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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, this make take a while but I'm at my breaking point.

My dog Bru is a 4 yr old Doberman mix, rescued from the pound 3 years ago. About a year ago my husband and I started traveling for our company and started bringing both of our dogs to the sitter. They usually stay there for 3 weeks at a time and are home with us for 3-4 weeks. about 6 months after we started taking them to the sitters, Bru started getting hives. The hives only lasted for a few hours then go away, the hives came and went at both our house and the sitters. We never switched food, treats, changed shampoo, nothing. The sitter is a good friend who the dogs know very well.

After the while the hives were getting steadily worse, so the vet put her on one month of prednisone to kick the "allergy". After that month she was fine, problem solved??!! NOPE! They came back stronger than ever about 3 weeks after pred was stopped. for the last 5 months we've been trying to wean her off pred's, the vet introduced Benadryl's to take place of pred's. The Benadryl and pred has been causing her to pee all the time! literally, while shes sleeping, walking, eating, playing.. constantly dripping!

Just last week she had an apt with vet where they increased her Benadryl to 4 25 mgs everyday and half a pred every other day, and a pill for incontinence every day.

She seemed fine, no hives, but started acting strange.. She always paced the house, never would just lay and relax, she would scratch to go outside, and then once she was outside she immediately wanted back in, she whined and cried constantly at night. And barked at every little noise, outside barked and scratched. Wellll.... last night she puked, and puked ALOT! about 6-7 puddles about 2 feet wide! I woke up this morning at 7, took son to school and other than the puke, she was okay, no hives, sleeping in her bed, happy to see me etc.. When I came home I went back to bed for 2 hours and when I woke up she was covered in hives! Looked like a Dalmatian, eyes swollen and covered in ****, if I had to imagine what someone looks like when they get stung by a bee if allergic..
I immediately scooped her up and took her to her vet, who when I arrived was on lunch, go figure, so I took her to an emergency clinic at UF. They were worried that the pred caused pancreatitis, and the incontinence was actually a UTI undiscovered because of the prednisone. I am stuck here!

After 6 months they have no clue what is causing the hives, they're only treating the symptoms, by giving steroids and allergy meds, but not what is actually causing hives.

My thinking is that she is nervous and has anxiety and that is what is causing the hives, but from what? If it were an allergy like they thought, wouldn't the Benadryl and prednisone stop anymore hives from popping up?

Any suggestions would help! She is now facing pancreatitis, a UTI, Enlarged bowel system all from taking the prednisone for so long yet doesn't have a solution for the hives.

Thanks,
Concerned Momma!
 

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I really don't like the fact that they put your dog on incontinent medicine (she's really young to have spay incontinence) without testing to see what is causing it. I also don't like that they've been prescribing steroids and benedryl without trying to at least first trying to find the cause of the hives. It sounds like they are practicing band-aid medicine, let's treat the symptoms and not try and find the cause of the problem.

Personally, I'd ask the vet for her records, and take her to a different vet for a second opinion. I'd also be asking for them to test for allergies.
 

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I agree with going to a different vet
 

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Yeppp....ditto the above. A different vet and an allergy test.
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all. Since this post we picked her up from the clinic where all the blood work was fine except she had elevated liver enzymes, they want to recheck her in a week. They recommended that I keep doing the meds that she's taking now and I told them no way! Prednisone seems to cause worse reactions than what its supposed to be helping.

Im going with my gut and just giving her some TLC, making sure the house is calm and she is always around an adult. That seems to help so far, she is just a needy dog who wants some love.

As far as the allergies go, we're starting with the basics, switch her dog food to Avoderm for allergies, and avoid any fresh cleaning products used, make sure yard has no new plants etc..

I do not want any medication to make her more sick, an occasional episode of hives is better than a dog with pancreatitis in my opinion
If the food and environment doesn't help over the next few weeks than we will do allergy testing
And yes, were switching vets. When I call to make her an appt they always refer to her as a boy and forget what issues she has until I remind them and say ya know we were there Tuesday, shes the one with bumps all over her body!

Annoyed. But thanks for the advice!
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Dobermanns are known for being sensitive dogs.

Bru is very anxious about being left for three week stints at a different house. For a dog, it's like she has been adopted by your friend, then you show up again and she goes to her old house and has to re adjust all over again. It doesn't matter how much she loves your friend, this is extremely stressful.

If this is going to continue, I suggest you either bring the dog with you, or consider letting your friend adopt her permanently. Not trying to be harsh, I'm sure you are a good owner, but I think this is just too much for your dog and hives are a stress indicator.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Luckily, im starting maternity leave in February so she won't go over there other than for play dates. That should help the situation
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