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I am trying to find others who know the Irish setter breed who might be able to help me. I have a 2 year old male who is experiencing problems for the past 2 months. He has been to two different vets and placed on medication on and off. The problem still keeps coming back and the vets solution is to keep putting him on Prednisone. Which I hate because I know of the long term effects. If I could share with you what is going on.. maybe you have seen it before in the breed? These are the symptoms:

1. Itchy ears
2, Dry cough
3. Dry cough develops into wheezing as time goes on.
4. Gooby eyes, not alot but a grey slight discharge.
5. A little bit itchy on his back side but nothing where he is continually itching.

Overall the vet is saying allergies. We changed his food for a Holistic duck and oatmeal but today about 2 weeks after taking him off prednisone (for the second time) he started his dry cough again. I'm so frustrated and I'm looking at taking him to an Allergy specialist on Monday. I guess this is my question. Is this common for the breed? Are the supper allergic to many things? Have you heard of anything like this?

Please if you know of anyone who might have any information that can help, could you please direct me to them.
Thank you so much for your time.

Christina Vissichelli

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For me the symptoms sound like paracites.
- Have you taken care of his deworming? Naselmites makes a sneezing sound. Naselmites need a long period deworming program, at least 4 weeks.
- Have you and the vets thought of Sarcoptes scabiei, the itchy disease among foxes?
- Or have his lungs been x-rayed. Has the vets thought of strange objects in his lungs, a hayweed etc. That might cause a multiple infection.

Allergies are becoming the major disease-group among setters. Multiple allergies are usually very common.

Good luck with your redhead and thumbs up that the vets find out what is wrong with him!

Hi there,
Seems to be some indication that it is an allergy, of some kind, because when you take him off the medication then he starts with the symptoms again. What you are contemplating, taking him to an vet that specialises in allergies, is a good idea. My daughters Vizsla (who are related to the setter) is absolutely full of allergies, he is on Pyriton (I am not sure how to spell this) at the moment, a human ante-allergy tablet, that can be bought over the counter. Have you also thought of putting him on a gluten free diet, one of my setters was allergic to gluten, I think Hills do a good diet for that, but this was many years ago and I am sure that there are many diets that do this now.
But I think the first thing to do is to find out EXACTLY what he is allergic to, before going down any more invasive and chemical routs...Does it stop at different times of the year??? hope this is a little bit of help. Dee and the girls
That was a good point Dee, glutein-free diet. Glutein sensitive enteropathy is one of the breeds common diseases.

Below are some other gastrointestinal diseases:


* Allergies
* Gastric dilatation volvulus syndrome
* Gastric torsion
* Gluten-sensitive enteropathy
* Protein losing enteropathy
Yes many other gastric problems could cause some of those symptoms, I fell that many dogs have a predisposition to G.D.V. The setters, because of there construction, but it is essentially a hereditary problem, stomach bloating yes but not G.D.V. two different problems. I don't think that stomach bloating was part of the wee boys problems.
My bitch that I had in 2000 was a sufferer with that (stomach bloating) problem but she never did actually BLOAT, the stomach would get a lot of gas in it but you could pat it out of her, like burping a baby. Although some of the problems that she had could be in with the boys problems, she also would shake after eating, she was difficult to get any weight on and had no coat because of the rash she kept getting, she also, because of that rash, would scratch incessantly, (no internal or external parasites) I think that he has this one and the scratching could cause ear and eye discharges because of infection.....we did tests on her and it turned out that she was allergic to Gluten, Lamb and Chicken, the latter being a real difficult one to get around, but allergy testing is the first step, (in my humble opinion, and what do I know, just a wee bit self opinionated). If it turned out that there is NO allergy then Christina will have to go down different ways, but at least she will know that it ISN'T allergies, and if it is then she will know how to go about helping her lovely boy, Dee and the girls
Thanks for all the replies. We ended up taking him to ER. They gave a diagnosis of Valley Fever. Which really bites but at least we can begin to treat it. We are going to the regular doctor today to ask what we can do for his fevers and do blood tests. My poor boy, please keep him in your prayers. Thank you all. Christina
Oh dear. Correct me if I am wrong, (I probably am)...Is that not a tick born problem???? There am I going on about allergies, the poor wee thing. Do keep us informed as to the outcome, and what they are going to do about it. It isn't something that we hear much of in this country, so any info on it would be gratefully received, and yes I know that I will be thinking of him and you...Keep positive it always helps, and good luck to you both. Dee and the girls
Thank you for your prayers. Valley Fever is from a fungus that lives in the soil in the southwestern states. Us being in AZ have a very high chance of getting it. We just got back from the vet. They took blood to confirm that it is Valley Fever and we'll know the results in a couple of days. They are going forward with it being Valley Fever and are treating him with Fluconazole. I just want him better. I'm trying my best to think positive. Thank You
Christine, sorry to be so late reading this request for help. No, Irish are not normally a breed that is highly allergic to most things. However, your dog sounds more like he's allergic to his surroundings, instead of his dog food. Dogs, like people, have different tolerances to their surroundings. Take a look at his environment, see if theres a high concentration of mold, bacteria type that maybe you're not noticing (some can be invisible). Where do you live? What's the outdoor environment like? Try him on some Benadryl capsules, 1 every 8-12 hours, see if that helps. If it does, it is most likely an allergen to something in his environment, like grasses, a certain type of weed, etc. Good luck and let us know what you find out.

Barb Simpson, Rustwood Setters since 1968 and Borzoi since 2005 in N. TX, USA
I imagine your Vet has tested him for Valley Fever. Many dogs will get a false negative, so its always good to do it twice.

Thyroid checked yet? Could be allergies but would be good to find out what he's allergic to. My daughter lives in Tucson and has a Irish Setter who had allergy problems for a while, I'll write her and see who she took the dog to.

Loma and Red Friends
Yuma, Az. USA
Okay, I've just finished reading your post and see your dog does have Valley Fever. It can be treated, best to get going on it right away. Tucson is one of the highest spots for dogs to get VF, also Phoenix, Az. We are beginning to see more of it here in Yuma too.

If I can help in getting you drugs from Mexico, just let me know. I've done it for other Setters in Arizona. I live about 10 min's from the Mexico border and can go across and buy drugs cheaper than here in the states.

Loma and Red Friends
Thank you so much. I am absolutely impressed with all the caring people here. Our first time with the Valley Fever blood came back negative. So this is our second blood test. The doctor is going off of the chest x rays. I am also giving him vitamin c, cod liver oil and a fungi detox from one of the pet holistic stores. I want his own immune system to be strong. Poor guy is suspicious anytime I come near him...like "oh no, here she comes with another pill" He has a cough like Bronchitis and on and off again fevers. Though it is funny anytime we take him for a ride in the car he perks up. By the time we got to the vet he was acting like a different dog....
I'll let you all know what the blood test results are. Again Thank you so much.

Well I have only heard of Vally Fever, don't know where from, so yes I was very wrong as to where it came from, as I said, nothing that we come across in the UK. so I will get of and leave it to the people who know about it, but will watch the site to see what happens to your boy, we will be thinking of you. Dee and the girls




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