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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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Valley Fever also affects human beings. It's caused by a spore that lives in dry, desert like conditions. There are places in CA (San Joaquin Valley - Kern County, for one) that also harbors these spores. When they are located in an area, most are fenced off and closed to public access permanently. I came down with Valley Fever as a 17 year old. It can affect the nervous system, the lungs and the muscles and tendons. My Dad contracted it as a youngster and it really didn't manifest itself until he was at boot camp during WWII. Kept him from being sent overseas tho. A young cousin almost died of Valley Fever when she was a very young child. I was on complete bed rest for 4 months, too weak to lift my head off the pillow. Not a great way to celebrate your Senior year of High School, missed all the dances, picnics, and graduation itself!

Barb Simpson, Rustwood Setters and Borzoi now living in N. TX
Sorry to hear that Barbara, it is one of those things that makes me pleased that I live in coldish wetish Scotland we do have our dry warm spells but they just arent long enough to create those kind of conditions, thank goodness, we just don't have the space to be able to permanently fence of large areas, surly if it is a spores it will spread on the wind????
Hope that you are completely over the problem now and that the 'boy' gets over it too, Dee and the girls
Yes, I was completely well within 6 months, that was in 1960! And yes, the spores can be carried on the wind unfortunately. The first spores were discovered in a huge valley in So. America which is how it earned it's name "Valley Fever". I believe that the spores were either transported to Arizona by the desert winds or by people on their vehicles. Who knows, it's easier to diagnose and treat these days than it was when my Dad was ill in the 1930's and again in the 1940's.

I think the initial tests for Christina's boy for Valley Fever were negative and they were going to re-test. They can get a false negative and/or a false positive. It usually takes several tests to make sure what they are treating. In the meantime, the treatment for Valley Fever causes no harm if they start medicating before they have a positive test result.

Sorry that I haven't got back to you earlier, I should have released by the name ''Valley'' that it probably would be confined to valleys, in the past, but now it must be difficult to contain. And if, as you say, the treatment doesn't cause any ill effect, then I hope that Christina has already gone for it.... thanks for the info Barb I don't think that I will ever need it but, hey, knowledge is king. Dee and the girls




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