holistic medicine and skin allergies

has anyone tried the holistic approach with skin allergies, I am sure he is allergic to grass, straw etc etc  he is also epileptic and I am giving him benadryl which helps somewhat but I hate to keep giving him the benadryl

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  • Try to use a good shampoo and a leave in conditioner, based on COLLOIDAL OATMEAL and ALOE VERA. I make my own now. Jasper's itching has decreased so much, since I started him on this and the Evening Primrose oil capsules Karen suggested.
  • Our three year and a half year old doodle has been under the care of a dermatology vet specialist for about 5 months. The immunotherapy shots Nugget receives are antigens of the allergens that she is sensitive to. The serum is not "conventional medicine" (i.e. antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, etc.) but is prescribed by a board certified vet specialist who has studied canine allergies. In addition to the serum, this specialist has also prescribed an antihistamine/steroid medication when Nugget first went through her testing to help her through her very itchy time. So, that medication "Temaril P" would not be considered "holistic" med. But, on the advice of other doodlekisses members, we also supplement Nugget's dinner with Evening Primrose Oil. You can find out more about that by searching through this site. This has helped a great deal but was not a cure. It was a part of the healing process, but not the answer by itself. I understand your concern about the two ailments, but a board certified specialist who deals with canine allergies should know how to treat an allergic/epileptic patient. I am sorry that you and your dog are having these problems! But, after these 5 months of treatments, Nugget is doing great and is really not nearly as itchy as she was last summer, so there is good treatment out there.

    I agree with Tammy that there is good info on the atopic dermatitis group page. For Nugget, however, her diet was not an issue at all. She is fed raw/homecooked and has been since she was a pup. The vet said her diet was perfect just the way it was and that her allergy issues were purely inhalant/environmental allergies.

    Good luck!
    • Actually, the immunotherapy shots were called "homeopathic" by one of the assistants at Jack's specialist's office. The homeopathic idea of "like cures like" really does apply in this case, because the antigen is formulated from the very substances that triggered allergic reactions during the testing, the idea being to increase the immune system's tolerance to them. So I'd say immunotherapy definitely falls into the "holistic" treatment category.
  • A veterinary dermatologist will use a holistic approach to treating allergies; remember that "holistic' simply means "whole". A true "holistic" approach looks at the underlying causes of the illness and attempts to treat them, rather than focusing on alleviating symptoms alone. Holistic does not mean that pharmaceuticals are not used.
    "Skin" allergies is kind of misleading. The symptoms of the allergies affect the skin, i.e. itching, sores, hair loss, etc., but the allergies themselves are a disease of the immune system and not of the skin itself. A holistic approach to treating allergies should address the triggers to the immune system and not just the symptoms.
    Dermatology sepcialists usually do not use benadryl as a first choice of antihistamine. While it is necessary to use antihistamines to bring relief, there are better ones than benadryl for canine allergies. Some of us have had good results with Claritin and Zyrtec. Atarax is another one often used. But the itching is caused by a histamine reaction, and therefore, an antihistamine usually has to be used sometimes to keep the dog comfortable. There are no "natural" remedies that will do this.
    Evening primrose oil, which is a "natural" remedy, works in conjunction with antihistamines to help relieve the itching. In mild cases, it may help on its own.
    Most of us who are dealing with severe allergic dermatitis in our dogs have had the best results by consulting a specialist. General practice vets, no matter how good, are not experts in every specialty.
  • Go check out the group http://www.doodlekisses.com/group/atopicdermatitissupportgroup. You will find more allergy info there. I treat Gracie's with mainly homecooking and a supplement of evening primrose oil with occasional medication when needed. It has been a long road but the homecooking has made all the difference in the world.
    • what do you cook?
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