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Bichon with Allergies

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  • Bichon with Allergies

    I groom the cutest litttle bichon. It's very tiny and petite. The problem is it's very allergic, always scratching and it just got over having a huge hotspot on its neck. It was just awful. This little doggy is suffering. When I first met the dog, a young puppy, it had a big hematoma on its hind end as the vet had given her a tick shot. I thought this was TERRIBLE but I didn't say anything. I would never let my dog have a tick shot. Anyway, after speaking with the owner last night (grooming the dog today) we discussed shampoos and the best haircut for the dog ect and the topic of Frontline and HeartGuard came up. I suggested not giving this to the dog as maybe it is contributing to the dogs allergies, certainly not helping. I do not give these to my dog as he has many health issues and takes 2 medications every day. I check him for fleas and ticks and he is tested for heartworm twice a year. I told this to the owner adding I am not a vet, this is just what I do. Perhaps the dogs health might impove. I thought it was worth a try. Anything to help this little cutie. What is everyone's opinion on this. Should I have told her this? This dog is now on prescription food (sold by the vet). I have a feeeling this vet is just trying to make a buck. Or maybe I should say I don't know what to think. I don't want to say anything about the vet as his office recommended me to her.

  • #2
    possible solution

    Let's start with the allergies.
    NO fleas-
    The dog must be 100% flea free all year. With mine they get the proper size of Advantage every 21 days- Bayer says this is safe.
    Advantage is a quicker kill than other products. It's a myth that you have to wait until the oils come back to the coat. As long as the dog is completely dry you can apply Advantage. (And you'll be using a soapfree shampoo anyhow so all the oils will not be gone)
    If my one Shih Tzu gets near a flea, it's scratch & chew until she bleeds time.

    Very mild soapfree shampoo, Then only use slightly warm or tepid water. Hot water, as good as it feels wrecks the skin. And if possible use a cooler water rinse. Extra, extra rinsing. When u think you've rinsed enough- rinse once more. Conditioning is a toss up. Maybe all right to use a high quality vet formula rinse after it's been diluted a lot more than recommended by the manufacturer. Warm air or cool air drying.

    Hot spots need air to heal. Offer to clip the area with your 10 blade to help the place heal faster.

    I am all for helping with flea issues but,
    As a groomer I would not tell my clients to not use heartworm prevention.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      I think she will itch more from the flea bites:-) SUggest putting FRESH garlic in the food. Advantage, frontline, etc... all of these products are great but the flea must bite the dog in order to die. Garlic has been proven to repel fleas and ticks before they bite.

      I don't use many flea treatments but I swear by the garlic (I am in Florida) and my dogs NEVER have fleas and we have 2.5 acres of wooded yard.

      Also, lets look at food. Yes, she may be on an allergy food from the vet but it may not be the answer. For ALLERGY dogs, I love Avoderm dog food.

      Lastly, many hotspots can be reduced by frequent exams. Teach the owner to feel the dog all over. Feel the skin, hot spots are called such because they are Hot (warm to the touch). Good Old Fashion Listerine is perfect, it has a cooling agent, anti-bacterial and it safe for oral injestion. I put Listerine on a cotton ball and dab my Bichon's area when I feel them getting warm. He used to have raw spots all of the time until I did this. My cousin is a Pet Dermatologist and she shared this idea with me. And, becuase it is topical it does not cross the line as Vet Prescribing.


      • #4
        One other point that groomers seem to that no matter how mild the shampoo, how well you rinse, if you are HV'ing that little dog, you can do more damage to his skin than either of the first two combined! Doesn't make a difference if it's low or high heat...the velocity can cause itching similar to allergies...think wind burn. Proven fact, HV'ing can be a cause of itching.

        With a pet that is highly allergic, I do a towel /blanket wrap, for 10 minutes, then with a soft dryer, (like my old stand dryer) only blowing ambiant air, do a comb out and fluff. No heavy brushing and not with a slicker, even my super soft Gold LP brush.

        This has worked super for my allergy dogs, almost to the point of no itching after a groom!

        Ant bites seem to be a problem for some of my dogs here, no fleas or ticks, but ants when the pet is outside (those little teeny tiny black ones). I have one little Bichon I do every 2 weeks, she gets bit and we go through the big nasty ouwies.

        So, put away the HV dryer on some of your really itchy might make a big difference!


        • #5
          If he is absolutly flea free all year long then it may well be something esle. But there are many, many factors involved. Has the vet done allergy testing? Prec foods are great for determining food allergy, but it could be dust, pollen, or anything?

          Allergy testing can sometimes be a long slow process, but it is best to start now.

          By the way Heartgrd has beef products in it and Interceptor has pork products. Revolution is a spot one heartworm prevent.

          Down here 90% of all dogs not on heartworm preventative are positive for heartworms.
          Never gonna know if you never even try


          • #6
            I used to groom a Bichon with horrible allergies every week. They moved so I don't do the dog anymore. I used to use Top Performance's Australian Shampoo on him. It worked great. He hardly every broke out from his allergies. Hypo shampoo would cause a reaction, he would get gunky from certain Oatmeals and other oatmeals would cause him to break out. Tried all the mild shampoos and none worked like the Australian did. It was great...


            • #7
              EQyss Micro-Tek

              I was at hh backer show in AC talking to Eqyss guy, he made EQyss Micro-Tek sounds so wonderful for skin problems. They even have Flea-Bite Shampoo
              and Spra., Maybe you should look into it, I'm also wondering if anyone here has good results with their products.


