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D2005-43

Dear Daisy Dog

Blue, our 6-year-old Doberman, suffers from allergies on and off throughout the year. His ears, feet and crotch break out in a red, itchy rash.

He takes an antihistamine called hydroxyzine, and he eats the duck and potato food. Is there anything else we can do?

Daisy Responds

I don’t have allergies, but I see how Sam, my golden retriever brother, suffers with them.

While Sam’s allergies usually bother him only during the spring, this fall has been hard for him.

His itchy rash and infection are finally under control, thanks to an antihistamine, an antibiotic and warm compresses.

If Blue is having unusually severe allergies, blame it on this year’s bad fall allergy season.

To help Blue feel more comfortable until the first hard frost inactivates the pollens and molds triggering his allergies, talk with your veterinarian about whether cyclosporin or a short course of prednisone is warranted.

Both drugs inhibit the allergic response by suppressing the dog’s overactive immune system.

Another option is to experiment with several other antihistamines to see if you can identify one more effective for Blue than the hydroxyzine he has been taking.

If these techniques don’t work, ask your veterinarian about trying immunotherapy allergy shots.

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