Dog Allergies – Treatment With Steroids

Steroids such as prednisone, methyl prednisolone and trimacinolone bring relief to allergic dogs by decreasing inflammation.  At higher doses, they actually suppress the immune system.  Unfortunately, they also have many unwanted side effects because they effect so many body systems.  Dogs on steroids often have increased thirst, appetite and urinations.  They may also suffer with excessive panting, vomiting, […]

Dog Allergies – Additonal Tests

When working up a dog with allergies, I perform several tests to rule out other diseases before launching into a food trial, intradermal test or serum allergy test. In my experience, dogs with allergies often suffer with skin infections caused by bacteria and yeast.  Mange is a third common problem that can be misdiagnosed as allergies.  Here’s a list of the tests I […]

Dog Breeds – None Are Hypoallergenic

There is a myth that some breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic.  I wish this were true, but sadly it is not.  One common view  is that dogs with continuously growing coats like poodles and bichons are less antigenic than other breeds.  Although this has some conceptual appeal, there is no scientific evidence to support it.   As a veterinarian, I see […]

Dog Covered With Ticks

Last summer, a woman found this dog wondering the streets of Phoenix.  Filthy matted hair covered his body and he smelled like garbage.     When we removed his hair, a new problem emerged.  Ticks!  They covered his body.  It was the worst infestation I have ever seen.  We used a spray to kill the ticks and then removed them with slow steady traction.  […]

Raw Diets For Pets – The Freezing Myth

Recently, I’ve had several people ask me about raw pet diets commonly called BARF.  When I first heard about this diet, the letters stood for “bones and raw food”.  Now the marketing has changed to “biologically appropriate raw food”.  In these discussions, I have learned that many people believe freezing makes raw diets safe for their pets.  This is […]