Over the last few months I have become aware of the huge number of dogs suffering with allergies, both airborne & dietary.
Starting at the beginning of May, I began to receive phone calls from dog owners who were distraught at the condition of their dogs who scratch non-stop. This results in the dog losing its hair & making itself very sore.
This is often due to grass/pollen allergies, requiring the dogs to be kept indoors as much as possible during the summer months. This must make the dogs utterly miserable & frustrated, particularly when they are used to being outside with their people.
The photo above is of a GSD. I have been so surprised at the complete diversity of breeds & types of dogs suffering with allergies. I’ve made lightweight K9 CleanCoat coveralls for Jack Russells, West Highland Terriers, Bearded Collies, Boxers, Labradors, GSDs, Irish Setters, & the list goes on. You can learn more about K9 CleanCoats here
In extreme cases, where the dogs have been chewing their feet & doing real damage, I’ve added feet to the K9 CleanCoat. This prevents their chewing when unattended. Clients tell me the chewing seems to become a habit. Once they are in their coveralls & cannot chew they seem to become pacified. This seems to work for the dogs with the dietary allergies too. Once they are curled up in their onesie, they seem to be more peaceful.
I’ve recommended chilling the coverall in the fridge before putting it on when the weather is warm & the itching is extreme.
Many of these dogs have been on long-term steroid use, which invariably has not cured the condition. Then there follows the lengthy period of weaning them off the steroids, which themselves can lead to nasty secondary conditions. It inevitably results in huge weight gain. From all the people I’ve dealt with, the only medication that seems to have helped anybody’s dogs is Apoquel.
I queried the measurements on the order form for one little Jack Russell as she appeared to be so bum high. When I later saw photographs of her, she had huge lumps all over the top of her back & hips caused by the steroids. She was allergic to grass/pollen. Within 3 weeks of her getting her new coverall, she was able to go outside & get back to work with the horses & help on the farm. She was taken off the steroids & has got her trim figure back, but she must always be covered when she’s outdoors.
A few months ago, I had an Edinburgh journalist interview me about the prevalence of dogs suffering with allergies in the UK, which seems to be an epidemic. She could not get the Royal Dick Veterinary Centre or any other vets to speak to her about it, so her story was not published.
I wish some clever people could discover what we have done to dogs such that they have become allergic to grass/pollen and all these meat products!