Friday, April 19, 2013

pollen allergy

On Tuesday morning, I noticed that Ginger had been very itchy. She has the funny ability to stay standing and still use her back legs to scratch her ribs. Her owner had told me that the last time she went to the vet, the doctor wanted to test her for allergies because of her scratching but he had declined at the time. I made a mental note to tell him to get her checked out.
Early afternoon, I caught a glimpse of her side where she had been scratching and saw this:
My first thought was that she was going to scratch herself raw so I called her vet (which is also my amazing vet and got her squeezed in to see the doctor. I made sure to mention what the other vet had told her owner and that I thought that she needed to be tested for allergies.
By the time we got to the vet a few hours later, her entire body was red. The poor girl wasn't spared - her ears, face, armpits, belly - everything was even redder than the above picture. 
The vet took one look at her and declared it a pollen allergy. (She was a year old as of Wednesday, April 17 which is why it wasn't caught last year.) Ginger needed what was essentially a cortisone shot and doggie prescription benadryl. The shot worked to give her immediate relief while the pills will be part of her daily preventative to keep it from happening again. The vet said that in the future to keep an eye on the redness returning - the red splotchy skin can easily turn into raised lesions that can ooze and need antibiotics to treat.

The vet was right and within an hour or two of us being home, Ginger's redness was almost completely gone. The pills have also worked wonders at keeping the redness and scratching at bay.
Yesterday, I went to my local pet store and told the owner about my adventure with Ginger. She gave me another quick and easy way to help wirh pollen allergies: baby wipes. I now keep cheap, unscented, hypoallergenic baby wipes by the door and wipe off everyone's feet when we come inside (and faces and backs because Luna is short and Ares and Luna love smelling all of the buttercups growing in the yard.)
Anyway, the idea behind the wipes is to keep the pollen from being tracked inside on their bodies for them to inhale or ingest all day long. Surprisingly, all three pups have been very willing to let me wipe them off when they come inside. I'm hoping that this also helps with Ares and Luna's constant sneezing.
Fingers crossed that everyone's pollen allergies remain under control so that we don't have to give up the dog park for the time being!

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