Two summers ago I started having some unusual symptoms. The first time we were suspicious I got taken to the vet because of an eye problem. I had rubbed off all the fur around my eyes by rubbing my face on the rug. I also had some scabs under my chin from scratching too hard with my untrimmed toe nails. And I constantly scratched and dug at my ears. We went the usual route, steroids to settle down my itching, but those made me sick. Mom had been giving me over the counter Benadryl and Claritin. The vet said that was fine but told us to think about taking a blood test to determine what I was allergic to and having a vaccine made. The vet said that other patients have been successful using it. So mom continued the OTC treatment but during the winter she decided to have me tested for environmental allergies before spring brought the itchies. When the vet called with the results she was so sure I wasn't allergic to anything that she was shocked to learned I had scored off the charts with 32 out of 40 allergens. Then the vet and her had to decide which 16 they should put in the dose. When the GREER allergy immunotherapy came in mom and dad took me to the vet. The vet spent a lot of time with us going over everything, then mom got to practice shots on an orange and then me. She did really well for someone who can't even watch herself get injected with a needed. So we started the injections keeping a record of the dosage, date, and symtoms.
I have to say that I did really well with the shots. I didn't mind them much at all. Mom and dad put me on the couch between them for cuddles and I wouldn't even know I was getting it. First there was the series to build an immunity to the allergens. I did pretty good, if I got too itchy mom would give me OTC meds. Once we completed those I started a full dose on a regular schedule. Towards the end of that dose it was time for me to see the vet for my regular checkup. The big concern were my ears. They were still red, itchy and gunky. I really hated getting those drops put in my ears! But the vet threw a big bump in my treatment. He was sure, and this vet has TONS of experience, that the ear symptoms were due to food allergies. He had seen it numerous times. So we were given instructions on what to do about changing my food. The problem is that there isn't a test for food allergies, you can only practice by eliminating certain foods.
After this mom got overwhelmed with my symtoms, she just couldn't tell if was the shots, food, whatever. So when the dose was finished, we were heading into winter, she decided to stop giving me the shots and concentrate on getting my food right. If any readers know of natural allergy treatments for environmental allergies we would love to hear from you. Spring is just around the corner and bringing with it the itchies! Stay tuned for Part II to see what Mom and I went through finding the right food for me.