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Airborne Allergies, Food Allergies, and Skin Infections – oh my!

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by Emily in Art is awesome. | Blog Love | Doggies! | Fostering. | Lucy Lou | Overly dramatic

Because I am pretty sure I have a super-radar for picking the medically neediest dogs ever, Turk was just diagnosed with a nasty skin infection that is a result of letting an allergic rash go too long without medical treatment. Yep. I am a terrible dog owner who lets her dog suffer needlessly….well, for the record, I didn’t ignore it but I did try to treat it myself with over-the-counter hot spot spray.

Here is Turk letting me know what an awful mama I am, with full on Comfy Cone face…


As if I wouldn’t put myself through enough guilt and anxiety for causing Turk’s pain, my vet bill served as a reminder that trying to treat a rash yourself will bite you in the butt pocketbook in the end. The rash was most likely caused by an allergic reaction to something in the air – like mold that grows on tree leaves. Apparently that’s a big problem in Kansas City. To deal with the current ailments, Turk is on a couple different prescriptions, and to prevent future issues, he was also prescribed a cortisone spray for flare-ups and a medicated shampoo as well. And just to be safe, we’re switching Turk to a Limited Ingredient Diet and using the hypoallergenic Pill Pockets for awhile to rule out a food allergy.

With the different medications for Turk, switching Turk & Lucy to a different food than Rufus, and the supplements all of the dogs get each day, I was afraid I would have trouble keeping it straight. So what did this anal-retentive freak super organized grad student do? Why, I made a food & supplement schedule, of course!


Now I know exactly how much fish oil, apple cider vinegar (thanks Married with Dawgs!), probiotics, and PlaqueOff (seaweed) to give, which medications go to whom, and how much food to divvy up each mealtime. Whew. Now I just have to try to remember to take my own meds! Oh, and in case you’re wondering about those adorable little Turk & Ginger magnets, here’s a closer look…


Aren’t they awesome?!?! They were a birthday gift from my dear friend Crystal and were made by Kathleen Henn, a local artist. The little sayings on the magnets just capture Turk and Ginger Rogers so perfectly, I am thinking of having one made for Rufus, Ginger Jr., and Miss Lucy Lou as well. If you would like a magnet of your own pooch (or kitty or ferret or rabbit), you can email her at {kathleenhenn@yahoo.com}.

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39 Responses

  • avatar tholupka says:

    Oh no!!! As the mother of the world’s most allergic dog I am available if you need advice or a sanity check! Hang in there, it get’s easier!

  • avatar joannamays says:

    NOW you are officially Angela from The Office. Hands down.

  • Poor Turk! Don’t feel bad about trying to treat the rash yourself. All we can do is what we think is best in any situation, and I know I have wasted hundreds on unnecessary vet bills over the years. Meanwhile, I am totally in awe of your organizational prowess. So glad you like the magnets! They look great!

  • Poor Turk! Don’t feel bad about trying to treat the rash yourself. All we can do is what we think is best in any situation, and I know I have wasted hundreds on unnecessary vet bills over the years. Meanwhile, I am totally in awe of your organizational prowess. So glad you like the magnets! They look great!

  • Thank God I’m not the only one who has a chart on their fridge for what to give the dogs when! Speaking of, it’s heartworm pill day today.

    I hope everyone feels better soon. You’ll have to let me know how the vinegar works out and if you get velvety smooth, dandruff & itch-free pitties. Once all the rashes and fungi clear up, that is.

    You’re such a good mama!

  • Thank God I’m not the only one who has a chart on their fridge for what to give the dogs when! Speaking of, it’s heartworm pill day today.

    I hope everyone feels better soon. You’ll have to let me know how the vinegar works out and if you get velvety smooth, dandruff & itch-free pitties. Once all the rashes and fungi clear up, that is.

    You’re such a good mama!

  • avatar Two Grads says:

    The list is a great idea – we would do anything for our pups, huh?!

  • avatar Two Grads says:

    The list is a great idea – we would do anything for our pups, huh?!

  • agh! allergies! they are the WORST. I almost can’t stand watching our Tsuki suffer each spring through fall.

    Nice diet system though!

    (I gave you a liebster award : http://volunteers4paws.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/the-liebster-blog-award/)

  • agh! allergies! they are the WORST. I almost can’t stand watching our Tsuki suffer each spring through fall.

    Nice diet system though!

    (I gave you a liebster award : http://volunteers4paws.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/the-liebster-blog-award/)

  • You should look into feeding RAW…. Our male pit has terrible skin allergies and the most sensitive stomach out there. We went through a dozen dog food brands. It has been a life saver for us.

