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!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s