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Thread: Constant allergies: any tips?

  1. #1

    Default Constant allergies: any tips?

    We have a seven and a half year old Kelpie x and she's always had skin allergies. They don't seem to be related to any particular season as they are constant all year round, though sometimes they do get worse. On the advice of the vet, she's been on a grain free diet for several years now, but considering the allergy has persisted, I'm assuming it's not a wheat or grain based allergy.

    She also takes allergy medication (prednisolone). But it doesn't seem to work, or perhaps she's become immune to it because she's been taking it so long. The vet just refills her prescription and gives us dosage advice but I'm starting to think we need to do something different because it's clearly not helping and she must be so irritated. Her skin is always red (normally in patches, though sometimes it's all over) and lately her fur has become patchy in areas and her scratching is pulling it out. She's had allergies her whole life, but lately it's just getting worse. She's always scratching or chewing at her fur/skin and I just want to make it better for her.

    Is there anything I can do that will help? I'm in Perth if that makes a difference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    I adopted a dog, that came with allergies to wheat, fleas, beef and had yeast infection, lots of open welts in the folds of his skin.
    He came good in 3 months on: raw food, wheat free, or grain free kibble for camping. Apple Cider Vinegar in the dogs drinking water. Yoghurt in his diet. During one particularly bad itchy outbreak, i gave him clarityn. A over the counter antihistamine for hey fever suffering humans. That stopped that flea allergy very well. 55kg dog, so same dose as the child human administered with - complete stop of itching and scratching, whilst whining non stop distress symptoms.
    I bought a product (sorry, this is a tad OTT) called Vagisil $10. Its a vaginal wash product for women who have candida/thrush/yeast. It has the same active ingredient in it, as Lamosil at the same concentrate, which my vet was providing at $32 It kills yeast infections, that can set in with skin abraisions from other allergies.

    I also told him to stay out of the lake. He ignored me, so i advised at least let me dry you off, he walked off to lay in the sun thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I am assuming you have her on flea prevention? with its sandy soils and climate Perth can breed a lot of fleas. Years ago my dog had a severe flea allergy, even one flea would have her itching. I tried everything and was always washing and treating and flea bombing, tried garlic and essential oils and then the newer types of medications came in and after that she never itched again. Shame it was towards the last years of her life.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Is your kelpie outside on the grass all day? It could be the grass itself that triggers allergies...

    I get a rash if I get bare skin in contact with kikuyu. My dog gets a rash from it too. It's worse for us when the stuff is flowering (summer) but doesn't go away completely if there is too much contact with it.

    My dog does best if I keep her off it. Swimming in sea water and hose off with fresh seems to help.

    I'm also thinking of making a calendula tea (daisy flower from herbal shop) and misting that on her (let it dry on).

    I've also been wiping her off when she comes inside. She likes to go out and roll in the grass that gives her the itches. Dogs really are all about what feels good right now and never mind the itching later.

    And if she gets to be licking a lot - I wipe the area with aloe vera cactus leaf. I grow that in sheltered spots around my garden in pots. It doesn't like full sun (bizarre for a cactus) but it doesn't mind if it isn't watered every day. It will grow from a leaf from someone elses or your plant ie buy one - make many - wipe on itchy spots - tastes horrible - so that usually stops the licking - which only makes itches worse. Aloe vera in big quantities is toxic to the dog if you can persuade them to eat it. So if it doesn't stop the licking - I'd try something else. Eg maybe olive oil or the calendula tea - both of which don't taste so bad but won't be harmful either.

  5. #5


    Hi all! Thank you for the responses.

    @bernie: Might have to try beef free with my dog too. She does have the grain free beef biscuits right now, but I'll look into other options. And it's okay, not OTT at all. Vagina isn't a dirty word. Thanks for the tips!

    @Kalacreek: Yes, she's definitely on flea prevention although maybe we should try switching up the brand? Perhaps that would have an impact. She is due for it soon, actually.

    @Hyacinth: She actually spends most of her time in doors. She's the kind of dog that doesn't like to be separated from you for long. She'll go out for a little bit, but she hardly plays on the grass at all. I had considered a grass allergy but I'm not sure if she actually comes in contact with it enough to cause such a reaction however, we have been maintaining our back lawn better lately and it has been getting worse so perhaps it is actually something to do with that? Because before we didn't really have much of a lawn. Just patchy pieces. Now it actually looks like a lawn. (And I think we actually have an aloe vera plant already, or at least we used to. I remember playing with it as a child and I still live in the same house).

    Just a question: has anyone tried coconut oil? I've read that, like for humans, it can help a dogs skin and coat. Any experiences with it?

