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31 March 2007 @ 09:55 pm
Ripley's story.  
Ripley is a 4-7 year old Pit Bull(possibly American Bulldog). I adopted him from the local animal control in January 2004 when he was a very skinny, dirty dog. There was no sign of allergies when I first adopted him or the first few months after.

It all started with an ear infection. The insides of his ears would get bright red and swollen then would fill with stinky black gunk. He'd go crazy shaking his head, itching his ears and was just miserable. The vet gave us ear cleaning solution, ointment and said to clean them thoroughly twice a day for 5 days. We followed orders and it wasn't working. Back to the vet we went and we were given the same stuff, same instructions along with 20mg of prednisone to give him daily(10mg 2x a day). The ears started to clear p and were okay for about 2 weeks. Then it came back and wouldn't go away.

Then his face started getting infected. He'd get pus pockets on his lips and under his chin, his muzzle would get bright pink and would look puffy. His eyelids started swelling and his eyes were draining green goop. Back to the vet, more prednisone and a round of antibiotics. He got his fisrt allergy test that gave us no real answer. He would have a few good days, then a few bad weeks. Then the rashes started.

First it was just his belly and the insides of his back legs. They'd get scaley and red. He'd scratch and get scabs all over him. More prednisone, more antibiotics. At this point we started switching foods. He was originally on Pedigree(awful food, I know). We switched him to a lamb and rice diet with no change. Then it was over to a vegetarian kibble. He still had flare ups, but they were nowhere near as bad. We thought we were making progress. Within a few months, the flare ups were back, worse than before. We tried Chicken Soup kibble. The rashes went away, the ear and face infections didn't. He went in for a new round of allergy testing and blood work. We tried AvoDerm and we hit rock bottom.

During that phase of it all, I did contemplated euthanasia numerous times. Ripley would cry getting up to walk around, he was obviously in a lot of pain. But he kept trying, so I kept trying. At this point in the experimenting and treatment, Ripley was on 100mg of prednisone a day, medicated baths weekly, steroid sprays 3x daily, medicated sprays 2x daily, strict diet, countless ointments and drops. His rashes extended to the whole underside(chest, belly, legs, feet), his face was infected, his ears were infected, his eyes were so swollen he could barely see. The rashes turned into open sores and his hair started falling out on his sides and legs.

We went to the vet one last time. One more allergy test, one more round of blood work, one more chance. By the time it was done, I saw the vet writing a prescription for a larger dose of steroids, more frequent sprays, baths, etc and I just gave up. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't put Ripley through all that anymore.

I went against vets orders and I got rid of the steroids, the sprays, the ointments and the drops. I bought a 30 pound bag of the Pinnacle trout & sweet potato kibble and prayed hard. I was giving him minimal everything. No more drugs, just keeping him clean and giving him his kibble(though he did stay on antibiotics so the sores could heal). Within 3 days, the sores were closed, the rashes were almost healed, the ear infection was going away and his face and eyes were clearing up.

After a year and a half is allergy results came back with answers. He had numerous food and environmental allergies. He's allergic to most meats(beef, chicken and turkey are the worst), wheat, corn and numerous vegetables. Also on the list are grass, dust, lilacs, elm, oak and certain types of weeds. It makes it difficult for him living in the desert, but we make it work and I'm happy to say he hasn't had a really big flare up in over a year on his minimal treatment plan. His last one was when he got into some cat food(we didn't secure the gate). But we knew and were on it before it got serious.

So yeah, that's Ripley's story.
Sassafras: femmedoggendertrash on April 1st, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
wow you and ripley have definatly been through it all with this allergy crap. good for you for doing what was right for you and him and i'm so glad that it seems to be working!!!

i'm going to try to get mercury's story written up and posted tonight (as soon as i finish cooking a late dinner :) )

i hope you don't mind i threw some stuff up on the info page and made a quick icon just so it wouldn't be empty :)
think of me sweetly.: Ripley//Happy!aheadsuretospin on April 1st, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
No problem =)

I'll work on community rules and what not tonight too(maybe work on a layout of some sort)
Sassafras: femmedoggendertrash on April 1st, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
the community rules look great!
(Anonymous) on July 23rd, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
The picture on this website is distasteful. I wanted to find info. to help my pet, not see a picture of an intimate moment. Think about the children. They dont need to be exposed to any more sexual graphics than necessary. I'm glad my son was not sitting by my while trying to help his pet feel better.
think of me sweetly.aheadsuretospin on July 23rd, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
What picture?