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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My dog has severe allergies to ragweed. He seems to be exhibiting

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My dog has severe allergies to ragweed. He seems to be exhibiting symptoms although the season hasn't started. Do you know what it could be? He is licking, scratching and has just started biting. Should I start the cortisone already? He will be 7 years old in the fall and is a mastiff (100= lbs)

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

Have you had full allergy testing done on Samson if so was the ragweed the only thing he tested positive for?

Any change in his diet?

Where is he itching the most?

What flea prevention are you using?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have not done the full line of testing because his symptoms were so specific it was recommended we don't do them to save the money. I don't know what flea prevention he is on (my husband takes care if it) and he is scratching his legs the most but I see his ears are getting red as well (which happens with his allergies)

Thank you for the additional information.

Symptoms are specific for allergies but the symptoms never tell use exactly what the allergy is to meaning that just because he is having certain symptoms does not mean that the allergy is to ragweed if that makes sense. It would be rare to see a dog with allergy be allergic to only one thing which is why testing really is best in the long run. Many dogs with allergies will have both food and airborne allergies so if you see the symptoms increasing as time goes on then I would have to recommend trying to test.Itchy feet and ears can also be related to food.

Without testing it would be impossible to say what he is reacting to right now, however I can tell you this is not typical of a flea allergy so I am not to concerned about what prevention he is on.

Long term use of steroids can have serious side effects so I would not start them until absolutely necessary. I would also suggest talking to your vet about a medication called Atopica which has proved to be one of the most effective medications for allergies without the side effects of the steroids. Click here

Some dogs respond very well to over the counter Benadryl given at a dose of 1-2 mgs per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours so you could try this before starting the steroids if you would like.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
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