Allergy Season – Atopica

Tierce in his cone... last year? We don't want to go back to this.

Tierce has started scratching again.  We caught it early and upped his Atopica from 2xweek to every day.  It seems to be working; he isn’t scratching as badly today and he’s been on the new regime nearly 2 weeks.  I hope this works, because I don’t want to be going back to the cone/T-shirt of previous years.  I don’t care how much medication he needs.

He had been scratching at his eyes and some of his hair around there is missing.  No hair seems to be missing today, but his eyebrows have that worn look that proves he’s been at them in the last few days.  Also, his chest is receiving some attention – not enough to make it raw, but enough to make it tacky.  This together is enough to make me have an attack of the screaming meemies whenever his hind leg starts to thump.

We are really happy that we seem to have found the answer to the nausea caused by the Atopica – a full anti-nauseant pill instead of a half makes ALL the difference.  That and Mischa feeds him his pill in the morning or early afternoon and he doesn’t have his meal until later in the evening.  The vet recommended keeping the pills in the fridge, but this hasn’t seemed to affect the nausea for Tierce, so down the little don’t-barf-on-the-carpet pill goes.

And it’s great that he doesn’t need Prednisone and other steroids.  It’s definitely good for dogs who can’t have anything else, but it’s really hard on the innards.

Right now, Tierce is sacking out on the floor after a trip to the dog park.  He scratched a little while he was there, but it wasn’t intense and he stopped when I yelled at him.

I’m also wondering if some of his itchiness is due to the fact that he’s going to be shedding any day now.  He’s losing regular amounts of random hair, but not the big clumps that we all know and love.  He looks absolutely gorgeous, but all that hair is a detriment once the weather turns warm.

I’m crossing my fingers that our early intervention will make all the difference.  So far, so good… his doctor is full up on Saturdays until June 12th, so I think Mischa is going to have to take him in during the week with my blessing (and bank card).

***

In other news, work is going apace on Shiba Inu Canada.  I’ve never done a newsletter before, but it is kind of fun to put everything together.  Fun and maddening, because MS Word doesn’t always think the same way I do.

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The Misanthropic Shiba

11 Comments

  1. Shots might seem like an unusual way to treat allergies, but they’re effective at decreasing sensitivity to triggers. The substances in the shots are chosen according to the allergens identified from a person’s medical history and by the allergist during the initial testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the standards used in preparing the materials for allergy shots given in the United States.

    • That’s one avenue we haven’t tried yet and maybe we’ll look at it. My vet thinks that it might be money wasted, based on Tierce’s profile, but you never know…

  2. I just ran across this post and thought I would share my experience with an itchy Shiba in case it helps someone else. My boy had horrendous allergies from age 4 1/2 to 12 1/2. The ONLY thing that ever made him completely itch-free was Atopica, although I used a different brand called Gengraf that I was able to get cheaper at Costco. He took it for almost two years at the end of his life and had no side effects, other than the upset stomach mentioned. (I should note that it was the bladder cancer he already had that ended his life at 12 1/2, not the Gengraf.) The other product that provided pretty good relief before we tried the Gengraf was Malaseb shampoo. These are just some other things for folks to look into. I know how upsetting it is to live with a miserable Shiba. Good luck!

  3. I thought my dog was the only one in the perma-cone and T-shirt!… My westie is 8 and been suffering with bad skin for almost 3 years. He has been on steroids and tried every diet, supplement, cream and spray you can imagine. He has been through all the allergy testing and had a vaccine made up, that also didn’t work – complete waste of money and meant that he couldn’t have any other medication while he was being treated. He now has very swollen feet (3 times the size) and can barely walk, as well as a bald neck and eye. His feet are totally bald. He has now been on Atopica for 4 days, he was sick the first 2 days, but I found that giving him the tablet 2 hours before he eats has kept him sickness free. I have heard horror stories about Atopica, but anything would be better than the condition he is in now. More research needed into these skin conditions, they are truly horrific and my heart goes out to anyone that has a dog with these problems. It’s heart breaking and hard for anyone to understand how it affects your life, unless they experience living with a dog that will actually rip his feet off if he was left to his own devices.
    My dog was ‘done’ a couple of months before his skin problem started… I am convinced that this skin allergy would have held off if he’d still had the male hormones present in his body. So it’s something to think about. I would do anything to turn the clocks back and am riddled with guilt. Hence I will do ANYTHING to make him better. Good to hear that Atopica is working for you – I’m keeping everything crossed for my westie.

  4. Oh, my male (Dakota) started getting hot spots when he blows his coats. Wasn't until last year that I figured it out. When he was 3, he got one hot spot (August). The following August, he got one hot spot. Last year, he got two in June. He blew his coat early — started in June! So last year I would bring him to work and bathe him every 3-4 days. NuHemp (made in Canada) has a nice shampoo for this (Therapy). This helps tremendously! (I also feed my dogs raw and/or high-quality canned food. I think if I wasn't feeding him as well as I do, he would be much worse. You may want to look into this as well. Good luck!

  5. A friend of mine dog's died on Atopica. He had severe allergies and after everything failed, he was put on the Atopica. It was the only medication that seemed to work. Unfortunately, after a month on full dosage (vet never reduced), he turned jauntice and went into liver failure. Meds were stopped immediately, but it didn't help. Damage already done and he had to be euthanized 2 weeks later. Just please be careful. Please follow directions carefully and get blood tested every week or two while on it.

  6. Oh, my male (Dakota) started getting hot spots when he blows his coats. Wasn't until last year that I figured it out. When he was 3, he got one hot spot (August). The following August, he got one hot spot. Last year, he got two in June. He blew his coat early — started in June! So last year I would bring him to work and bathe him every 3-4 days. NuHemp (made in Canada) has a nice shampoo for this (Therapy). This helps tremendously! (I also feed my dogs raw and/or high-quality canned food. I think if I wasn't feeding him as well as I do, he would be much worse. You may want to look into this as well. Good l

  7. A friend of mine dog's died on Atopica. He had severe allergies and after everything failed, he was put on the Atopica. It was the only medication that seemed to work. Unfortunately, after a month on full dosage (vet never reduced), he turned jauntice and went into liver failure. Meds were stopped immediately, but it didn't help. Damage already done and he had to be euthanized 2 weeks later. Just please be careful. Please follow directions carefully and get blood tested every week or two while o

  8. I got a small taste of Shiba+Cone this week, as Soba got fixed, and also got completely fixated on his wound. The amazing part was that he was downright TERRIFIED of the cone. You put it on him, put him down, and he freezes. He won't sit, walk, wiggle, nothing. Except that he starts to shake, literally due to fear. But the scar healed enough for him to forget it was there, and the cone is now retired. I hope Tierce doesn't need his this year! Good luck!

  9. I got a small taste of Shiba+Cone this week, as Soba got fixed, and also got completely fixated on his wound. The amazing part was that he was downright TERRIFIED of the cone. You put it on him, put him down, and he freezes. He won't sit, walk, wiggle, nothing. Except that he starts to shake, literally due to fear. But the scar healed enough for him to forget it was there, and the cone is now retired. I hope Tierce doesn't need his this year! Good

  10. I got a small taste of Shiba+Cone this week, as Soba got fixed, and also got completely fixated on his wound. The amazing part was that he was downright TERRIFIED of the cone. You put it on him, put him down, and he freezes. He won't sit, walk, wiggle, nothing. Except that he starts to shake, literally due to fear. But the scar healed enough for him to forget it was there, and the cone is now retired. I hope Tierce doesn't need his this year! Good luck!

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