    Thanks again, everyone! I will research/look into all of this.
    Last edited by Tab_B; 02-22-2015 at 10:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    And go to RAW, making sure it is not fleas...........made a huge differnce in the multi allergy rescues i have. Also make sure that the meat you use is not from feedlots as that is also a high allergy risk...pasture fed, the way to go. hence we are lucky we live rural with small butchers that are wonderful ( and kill some of our own)
    Pets are forever

  7. #7


    @newfsie: I'm definitely thinking about looking into more raw food and I wouldn't have thought of making sure the meat wasn't grain fed at first so thank you!

  8. #8


    Been researching new flea medications hopefully maybe part of the issue is the current one we're using isn't right for her, and a new, better, flea treatment might help.

    Our vet did suggest trying food that doesn't contain chicken or beef in case she's allergic to those. Has anyone used Meals For Mutts (the turkey and duck one specifically, it's the only turkey/duck one I can find that doesn't contain chicken in some form) before? I'm a little hesitant to go full raw because I'm worried her diet will be unbalanced, especially because I don't really have access to meats that aren't chicken/beef/lamb so that kind of defeats the purpose if she's supposed to be trying a diet without them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    Hey. I'm not sure if my experience will help you or not, but here it is.
    I have a 2 year old lab x staffy. So a lot younger than yours. She's had persistent allergies for over a year now. We're constantly in and out of the vet with flare ups/getting more prednisolone.
    Much like your case, our vet just put her on prednisolone and said she'd be stuck with it forever. I really don't like the thought of this as prednisolone can cause significant problems and take years off a dogs life.

    At first our vet told us to do a food trial with royal canin hypoallergenic, which we did and she had no reaction to it. And that's when they decided she'd be on pred forever. Shortened life span, but at least she wouldn't be in pain.

    She recently went to WAVES for acute pancreatitis. While there the vet gave us some great advice in regards to her allergies.

    Basically he said that they don't generally recommend royal caning as it has too many ingredients in it. They always use Hills Z/D or, the better option, sweet potato and kangaroo.

    The idea of the food trial is to only have the dog eat as limited amount of ingredients as possible, and preferably that dogs don't generally eat/they'd had no exposure to.

    The dog stays on the food trial for 6-12 weeks and if the allergies clear up, you know it's a food allergy and not an environmental allergy.

    If they cleared up, then every two weeks you add in another food item (e.g. beef) one at a time. By doing this you can single out what your dog has allergies to. Keeping in mind that they could be allergic to more than one thing.

    However if they have no change in allergies than it's probably not a food allergy, more likely environmental, and they should go for an allergies test. Unfortunately this can be expensive, but it can pinpoint your dogs trigger.

    We're currently trialing our dog on the kangaroo and sweet potato. If she has no positive reaction we'll be going straight to allergy testing. You've also got to keep in mind that your dog could have both - a food allergy and an environmental allergy.

    You're also supposed to take your dog off the allergy medication while doing the food trial to ensure you know the exact reaction to the trial. Unfortunately this isn't possible with all dogs but you should reduce it as much as you can.

    We also tried the antihistamines - zyrtec - as recommended by our vet. Our vet said 17mg twice daily which is heaps more than an adult dose. She didn't have any reaction to it, however she wasn't on it for very long as I took her off to do the food trial.

    Our dog is also on 8000mg of fish oil a day (as she's 40kg). You can also use krill oil and it's supposedly better as it's more.. potent? I'm not sure of the dosage though.

    Some other things the WAVES vet recommended:
    QV bath wash once weekly - fortnightly as it's meant to be great for skin allergies (however, we already use alloveen oatmeal shampoo and conditioner).
    QV bath oil - 1 capful diluted in water twice daily, sprayed onto the dogs body. - I haven't tried this as our dogs allergies are localised to her paws/ears, unless she's sick.
    Triderm calming gel - this is for sore paws/sore areas. I can't use this as our dog doesn't like having stuff put on her paws.
    Evening primrose oil. The vet recommended we use half of the fish oil dose (so 4000mg evening primrose oil). Those two things are meant to be really good when used in conjunction. Fish oil is meant to help treat allergies and evening primrose is meant to help protect the skin from allergies.

    So I know this is a lot. I hope it helps.

    I also live in Perth, in a new estate so it's covered in sand. Flea treatment is a must, but unfortunately even if your dog gets bitten by one stray flea they can break out!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    Our dog is also on 8000mg of fish oil a day
    That seems like really high dose - fish oil depletes vitamin E - and if the dog hasn't got enough vitamin E, it can cause skin and coat problems and then joint problems. So if you're dosing high with fish oil you will also need to supplement vitamin E. You will find that some packs combine those together anyway - tho it's probably cheaper to buy separate and then feed in the same ratio as the packs offer.

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