is sent away and if its positive will also tell you if it is due to genetics that your dog has it and it tests MANY things where as the in house test only tests for the T4 levels which gives a result of a number that says if your dogs thyroid is low or high but does not give as much info as doing both tests..im sure your vet would suggest the 2 anyway but my first vet didnt and just did the one so i had to come back later for my dog to get more blood work when it could have all been done in one visit....ruth
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:27 pm

Would you remember what the cost was? a couple hundred or more spendy, that might give me some clue as to what they are doing?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:45 pm

mercer5 wrote:Would you remember what the cost was? a couple hundred or more spendy, that might give me some clue as to what they are doing?
Yes the in house(T4) cost was $ 85 ..and the one they send out (CANINE THYROID PROFILE) was $155.....ruth
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by big steve46 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:46 pm

GUNDOGS wrote:
mercer5 wrote:Would you remember what the cost was? a couple hundred or more spendy, that might give me some clue as to what they are doing?
Yes the in house(T4) cost was $ 85 ..and the one they send out (CANINE THYROID PROFILE) was $155.....ruth

WOW! That's over twice what it would cost in S. Illinois.
big steve

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by CherrystoneWeims » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:50 pm

Definitely do a full thyroid panel. It can tell you a lot. Have the results sent to Jean Dodds if necessary.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:01 am

big steve46 wrote:
GUNDOGS wrote:
mercer5 wrote:Would you remember what the cost was? a couple hundred or more spendy, that might give me some clue as to what they are doing?
Yes the in house(T4) cost was $ 85 ..and the one they send out (CANINE THYROID PROFILE) was $155.....ruth

WOW! That's over twice what it would cost in S. Illinois.
Yes it definitley would depend on the vet and where you live as to what the cost would be thats just what i paid.....ruth
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:39 am

Ruth, is there a Canadian vs. US currency factor in that cost?
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Chaingang » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:22 am

I've used Atopica in the past. Worked very well. As the Doc stated it is rather expensive. Good thing is that if it works you can then taper the dosage down making a bit more live able.

side affects are almost nill.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by sully511 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:51 pm

You can also look into using cyclosporin (generic) instead of Atopica, it can be compounded from a compounding pharmacy. They say it doesn't work as well but I have seen it work. The cost of that is still on the expensive side, but it's not as much as the Atopica and the people that I have seen use it are happy.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:18 pm

Cajun Casey wrote:Ruth, is there a Canadian vs. US currency factor in that cost?
$1.00 u.s is worth $1.02 canadian and has been pretty much at par for a while.. those amounts i gave were in canadian funds..things are just generally more expensive here but there are advantages like "free" health care so i dont complain much especially having 5 kids :D ....ruth
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by CherrystoneWeims » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:50 pm

One thing you may want to try feeding is either raw or a crockpot diet. This way YOU control everything that your dog eats and you won't be having those extra additives which could be causing him problems.

I've seen this used with success by several of my friends with their dogs.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by dog dr » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:26 pm

update??

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:43 am

Update-
Just got back results from Michigan State University for his thyroid
TT4 25
TT3 1.0
FT4 7--low
FT3 2.8---low
T4autoantibody 0
T3 autoantibody 5
Thyroid Stimulating hormone 39---high
Thyroglobulin autoantibdoy 0

so I have him on meds now at thyroxie .5mg, 2xday

He has been on it since Friday with no real changes yet.

Thoughts???
Jim

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Sharon » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:54 am

I've been through a similiar journey. After a year and a half it turned out to be sarcoptic mites. They never show in several scrapings but we treated it as mites and it was cured. Used Multi Advantage.

My dogs didn't have wheezing or sneezing though.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by dlfl » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:03 pm

My setter tested positive for 23 different things. After many months and trying the best treatments available, I had to make the hardest decision in my life.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by RoostersMom » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:18 pm

My sister has switched her pup to a raw diet totally. His allergies have improved and he doesn't have itching and hot spots. Is this something that you can try? I don't know if your dog's allergies are environmental or food-related, so I'm not sure it would help you.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:25 pm

Because something took care of ones dogs allergies that has no bearing as to what would work with another. Allergies are unique to each individual so naturally the treatment would be just as unique. If you are allergic to peanuts you better stop eating peanuts but that would have no effect for someone allergic to chicken.

