I'm in Canada. :-(Vets do allergy testing which tests for both food and environmental allergies and tells you what your pet is actually allergic to so you don't have to randomly keep guessing and keep them on potentially harmful medications like steroids longer-term. Prednisone and other steroids suppress the immube system which is great for allergies but means they also can't fight off any other infections. Long-term use of high doses of Prednisone is what actual killed my last dog, a sudden severe infection that he couldn't fight off. Granted he was almost twelve and had other health issues, and an awful vet the last day. But I won't give any long-term steroids to any of my pets ever again.
My cat is allergic to basically everything. He's had the allergy testing as he had chronic raw bloody spots for over a year from itching and scratching. The treatment I'm doing is allergy immunotherapy injections. This can be done in liquid oral form too but since he's a cat and tough to medicate the subcutaneous injections are much easier. Twice I've allowed him to have a mild long acting steroid shot at the vet (lasted four to six weeks each time) to stop the itching and let his wounds heal) while starting or restarting his immunotherapy shots. Since I know what foods he's allergic to, I buy only foods he's not allergic to and he's allergic to everything in the environment so the injections make sense. He's allergic to pine, cedar, Timothy, oats, and a while bunch of other environmental things. My horses eat timothy hay so I know I bring particles of that home on my shoes and coat and clothes and can't avoid it. It's New England so there's pine everywhere year round.
Doing the testing makes sense after everything else you've tried. Then you'll know whether the immunotherapy also makes sense. If you live in an environment where you can't remove things he's allergic to, it may be the only answer. The testing was around $300 here. A vet dermatologist is very helpful.
Was just quoted $1000 - yes, that's a grand aka $1K. Is there any Canadians on here that feel the pain and wonder why Canadian vets are able to up-charge on everything from alergy testing to dental work?
I was suggested to try Apoquel (if I don't want Vanectyl-P - and I don't, as I don't like what it does to the immune system and the side effects). Do you think this drug is acceptable or does it have its own drawbacks and is ill-advised?