I went through the health section, and did a search but there are SO MANY posts on allergy issues that I didn't think I'd be able to find anything relating to this, so forgive me if I just managed to miss them, and links to previous posts you guys know of are always helpful.
My friend, Rachel adopted Penny Lane, a pit bull mix a few months back. She is absolutely wonderful and a complete softie, but has terrible allergies. Rachel's boyfriend gets home from Afghanistan in about a month and a half, but was recently home on leave. He loves Penny, but is frustrated because he "didn't want a high-maintenance dog"... (beside the point, I have said over and over, she isn't high maintenance at all, because literally her ONLY problem/issue behavior and health wise is that she has allergies).
And I don't mean just like, itchy at some points allergies... they're REALLY bad. Rachel said she is constantly itching and it is normal for Penny to get the REALLY RED hivey looking irritation on her belly and under her legs.
They switched to our veterinarian who I love, and trust 100%--he has never steered us wrong with any of our three, and has always been able to find a solution for any issues we've had--always starting with the least-expensive options because he knows we aren't just rolling in the dough. He is very pit bull friendly, and goes on and on about our dogs and how great they are... I wouldn't go to any other vet in the area unless referred to a specialist or something by ours. With that being said, It seems like they have tried EVERYTHING imaginable to treat Penny's allergies. For the first few months Rachel kept her on the same food she ate at her foster home- I think it was diamond naturals. By my advice based on Harlow's allergies, she has since switched to TOTW pacific stream, but Penny's allergies haven't gotten better. Benadryl doesn't help, and they have gotten to the point where she has to give her two zyrtec daily to get a small amount of relief. They do medicated baths, and she DID have a skin infection initially, but since has tested negative for it or any kind of parasites. Rachel told me she was going to try claritin next, to see if it helps with just one-a-day, since technically two zyrtec daily is over the recommended dose. (the vet did okay this with her, though.)
I think the ONLY thing that has ever helped enough to make a difference has been prednisone, but obviously it's not ideal to make that a permanent thing, so Rachel is really hoping for some kind of answer. The only thing I know of that they haven't tried is to do the cortizone injections monthly, or whatever it is... but I have never really heard of anyone getting great results from that, which is why I assume the vet hasn't tried it.
Rachel is always coming to me for advice, and up until now I have always had something to recommend, but I sort of feel like they've tried anything I know to advise... So I was hoping I could get some ideas here, where I know so many people are managing dogs with severe-allergies. She says her boyfriend would never want to give Penny up or anything, but still she wants to find some kind of solution because Penny is sort of "her" dog in the sense that she was adopted while her boyfriend was out of the country, and she wants her to be just as part of their family as their other dog, who is a bombproof, picture of perfect health and everything.
so, any advice for me...for Rachel?