              • #8
                This dog has never had fleas. That is the only reason why I suggested taking her off the flea prevention. I also thought, since she is a little white dog, if there was a flea the owner would see it right away.

                I gave the owner the recipe for Spots Stew (if anyone wants the recipe PM me) which is something she can make at home. I also told her about those Sams Yams Treats. They are just dehydrated sweet potatos. I was thinking she could get the dog off the carbs, fillers, chemicals etc. maybe the dog might improve. Also, she is buying a bottle of Dream Coat which I think is a great product. (you can google it)

                I washed her today with Hypo A (thank you Helly) and the owner insisted I use a conditioner on her coat (Natures Spec Remo) because the owner thought it would help the itching. I did dry her on low.

                I appreciate all your suggestions. I've only been grooming for a year. All you seasoned groomers with many years of experience can really help us greenhorns and our customers. If I didn't have the Internet I would never be where I am today so THANK YOU ALL!

                PS Love the Listerine suggestion. Sounds great and I never would of thought of that. :0)


                • #9
                  I would be hesitant to take the dog off the flea prevention....flea bite dermatitis is very common in dogs and all it takes is for one flea to bite the dog to set off a huge problem. My dog has flea bite dermatitis and if she gets one bite she breaks out and gets a huge hot spot from scratching it. After you see the flea on the dog, it is too late. Just my opinion. I would also be suspect of the food...just because it is sold in the vet's office doesn't mean it is any better than the stuff on the shelves. Wasn't the hills prescription diet involved in the recall? I would consult a dog nutritionist and start really working on that diet.


                  • #10
                    Gracy Rose u are incorrect

                    The wonder of Advantage is the fleas are killed by contact with the Advantage. The flea does not have to bite the dog. And in most cases dies before it does bite the dog. This is why Advantage is great for dogs with allergies to flea saliva.

                    You can contact the manufacturer, Bayer, & get lots of info from their helpful customer service reps.

                    Frontline works much in the same way, but I'm not as familiar with it.



                    • #11
                      My Main concern here is that you do NOT infringe on veterinary territory. If you recommend 'treatments' to your clients for ANYTHING, you are treading on dangerous ground. I no longer even say, "Sissy has an ear infection"- if I do, guess what? I just made a diagnosis, which falls under 'practicing veterinary medicine without a license.' I can say, "Sissy has alot of brown gooey discharge in her right ear, she should see the vet."

                      I will preface anything I say about skin problems with, "I'm not a vet, and a visit to yours would be a good idea. I can tell you that this has been my personal/professional experience with ____________."

                      Groomers and vets often have a tense relationship as it is, so just take care not to get yourself into trouble. :-)


                      • #12
                        I don't mean to offend, but...... how is having a dog tested for Hearworm twice a year preventing the dog from getting heartworm? Once he has it, the damage has been done, so the test isn't going to help with anything - other then letting you know the dog has heartworm.

                        Maybe I'm wrong but there is no way I would tell somebody to avoid giving their dog heartworm preventative, or any other type of disease preventative. That's for a Vet to decide, and I've seen firsthand what heartworm disease does to a dog. It's pretty sad.


                        • #13

                          Im not concerned in the least of telling my clients that their dog has an ear infection, or skin infection or any other medical condition that I see. Most vets are not concerned either trying to blame a groomer for those ear infections or skin infections...or anything else they can lay blame on....that would be the least of my concerns. I just hope they get their dog to a vet asap for treatment.


                          • #14
                            I've known a great many dogs, and especially cats, who have "...never had fleas" that have been bitten by fleas. They're just really good at catching them and eating them before the fleas have a chance to be noticed by the owner. Oli is, unfortunately, one of these dogs. And he's also one of those dogs that it only takes one bite to get him scratching up a storm.

                            Another problem with these highly allergic dogs is that many of them develop yeast infections on their skin. And, unlike a lot of dogs, they're also highly allergic to the yeast. So, just like the "one flea bite" dogs, it doesn't take much and they're itching up a storm. Many of them will improve if given acidophilus supplements.

                            I considered testing twice a year for heartworm, instead of using preventatives. But after much consideration, it didn't make sense. Testing doesn't help much. If the dog gets heartworm, you have to treat. And treating is painful, and potentially deadly. The preventative is only in the dog's system for a maximum of 72 hours. There is now a generic ivermectin heartworm preventative that is just a little pill, not a meat based treat. If beef or pork is a problem for the dog, you can use the generic.

                            For a dog that is highly allergic to many things, I'd suggest that the owner discuss Atopica (oral cyclosporin) with their vet. It's expensive, but I've seen some amazing results in dogs with allergies after they start using this medication.

                            One in particular, a black cocker, had absolutely no hair on the rear half of his body because of all the scratching and licking he was doing. His skin was thickened, leather like, and greasy. He had balding spots on all his feet, and on his face. And stink? Boy, did that dog stink! He started taking Atopica 6 months ago. Within a month his hair started to grow back. His skin lost that leathery appearance. And that yeasty smell improved. Now he only has one bald spot, about 3 inches wide, on his butt. You can tell it's going to grow hair, though. Every time he comes in for grooming, the bald spot is smaller. He doesn't itch. He doesn't stink. Atopica has made all the difference in his quality of life. It's at least worth mentioning that they discuss it with their vet.


                            • #15
                              Scottie on Atopica

                              Helly I groom a little black scottie who is allergic to grass, so her belly was always a scabby mess, itching all year long but especially spring time. This dog was put on Atopica and she is like grooming a new dog. Her belly is not scabby, scaley, or thick as it used to be. That is good stuff!