The weekend before last John and I took Abbie to our second appointment with our new vet. I left feeling a lot more hopeful than I had since I wrote Abbie's never-ending allergy post.
Although at first we were beginning to think that Abbie was the itchiest dog in the land, Dr. B told us that some dogs don't stop itching even on two steroids a day. Poor doggies. :( It's good to stop and appreciate that Abbie is a lot better off than tons of other dogs.
We asked Dr. B about the risks involved with medicating Abbie with steroids and she explained that if we can get Abbie down to just one steroid every other day (or less) then the side effects (including major health problems down the line and a shorter life span) are way lower compared to taking steroids every single day.
Abbie has been taking one steroid every other day for the past week (along with some new medications) and she's been doing pretty great this time around! Although Abbie has scratched some and licked her paws a bit on the off days, we think that it's better than she's a little itchy on these days as opposed to taking a steroid every single day and having to deal with all of the risks. (Of course, we'd like her to eventually not be on steroids at all, but we'll just have to wait and see ...)
Along with steroids, antibiotics and omega 3 fish oil tablets, Abbie is now taking a half tablet of Claritin along with an herbal powder called "external wind powder." In my previous post about Abbie's allergies I mentioned that our new vet practices both eastern and western medicine techniques. When we asked about what exactly the wind powder does, Dr. B talked about the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang and the importance of making sure the body is in balance. As far as I understand, Abbie's allergies are making her skin red and hot and so to get back into balance she needs wind to cool her off. Or maybe I have this explanation totally backwards. I'm not exactly sure, but either way I find it all very interesting! At first John was a little wary of trying a holistic vet but now we're both really glad we got a second opinion. To me this combination eastern/western medicine solution sounds like a two in one double whammy kick those allergies' butt plan. Yes!
Abbie's scabs and cuts have gone away for the most part and her fur has grown back so nicely. Huzzah! It's so nice that she looks like a normal pup once again. (Well, except for the fact that the steroids have increased her appetite and made her gain a bit of weight. Hee! She's a cute little chunky monkey.) Here she's chilling out and showing off her birthday present -- a homemade collar from her Auntie Britt!
This is the same talented auntie that made Abbie her cute striped sweater and little black dress. Abbie is so spoiled! I keep telling Britt she must open up an Etsy shop!
Thanks again for listening! Hope you had a fabulous Labor Day and that you're having a happy short week!