It will be a completely independant study to fimd what any dog is allergic too and then keeping that substance out of it environment or diet.

Hope you can find the problem and therefore the solution for your dog but there is nothing any of can do or even help with till you find that out.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by big steve46 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:13 pm

mercer5 wrote:Update-
Just got back results from Michigan State University for his thyroid
TT4 25
TT3 1.0
FT4 7--low
FT3 2.8---low
T4autoantibody 0
T3 autoantibody 5
Thyroid Stimulating hormone 39---high
Thyroglobulin autoantibdoy 0

so I have him on meds now at thyroxie .5mg, 2xday

He has been on it since Friday with no real changes yet.

Thoughts???
Jim

I would think it would take a couple of weeks to notice a difference, but Dog Dr will give you a better opinion.
big steve

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:07 pm

mercer5 wrote:Update-
Just got back results from Michigan State University for his thyroid
TT4 25
TT3 1.0
FT4 7--low
FT3 2.8---low
T4autoantibody 0
T3 autoantibody 5
Thyroid Stimulating hormone 39---high
Thyroglobulin autoantibdoy 0

so I have him on meds now at thyroxie .5mg, 2xday

He has been on it since Friday with no real changes yet.

Thoughts???
Jim

Thats great news jim..not that theres a thyroid issue but that it was discovered!!..definitely give it time..you may not see any changes for upto 30 days..but it will start to get your dogs system on the right track again..i bet in a month your issues will be behind you now being on the meds..keep in mind you will have to go back with the dog a few times for more bloodwork cause the dose will likely change throughout his life..great news for you..hope this all works out!!..ruth :D
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:18 pm

yes, they have me back in a month for more blood work. we'll see...patience is my middle name with this oredeal but the dog is really really bad right now and I want to make him more comfortable, I might have to go back on prednisone for a time again

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:36 pm

It takes up to two months for stabilization, detox, and recovery. Stick with it and you won't regret it.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:07 pm

He looks absolutely horrendous right now, chewing eveywhere, will it hurt to put back on prednisone and cephalexin right now to calm things down?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:37 pm

Any thoughts on Cushings disease?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:55 pm

mercer5 wrote:Any thoughts on Cushings disease?
Absolutely a possibility. Also Addison's.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:04 pm

update
Its been a month since posting and nothing much has changed, if anything its gotten worse, if I take him off 12mg of Predisone for more than a day he gets much worse, its all over his body, he itches everywhere. His sides are scabbed and down to the skin. Spoke with Vet about Atopica but very hesistant since its 4-6 weeks before any improvment plus keeping him on shots. Nothing other than prednisone seems to calm the itching AT ALL. Still on thyroid meds with no real difference
I am going to call certified veterinary dermatologist tomorrow, there are only 2 in WI.

Is it possible I could be facing the inevitable?


.........................Jim

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Cajun Casey » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:16 pm

It sounds so odd. Have you tried any topical antimicrobial shampoos?

I know some people think it's crazy, but you might look at Vetericyn products.
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by gsp-fan » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:21 pm

My Bluetick has the same level of itching as your dog scabs/open sores etc. It look less than a week for the Atopica to take hold.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by jlp8cornell » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:26 pm

am going to call certified veterinary dermatologist tomorrow
Aren't there derm specialists at U Wisc Madison???? Seems like it is long worth a trip.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:26 pm

mercer5 wrote:update
Its been a month since posting and nothing much has changed, if anything its gotten worse, if I take him off 12mg of Predisone for more than a day he gets much worse, its all over his body, he itches everywhere. His sides are scabbed and down to the skin. Spoke with Vet about Atopica but very hesistant since its 4-6 weeks before any improvment plus keeping him on shots. Nothing other than prednisone seems to calm the itching AT ALL. Still on thyroid meds with no real difference
I am going to call certified veterinary dermatologist tomorrow, there are only 2 in WI.

Is it possible I could be facing the inevitable?


