An update on Sami’s allergies [+Video]

This past week has been a great one not just because it’s summer and we get to be outdoors a lot, but also for health related reasons.

For the first time in months, Sami is allergy free (or seems to be, it’s still new and it’s only been less than a week)! We are still not sure what’s next, but at the moment we are very happy. 

So what happened? As you may know, we’ve been dealing with Sami’s allergies for months, because of the atopic dermatitis that seems to affect many Westie dogs and appears between years 1-3 of their life. As soon as he was about one and a half, the symptoms started. 

We went to the vet weekly, used various sprays and creams and mousses on his paws, as he continued licking and chewing incessantly.

It affected his sleep and ours too and he was pretty lethargic because of that, cranky at times. And who could blame him?

The vet put him on cortisone pills for about two weeks, which helped a lot, but as we cut back his dose in order to stop altogether, the allergy returned.

I gave him baths with a vet approved anti-allergy shampoo, cleaned his paws and sprayed them nightly with liquid water based cortisone spray. He even started having some red spots on his back and belly, which I am told is the next stage of these allergies.

Nothing helped and the vet wanted to start him on Apoquel, which is a medicine that helps with atopic dermatitis and works by inhibiting the allergy receptor sensors.

After doing some research on the options available, I decided I would like to postpone starting him on long term medicine for as long as I can. I’m not very comfortable with giving him medicine unless absolutely necessary, so we decided to book an allergy test in order to find out what allergens affect him and maybe try and avoid those allergens or reduce exposure.

I am not sure this will help, but it’s a step forward. It will be a blood test, not intradermal, if you are wondering. It’s just as effective and way less uncomfortable for Sami. We are booked in 3 weeks and are looking forward to it.

However it seems that sometime in the past week, Sami stopped licking and chewing his paws. He still has some red spots but I think they are healing, as he is not scratching anymore.

We have no idea what changed! The only explanation confirms that it’s environmental allergies and it must be something seasonal, which we hope to find out once we do the test!

Until then, we try to wash Sami’s paws daily and disinfect them using a mousse called Hexaderma (anti bacteria and parasites), we try to bathe him more often too (since the allergens tend to cling to his fur and get in contact with the skin, so bathing is always an option) and we switched his food to no grain, just in case. We will wait and see, wish us good luck! 🙂

Also, below is a video I’ve made about all the things I take with us when we travel with an allergic Westie (Sami):