    • Agreed! Raw is hands-down the easiest way to manage allergies for uber sensitive dogs. Don’t get the Nature’s Variety raw though. Expensive. Pasteurized, so you aren’t getting all the good stuff.

      I would also look into swapping out your probiotic for raw (preferably local) goat’s milk. Been known to work wonders with allergies, and its a whole lot more live digestive flora and fauna for your buck.

      Personally I would shy away from long term cortisone anything unless it is necessary for survival (as in the case of addison’s disease). Steroids are an immune suppressant, and really just mask symptoms that you want to get to the root of.

      • avatar Emily says:

        I’ve heard about Raw but I am pretty squeamish, so it makes me nervous.

        I will check into the goats milk thing though…and as far as the cortisone treatments, it’s only a 3-4 day treatment if the issue flares up, not a daily thing. Hopefully with the change in diet and added supplements, the flare-ups will soon be a thing of the past! :)

  • You should look into feeding RAW…. Our male pit has terrible skin allergies and the most sensitive stomach out there. We went through a dozen dog food brands. It has been a life saver for us.

    • Agreed! Raw is hands-down the easiest way to manage allergies for uber sensitive dogs. Don’t get the Nature’s Variety raw though. Expensive. Pasteurized, so you aren’t getting all the good stuff.

      I would also look into swapping out your probiotic for raw (preferably local) goat’s milk. Been known to work wonders with allergies, and its a whole lot more live digestive flora and fauna for your buck.

      Personally I would shy away from long term cortisone anything unless it is necessary for survival (as in the case of addison’s disease). Steroids are an immune suppressant, and really just mask symptoms that you want to get to the root of.

      • avatar Emily says:

        I’ve heard about Raw but I am pretty squeamish, so it makes me nervous.

        I will check into the goats milk thing though…and as far as the cortisone treatments, it’s only a 3-4 day treatment if the issue flares up, not a daily thing. Hopefully with the change in diet and added supplements, the flare-ups will soon be a thing of the past! :)

  • avatar Anita says:

    Well it’s official you must move to chicago if only for Turks health! I looooove lists, charts, graphs you name it. For a year I had 3 lists of commands to use for the dogs. I think visitors thought I was nuts. Feel better turkey and Emily you and an AWESOME dog mom. Now gimmie Rufus.

  • Been there, done that, doing that. My oldest dog has been my medical problem child since she was 10 weeks old with a blockage from a pigs ear (we didn’t know better). Then mange. Then skin allergies (we only shampoo with Allergroom her whole life – anything else = red/itchy nasty). Then cracked two molars. Then horrible reaction to topical flea/tick treatment. Then tiny hole in her airway which put air in her head (yes, my dog was a true airhead). Then new skin allergy (steroid spray does work). Then tick-borne illness. Then diabetes. Then got rid of diabetes. Then steroid for ear infection, diabetes returned. Then temporary weakness in back legs/pooping blood (still no idea why). Then fevers of unknown origin. Then Cushings disease. Then abscessed tooth. Vets find my dog fascinating.

    But seriously, Allergroom shampoo works wonders for dogs with skin allergies. You can get it from your vet. Not cheap, but lasts a long time. Have fun!! :-)

  • Been there, done that, doing that. My oldest dog has been my medical problem child since she was 10 weeks old with a blockage from a pigs ear (we didn’t know better). Then mange. Then skin allergies (we only shampoo with Allergroom her whole life – anything else = red/itchy nasty). Then cracked two molars. Then horrible reaction to topical flea/tick treatment. Then tiny hole in her airway which put air in her head (yes, my dog was a true airhead). Then new skin allergy (steroid spray does work). Then tick-borne illness. Then diabetes. Then got rid of diabetes. Then steroid for ear infection, diabetes returned. Then temporary weakness in back legs/pooping blood (still no idea why). Then fevers of unknown origin. Then Cushings disease. Then abscessed tooth. Vets find my dog fascinating.

    But seriously, Allergroom shampoo works wonders for dogs with skin allergies. You can get it from your vet. Not cheap, but lasts a long time. Have fun!! :-)

  • I also end up with medically needy animals, so I understand how frustrating that can be! Try not to beat yourself up about the rash; the same thing happened with Zoe and it doesn’t make you a terrible dog owner. Unfortunately, we have to learn through mistakes! We also didn’t know how bad Zoe’s rash was going to get, and it went from a minor problem to a raging infection in the course of a few days!! Hang in there and keep us posted!

  • I also end up with medically needy animals, so I understand how frustrating that can be! Try not to beat yourself up about the rash; the same thing happened with Zoe and it doesn’t make you a terrible dog owner. Unfortunately, we have to learn through mistakes! We also didn’t know how bad Zoe’s rash was going to get, and it went from a minor problem to a raging infection in the course of a few days!! Hang in there and keep us posted!

