By Friday, October 21, 2016 13 No tags Permalink

We’re battling canine allergies around here, and I am determined to beat this beast once and for all.

Look at my Harley Darley…


The photo looks worse than the “hot spot” actually #Iphoneclarity


Anything that irritates the skin and causes a dog to scratch or lick himself can start a hot spot. Source: Pets. WebMD


I came outside to get the mail, took one glance at my neighbor and screamed like Chris Tucker in that movie “The Fifth Element.” #likeasoprano

Her face was bright red and splotchy like the insides of a pomegranate.  Eyes and nose twice their regular size. My frightened look was so obvious, she didn’t wait for the question – she freely offered up a one word explanation – “allergies.”

Shortly thereafter – I noticed Harley had (what looked like) a scratch under his eye. Just a little blood, but nothing near the eye itself.

Since the Boys had been outside playing earlier that day, I thought pawhaps someone accidentally scratched the other.

I applied coconut oil on it for two days, and it seemed to be healing nicely.  Then this week – same thing. Out of nowhere it was red again.


We were able to get an afternoon appointment on the same day.

After a thorough exam…


He shared his diagnosis and I was speechless.

Allergens? Are you serious?


There are four main types of allergies in dogs –

  • atopy
  • flea
  • food
  • contact

Atopy is the beast we’re battling.

It’s an environmental allergy. A dogs body releases excess histamine when exposed to higher concentrations of pollen in the air, which prompts symptoms. The white blood cells in the body remember these allergens in the environment. Each year they see these allergens, their body reacts more severely and releases histamine, which is what makes them itchy. Source: Rover

Atopic allergy symptoms are –

  • itching
  • scratching
  • biting
  • chewing


Every article I’ve read tries to scare the doodle out of me by stating environmental allergies –

  • are progressive for dogs
  • they get worse over you pet’s life
  • they will never go away

I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid #nodoodleway


  • We will complete the 14 day antibiotic regiment. This should clear up and dry up the hot spot without an additional topical ointment.
  • I’m giving both Boys Full Bucket in their food twice a week. I’m recruiting more troops, creating a special forces unit, building a stronger immune system.
  • Designing a bubble suit for him in my spare time #doodlehumor

He’s showing some improvement already…



Since Fall and Spring seem to be his most difficult seasons, Harley is allowed to take Benadryl. Antihistamines can be an effective way to give a dog some relief, but please seek advice from your vet before doing so.

I have not looked into immunotherapy (allergy shots) yet. Doodle Doc said we’re not there yet.

He did share something new with me – Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic.“biological injection” administered once a month that is not a drug yet suppresses the pathogen. I’ll read up on it and give them a call. #moreonthislater


When it comes to his vet Harley believes in “licks for tips” while I pay the bill. It works well #doodlebucks…


Have a Doodle*tastic weekend, – we can’t wait to tell you about ours! ❤️


  • Kimberly Gauthier
    October 21, 2016

    Poor baby. That is so frustrating, because dogs don’t complain when I know that they’re troubled. The FullBucket will help. If it’s okay to share some advice I got from Scout’s vet when he was on a round of antibiotics – give them to the dog on the opposite side of the day – so Scout got his antibiotics in the morning and the FullBucket in the evening every day of the medication and then I cut back when he was finished with his prescription. The antibiotics kill all the good bacteria in the gut; the FullBucket puts it back 🙂

  • Emma
    October 21, 2016

    OMD! That looks terribly painful! Katie got hot spots one to two times a year, but they didn’t look that bad. Poor boy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 22, 2016

      This was PAWful Emma – he wasn’t in any pain, it just hurt like the doodle for me to look at him. It’s really looking good now – the med’s are working well. Enjoy your weekend – teach Madison a new trick!

  • Heather Reid
    October 21, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this. We just got a new dog in June and the shelter vet told me he had flea allergies. He was an awful sight when we got him, with half his fur chewed off. He looks great now, but the fleas still give him trouble. For Max’s allergies we do more with flea prevention than the allergy, but it’s nice to hear some tips for the allergy side as well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 22, 2016

      Hi Heather – thanks so much for dropping by. Allergies are the worst. Especially trying to find out which ones so we know how to treat it. Keep coming by because everything I find out, I promise I will share on the blog! 🙂

  • Monika & Sam
    October 22, 2016

    Sam had a hot spot a couple months ago. Made up a healing salve with essential oils that worked wonders. Keep it on hand now since it works great on my dry problem hands as well. Good luck with your fur-baby-hope he heals quickly. Here’s to a swell weekend.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 22, 2016

      WOW! – have you shared the healing salve on your site? The antibiotics are working magically. His eye healed instantly. But I really want to find something more natural that I can use when I see it flare up again. Have a great weekend my friend, thanks so much for always reading and sharing 🙂 Our community is the absoDOODLEtutely the best!

  • Sand spring Chesapeakes
    October 22, 2016

    Poor Harley, sorry to hear he has allergies, that’s not fun.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 23, 2016

      It’s getting better JoAnne – I just want to find something that works for him!

  • Jan K
    October 23, 2016

    So glad it’s looking much better in the second photo! Cricket has had a couple of hot spots this summer, but they have either healed up on their own, or with the spray the vet gave us. They never looked quite that red though, and didn’t seem to bother her much, but she wouldn’t leave them alone. We’ve never really looked into the cause since they seemed to go away pretty easily though.
    Hope you get things figured out for Harley!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2016

      It’s a real puzzle, but the comfort is knowing that he’s not bothered by it. It’s really looking good and only after 4 days of antibiotics (10 more days to go) hopefully we won’t see this again.

  • Peggi Duncan
    October 25, 2016

    Curious–what is Fullbucket?

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    October 30, 2016

    Going by Kimberly’s comment, I assume “FullBucket” is a doggie probiotic; but who makes it? Anyway, glad it’s working for Harley! And, glad, too, that his allergies are clearing up! Poor Callie had allergies, too. Luckily, since putting both Shadow and Ducky on Bravecto, neither one of them has had an allergic reaction to fleas. It must be doing its job.