Whew...Oak Pollen is finally gone

I got him into a Veterinary Dermatologist today and was thrilled to be talking to someone who was on the same page as all that I have learned here and other reading. I was able to keep the worst of Cooper's allergy symptoms controlled during the height of the season but he still has red itchy eyes and pink ears even now. This vet hates Apoguel and won't prescribe it if she can help it. She said Zyrtec is the preferred antihistamine and the latest paper that she read even increased to dosage to around 1mg per pound twice a day. In fact if Coop was on Apoquel he wouldn't have to discontinue it but Zyrtec masks the allergic response so effectively that she doesn't want him to take it for two weeks prior to testing. He gets the scratch testing in two weeks. He was in good shape for her exam minus a little yeast in his ears and was thrilled at my level of knowledge. Said they were hiring 🤣🤣. She also said, after looking at his history that dogs with environmental allergies often have gastric issues. I told her where we are with his diet and no food trial is indicated at this time.
It just feels good to have a partner in his treatment instead of an adversary.    

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  • Wow!  I think you hit the jackpot in your dermatologist vet.  I appreciate your Zyrtec information as Clancy has had problems these last few years and we will need to try something different this spring summer to help him.  To verify the dosage, Zyrtec is 1mg per pound - once a day? I'd like to try this for Clancy before getting a Cytapoint injection.  He weighs about 57 pounds.

    • What she told me for Cooper, he could have UP TO 5.5 tablets twice a day and he is right at 60 pounds. Generic is fine and the tablets are 10mg. So it's not quite 1mg per pound. My Primary vet had told me 20-30 MG twice daily and it sounded like a lot so I went searching and found the Merk Vet manual and she was right.  This derm vet said "the latest paper she read" indicated even more. I don't know what that was. 

      • Jack was on Claritin, and he took three times the human dosage. It seems dogs need much bigger doses of antihistamines per lb of body weight than people do.

        • I remember Luna being able to take something like 3 benadryl pills 3x a day... she was only 40 lbs!

        • I tried Claritin but not at a high enough dose. Getting the bottle out again. Poor guy. 
          im so glad Cooper is under this vet and your guidance. 

          • For Jack, the Claritin worked better than Zyrtec, but looking back, I don't think the Zyrtec dosage was high enough. That was around 2009, and more is known now about it, I think. 

  • I am so happy to hear this. It sounds like you found a great specialist! I love that she hates Apoquel.
    I know exactly what you mean about having a partner instead of an adversary. When I first started working with a Veterinary Dermatologist and got a game plan for Jack, there was an immediate feeling of relief, like a burden had been lifted. No more guessing, clutching at straws, wondering and worrying, and Jack's dermatologist really seemed to care about him. It felt like we were making treatment choices that were based on his well-being and not just the latest popular drugs being pushed. At that time, there was no Apoquel yet, and the GP vets were pushing Cyclosporine (Atopica). But Jack's derm considered it a last resort and worked hard to avoid having to go there. 
    I also love that she was thrilled with your level of knowledge rather than resenting it. That's when you know you have a really good medical/veterinary professional, when they welcome an informed client. 
    Please keep us posted. 

    • Agreed! This MD seems to really care about him. Her meds of choice started with short pulses of steroids and ended with Apoguel. Second to last was the Cyclosporine. I made it a point to be part of the conversation and letting her know what I have done and what has worked for us. The grain free food message was made by the vet tech when asking about what he eats, and I told her I was familiar but was keeping him on what works for now.
      So Cooper has a medical advocate now. Feeling good about that! 

      • Paula, was skin scratch testing mentioned at all? 

        • Yes, we are doing that in 2 weeks. He has to stay all day to make sure there is no serious reactions and to shake off the sedation. She sounds like she knows that many of these doodles have environmental allergies and says it often will get worse with age. 
          Do you know if he will leave with a cone? I can get a soft one for him now or a surgical suit? 

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