House Mold and other allergens for your dog

January 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

OK it is winter time so you would think that there would be no allergens, Spring and Fall are the times for mold and pollens right?

Well yes and no – outdoor allergens are reduced this time of year because of the snow and the dormancy of the plants; however if you think about it – your house is now closed off. The windows are not open the furnace is on which means you are recirculating the same air in your house over and over. Even with an air filter and the fancy air purifiers it still is not the same as being able to exchange the air like we can during the warmer seasons. So this means you and your dog are actually more exposed to certain allergens such as house mold, house dust and house mites.

I had a very young dog come in this morning with bleeding ears. It has a double ear infection. It also was just recovering from a skin rash/infection and upon further questioning the dog has been licking its paws constantly. This dog has all the symptoms of a dog with allergies. Now a dog as young as this one should not have allergies it has not had enough time in its life to develop a reaction to something that is unless one of two things the dog has a really confused immune system or it is being bombarded with allergens. Upon further questioning the owner,a woman in her 30s, has for the first time in her life been diagnosed with asthma and allergies. They also just moved in to a house this year that is over 100 years old.

Hmm – there maybe something in the house that is contributing to both of their physical ailments. We shall see what she finds out as she is getting her house reinspected for mold and allergens.

Other Blog Posts about Dog and House Allergens

Dogs that Itch

There are several chemical treatments that may be used to help your dog with its itchy problem. Though most of these chemical treatments work, some dogs have severe and sometimes fatal, allergies to the chemicals. Dog house owners would …

Publish Date: 01/26/2010 11:02

Dog Allergies and Care « Grooming

Alsoto remember that dog allergies are cumulative, so if other allergens in your home, which may be, your dog allergies worse. Keeping the house clean and free from mold, dust, smoke and other potential problems. …

Publish Date: 01/26/2010 3:32

Allergies in Dogs | About Your Dog

She scratched and scratched and scratched. Knowing a little about allergies in dogs, we wondered if our dog’s symptoms related to an allergy. But what sort of allergy? Dog allergy symptoms always needs thorough investigation. … While that did work during the daytime, it seemed that at night when she was tucked up in her bed in another part of the house she could lick and scratch to her heart’s content and no-one would be any the wiser. Until morning. …

Publish Date: 01/24/2010 9:55

What are the Dog Allergies Symptoms? | Allergies Update

What plants can worsen allergies symptoms? Their are many plants in my parents house and I want to know which plants are causing me allergies. Helpermonkey Says: January 18th, 2010 at 12:58 am. You can narrow it down to ones that leave …

Publish Date: 01/17/2010 18:56

How to Breathe Easier by Reducing Home Allergens

Mold is a particularly nasty enemy in the fight against allergens because you can have it and not know it. It also loves moist environments where it thrives, and spreads itself by planting airborne spores in house dust. … This is not necessarily so and is a common misconception among allergy sufferers. Allergies to pets are caused by contact with pet dander, not pet hair or skin. Pet dander is comprised of dead skin shed from your cat or dog that become airborne. …

Publish Date: 11/06/2009 2:00

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Allergies and Vaccines

November 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

dogscratch Is this a description of your dog?

She has been biting her sides, paws, tail, anything she can get her mouth to and creating red, bald spots, some to the point of bleeding. These are along the sides of her body and on her tail. The last time she had all of her shots she got so sick she threw up blood and bile.

This was part of an email I received from a family member that does not live in the same state that I do and obviously she sees a different veterinarian. She is “due” for her yearly vaccinations. Nevermind my problem with receiving annual vaccinations, my first question was what has her vet done about this problem, before receiving the yearlys? The answer: “My vet said to just give her a benadryl and she can get her shots. She’ll be fine.”

Trying to control my anger and not to really be harsh on her current veterinarian I said WHAT THE H* (see I didn’t use the F-bomb) Why would a vet give vaccines to an obviously sick dog?

Clue number one that the dog is not healthy – it is scratching so much that it is self-mutilating itself. I don’t see too many healthy dogs scratching themselves till they bleed.

Clue number two – the last time the dog received its vaccines it vomitted blood for a couple days.

hmmm – maybe some diagnostics would be in order prior to vaccinating this dog.

Now of course I am not there to see the dog and I am only getting this info from email and a phone call, but I am fairly confident from the history I took and the long term symptoms, this poor dog has has allergies and right now possibly a staph infection (need some diagnostics to determine that one). Proper protocol is to not vaccinate unless the dog is healthy and from my perspective this dog’s immune system is not healthy and has a chronic condition which will need to be managed.

Ignoring all the other things I do for a dog with allergies such as diet changes, the one thing I for sure do is limit how many vaccines the dog receives. Now why would I do that if I just said the dog’s immune system is not well, shouldn’t it get all the vaccines to help protect it?

The problem is that the dog’s immune system is in overdrive it is hyperstimulated. It is reacting to something in the environment – food, grass, pollen, dust, mold, detergents, fabrics, trees, flowers, etc, etc, something. Well the worst thing that we can do is stimulate the immune system even more. How about vaccines? Well what is the purpose of a vaccine? It is to STIMULATE the immune system. In fact, the vaccine manufacturers have designed vaccines to stimulate the immune system as much as they can with having as few reactions as they can in HEALTHY dogs. Well guess what? An allergic dog does not have a healthy immune system and if you have a dog with allergies you usually can predict that within a month of receiving the “yearly” vaccines you have to bring your dog in for itchy skin, ear infections or even diarrhea.

I had one client that I told that information to and they were so stunned that they went back into their dogs health records and they did pinpoint that within 3 weeks of receiving vaccines every year their dog had to come in for a corticosteroid shot to help relieve the skin problems and itching. Since they came in the same time every year they just assumed it was from something in the environment. This past year after not receiving the vaccines they also did not have to come in for a anti-itch shot either.

I have made posts in the past about the new vaccine protocols and how dogs should be titer tested or receive vaccines every 3 years and definitely not annually; however further consideration must be taken for dogs with immune system problems like dogs with allergies. It may be best for those dogs to skip vaccines all together and if they must receive them then give them only those that are absolutely necessary. It does not make sense to stimulate the immune system when it is already overstimulated.

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Treating a Hot Spot on a dog

October 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Had one of my clients bring their dog in today for treatment of a hot spot. A hot spot is sore on your dog. It is a bacterial infection of the skin usually caused by trauma. Now most of the time it is self-induced trauma from licking or scratching due to allergies.

About 80 to 90% of the time you can take these simple steps to treat a hot spot –

1. Shave the hair from the area. Hair can trap moisture at the affected site and continue the irritation to the sore. Remove the hair will allow the hot spot to dry.

2. Wash with an antibacterial soap. Cleaning the affected area twice daily with an antibacterial soap to kill the bacteria causing the continued irritation and infection.

3. Apply an astringent to help ease the itching. A natural astringent that you may have at home is a tea bag. Place a cool but moist tea bag on the affected area several times a day. The tannic acid in the tea acts as an astringent. Otherwise other natural astringents are lavender oil and tea tree oil. There are other preparations your veterinarian may have to help relieve the itching. Do not put an ointment on the area as this will not allow the area to dry.

4. Prevent the dog from scratching and/or licking the area. If you can not stop the self-induced trauma the hot spot will not heal. Use a device to prevent the dog from irritating the spot more, such as an Elizabethean collar or even a t-shirt if the spot is on the body. Do not bandage the area because again it needs air to get to the spot to dry it out.

If you have a dog that has a hot spot that is one of the 20% that does not resolve using these simple methods, you will need to bring your dog to the vet and it will possibly need oral antibiotics to help clear up the secondary underlying infection.

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