Friday, April 1, 2011

Allergies and What I Learned.


Hi Y’all,

For those of you just joining us, the saga of my allergies began on Monday.

Today is the final chapter.  Yesterday is a must read because it details the multiple changes my Human made, combining an experimental allergy medication, holistic treatment and just generally changing everything I used.                              

The picture above shows me still walking on grass.  On the left I am helping by carrying a box. 

So after all the changes, I seemed to be improving.  In the meantime I had had a vet change.  A young woman vet had taken over the clinic from the vet who had treated my kidney infection. 

My ear infection wasn’t clearing up, so we went from the vet who yelled at my Human to the mountain vet.  The new young vet gave my Human a special medicine to put in my ear.  She said plain ear wash and oral antibiotic were not enough, I needed the medication in my ear.

My Human check up on what shots I had to have and, after consulting with the nice young vet, decided that I would receive NO shots until my Rabies was due.  By now I was a young adult and had received all scheduled inoculations to this point. 

But then a setback!  My Human dropped me off to have my ears and butt checked and cleaned.  However, they found a nasty lump and when they cleaned my anal glands they found blood.  The young vet feared cancer and immediately referred me to a specialist.

I wasn’t sure what was happening.  My Humans were upset and were discussing “what if” in soft, hushed voices.  I know they were doing that praying thing.

In the picture to the right I am laying with my bone watching the Humans.

We went to the specialist and there were stone dogs at the door.  I sniffed them and was immediately uncomfortable.  Inside the place smelled funny.  When I went in the little exam room I was in panic.  I tried to climb out the window and then jumped on my Human and tried to get her to pick me up.  I knocked her into the wall, which stopped her from falling.  (Remember I weigh 100 lbs.) Looking back the vet was very nice, but my butt hurt and he was messing with my butt!  For the first time I was shaking with fear.

I was never so happy as when we left there!

My happiness was short lived!  Before I knew it, a nice car trip ended back at the specialist.  I started shaking all over the moment I caught that smell.  The nice vet tech came and took me from my Human.  They took me back and then they gave me some medicine and I don’t remember much until I was having problems sitting up back in my own living room.  The entire thing was like a bad dream. 

My Human had all kind of pills to give me for pain and, of course, more antibiotics.  But the Humans seemed happy and I heard them say that it wasn’t cancer.

The specialist had told my Humans it was not likely to be cancer in a dog so young.  I just promised myself never to speak to that vet again! 

No such luck!  I had to go back, and I shook just as hard.  They took me in the back and messed with my butt again, but this time without giving me anything.  Yes, it hurt! 

I had to go back for another follow up and I was pronounced all cleared up!  The vet sent the tech to get the special “ultra” treats for allergic dogs.  When the tech brought the treats the vet gave me one.  I SPIT it back at him! 

The specialist told my Humans to take me to my regular vet every month to make sure I didn’t have a relapse. 

When my Human took me back to my nice lady vet she discussed my special food.  Neither of my Humans liked it because they said it was very poor nutrition.  The nice lady vet suggested the food she had her dog eating might work.  It is whole salmon based and smells like fish…real strong.  My breath smells like salmon after I eat.  It to is a special order through the vet, but a different manufacturer. 

I know y’all are wondering…did it work?  It’s been a year since I saw the specialist and the problem with my anal glands was cleared up.  The Humans and vets think a lot of my problem was caused by the infection in my anal glands.  Despite constantly visiting vets about my anal glands and recurring infections, only the sweet lady vet diagnosed a serious problem and the specialist…guess it was mean to spit that biscuit at him…resolved that problem. 

I was given a special ear cleaner with anti fungal.  However, once the butt problem went away, so did the ear infections.

I’m still allergic to grass and other stuff, so I still have to take allergy shots, but only once every 5 weeks now.

I lay down on some grass when my Human wasn’t paying attention. (She was watching a Kingfisher) I had a breakout which cleared up with the Benadryl spray. The spray does not absorb like the pills and therefore does not have the side effects.

I still have the food allergies, so no people food.  We tried home cooked and raw and neither worked.  We’ve donated over a dozen bags of food that was supposed to work for dogs with allergies.  The new salmon stuff is great and my Human uses it for treats too. 

