A High Maintenance Dog!

Boy! Our Sprite is sure a high maintenance dog! I am not sure if I have written before about Sprite's allergy problems, if I have, bear with me please... When we first got her, I noticed that she would chew herself quite a bit. As a child, I had grown up around Cocker Spaniels, so I didn't know that much about Bichon Frise's habits and/or temperaments..... other than what we had found when we researched different breeds before getting her. Anyway.... Sprite would chew on her feet so much that I was almost tempted to put some type of moisturizer on her feet pads. Thank goodness I didn't! The receptionist at our first vet's office said that would have been a terrible thing to do, since dogs rely on their feet pads to be tough so that they can walk on different surfaces. Duh! I was very glad I consulted my vet's office before doing something that stupid!

Anyway, when we saw that Sprite was really going through profound chewing phases, our vet recommended that we test her for allergies. Here we had adopted a Bichon Frise because of our son's allergies! Who would have thought that she would have allergies! Well, when the results came back, we discovered that she is allergic to all sorts of trees, shrubs, and even the very grass she walks on!

She has been on allergy serum for over ten years now, and the shots seem to help her a lot. Sprite is allergic to so many things that we have to give her two shots every month.... since the vials the serum comes in aren't big enough to hold all of the allergens. (We also have to give her two antihistamine pills a day, which are prescribed by our vet, along with her other medications for arthritis.) As I said, she is one high maintenance little girl! I also have a special shampoo that I bathe her in when her allergies start to bother her more than usual, and then, after washing her with the special shampoo (Pyoben), I put a topical cream (ResiCort) on the areas that seem particularly bad. Fortunately, there appear to be some times during the year that the allergy serum seems to keep her allergies totally under control.

I have found that keeping her allergies under control is the best remedy for them. If I remain alert about treating her before she gets a big flare up, I can usually keep her comfortable. Since the shots are on a regular basis, the topical cream and special shampoos are what I use to put-off a flair up.

My vet says that he thinks that breeds of little, white dogs that relied on a lot of inbreeding when they were developing the breeds are the most commonly affected with bad allergies. So, although little Bichons are lovable companions, they are sometimes very expensive companions at that!

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