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Ask the Vet About Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Symptoms & Diagnosis
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Ask the Vet About What Are Allergies in Dogs and Cats?
Dr. Michael Dym
Dr. Michael Dym
VMD, Veterinarian
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DoctorDym.com

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: 08/24/16
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair Loss

Question:My Little Rescue Pomeranian Came With Some Skin Problems But Had Been Doing Very Well On A Holistic Pet Food. For The First Time I Had A Flea Infestation In Yard And Home. My Other Dogs Did Well On Advantage (which I Don't Like To Use) But He Did Not. The Vet Recommended Comforts. At The Time He Had A Few Hot Spots. The Comforts Killed All The Fleas But He Started Losing His Under Coat And Then All His Coat. From The Neck Up To His Ears He Is Perfect. His Legs Also Have Hair But His Back From Neck To Tail Is Now Bare. I Tried The Allopathic Shampoos And Now Using A Holistic One. I Have To Have Him Wear An Elizabethan Cone So That He Doesn't Reach The Areas But Every Day He Is Balder. I Just Switched Him From Petcurean Small Breed To Petcurean Duck To Try To Cool Him. He Is Depressed From Wearing This Collar And Spends Time Hiding. He Is Usually A Very Playful Boy. I Don't Know If Comforts Could Have Done This. Just Prior To All This He Had Extensive Routine Blood Work And All His Numbers Were Fine. I Just Started Him On Halo Dream Coat (had Him On Nordic) And Standard Process Dermatrophin And Standard Acp. I Am An Acupuncturist. Any Suggestions Or Do You Feel Comforts Could Have Done This?

Answer:Many Possibilities. If You Prefer To Go Holistic, You Need To Consult With A Proper Trained Holistic Or Homeopathic Vet In Your Area As Your Pet Needs Chronic Treatment And Followup To Treat Constitutionally. See Www.drpitcairn.com For Vet In Your Area

Date: 01/30/16
Category: Skin Care
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Vasculitis

Question:After A Rabbies And Distemper Vaccine, My 10.5 Year Australian Shepherd, Developed Bad Skin Problems, Which Put Him On Short Term Antibiotics, Pred And Keto. It Cleared, But Then A Few Months Later He Developed Vasculitis With A Little Bacteria According To A Punch Biopsy. He's On Pentoxifylline For 10 Days , But I Don't See Too Much Improvement. At His Age, Is It Worth To Trying A Short Dose Of Pred Again. I Worry About His Immune System When He Comes Off Of It. What Can I Do To Help Rebuild It Or Keep It Strong. He Has Red Lesions In Different Areas Around His Body But Mostly Near His Spine And Neck. We Are Unsure If This Has Developed From The Vaccines, Medications Or His Underwater Treadmill And Swimming Therapy. We Used To Let His Coat Air Dry After Sessions. Any Advice Is Greatly Appreciated.

Answer:This Is One That I Would Explore Treatment With A Constitutional Veterinary Homeopath. Other Than Pred And/or Pentoxyphyllline, I Dont Know Of Any Other Options. You Could Ask A Vet Dermatologist. As Both An Experienced Traditional Vet And A Homeopathic Veterinarians Of 25 Years Experience, I Have Also Treated These Cases With Homeopathy. To Learn More See Www.doctordym.com And The Links There. Many Homeopaths Work With Clients Nationwide Over The Phone Or By Skype

Date: 01/21/16
Category: Skin Care
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Cat Pulls Out Clumps Of Hair