I LOVE the daily teaspoon of honey.  Remember if you try the honey, my Humans use it too, it MUST be LOCAL honey that has NOT been processed.  Honey in your grocery store has been processed. 

I still get the teaspoon of Dan Active Yogurt. It’s like a treat. 

I still take Generic Loratadine, 10mg.  In the winter I only take it once a day, but this time of year I take it twice a day.  Remember, if you have allergies and want to try this or any other drug consult with your vet.  Medications work differently in dogs than Humans and I’m a 100 lb. retriever, so even a smaller retriever might need a different dose. 

I still take 2 Omega 3 capsules.  At first my Human used to give them to me like pills, then she tried puncturing them and putting them over my food.  Now she just nudges them under some kibble and I eat them.

I haven’t had a bath in forever, but get brushed twice a week.  When I get to go swimming I’ll get bathed with Sulfodene Medicated shampoo. 

Every month, year round I get treated with Multi Advantage flea medication.  It is topical and takes care of the heartworms too.  When we are in the mountains we are in a heavy tick area, especially when we are at the farm.  I have had a couple of ticks over the last couple of years, but no flea problems.  It is unusual to find a tick. 

I still use the baby wipes when coming in from outside.

My Human has to keep me on my routine.  I love my food. I feel good. I don’t mind taking pills ‘cause I have to earn a treat and that earns a treat!

I learned a lot going through this ordeal, and it was a long ordeal.  (I was 14 months old when I came to live with my Humans and I just passed by 5th birthday.  I’ve been doing good for a year now.) The main thing I learned is that your Human has to be persistent.  You have to rule out infections and anything else that could aggravate an allergy or condition.  At the risk of being a “pain in…” your Human has to be your advocate with the vet and keep changing vets until you find one that takes your illness seriously and tries to find the cause.   

See y’all tomorrow.  If y’all have any questions, I’ll try to answer.




  1. Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations. Glad things are working out for you though (((hugs)))

  2. Wow Hawk. You've been through it! You are so lucky to have YOUR human. She loves you so much and she just didn't give up! Oh, and you look great!


  3. You and your humans have been through quite an ordeal. I'm so glad you all made it through and you are doing so much better. I'm glad your humans didn't give up and kept trying to help you. That is a beautiful thing. Many dogs aren't so lucky.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I learned a lot.

  4. Wow. What an ordeal! So glad things are working out now. You are one very lucky dog!

  5. Poor Hawk. So glad to hear you are doing better now.

    Sometimes younger vets have more modern ideas.

    (BTW we used your last comment to us as the inspiration for our latest post. :-) )

  6. WOW! You have really went through a lot, my friend. But all has worked out for the best.

  7. So glad to hear your humans persisted and found a plan that really works for you


  8. Very glad to hear what happened. It will help others that have problems to seek answers instead of just accepting a condition.

    It just proves that "Mother knows best".

  9. Oh man, so sorry to hear they messed twice with your butt!! But I'm so glad most of the stuff is gone now. You have a great mom and dad to take such good care of you!!!

  10. Paws up to your Mama for all her persistance. When poor Felix was a hot allergic mess we went through 3 vets before we met our holistic vet. She changed our whole world, got Mama studying canine nutrition and we love her! Sending Puggle Snuggles to your Mama for not giving up!

  11. I am so impressed with your mama for sorting out all these details to make you a healthier dog! Your anal gland blood story scared the heck out of me because we had a lab who died of anal sac cancer. Thank goodness that yours was an infection.

    Our K has lots of allergies but nowhere near as many as you do. We have to keep a syringe of steroids with us in case she starts to swell up like a balloon from a tick or spider bite... Anyway, we understand what a huge commitment it is to manage allergies like yours. I applaud your mama and hope that your good health continues!

  12. OMG handsome brown dog. You have been through sooo much, thanks for sharing and I am glad you are doing better now. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  13. Well, I'm pleased that you seem to have come out the other side of it all, Hawk, but sorry you and your family had to go through so much to get there. They obviously love you very much to be so persistent.

  14. Wow... you've been through a lot! I'm glad that you are doing better now!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Hawkeye! Detailing the trial and error and persistence required in your particular case can really be helpful to other humans who may be searching for information on how to help their own dogs.

    It must have really been a tough road there for a while but all of your humans' efforts - and your patience - have paid off immeasurably. You look happy, healthy and handsome, Hawkeye!

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years