Bo’s Story

An Allergy Dog Finds Relief through Holistic Medicine

Bo Mason was surrendered because his owner’s daughter moved in and they did not want her dog and Bo fighting. They also could not give him the time necessary for a special dog that had major allergy issues, nor could they afford the allergy medications he required.

Bo Mason wore a cone of shame (Elizabethan Collar) for most of his life, until he was rescued by GRRMF. Dr. Bill Ehlers, a partner vet of GRRMF, considered various treatments for Bo’s allergies, but despite his attempts none were effective. Bo had deep inflammation that required wearing the cone of shame because he would chew his skin until he had no hair on his back, which then resulted in a host of other issues.

But without a clear diagnosis, GRRMF decided to try Suzanne M. Cayatte, DVM, DACVD, a dermatologist specialist at Tampa Bay Veterinary Services, who performed a skin prick test to see exactly what Bo was allergic too. The results—things like cats, wool, fleas and several other Florida-friendly allergens.

Bo began receiving a serum injection every 3 weeks that is manufactured based on his test results; it changes how his body responds and while most of the causes cannot be totally eliminated with the serum, it desensitizes Bo and supports his system and results in increased comfort. So progress was being made. One of the cutest boys in the world, Bo Mason entered the foster system to stay with Kirsten and Russell and did Bo hit the jackpot with them!

When Dr. Ehlers released Bo into their care, he suggested that holistic veterinary medicine might be of help. So Bo began visiting GRRMF partner, Dr. Constance DiNatalie, whom he now sees regularly for chiropractic care and acupuncture. He receives chiropractic care and acupuncture, since he appears to have issues related to his spine in addition to his allergies. He also takes many supplements as well as Chinese Pills. All medications and treatments are adjusted as his symptoms change.

Bo eats grain free, but also cool foods (fish/rabbit). Cool foods balance his central nervous system and also help to calm his mind. “We found that his mind races from his many allergies.  Holistic medicine works on the whole dog and he doesn’t focus so much on itching, biting and pain.  He has had allergies for his whole life, but now they affect him much less”, says Kirsten.  Since Bo Mason has lived his whole life wearing a cone, he has become a master at breaking himself out of every style!  He would chew and scratch until he was bleeding, so he needed something to protect him.

GRRMF’s medical director is constantly researching new solutions to medical problems and doesn’t hesitate to try them if they will help our dogs. It wasn’t long before Bo Mason was gifted with a blue suit that covered his entire body, much like a wet suit. Hopefully, this would get him out of the cone of shame and prevent him from actually chewing through his own skin.  Kirsten said, “It really helped. We could leave the house without fearing we would return to ripped out stitches or bald bloody spots.  I’m sure his skin still itched, but it comforts like a thunder shirt, so I think he itched a little less and stopped before he was bloody. It is a spandex suit from neck to ‘ankles’ and is a true lifesaver”.

After three months, Bo had become part of Kirsten and Russell’s family. He chose them. He looks adoringly at both with his beautiful baby browns—how could they say no? And who else would do all of these things for him?  GRRMF gave its blessing to this very special union knowing Bo would receive exceptional love and care.  For Kirsten, their relationship with Bo is about deserving a second chance in life despite numerous hard starts. “Patience is an essential quality for sure.  It’s important to always pay attention to what works and stop fighting what doesn’t.”
For Russell, the relationship has been about “giving extra special attention to those who need it, without question! I now try to anticipate his needs (as well as others) more than before. Watching Bo evolve into the dog we knew he could be has become one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done.”

by Janet Sturman

GRRMF thanks Kirsten and Russell for their work with our rescue and for taking care of many of our dogs that now live in forever homes. “Bo was the ONE, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to help him thrive in his life!”