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DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Dog Expert
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Need help w/dog allergies

Customer Question

I need help with my springer spaniel. She’s a wonderful dog, I love her dearly, but I’m really getting frusterated with her allergy problems. She's 5 years old, and she's always had a slight allergy problem, but nothing like it's been the last year or so. It’s gotten really bad the past couple of weeks now that things are starting to thaw out here and bloom, she scratches and licks almost constantly. I’ve taken her to the vet a couple of times within the last 2 weeks, and nothing seems to be helping. He gave her an injection of Kenalog last Monday(Febuary 21st), but it’s been a week now and it hasn’t made a difference. She keeps getting these red sores on her belly that get crusty, flaky skin around them, and nothing seems to be helping her. He put her on an antibiotic Saturday morning, but it's not seeming to help clear up the spots. Her once beautiful coat is dry and brittle, her skin is really flacky, her poor chest is almost bald, her eyes are red-I just hate seeing my poor baby suffer like this, is there anything else I can do to help her? I've already changed her food on the recommendation of my vet, I wash her bedding often(usually atleast once a week) and have started putting them through an extra rinse to make sure all the soap is off, and I'm just up against a wall! I want to help her so bad, but I can't afford alot of expensive testing, I'm currently unemployed and money is tight-but I want to do what ever it takes to get my dog feeling better!!!!!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 Skin disease and allergies are VERY frustrating...mainly because they are hard to manage and you have to look at it!!

Please list out current antibiotics/topicals/antihistamines/vitamins/food the dog is on so I can help further.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thank you for your response.

Here's a list of the medications and supliments I am currently giving her.

Primor-240 mg twice a day
Benadryl-One tablet once a day
Linatone-3 tsp once a day
Vitamin E-400 IU Caplet every other day
Multivitamin(can't remember the brand)-1 tablet every day
Kenalog injections(first one was last Monday, but I haven't noticed any difference yet).
Food-Eagle Pack Holistic Select-Chicken Forumla. She was changed onto this in the beginning of October and has done well on it to this point. The vet said he wanted her on a food with no corn, wheat, soy, or beef ingrediants. (List of ingrediants available online here-( )

She's not on any topicals (well, other then the Panalog he puts in her ears when she comes in to help keep those from itching as bad)

Thank you for your help, I look forward to your response.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.
 Sorry for the delay. How long has the dog been on the Primor/benadryl?


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: She has been on Primor since Saturday(February 26th), and Benadryl for about 2 months.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.


I have had lots of training in Dermatology but I am not board certified and you may eventually want to seek out a specialist in that area.  SO ...what you are getting is my opinion only.

Skin disease is the hardeset to manage. It is the body's largest organ and it takes more medication and longer time lines to treat...and many times there is no cure with skin disease just management.

Primor is a good antibiotic but the best skin antibiotic for long term use and efficacy is Cephalexin.  Benadryl is a good antihistamine for allergic reactions to bug bites and so forth but a very weak antihistamine for long term underlying allergies in dogs...Use of hydroxyzine (atarax in humans) and some of the stronger ones have better results.

Vitamins are great...DermCaps with the OMEGA FATTY ACIDS and FISH OILs are the best...they are balanced with the Vitamin E and make sure you have Vitamin C somewhere in the mix. 
Topical shampoos should contain no soap and be microencapuslated components of antihistamine or topical antipruitic mixes.  There are also good stay on creme rinses.

Try to stay clear of the Kenalog, instead request small quantities or oral steroids...Because once the steroid is in the can't get it out and if she develops an infection there can be problems. (I use injectable, but not for longterm allergy dogs).  There is a pill called Termaril-P which has a low grade steroid and antihistamine...I would use this for a week or so while you try to get things under control...and use as needed on bad weeks...but understand that steroids need to be started and weaned off.

When I start people on this "we are getting serious" approach to the skin, the food I select is usually Science Diet Z/D because it is all synthetic proteins and meant to eliminate everything that could possible be an allergy and starts the dog "fresh".  It is my choice...and then from there we find a diet to manage them on after we have "cleared" them up.

Lastly, somewhat new on the market for Atopic dogs, those we believe to have significant allergy issues, is Atopica which is a medication to help longterm dog can ask your vet if this would help your dog.

I know you will have more questions...please let me know.


DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience: Dog Expert
DanaDVM and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thank you for your input! Do you mind if I print out your response and take it with me the next time I take my dog into the vet?

She was put on the Primor because she had a bad reaction the last time he put her on Cephalexin and he wanted to avoid that problem this time. Are there any other antibiotics other then Cephalexin that are better then the Primor? I think he just wanted her on the antibiotic short term....he only gave me 5 days worth. She's scheduled to go back in when the prescription runs out, though.

As for shampoo-Are there certain brands I should look at? Is this something that's going to need to be purchased from my vet, or can I order something online? I have the same question for the cream rinses you mentioned.....

I'll definatly talk to my vet about the new drug you mentioned too, and see if he feels if it would be benificial to Kristi or not.

Thank you again, your response has been very helpful!!!!
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.
 What was the reaction to the cephalexin?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: She became very lethargic, wouldn't eat, would barely drink, and usually when she did she would end up vomitting. It took a good 4 days off the cephalexin before she started acting like herself again.

One more questions-With the Vitamin C, what dosage should I start her on?
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 I would start with 500 mg, but that can be increased later.

The use of Primor can be fine...I don't use it but your vet may really like it...5 days isn't long enough if there is active staph on your dogs skin.  The other antibiotic is Clavamox that works well with surface staph.

I have a blend of vitamins I can send you that you can take to a pharmacy and see if they will mix it if you want...

Let me is for allergic dogs.


DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience: Dog Expert
DanaDVM and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: I'd appreciate that! Please e-mail me [email protected] and I will give you my mailing address. Also with those, can I get a list of what's in there and what quantities?

I'll talk to my vet and see what he feels the reason for the antibiotics where, he never did any tests on her that I'm aware of(I had to do it as a drop off appointment), all I know is that he sent me home with antibiotics. I'll call and talk to him as soon as I get the chance and discuss things with him further. Thank you so much for all your help!
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 I use alot of  Nutritional Therapies for animals and it is just a list of vitamin type components that you print off and take to a compounding pharmacy and add it to your daily routine.  I have found it beneficial and although it is not meant to replace medicine...I find that I see the patients less often!

I am going to just add it to this note...I am reluctant to email to private accounts because it gives my private email...and I am sure you understand. 

Allergic Dogs: Daily dose

Vitamin C(NNN) NNN-NNNNmg

Digestive Enzymes 4-160 mg

Primrose oil 1000-3000 mg

Fish oil(NNN) NNN-NNNNmg

Proanthocyanidian complex 10-200 mg

Vitamin E 50-400 IU

Dimethylglycine 50-250 mg

Vitamin A 500-10000 IU

You can probably purchase individually or you can go to a compounding pharmacy ask for solutions some where in the middle of the range and they will mix it so you give a certain amount of the solution and it has all of this in it. 

Let me know how it goes!!


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