.........................Jim
Yes, there is that possibility. And if the dog can not have a normal life without hurting in someway then it will be up to you to do the thing that is best for the dog. It's a bummer for sure but it exactly what we ll face with every dog we have. None of know what tomorrow will bring but we do have to be strong enough to face it. I would try the dermatologist and if you don't find an answer there it seems you have done everything possible to help your dog. And then is when you will need to think about your dog and his comfort and happiness.

Good luck and I will pray for the best,

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:49 pm

I am curious as to who else has tried Atopica and how soon did you see results?

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by Chaingang » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:38 pm

mercer5 wrote:update
Spoke with Vet about Atopica but very hesistant since its 4-6 weeks before any improvment plus keeping him on shots. Nothing other than prednisone seems to calm the itching AT ALL. Still on thyroid meds with no real difference
I am going to call certified veterinary dermatologist tomorrow, there are only 2 in WI.

Is it possible I could be facing the inevitable?


.........................Jim
Didn't take 4-6 weeks for my dog to see results on Atopica. In fact I think I saw noticeable results in 10 days to 2 weeks. I think your on the right track in looking up a specialists, although they aren't cheap, but at least you will get an expert's opinion.

Gotta be frustrating. I've been there. Keep us posted.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by mercer5 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:12 am

The more I google from the posts left here the things point out to try Atopica. I have also read numersous articles on rodenticide toxicity and the long term affects and they all point to a compromised immune system resulting in hyper sensativity to allergies. I also came across 2 like articles from other owners who have experienced similar issue with itiching after rat poison ingestiion.
I dont think a dermatologist will be the best, I am going to try an internist first to get the facts about long term affects of rat poison in dogs. Since my dog got into it twice it it just that much more like cause of his condition now.
We will aslo be canvasing the neighbors to see if anyone has used rat posion (and why) this spring, unfortunatelly I have my suspicions about a dog hater right behind us....

I checked PetMeds for prices on Atopica and its generic and my vet is right there on costs, looking at month 1 about $170, does that sound right?
Jim

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by gsp-fan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:30 am

That sounds about right - I would go with getting them from the vet vs PetMeds just in case there is an issue with the meds the vet will be more likely to take care of it.
Also we only buy the 15 pack and it lasts us a month. We do not give everyday and it is only to get her over the hump until the season of blooming is over. A trick we
found is that the pills made our dog sick to take so we froze them and no issues after that. Glad you looked into the internist thing.

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:27 am

mercer5 wrote:The more I google from the posts left here the things point out to try Atopica. I have also read numersous articles on rodenticide toxicity and the long term affects and they all point to a compromised immune system resulting in hyper sensativity to allergies. I also came across 2 like articles from other owners who have experienced similar issue with itiching after rat poison ingestiion.
I dont think a dermatologist will be the best, I am going to try an internist first to get the facts about long term affects of rat poison in dogs. Since my dog got into it twice it it just that much more like cause of his condition now.
We will aslo be canvasing the neighbors to see if anyone has used rat posion (and why) this spring, unfortunatelly I have my suspicions about a dog hater right behind us....

I checked PetMeds for prices on Atopica and its generic and my vet is right there on costs, looking at month 1 about $170, does that sound right?
Jim
Sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your dog which is to be commended..it may take time but im confident you will figure it out..if not and the time comes for you to make a decision to go forward or not and the only choice is to do the enevidable at least you will know you tried everything for him..as far as the neighbour goes well that boils my blood..if you suspect your neighbour doing that i would set up a camera and leave it running so if the dog gets sick again you can play it back and have your proof if you need it..hope its not the case though..hope all the best for you......ruth
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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by big steve46 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:30 am

Hopefully, whoever you consult will consider sensitivities to chemicals that could come from a variety of sources aka Clincal Ecology, which is not a true allergy.

It's an outside chance that it could be that. Google up Clinical Ecology. It's an alternative consideration with humans that is effective in tough cases. How it might relate to a dog, I don't know.
big steve

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Re: EP allergies-tried everything-at wits end-HELP

Post by brule » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:40 pm

Very interesting stuff being posted and it is much help to me. I have a lab that I've been having lots of skin issues with. Have tried a ton of things and when something seems to be working his skin just explodes and gets worse. Heading to the vet Monday, so hopefully they can get something figured out. Lots of great help from the guys on this board. Keep updating, lots of good info.

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