Poor Homer has really bad allergies. His regular vet couldn't "fix" him, so we ended up having to take him to a veterinary dermatologist. She ruled out food as the cause pretty quickly, so that meant it was environmental.
(Great job, Homer. Way to pick the more expensive allergy.)
Regular blood tests and treatments would have cost hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars, and there is no way we could do that. Fortunately, the vet has used an experimental drug to treat dogs like Homer with a good success rate. By participating in the experiment, the drug company would pay for all of Homer's blood work and give us the meds for free. We jumped at it.
The funky part is the blood tests (see picture). It's just like they test little kids with bad allergies. They prick him with a bunch of stuff and find out how allergic he is to those items. Each item is rated on a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the worst. Almost all of Homer's came back in the 3-4 range.
So, in case you happen to see Homer over the next few weeks, no, I didn't get drunk and shave him and meticulously draw a grid with a Bic pen. He just had his second round of tests last Friday, and they mostly came back in the
1-2 0-1 range. We're hoping that the drug helped, and it wasn't just the dormant winter that caused his allergies to subside, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Oh, and his worst allergy? House flies. No joke.