  • avatar Lacy says:

    Emily, out of curiosity, do you take care of yourself and Daniel as much as you take care of your dogs? I was thinking about this the last couple of weeks as I have been reading people’s dog posts and even my own roommate who spends a fortune feeding her dog all natural food.

    I suppose I find it ironic when humans feed their dog all natural food, have them on tons of supplements, etc. yet don’t take the same care for their own bodies.

    Anyway, just curious how many of your bloggers eat a similar diet as what they feed their poochies.

    • avatar Emily says:

      Lacy,

      Yes, I would say that I do try to take as much care in my own diet as I take in the dog’s. I will say that I do make some less healthy choices from time-to-time that I wouldn’t allow my dogs to make. But, like a parent who drinks pop but forbids his/her kids from drinking it, I am trying to control what I can to ensure my pooches live a long and healthy life, even if I am not always perfect in my own diet.

      I do have a long list of supplements that I take each morning too though. šŸ˜‰

  • avatar Lacy says:

    Emily, out of curiosity, do you take care of yourself and Daniel as much as you take care of your dogs? I was thinking about this the last couple of weeks as I have been reading people’s dog posts and even my own roommate who spends a fortune feeding her dog all natural food.

    I suppose I find it ironic when humans feed their dog all natural food, have them on tons of supplements, etc. yet don’t take the same care for their own bodies.

    Anyway, just curious how many of your bloggers eat a similar diet as what they feed their poochies.

    • avatar Emily says:

      Lacy,

      Yes, I would say that I do try to take as much care in my own diet as I take in the dog’s. I will say that I do make some less healthy choices from time-to-time that I wouldn’t allow my dogs to make. But, like a parent who drinks pop but forbids his/her kids from drinking it, I am trying to control what I can to ensure my pooches live a long and healthy life, even if I am not always perfect in my own diet.

      I do have a long list of supplements that I take each morning too though. šŸ˜‰

  • Awww Turkey! Skye currently has a rash that I’m pretending is getting better, since we already have a vet check up next week. I did find the raw diet helped a ton, but if food isn’t Turk’s issue than it wouldn’t be a solution. I have found that wiping Skye with an aloe baby wipe after she plays outside has helped a lot with her grass/nature/outside world allergies. It gets the pollen off her fur and skin before she gets irritated.

    As an aside, I wouldn’t keep the pups on a LID food any longer than you have to. If the problem is food then it’ll help, but limiting what they eat can create sensitivities where there weren’t any before. At least that’s what my vet said…

    Oh, and I wasn’t supposed to let the cat out of the bag until tomorrow, but Mr. Turk has some gifts coming his way!

    • avatar Emily says:

      I was told to rotate the L.I.D. diet to help prevent any possible sensitivities, but I will talk to the vet about that again just to be sure! The baby wipes thing is definitely a good idea. I hope Skye feels better soon – and Turk is excited for his gifts!!! Hooray for gifts!

  • Awww Turkey! Skye currently has a rash that I’m pretending is getting better, since we already have a vet check up next week. I did find the raw diet helped a ton, but if food isn’t Turk’s issue than it wouldn’t be a solution. I have found that wiping Skye with an aloe baby wipe after she plays outside has helped a lot with her grass/nature/outside world allergies. It gets the pollen off her fur and skin before she gets irritated.

    As an aside, I wouldn’t keep the pups on a LID food any longer than you have to. If the problem is food then it’ll help, but limiting what they eat can create sensitivities where there weren’t any before. At least that’s what my vet said…

    Oh, and I wasn’t supposed to let the cat out of the bag until tomorrow, but Mr. Turk has some gifts coming his way!

    • avatar Emily says:

      I was told to rotate the L.I.D. diet to help prevent any possible sensitivities, but I will talk to the vet about that again just to be sure! The baby wipes thing is definitely a good idea. I hope Skye feels better soon – and Turk is excited for his gifts!!! Hooray for gifts!

  • avatar Emma says:

    Ahhh, welcome to our pack of doggies who visit the vet as if it were the dog park :) What haven’t we battled? (Thankfully it’s all been benign)

    Oh the allergies. I’m sure we have read every bag and can of dog food and treats ever made.

    I know it itches but don’t scratch or lick it. Trust me on this one. Been there done that.

    Emma

  • avatar Emma says:

    Ahhh, welcome to our pack of doggies who visit the vet as if it were the dog park :) What haven’t we battled? (Thankfully it’s all been benign)

    Oh the allergies. I’m sure we have read every bag and can of dog food and treats ever made.

    I know it itches but don’t scratch or lick it. Trust me on this one. Been there done that.

    Emma