Question:Max, My Short Hair American Mix Breed Cat Is 11. A Bit High Strung And Prone To Throwing Up. Otherwise Pretty Healthy. His Black Coat Of Hair Has Always Looked Very Sleek, Very Shiny And Healthy. (we Got The Right Food For Him Now So Digestive Is Better By The Way.) At Age 10, Max Started Pulling Out Small Clumps Of Hair. Just Randomly... Though More Is On The Back Than Other Areas. I Do Not See Any Sores Or Lesions On The Skin, Just Patches Of Skin With No Hair. We Had Had A Bad Summer For Fleas In California Due To The Drought So The Vet Suggested "california Itch" A Flea Allergy. She Felt Getting Fleas Under Control Would Help. We Switched To Revolution, Which Works Great And Have Kept Up On Max's Monthly Flea Treatments. Now It Is Winter And Really Very Few Fleas Anywhere. But Max Has As Many Pulled Out Patches As Ever. Could This Be Nerves, Or Mange Or Some Other Ailment? If There Are Any Tests You Can Suggest We Try I Can Approach The Vet About Further Testing. And Why At Age 10? By The Way, There Are No Major Household Changes. No One Has Left Or Moved For Years. Max And I Sleep Every Night In My Bedroom As Always. Poor Little Max Looks Rather Moth Eaten. I Want To Restore His Health If Possible. Thank You For Your Input, Doctor.

Answer:I Doubt It Is Mange. Other Types Of Allergies, Including Inhalent/contact Allergies, And/or Food Allergies Are Possible, Even If On Same Diet For Years, And At This Age. Also Anxious Hair Pulling Does Exist. I Would Ask Vet About Possibly Trying Drug Amitryptylline, Which Is Antihistamine And Can Also Help If Any Stress Component To It Also Add Fatty Acid Like Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3 From 1800petmeds.

Date: 08/27/14
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cant Get Rid Of Fleas

Question:We Have A 12 Week Old Mini Doxie Puppy Who Has Long Hair. We Are Having Problems With Fleas. We Have Put Frontline On Him And Also Sentry Medication That Goes On The Back. The Frontline Worked For About Two Weeks And He Was Back To Scratching And Biting. The Other Didnt Give Him Any Relief At All. Semed To Make It Worse. He Whines And Cries As He Is Scratching And Biting And Has Started To Leave Scabs On His Back And Legs. We Have Even Tried The Homeade Stuff With Dawn Soap And Vinegar. While It Made His Coat Shine He Was Back To It In A Hour Or So. What Else Can We Do To Get Rid Of Them. I Dont Know What Else To Do. We Cant Afford The Expensive Meds But I Cant Stand To See Him In Such Discomfort.

Answer:I Would Try Oral Comfortis From 1800petmeds, As Well As See Vet As Likely Needs Antibiotic To Control Secondary Skin Infection Which Can Also Cause Itching As Well.

Date: 03/19/14
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Cause Of Dog's Death

Question:My 11-year-old Pomeranian Suddenly Stopped Eating On Sunday, And Was Put To Sleep On Tuesday; However, We Are Still Uncertain About The Cause Of All This. When We Took Him To The Vet On Monday, We Told The Vet Our Dog Wasn't Eating And So The Vet Took Blood Tests, And While Taking Urine Samples, She Shaved Off The Fur On My Dog's Underside. There, The Skin Was Red And Bruised, From The Chest All The Way To The Inner Thighs. We Never Noticed This Because My Dog Had A Thick Coat Of Fur. The Dr Then Did An Ultrasound And Saw Stones In His Urinary Tract. It Was Concluded That My Dog Needed To Be Hospitalized In Order To Determine The Cause Of His Lack Of Appetite And The Severe Bruising. However, We Took Him To Another Dr For A Second Opinion. The Second Dr Also Concluded Similar Findings, Stating That My Dog Needed To Be Hospitalized For Further Testings. My Dog Was Weak, Not Eating, Not Drinking Much Water, And Therefore Was Connected To A Drip. The Next Day, Dr Called Us And Informed Us That My Dog's Condition Was Deteriorating. They Found Kidney Stones As Well As Shadows Through X-ray Scans. They Also Said My Dog's Stomach Was In Extreme Pain, And The Blood In His Body Wasn't Clotting. Most Importantly, He Still Wasn't Eating And Was Extremely Tired. They Informed Us That Our Dog Might Have Internal Bleeding (thus, The Red Bruising), A Tumor That Broke, Poisoned, Tick Bite Fever, Etc... There Were Many Hypotheses As To What Happened To My Dog, But None Were Clear Until Further Tests Be Conducted. We Were Given Options To Either Let The Dr Continue To Check And Find Out What's Going On, Or Put Him To Sleep. If We Were To Continue, The Next Step Would Be Performing A Full-body Ultrasound While Anesthetized Because He Was In Too Much Pain. However, This Was A Highly Dangerous Move Because My Dog May Never Wake Up From It As He Was Too Weak. It Was A Difficult Decision But In The End, We Chose To End My Dog's Misery And Let Him Have A Peaceful Sleep. However, I Am Still Curious As To What Caused My Dog's Sudden Lack Of Appetite (he Was Perfectly Fine Up Until Saturday Night) And The Red Bruising That Covered His Entire Underside (his Tummy, Genital Area, Inner Thigh). My Dog Had Been Healthy All These Years Without Major Illness, Although Two Years Ago He Had A Slight Urinary Tract Infection. I Don't Want To Regret Over Making This Decision... Please Help, Thank You.

