Join Date: Jan 2014
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I have a feral dog named Jaya, and discovered her allergy is seasonal. She's fine once the snow falls, (well, it takes about 2 weeks for everything to stop itching), but after the snow melts, she starts scratching, and licking her feet and belly, and upon occasion reverse sneezing.
It took me a few years to figure out she was fine in the winter but miserable at all other times. My vet has also been giving her steroid shots, which cost me about $25.00. She will load up the syringe and let me come and pick it up and take it home and give my dog the shot myself. So, no office visit charge.
Next summer, baring any major bills getting in the way, I'm going to try something my vet suggested a few years ago, when we figured out this was a warm weather allergy.
She told me she has a place where, after she takes a blood sample from the dog, it's sent in and the company determines what the dog is allergic to...then, using your dog's own blood, they make a serum out of it and the serum is suppose to help the dog control the allergy. It's given to the dog like 3 drops a day on the tongue, if I recall correctly what my vet said. And the serum lasts about 4 to 5 months, depending too if one can go every other day, if the dog shows improvement..etc.
From what I remember my vet said the initial fee for figuring out what the dog is allergic to, was about $350, and then after that, it's $150 for the serum to be made. So, once they have the means to make the serum, it will be about $150 every summer to keep my dog treated with something other than steroid shots.
My vet said she's seen some nice successes with this treatment, but sometimes it only does an 'ok' job and a dog still might require a steroid shot a few times a year. If I could even get Jaya down to 1 steroid shot between March and October, I would be much happier. As it stands she sometimes needs 4 or 5 throughout that time span.
BTW, my vet also tested Jaya for skin parasites, and she was clean, and I feed her the same dog food all year around, so it's not a food allergy.
If you are not doing so, to save money, you might ask your vet about allowing you to give the shots. It's not that hard to so, the shot just goes into the big muscle of the shoulder, kind of back of the neck area. The dog hardly feels it, and while it's not a fun thing to do, stab your dog with a needle, like I said, do it like the vet shows you, and it's over with in seconds with the dog not even bothered by it.
I hate giving her steroids, but I also hate seeing her scratch gouges into herself....she's literally scratched the fur off in some areas and made a bloody mess out of her shoulders and rib cage area...even her face too. She's cut the area above her eyebrow and bloodied her muzzle digging at her face with her back claws.
I try not to let her get to that point, but this last time, I had to chose between getting her, her parvo/kennel cough/and some other shot over giving her a steroid shot. I have to wait about 2 weeks before I can go back for the steroid shot...but with a puppy in the house, I figured the parvo and other boostesr were more important. So I'm treating her with hydrocortisone cream rubbed onto her most itchy areas, and giving her benadryl at night so she can at least sleep. I haven't seen where it's helped all that much with the itching though.