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IN HOUSE SURVEY What is your irish setter "allergic" to?

Seems this is epidemic among all breeds in recent years. I'm convinced my dog's "allergy" is environmental. I was hoping a number of us could relate results of any allergy testing and maybe come up with some heavy hitters so we all could start looking at our homes/yards for these triggers. Alex has suffered from breakouts and itching since June 2013. We did the food allergy testing to no avail. He started with a painful front paw, developing a rash that ran up both front legs and chest in the 6 hours before our vet appointment. I think something got into his system. It is a staph related infection. Lab cultures indicate Zenifren is the best antibiotic but he doesn't clear completely.

Anything you can relate will be helpful. We will undergo the allergy tests after the first of the year and I can report back my results. I live in St Augustine FL, use no chemicals in my garden/yard and several other dog owners here have skin issues with their pets as well but have not tested. Thanks all.

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Luckily, our dog has no allergy at all - but here is a good place for testing:


But maybe you have done that one already. Best of luck!

Thank you! this is a very interesting site. I owned a setter for 11 years and raised him on regular dog food all his life. He never had so much as a rash. I think it's something here in Florida. This pup was raised on raw food and was extremely healthy when we got him. All the other pups in the litter are doing fine (none as far as I know live in Florida).

Happy holidays! I'll be offline for a few days (as should we all). Thanks for your advice.

Hi Mary, totally agree with regards to allergies and rashes been annoying for both us, with worry about our dogs and our poor dogs having to deal with it!! I know absolutely nothing about allergies but have always put a teaspoon of organic apple cider morning and night in all my dogs food and in my opinion has helped with many skin/alergie problems. I coihd be totally wrong but it would do no harm to try it too. All the best for the New Year. X

And yes you are correct...a wonderful site :0)

My Rooker is allergic ( it seems ) to either poultry or grains. We couldnt narrow it without difficulty. He had very loose stools. He now gets a beef and potatoe blend, no soy, corn or wheat. Seemed to solve the issue although cat poo remains a problem. I think you are correct Mary about an environmental factor if other neighboring

breeds have the same problem. Is there a business nearby or agriculture where there may be spray drift. The water? Too coincidental for there not to be commonality of some sort.

Side note, the Shrine there is a big customer of where I work. Good luck.

m. Is there some business possibly nearby or agriculture

Thanks Rob, that's been my suspicion all along but i didn't take it as far as you. I do live in northeast Florida and although not as heavily farmed as the south, we have tons of potato, sorghum, corn, cabbage etc fields since we have several growing seasons. Also, I discovered a fungus, late blight, in my organic yard garden this year which can actually overwinter so I had to remove all the blighted plants from the property in bags and am planning to treat my soil before the spring planting. Even the tomato cages have to be washed in bleach water. I am expecting his test results any day and will post what they find. He just better not be allergic to ME. Then we have a problem!

Hi Mary,

We also garden organically. Are you sure you have to treat the soil for late blight? To my knowledge, if I am correct, it does not winter over and is an airborne pathogen. I best recheck my ownself. We have two gardens about 300-400ft apart and thought we were going to skate on the downwind one but 2-3wks later, no luck.

Hi Mary
Found an informative pdf file thru UMass ext. Center for Agricuture. I found it by googling late blight.

Good morning Rob. I used our Florida ag site and found this: http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu/resources/success_stories/T&PGuide/pdfs...

Seems it is pretty airborne. I'm thinking I'll use the cut out tarp method shown and spray before anything comes up. I did have a ton of volunteers coming up from the heirlooms I plant. I must have thrown out dozens of green tomatoes; they just never ripened. The ones that started to blush I ripened in the house, got maybe 30 lbs. It also affected my peppers and cukes.

No word on Alex's allergy tests yet.

Hi There,
my boy Memphis has seasonal allergies like hay fever when my son is bad so is he. It's his eyes and anal glands apparently they are connected. He's on Claratyne half a tablet a day. Works really well.

Thanks Rosie! It's been over 2 weeks and I've a call into the vet to see if Alex's results are back. I've tried benadryl and zyrtec to no effect. Friends have told me Claritin works better (not cheap,even the generic) but cheaper than  the antibiotics and hated steroids. He's had his last steroid today: the dog is massive and now I'm worried about his weight on those 14 month old bones. You know setters and their knees and hips. sheesh. Will report to all when I hear something.

Alex test results from 12/26/13 are in. Comments are very welcome:

Alex’s diagnosis

We had blood drawn for allergy testing on 12/26/13. Results came in 1/14/14 as below:

NO FOOD ALLERGY (as I’ve said for 8 months….)

Highly allergic to aspergillus , a fungus that is just about everywhere. I need to research if the mulch I use in my yard, which degrades quickly, harbors this in big quantities as well as whatever fungus got my tomatoes, cukes and blueberries this past year. He’s been on and off steroids for these past 8 months, suppressing his immune system. Could be a connection. From the aspergillus website in UK:

Risk factors?

Sources of increased risk include dirty air conditioning units, compost heaps and damp or flood-damaged housing, all of which can yield higher numbers of aspergillus spores. But immune suppression of an individual is the most important factor.

Highly allergic to food mites (found in all dry dog food bags, whether grain free or not) Solution is to buy small bags and keep in freezer. Now that’s easy and free.

Moderately allergic to dust mites. Solution is to vacuum more. Those of you who know me know how likely that will be.

Moderately allergic to ragweed, goldenrod and other common weeds. Probably can be controlled seasonally with Claritin or shots.

Mildly allergic to palm. It’s Florida.

I'm getting ready today to attack dust mites. Any ideas/tricks/suggestions are welcome!




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