When your Bichon whimpers, and is itching and a-scratchin’
Time to remember that his skin needs a’-watchin’
These pesky fleas are breathin’ the life out of your Bichon
Treat him pronto so you two can again play on the cushion…
We don’t know who wrote that poem but if you love your Bichon Frise dearly, his allergies must be your # 1 priority. If you want him to continue being the playful and loving creature that he is, take him to the vet and take him out of his misery.
Common allergies and treatments
The Bichon Frise’s allergies may be caused by any one of many factors: food, the environment, or some household chemicals. The best diagnosis and treatment will be from your veterinarian.
The skin of the Bichon Frise is very sensitive, and when fleas get into their skin, they lose their vitality and energy. An effective way of preventing fleas is to make sure he gets a good, thorough bath once or twice a month and is groomed at least once a month. If your Bichon is scratching too often, this might be a sign that his allergy is being caused by his shampoo or by fleas and other pests that have settled in his hair. This is why your Bichon must be brushed regularly. When he starts to itch, however, too much brushing and pulling of his coat may aggravate his skin condition. Sometimes, it’s just a question of changing to a medicated shampoo that your vet can prescribe.
Your vet will tell you that simple allergies may be treated without overmedicating your pet. But some pet owners are too impatient that they ask for the “quick fix.” Think twice next time you ask for another quick fix. A quick fix, in the form of steroids, may affect the cortisol balance of your pet. One popular steroid treatment is prednisone and if prednisone is administered repeatedly, an illness called Cushings Syndrome may result.
There are certain allergies that need to be treated with steroids. The practice is to give one steroid treatment to relieve the itching, followed by antihistamines until all symptoms disappear.
There are Bichon Frise message boards where owners are desperately seeking answers for allergies and treatments because “nothing seems to work.” Sometimes the treatment or cure can be found right in the home. For example, one owner complained that her Bichon was scratching so much that his skin was covered with wounds. Someone suggested to not feed him with table food. The itching stopped. (Speaking of food, avoid changing your Bichon’s diet too often. These diet changes can do more harm than good.)
Another condition is reverse sneezing, which gives off the impression that your Bichon is choking and honking. Simply massaging his throat gently or patting him on his back can relieve this condition which is not dangerous.
Another Bichon owner said that by simply turning on the HEPA filter in her home,her pet’s allergies improved by 80%.
Your vet may suggest a simple blood test that can determine the source of your Bichon Frise’s allergies. Once diagnosed, your vet has access to serum that will be made specifically for your Bichon. The shots can be administered by the Bichon Frise’s owner, and in most cases, they are a great relief for the Bichon.
Again, talking to your vet before administering any substances is strongly recommended. Many commercial sites promise “instant relief” with herbal mixes and sprays, and you may be tempted to try them. There is one treatment – tea tree spray – that has been suggested by some. It’s best to ask your veterinarian before trying anything.
People have raised dental, ear and kneecap problems, but these fall more under the realm of health conditions, and are not considered allergies.
Your Bichon Frise is precious to you. Consulting a professional first about his allergies and treatments is still your best bet.