I just spotted in the “This Week Last Year” section that it was a year ago that Beanie was diagnosed with atopy (allergies). We were worried at the time that the condition would worsen each year with the dog becoming allergic to more and more things (that’s the norm with atopic dogs) so I thought I’d provide an update.
Beanie was found to be allergic to about 10 different tree, weed and grass pollens. The levels ranged from 250 to about 400 which is pretty low really. She started on immunotherapy in about October of last year and we’re continuing to give her monthly injections at home. Mamy vets advise against testing and treating until a dog is a couple of years old as they will typically develop new allergies over this time and further testing will be required. However, we figured (based upon Paul’s personal experiences with allergies) that when the dog (or person) is itchy it’s more prone to developing new allergies. We wanted it nipped in the bud and fortunately our vet agreed to test at about 9 months old.
It’s been a huge success. Beanie very occasionally has an itchy day, but at worst you’ll see her having a good scratch perhaps half a dozen times a day. Most days she’s itch free. Overall I’d say she scratches less than Biggles. This year she’s had no pyoderma, no rashes and no marks at all on her skin. Her allergy season (Feb – Oct) ends in a couple of months so it’s beginning to look as if we’ve got on top of this early enough to not only stop the condition from worsening, but to virtually eliminate all symptoms. With any luck she’ll be one of the few dogs that can be weaned of the immunotherapy. Although the monthly injections are completely painless and administered at home so it doesn’t matter if she does need them for life.