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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Testing allergies

My dog Cassie is a cross breed, approximately nine years old. We’ve had her from the age of nine months from a rescue centre. Over three years ago, Cassie starting sneezing and producing a copious amount of mucus. The vet did exploratory work and eventually had to refer her to a specialist vet in respiratory conditions. He performed a rhinoscopy to check her airways, and found nothing. He tested her mucus for bacteria or fungal infection and came back inconclusive and therefore he diagnosed her with allergic rhinitis.

Her symptoms are mainly nasal discharge and runny eyes. She has these symptoms all year, being worse at different times of the year, spring and winter being the worse. Antihistamines don’t appear to work. We have tried all sorts of medication including several types of antibiotics and steroids from the vets to homeopathic remedies. At the moment, the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla really helps her because it thins the mucus down enabling her to sneeze it out, so that she can breath more easily. Before this, we had also tried all sorts of remedies/products to help her with her symptoms, things for allergies, asthma (as the vet thought it might be asthma), including inhalers, dehumidifiers, ioners, we also removed any household products which may trigger her symptoms, i.e. cleaning materials, candles, sprays etc., all of which we feel has not helped. It is difficult to remember everything we have tried over the last three years, but we have run out of ideas.

We have also done food trials, starting with the basic chicken and rice for six weeks. She did not improve. But when we stopped rice, she seemed to improve overnight. We were overjoyed but this was soon short lived, and although her symptoms were slightly better, they have never gone away fully. We did some more food trials and we think Cassie is allergic to starch, so we have cut out all starch. We also realised that starch is present in the makeup of some tablets we were giving her, so had to be careful to chose tablets that did not contain starch. She now mainly eats cooked chicken, beef, and homemade biscuits.

We therefore thought we might be dealing with two allergies, food and environment. Cassie does not suffer from any skin disorders at all; she is otherwise fit and healthy.

Does anyone else out there know what might be causing Cassie to have such symptoms? Or can you recommend anything we can try to ease her discomfort. I would love to find out a cure for her. She is such a lovely dog. I have been told by various vets that Cassie is a special case, we know she is special but just wish it wasn’t for these reasons – can anyone help?

Here’s hoping.
Debbie, Wolverhampton


  1. Are you giving your dog boosters on a yearly basis? If so could be something to do with this. It could be flea treatments, or something like a reaction to house dust mites. You could try using a Dyson Animal if you haven't already got one, pretty good at removing lots of things that can cause allergies out of carpets and upholstery.

    It could also be a food allergy, and changing the food to a totally raw diet may be the way forward. This will help to boost your dog's immune system which could well help with this problem. There is plenty of advice out there on the net, and having made the change last year, my dog has never looked back. Itching is a thing of the past.
    I always think that if you can feed yourself or your family a balanced diet, then doing the same for your dog isn't difficult, and the benefits are enormous.

  2. Thank you for your advice and apology for the delay in replying. We have been using an animal dyson for some time. We did think it might be house mites but why dont the antihistamines work or any allergy treatment for that matter?
    The flea treatment is interesting. I have been told recently by a homeopath not to use any as it comprises her immune system. She hasn't had boosters since she has been poorly either.
    With regards to a raw diet we have tried it but it just didn't work out.

    Thanks anyway.