Answer:From Your Description It Does Sound Like Your Dog Had Problem Blood Clotting,(from Your Description Of The Bruising) But I Think Your Vets Could Have Been Able To Make That Diagnosis By Doing Initial Blood Work, Etc Which Should Show Low Platelet Count Possibly. If Low Platelets, Most Common Cause In This Breed At This Age Is Autoimmune Disorder Called Autoimmune Thromcytopenia, Which Is Where Immune System Destroys Platelets, Known As Itp . Not Sure Why They Would Need To Anesthetize A Dog In This Shape To Do Ultrasound. I Have Not Heard Of That. If Dog Had Itp He Should Have Been Immediately Started On Immune Suppressive Dose Of Prednisone And Possibly Other Immune Suppressive Drugs To Give Him A Chance. Not Sure It Sounds Like They Did That? I Will Usually Start These Dogs On Doxycycline As Well, In Case Tick Born Infections Involved. Stones Found In Kidneys, Etc Have No Role Here.

Date: 02/28/14
Category: Skin Care
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: White Flakes On My Dog

Question:My Dog Has Developed White Flakes On Her Coat The Last 3 Weeks Or So And Want To Know What This Could Be? Dry Skin? Dandoruf?

Answer:Dry Skin And/or Dandruff Is Possible. Hormonal Changes And/or Allergies Can Be Underlying Factors, As Well As Secondary Yeast Or Bacterial Infection. Try Malaseb Shampoo From 1800petmeds Every Few Days. See Vet For Assessment

Date: 12/06/13
Category: Allergy
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Scratching

Question:My Dog Is Always Scratching. She Has Scratched So Much That She Has Bald Areas. What Is The Best Treatment.?

Answer:Depends Upon Cause Of Itching. Itching Can Be Due Commonly To Inhalent/contact Allergies, Food Or Flea Bite Allergies, Secondary Infections, As Well As Mange Mites. Best To Have Vet Exam And Assessment To Sort These Out For Best Treatment. You Could Try Yucca Intensive, Proanthozone And Missing Link Supplements From 1800petmeds For Allergy Reduction And Skin Coat Health.

Date: 11/15/13
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: When Is It Time.

Question:My Cat Just Turned 16 Yr And Is An Indoor Cat. I Realize That At Her Age She Is In End Of Life. She Has Had Diarrhea For Over A Month. She Hardly Uses Her Box And I Clean Up After Her Every Day, Sometimes More That Once A Day. I Am At Least Happy When She Is Using The Tile Floor Around Her Box Instead Of The Carpet. The Last 6-8 Months She Has Urinated In Several Spots Around The House, I Clean The Carpet Every Time, I Have Had To Completely Block Off Some Rooms. She Is Still Agile Enough To Jump Up To Her Food Which Is On A Counter In The Laundry Area To Keep The Dog From Eating It. She Is Eating Daily Dry Iams Senior Cat Food. She Was Always A Tiny Cat But Is About 4 Lbs Now, Most She Ever Weighted Was 6. Her Coat Is Still Glossy And Soft But She Feels Like Skin Covered Bones. I Had Intended To Just Let Her Go Naturally When It Was Time But Am Wondering If I Should Stop The Insanity And Have Her Put Down. This Sounds So Callous When I Write It. She Has Had A Good Life. Should I Just Wait It Out Eventually She Will Go Naturally.

