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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Lancashire heeled 6 years takes epiphany very allergic pollen

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Lancashire heeled 6 years takes epiphany very allergic pollen lives on farm .Is it ok to give him [email protected]

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you mean that Birtie is on Epiphen (for seizures)?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes 30mg morning &evening


Thank you,

Poor lad!

Allgeric skin disease is no fun for our dogs during the warmer months of the year. And if the farm contains that allergen that sets him off, then he will be terrible irritated here.

Now if he is on Epiphen (Phenobarbital), then this greatly limits treatment options for itchy skin. In regards XXXXX XXXXX concurrent use would not be advisable. The reason is because his Epiphen will increase the risk of antihistamine side effects like dizziness, slow/shallow breathing, drowsiness, and sedation. So, while you could choose to risk a low dose to see if you could help him (ie 2mg of Piriton), I’d be concerned that the dose to avoid side effects would be too low to properly mange his pollen allergy. (especially as only 25--30% of dogs even respond enough on antihistamines when faced with the allergens they are so sensitive to).

With these concerns in mind, while I was waiting for your reply, I did review some other anti-itch drugs that we use in allergic dogs and found that many also have interaction concerns or a lack of data saying otherwise with Epiphen. In this case, the drug that would likely be best tolerated (though noted to potentially be less effective with used at the same time as Epiphen) would be steroids. And while he may require a bit higher a dose then a dog that wasn’t on Epiphen, this would likely be the best option (effective-wise and with decreased risk of side effects) to manage his skin in this case.

Further to this, I do just want to note that we can see fatty acid supplements reduce itchiness as they modulate the dog's overactive immune system (the underlying problem with allergic skin disease). Specifically, we find eicosapentanoic acid (EPA which is often sold with DHA) that is found in fish oil can reduce skin response and itchiness in the face of allergies. And this would be something safe you could use with his current medication. If you wished to do so, we tend to use a dose of 20mg per pound of their body weight. For example, a 10lb dog would want 200mg EPA + DHA).

Finally, since he is not an old lad and this is going to be a lifetime issue, you may want to speak to his vet about immunovaccination. This would require you to have him tested (either via blood test or skin testing) to determine which allergens are actually the problem. Once these are identified, a vet lab can make a "vaccine" for him to help desensitise his immune system to these allergens. And while this can be a wee bit dear, it would be a good investment to reduce his skin troubles this time of year without putting him at risk of mixing his medication with those to stop his itching.

Overall, antihistamines would not be advisable if he is on Epiphen since it could lead to serious side effects. Therefore, you can try the low dose I listed, as long as you have a close eye on him. But it would be much better to consider trialling the fatty acids, potentially having his vet dispense steroids, or consider having him tested with a view to using immune-vaccination to allay his signs for the long term.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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