Tips To Avoid Bichon Frise Skin Allergies

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From the desk of Sharda Baker.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hi and welcome everyone!

This is Sharda with another Bichon Frise newsletter.

I’m not sure if you remember but in the last newsletter, I promised to continue our talk about Bichon Frise skin allergies.

Dog skin allergies is quite a long topic so let’s get started shall we?

To start controlling the allergies or managing the dog start by:

  • Eliminate dog foods that contain any type of preservatives or additives. This may mean cooking for your Bichon Frise to allow him to be dog allergy free.

Gradually add things back into the dog’s diet and see if you can determine what is causing the reaction. This should be done in close consultation with your vet and only if the allergen is a food related problem.

Do not feed your Bichon Frise with canned or semi-moist foods at this time as they have the highest amount of chemicals and preservatives. Your vet may recommend a particular brand that is low in these compounds at a later time when the allergy has been identified.

  • Use only non-allergenic shampoos and coat treatments with your Bichon Frise. Avoid any commercial products that are scented or have additional chemicals. Whitening shampoos or shampoos that contain bluing may be a problem at this time so talk to your vet. Do not bathe your Bichon Frise too frequently at this time, talk to your vet about what a reasonable bathing schedule should be.
  • Do not use any spray on or leave in hair conditions or coat products. These can be very irritating to the skin as it is trying to heal from the scratching or irritation.
  • Use a tea tree oil spray to stop the dog from chewing, liking or biting at any areas of the body.
  • Control all fleas in the environment, on the Bichon Frise and on any other dogs or pets in the house. Flea allergies can be very problematic in the breed and can only be controlled by total elimination (or as much as possible) of fleas in the area. A monthly topical application as well as spraying the house and yard is usually recommended.
  • Be careful when using flea products in combination, as there is the potential for toxicity. Talk to your vet and follow the instructions on the labels very closely. Do not combine topical monthly applications with other flea treatments for the Bichon Frise unless specifically instructed to do so by a vet.
  • Treat hot spots or moist, irritated areas using a vet prescribed liquid or hydrogen peroxide applied two or more times a day until it begins to dry. Do not use creams or lotions that keep the area moist.

In addition to managing dog skin allergies caused by the environment, there are also some cases that it may be necessary to treat the dog with regular doses of antihistamines either in pill or injection form.

There are now long acting injections that will help control dog skin allergies for several weeks that can be prescribed and given by your vet.

Bichon Frise owners should be very aware that many of the treatments for allergies are steroid based. These steroids, when used over long periods of time or repeatedly used for short periods of time over several years, can cause a disease known as Cushing’s Syndrome.

This condition is caused when the body has increased levels of cortisol, the steroid found in the allergy shots.

As your Bichon Frise ages, he or she will have less ability to regulate the cortisol in the blood since the levels have been regularly elevated by the steroids. This condition is treatable with medications; however, it can be prevented or minimized by only very short-term steroid use for dog allergies followed by regular antihistamine medications for control.

Remember to check the signs and to observe your Bichon Frise for any signs of dog skin allergies. It would be better if you schedule a regular check-up with your vet to be certain about your dog’s condition.

I hope that you learned a lot of things in today’s newsletter.

Thanks for listening!

All the best and take care

Sharda Baker