Spotting the signs
After their sons left home, Eunice and her husband felt they were suffering from ‘empty nest syndrome’. They made a visit to a rescue centre in Peterborough and came home with two puppies, Ben and his brother, Jerry. ‘Ben was the friendliest, most social dog in the world and he quickly became a part of the family,’ says Eunice. ‘When he turned two years old, though, we suspected something was wrong when he was constantly scratching his tummy.’ Ben lost the hair on his stomach and the inside of his legs, and the skin had become red and irritated.
Getting a diagnosis
A blood test revealed that Ben had an allergy against most mites, including carpet and grass mites. ‘I’d never heard of this before and hoped it would pass,’ says Eunice. ‘The vet suggested immunotherapy injections and explained to us that in some cases this was a very successful treatment. He informed me that the drug would be custom made for Ben in Holland.’ Ben’s vet also prescribed Complederm, a fish oil food supplement to promote healthy skin, and Malaseb shampoo, as a good bathing routine can help alleviate the symptoms of an irritating skin condition.
Finding the right treatment
‘In Ben's case the treatment completely alleviated his symptoms. It’s easy to see that the injections are working and that the dose is correct because if we ever overrun an appointment the symptoms start to return,’ explains Euinice. ‘He's becoming a bit of a grumpy old man now that he's nearly 9 years old, but Ben has no qualms about visiting our vet practice. I'm sure he actually looks forward to his monthly outing for his injection as when we arrive, he runs in, has a treat, gets weighed and then scoots over to the consulting room door to meet the vet. As a regular customer, the staff make such a fuss over him.’
Eunice’s advice for other pet owners is to seek support from your vet as soon as you notice a problem so they can help to relieve your pet's symptoms.