Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's an Itchy Kind of Spring

Spring and Summer can be miserable times for poor Lily. She's riddled with allergies. Sometimes it seems she's allergic to EVERYTHING.

She's on steroids year round as well as daily antihistamines. This year, I was able to talk my husband into exploring some holistic remedies to get her some relief. Unfortunately, we had a warm winter and the pollens are supposed to be the worst in almost two decades.

We have noticed. All she does is itch. At the moment, her chest is red and raw. The holistic remedies are not working. I'm urging him to be patient. Nothing is a quick fix. We have to stay the course and see how things go over the next year.

As I type this, she has been itching non-stop for ten minutes. If we close the windows, our house heats up quickly. The warmth adds to the itching. We can't leave our windows open at night because my husband says so. This leaves me up far past my bedtime just to hang out in the living room with her and keep them open wide, cool air drifting in to calm her and give her some relief.

I ache for her. I try everything in my power to ease her itching - extra walks to keep her extra tired, bath once a week plus daily wipedowns, t-shirts for walking (see above). It never feels like enough. When she's up late itching and scratching, I stay with her out of guilt. Sometimes we do an extra walk. We've switched her food to a new protein source, but it hasn't been enough time to get the old one out of her system yet so she isn't getting relief there. She has supplements up the wazoo.

And starting the end of the week, she will have shorts.

Every inch of her undercarriage will be covered for walks. Time in the sun will be limited in the yard because she can't stay out of the grass that gives her such bad hives. Within a few weeks, the rash will disappear and the clothes will come off again. I just wish we could find an end to this misery permanently.

Do we move to a cooler climate? A place where there is more snow and less pollen? More rain and less sun? More dirt and pine and less sage and grass? I'd do just about anything to get her well again.

So for now, we treat the symptoms and try to get some relief while the holistic vet has her taking things to heal the insides (which will supposedly get rid of the itchies, or at least diminish them). For now, we stay this course. And we hope.

Because Lily is embarrassed walking in her t-shirts. She'd rather be clothes free. And hive free. And itch free.

Does your dog have allergies? What have you found that works? Or doesn't?

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