Dog Allergies: A Quandary of Symptoms, Medication and Supplements

Diagnosing and treating a dog’s allergy symptoms can certainly put any dog parent on edge, especially as weeks and months go by before finding a cause and a suitable treatment plan. If dogs could only talk….

Our sweet Magnolia started scratching frequently with signs of seborrhea (dandruff) specks appearing on her black coat. She was eating and drinking well and had no other symptoms. At first I thought maybe it was the arid desert climate causing her dry skin, but thought it best to have her checked by our veterinarian.

On her initial exam, the doctor prescribed Benadryl® and recommended bathing Magnolia with Oatmeal shampoo and conditioner to moisturize her skin and coat. Her oral flea and tick preventative dosing was halted and her meals limited to her frozen raw diet. No treats, fresh vegetables or fruits. Allergies were the suspect.

Within a few days, another veterinarian visit for Magnolia with bare patches and raised bumps as new symptoms. Specimens of the bumps/rash were collected for testing (results were negative), along with a change in medication to Chlorpheniramine.

Magnolia’s symptoms subsided somewhat over the next few weeks, with her recovery leveling off and no further improvement. Her veterinarian changed her medication to Hydroxyzine as the last antihistamine to try before referring her to an allergist. Fortunately, the Hydroxyzine worked!

As she healed, I slowly re-introduced the oral flea and tick preventative and healthy treats to her diet with positive results. As she continued to do well, I decided to address my growing concern about keeping her on a regular Hydroxyzine regimen over the long-term. My goal was to find an alternative.

9202342_s-2015Through hours of research and discussion with our veterinarian, I started Magnolia on fish oil capsules to see how she would respond. Seeing no negative reactions to the supplement, I decided to add organic unrefined virgin coconut oil to her meals, twice daily. What a difference!

Her coat is now shiny and silky smooth, with little to no dry skin. Her pads are very healthy with no cracking. Her scratching is now just occasional, as with any dog. Just amazing.

I was finally able to eliminate the daily Hydroxyzine dosing from Magnolia’s diet. Finding natural alternatives to help her through allergy season (of which is nearly year-round in our desert climate) has proved to be a winning solution for my sweet girl!

If you suspect your dog has allergies or a skin irritation (related/unrelated to allergies), the first plan of action is to schedule a veterinarian visit for an exam and testing. These types of ailments can range from mild to severe, calling for varying types of treatment plans.

Considering a Coconut oil supplement? It is always best to check with your veterinarian before starting a natural regimen, first. As a primer to adding Coconut oil to your dog’s diet, I found this informative article on Life&Dog with nutrition facts and health benefits.


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