Answer:I Would Actually Have A Vet Exam And Blood Work, As She May Have A Treatable Condition Like Overactive Thyroid, Which Can Be Determined From Blood Work And May Be Able To Be Treated. Maybe She Is Genetically Prone To Live To 18 Or More.

Date: 11/08/13
Category: Pain/Inflammation
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Extremely Sensitive Skin

Question:Our Samoyed Has Had Several Holes In His Skin Which Were Noticed When They Were The Size Of A Pencil Eraser. The Worst Much Larger On His Chest, Was Not Discovered Under His Thick Fur Until His Entire Chest Was Filled With Infection. During Surgery The Vet Said It Was Like Hamburger And She Was In A Quandary As To How Much She Could Remove And Still Have The Dog Live. After Months Of Care He Did Survive And We Have Now Reduced His Medication Dose Down To 100 Mg Of Ketoconazole & 25 Mg Of Cyclosporine Every Other Day. His Skin Is Extremely Sensitive And He Yelps At Even Having A Loose Tuft Of Hair Pulled Out. Last Spring We Need To Get The Blown Coat Out And Give Him A Bath. To Accomplish This We Gave Him A Tramadol Table Which Seemed To Work Well. On A Recent Grooming This Fall I Did The Same With Limited Success. Of Note And Possibly Related: Last Fall He Developed A Large Mass On His Forearm That Eventually Grew To The Size Of A Tennis Ball. It Was Biopsied At The University Of Co. And Declared Level Three Cancer. He Wore An E Collar For Three Months To Keep Him From Chewing At It And We Were Informed That When It Burst He Would Not Heal And Would Be In Pain. Options Of Removing The Leg With A 50% Possibility Of Success And Adding Kemo To Raise It To 70% Were Suggested And Declined. The Very Week We Had Decided It Was Time To Put Him Down We Noticed The Mass Decreasing In Size And Eventually Disappearing. Now, With The Exception Of The Skin Issue He Acts Like A Puppy At 8 Years Old. I Suspect This Skin Sensitivity Has Always Been There As He Would Always See The Hair Brush And Run To Hide. Thanks For Your Time And Any Insight You Might Be Able To Provide!

Answer:Not Sure What You Are Asking. However In This Case I Would Work With A Holistic Vet On Improving Her Overall Health And Immune System To Help Deal With Infection And Sensitive Skin. To Find A Holistic Vet Near You Go To Www.ahvma.org

Date: 10/12/13
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Flea Treatment Not Helping

Question:My Dog Is Constantly Biting And Scratching, He Can't Get A Break. He Has Crazy Fleas That Are So Hard To Get Rid Of. We Are Trying To Use Pet Armor Pipettes But They Don't Seem To Be Working Because He Has Such A Thick Coat We Barely Make It On The Skin Cause It's Hard To Part His Fur And Put It On The Back Of His Neck Or Between The Shoulders.we Gave Him Treatment On The 4th, Is It Safe To Apply Another Treatment Or Am I Using It Right?

Answer:I Would Try Different Product As I Am Not Fan Of Pet Armour. Try Flea 4x From 1800petmeds. Also Consider Oral Comfortis As Well.

Date: 09/28/13
Category: Allergy
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hives

Question:Hi, My 1 Year Old American Bulldog/chocolate Lab Woke Up With Large Welts On Her Body That Appear To Be Hives. Her Skin Is Not Red Where The Welts Are, But She Is Itching And Biting At The Affected Areas. There Have Been No Changes In Food, Shampoo, Detergent, Etc. The Only New Thing She Has Been In Contact With Is A Rug I Purchased Yesterday. I Removed The Rug, Gave Her A Cool Shower To Wash Anything Off Her Coat That Could Still Be Lingering, I Also Gave Her Benadryl To Help With The Itching. Is This Most Likely An Allergic Reaction? The Material Of The Rug Is Polyester Like A Lot Of Her Beds, But Perhaps It Was Treated With A Chemical That She Is Allergic To. Is There Anything Else I Could Or Should Do To Help Her Or Make Her More Comfortable? Thank You For Your Time And Help :)

Answer:Cant Say For Sure If Rug. Could Be Other Inhalent/contact Allergies, Especially Grasses, Trees, Pollens, Etc. Benadryl Is Fine To Try As Is Yucca Intensive From 1800petmeds. Add Be Well Fatty Acid Supplement To Meals. See Vet For Allergy Workup And/or Cortisone Therapy If Itching Persists.

