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D2007-16

Dear Daisy Dog

Moby, our 3-year-old boxer, has uncontrolled allergies. She eats the hypoallergenic prescription diet our veterinarian recommended, and she has tried many antihistamines, including diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine and chlorpheniramine.

A low dose of prednisone stops her scratching, but we are afraid to use this steroid for long periods. What else can we try?

Daisy Responds

My golden retriever brother Kane was allergic to most inhalants: tree pollens, grasses, weeds, molds and dust. He responded well to acupuncture and omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

An alternative is a medication called Atopica, also known as cyclosporin.

This medication suppresses the components of the immune system that over-respond in dogs with inhalant allergies.

Another option is to do allergy testing to determine exactly what substances trigger Moby’s itchiness. Once they’re identified, hyposensitization allergy shots can be formulated.

Allergy shots are effective at modulating the immune system in most dogs. Studies have shown that 60 to 80 percent of allergic dogs achieve good to excellent results.

Most allergic dogs require combination therapy. You may need a veterinary dermatologist to help you find what works best for Moby.

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