Sandy started off scratching herself occasionally when she was a puppy, but her short cream-coloured fur became patchy and bald even before she reached her first birthday – it was clear that she was uncomfortably itchy.
Sandy’s veterinarian recommended a food elimination trial to find out whether her itching was due to something she ate. After 12 weeks on a prescription hypoallergenic diet and no treats at all (good girl Sandy!), there was no improvement. For a while, Sandy was given anti-itch medications like steroids and anti-histamines. While these often helped relieve the itch, it never solved the underlying allergens that her skin was reacting to.
So, how did we find out Sandy has pollen allergies?
After the unsuccessful food elimination trial, Sandy’s vet collected a blood sample to test for environmental allergies. The test showed that her body was producing immune reactions (IgE antibodies) against common environmental substances.
Check out how strongly allergic she was!
No wonder she would be scratching all year round despite the hypoallergenic food and mild anti-itch medications.
Specific allergen immunotherapy was customised for Sandy based on the results. The treatment gradually taught Sandy’s immune system that these plant pollens are not infectious organisms, so that it would not react with inflammation and itch when the pollens entered her body. Now her skin has healed, and this Singapore Special is happy and itch-free!