Date: 09/11/13
Category: Skin Care
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Addison's Disease

Question:My 11 Yr Old Rottie Has Addison's And We Are Treating Her With Prednisone. She Has Been Losing Her Hair And Has A Skin Rash That Has Raised Scabs And Is Raw, Sometimes Bloody. Her Skin Is Very Dry And Her Coat Has Turn Very Corse And Has A Red Tint To It. Can You Tell Me If This Is Due To Addison's Disease,Is The Medicine Causing This Or Could It Be Something Else? My Vet Really Doesn't Seen To Know.

Answer:Could Be Other Hormonal Problem Like Low Thyroid Which Can Occur With Addisons Disease. Have Thyroid Blood Test To Sort Out. Add Fatty Acid Like Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3 From 1800petmeds, As Well As Add Enzymes Like Naturevet Enzymes To Meals.

Date: 08/21/13
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Allergic To Flea Bites

Question:Japanese Chin,Weighs 2lbs.,7ozs.is Two And A Half Yr.s Old. We Only Now Live In Area That Has Fleas,Any Place That His Coat Is White His Skin Has Turned Red,Dusky Rose Under The Black Coat Area. He Itches,Scratches,Licks And Chews His Hair So Much He Is Getting Bald Spots. He Weighs So Little That My Vet Would Only Suggest Using One To Two Drops Of Advantix 11 Flea Control.though I Have Never Seen A Flea On Him, Nor Any Of The Flea Dirt Associated With Fleas, Any Meds I Have Seen For Allergies, Such As Benadril Say Do Not Use On Dogs Under 4 Lbs. I,M At A Loss As To What To Do,Can You Please Help?

Answer:You Can Try Liquid Childrens Benadryl At Dose Of 1/4 Teaspoon Twice Daily. Also You Could Try Yucca Intensive From 1800petmeds.

Date: 06/12/13
Category: Allergy
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seasonal Skin Problems

Question:My 5 Year Old Female Cairn Terrier Has Had Horrible Skin Lesions; Chewing, Hot Spots, Tearing Out Huge Chunks Of Fur The Past 3 Years During The Summer Months. She Has A Fairly Heavy Coat For Los Angeles, Would Cutting Her Coat Short During The Summer Help? Additionally She Plays In The Garden Water Regularly. She Loves The Activity And It Cools Her Down But I Have Read Moisture Is Another Contributor. We Cut Down On The Water Activity And She Went Into A Major Depression Which Exacerbated The Chewing. She's Fairly Ocd So We'd Really Like To Get This Skin Problem Under Control. I'm Giving Her Benadryl & Keeping A Plastic Cone On Her When Indoors. What Do You Suggest?

Answer:Maybe Ask Vet About Stronger Prescription Drug Like Atopica From 1800petmeds. Also Consider Adding Fatty Acids To Meals Like Missing Link.

Date: 06/12/13
Category: Skin Care
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: My Dogs Hair Loss And Itching On One Side

Question: Hello Dr. Dym, Puff Is Almost 13 Years Old. I Brought Him To A New Groomer And He Came Out With Large Lines Of Missing Hair. He Is On Frontline, Canola Oil And Your Oarmeal Shampoo And Cream Rinse...what Could This Be His Coat Was Beautiful And Is Changing Colors, I Do Not Know What To Do For Him, Please Advise Me, I Apperciate Your Help In This Matter, Sincerely, Camille Fletcher

Answer:Best To Have Vet Evaluation To See If Any Hair Follicle Or Skin Conditions.

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