Dog Mom Guilt

This is another UPDATE on Cooper. He is doing exceptionally well! He is eating heartily, begging for food, playing with his toys well into the night and sleeping well. He is excited with the approved treats and he is enthusiastically participating in learning new things. I am beyond thrilled by all of this but it highlights unmistakably that prior to this he was really not feeling well. I mistakenly thought he was growing into a couch potato, he was sleeping a good part of the day and food had no real interest for him. I could eat my dinner and he showed no real interest. Now he may lay around but he has one eye open, ready to hop to attention with every move I make and have his nose near any food preparation in case something falls. Just like a happy healthy dog should.  It makes me feel sad and guilty that he was not thriving on my watch. 

So on to his itch. I got Nature Made fish oil, the little ones 324mg and started him on one every other day successfully, then everyday and now he gets two. BM has stayed perfect. Also, I didn't feel like the Claritin was doing anything so I made a switch to Zyrtec. Vet said "20-30mg once or twice a day" which I am questioning. He is getting 20mg in the morning right now. It's too soon to know if there is any change. And I am watching him closely. Right now he doesn't scratch a ton and stops when I correct him. He sleeps all night in my bed so it doesn't interrupt his (our?) sleep. I contacted a derm and don't need a referral and talked to my vet and she knows him and says he is good so I am prepared if I should need it. He was just under one year last spring when it got out of control so the plan is to keep a close eye on it this spring. I have many more tools than I did last year. 
Thanks again! 

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  • I'm so pleased to hear that Cooper is doing so well. 
    Guilt is unproductive, please don't be so hard on yourself. We all do the best we can with the information we have at the time, and when we know better, we do better, as Oprah would say, lol. You have learned and have implemented that learning to Cooper's benefit. be proud of yourself, not guilty!

    I'm pretty sure I gave you this link before, but I thought i would put it here again so you can refer to it as you monitor  Cooper's itching. 

    Some Basic Facts About Allergies In Dogs

    From the article:

    For temporary relief of inhalant allergies, here are some things that you can do:

    Give Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. You want the Omega 3 fatty acids DHA & EPA, which are only found in fish. You can also give GLA in the form of evening primrose oil supplements. In both cases, use human softgel supplements. 

    If you feed dry dog food, check the Omega 6:3 ratio. You want a ratio of 5:1 or less, the lower the better, and the Omega 3 content should come from fish.

    Give antihistamines. Different antihistamines are more effective for different dogs. Typically, you want second generation antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness, like Claritin, Zyrtec, Atarax, etc. rather than Benadryl.

    Use OTC anti-itch sprays on the affected areas. These are available at most pet supply stores.

    Wipe the dog down every time he comes in from outside, paying particular attention to the feet. Brush the dog daily.

    Keep the indoor areas where the dog spends the most time as clean and dust free as possible. Wash bedding weekly, wash food & water bowls daily. Vacuum as often as possible.

    Keep dry foods in air-tight storage containers and don't buy more than you can use in a month unless you can freeze it. Discard the bags the food came in and use ziplock freezer bags. 

    If the feet are affected, you can soak them in tepid water with epsom salts. Be sure to dry thoroughly afterwards.

    Bathe the dog often, weekly if possible, with a shampoo formulated for allergic dogs. (I like Douxo Calm). Do NOT use leave-in conditioners or other grooming products. Use a cool dryer setting or air-dry. 

    As much as I hate doing it, keeping windows closed really helps with pollen allergies. Run the A/C in warm weather especially, the allergy symptoms are exacerbated by humidity. Use a furnace filter with a high allergen rating and change it monthly. 

    Some Basic Facts About Allergies in Dogs
    Dogs, just like people, can and do have allergies to many different things. Since my guy Jackdoodle has a very severe allergic condition called atopi…
  • HOORAY!   Pat yourself on the back for persevering until you figured it out. 

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