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A 2.5 y o Russel terrier is having strong allergy during the…

A 2.5 y o Jack...
A 2.5 y o Jack Russel terrier is having strong allergy during the last 0.5 years. The symptoms are itchy skin, eyes and ears.The vets' diagnoses are diverse, from bad nutrition to atopic allergy. Now he's eating hypoallergic Wolfsblut dogfood, also we're giving him 4mg of Medrol (active ingredient is Methylprednisolone) each second day. while taking it regularly, he's not that itchy and feels better, but once we stop giving it he's itchy again.I'm afraid his liver is affected by medication, and we don't even know the specific diagonsis.Are there any options to clarify the diagnosis? any additional tests? maybe allergen tests?Also, are there any softer Methylprednisolone containing medication which is effective but less dangerous for his health?
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Answered in 25 minutes by:
3/23/2018
DrSarah
DrSarah, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience: Veterinarian with over 10 years experience
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I'm Dr. Sarah, a veterinarian with over 10 years experience and am here to help! I am reviewing your question and will be back with a reply.

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Allergies are tough! As far as finding a definitive diagnosis, a food trial with a novel protein (like venison, rabbit, etc) is necessary for 8 weeks to rule it out. If not food than allergy tests are next to look for allergens to trees, pollens, etc. Unfortunately allergen tests are not great for diagnosis of food allergies. There are allergen shots that can be given based on those results. Be sure to keep on flea medication even if no evidence of fleas. Always a possibility! Next, give me a few minutes to type about treatments.

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There are great alternative to steroids like Apoquel (pills) and cytopoint (an injection) which have great effects and can be used long term, unlike steroids. Ask your vet about these. Benadryl of course can help with mild to moderate itch at 1mg per pound. This can be given along with the steroids.

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I can't emphasize enough to stay on flea prevention. It's a shame to go through a bunch of testing when it could have been easily fixed. One bite can set off allergies for a month...dogs don't need to be infested to have an allergy! For general Atopy I think Apoquel or Cytopoint is the best.

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Let me know if this answers your question or I can help in any other way! Kindly consider rating my answer; you can always get back to me with questions and updates after rating.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you for a quick answer!Could you tell a bit more about what's meant by food trial with a novel protein? The dog is eating dry dog food.

Sure! I wouldn't jump on switching foods until you've been through all 4 seasons and it's known to be a year-round allergy (assuming you're in a climate that has winter...if not ask your vet when they'd recommend it).

99% of food allergies are to a protein source like chicken or beef...it's a common misconception that grain is the primary culprit. Not to say they can't have a grain allergy, it's just not common.

If you decide to do a food trial, do a slow switch onto the new food over a few days, then once he's on it he can't have any other protein source (table scraps, rawhides, treats, chewable medicines/supplements) for a full 8 weeks. He may need medicines the first half of the trial to control itch, then start backing off to see if the food is making a difference.

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Prescription foods are the easiest to use. They make hydrolyzed protein foods (protein broken into small particles so the body doesn't recognize it) or novel protein foods (something he's never had before like rabbit).

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The benadryl (diphenhydramine) can be given 3 times a day, by the way...don't think I typed that!

DrSarah
DrSarah, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks a lot, I hope your recommendations will help!
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