Who Rules the Roost in Your House?

1. You spend little on yourself; but with your dog, the sky is the limit.
2. Your free time is focused on your pooch.
3. Your dog gives you commands to follow.
4. The only one getting beauty sleep is your dog.
5. You have to spell out certain words.
6. You spend more time managing your dog’s online presence than your own.


Which leads to the next story . . . .


1. Your dog eats better than you do—no grains, no GMOs, no preservatives.
2. If you have a significant other, they best give you your sleeping space—no cuddly sleepers need apply. But you will literally hang off the bed if your pup looks comfy.
3. When’s your friend’s birthday again? Not sure. But you know your pup’s birthday and definitely celebrate.
4. When you come home after interacting with any other dogs, you feel guilty. I mean, you don’t want your pup thinking you stepped out on them—you would never!
5. You probably talk some crap about your friends in different company, but God forbid someone utters an ill word about your pup. They’re dead to you. When they say you don’t talk about family, they OBVIOUSLY meant dogs too.
6. You are desensitized to humans getting hurt on TV or in the movies, but if something happens to a dog in any scene, you probably cry, turn it off, or storm out.
7. You may or may not have children of your own, but it really doesn’t matter either way because you have a million and one pictures of your pup on your phone and social media accounts and show them off with pride. You almost don’t even notice the eye-rolling anymore.
8. After a long, hard day when no one else can comfort you, sometimes all you need is a hug from your dog. They always know when you need some love and will never judge you when you’re being a big baby.
9. You have a hundred nicknames for your dog, some may not even be coherent words, just a string of syllables and sound effects. They get it, so who cares if anyone else does.
10. No matter how stressful your work day or how bad that commute home was, it’s always all better when you get that super-excited greeting from your dog. It makes it all worth it.


A Glimpse of Springtime in Washington

Ears Red and/or Shaking Head

Fleas and/or Shedding?


Need help dusting?

Need help vacuuming?

Welcome to Washington and new allergies!

It’s a wet, bone-chilling cold that just makes me sleep more, so I wake up with puffy eyes. Socks seem to help Casey at nite while we’re sleeping, but I was so sure his allergies were going to be better moving to Washington where it rains so much. Instead, they’re 100 times worse! And, I really miss the slower pace & southern hospitality you just don’t find on the West Coast.

Maybe, I should have allergy testing done, but the $300 allergy test in Oklahoma costs $400 in Washington. I think this testing is done using blood work, because the skin test is even more expensive. And, that test just looks inhumane. I definitely do not want to do that to Casey! On Groupon, they have an alternative allergy test (VetDVM’s ImmuneIQ) using your dog’s hair & saliva. The reviews weren’t very good though, so I think this is definitely an “Ask My Vet” what he thinks.

Rx Allergy Meds for Pets

Symptoms Quiz

Take this quick quiz to assess your dog’s symptoms.

1. Does scratching and chewing keep your dog up at night?
2. Is there scratch-induced hair loss on your dog’s face or feet? Or in areas that come in contact with the ground, at the bent joints or in skin folds?
3. Does your dog have red-brown stains on the feet or other part of the body?
4. Does your dog lick at its paws?
5. Does your dog gnaw at its skin, especially in recurring areas?
6. Has the itching gotten worse?
7. Have you noticed your dog becoming less social, preferring to scratch?
8. How old was your dog when you first started to notice symptoms? Puppy to 6 mos? 6 mos to a year? 1 to 3 years/4+ years?
9. Does your dog have scratch-induced scabbing?
10. Has your dog had recurrent ear infections?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions:
Your dog could be suffering from atopic dermatitis. Print this page and take it to your vet. If ATOPICA ® (Cyclosporine capsules, USP) MODIFIED is prescribed, visit atopicarebates.com for money-saving information.


The newest FDA-approved prescription drug, Apoquel, used to treat canine allergic dermatitis has been on nation-wide back order. The shortage should end by April 2015, according to Veterinary Practice News.

Apoquel® Works Fast — Starts to relieve the dog’s itch within 4 hours. Effectively controls itch within 24 hours. Apoquel Is Unique — It is the only treatment specifically designed to go straight to the source of the dog’s itch and minimally affect other parts of the body.


Apoquel vs. Atopica

Speed of Atopica and Apoquel In Reducing Itch

Atopica does not usually achieve its maximum effect on itching until after daily dosing for four weeks.

Apoquel reduces itching quickly, often within one day. There is a major reduction in itching within 7 days in most dogs. In a head-to-head study, Apoquel reduced the itch level more than Atopica during the first 14 days.

Side effects of Atopica and Apoquel

Both Atopica and Apoquel affect the immune system. An allergy is, after all, an overactive immune system. Atopica is considered immunosuppressive, effecting T-cells. Apoquel is considered immunomodulatory, blocking transmission of the itch sensation, among other activities. Both medications have the potential to increase the risk of dogs getting infections. In reality, this is uncommon at recommended doses. Dogs with allergies often get skin infections (pyoderma), whether they are taking one of these medications or not.

Atopica is associated with vomiting and diarrhea more often than Apoquel. In a review study compiling results of 672 dogs treated with Atopica, vomiting occurred in 25% and diarrhea or soft stools in 15% of dogs. Usually, veterinarians and pet owners can overcome this, with a slight modification of dosing. Apoquel is uncommonly associated with vomiting or soft stools (1-2% of dogs). In most studies, these occur with a similar frequency in placebo-treated dogs and those treated with Apoquel.


It was so funny! We took Casey to South Hill Veterinary Hospital in Puyallup, WA where his pal Max (my stepson’s Golden Retriever) goes to, and he just started talking away to the Vet. She was talking to him, too, and called him “Wild Man, which is his nickname from our OKC Vet. I walked in and asked her if she understood or needed me to translate.


She said it takes 1 year to get used to new pollens. Casey was put on antibiotics, short-term steroids, & ear drops for his first-time ear infection. They also found a flea when doing a skin scraping test. I was a week late putting his Frontline Plus on, but that wasn’t the only reason. The landscapers were overdue by a month, so the grass was higher than it should have been. After he takes his last antibiotic & steroid, we’re going to try Zyrtec and/or Tavist for 30 days.

Casey is now on Zyrtec twice a day and Nickers Bio-Coat + Vetoquinol AllerG-3 as supplements. His skin looked really good for about 2 weeks, but then he started licking his paws again. It seems to be mostly at nite or early morning while we’re sleeping. We switched to Tavist and even tried Tavist in combination with Zyrtec for a few days. Zyrtec definitely works better than Tavist; but the only thing is, it makes him drowsy. So, I have to knock him out to keep him from licking???

It’s been almost 30 days now. I’m wondering if Casey needs prescription allergy medicine in the springtime and then Zyrtec in the other seasons. It’s definitely time to call the Vet and ask!

Does Your Doggie Get Enough Exercise?


Outdoor Dog Adventures: 5 Fun Ideas!

(1) Take a Walk
(2) Backyard/Park Fetch
(3) Hiking Adventure
(4) Water Sports, Anyone?
(5) Dog Agility Parks/Trails


Or, how about some indoor exercise? Casey runs laps in our apartment. He runs around the living room, into the bedroom, and jumps on & off the bed. We sold all but 1 piece of our furniture to make moving across country less expensive; and since we haven’t replaced everything yet with new deals, there’s room for laps. I bet our downstairs neighbor loves that. Haha!

And, Casey & Tessie love playing tug-of-war and wrestling. If Casey gets too rough, Tessie lets him know by pulling at his chest hair (or fur) and growling.