You're doing a great job with your rescued boy, the demodex can take a long time to clear up, and generally goes away around the age of 2 when the immune system is fully developed. I fostered a boston that looked about as bad as he did, and the treatment for it took a long time to put a dent into it.
As for the tactile allergy I would have your husband interact with the parents of a hopeful future litter you may get a puppy from and see how that goes.
I think as long as you socialize the puppy early you can train them to leave birds/other small pets alone. I just wouldn't ever trust them unsupervised with anything that could be "prey." Both my dogs hate birds with a 'flying passion' but I think if I had a pet bird they would have learned.
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There are a number of forum members with poodles and birds. Hopefully some will chime in here. If not, you might consider doing a separate post along the lines of "Can poodles and pet birds coexist?" That'll get their attention!
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I find some people may have mild allergy symptoms even with poodles because pollen and dirt sticks to the hair easily.
My husband is allergic to both cats and dogs. I have a Standard Poodle and Havanese - both low-dander, low-shedding dogs. He is okay with them. If he wrestles with them and they play bite my husbands arms, he will get itchy. He rinses where the saliva has hit his skin and he is back to normal. He has zero reaction to their hair - good thing too cause they've sometimes slept in our bed. I also have two hairless cats called Sphynx cats. They are not hypoallergenic like most people think, but are lowerer in dander because they don't have the hair to spread all around the house. They do get oily and lick their skin, so my husband will react to their skin if I have not bathed them enough (I usually bathe them every 2-3 weeks). If they are really dirty, and my cats lay on my husband's chest, he'll have a red mark, his skin will get itchy, and if I haven't washed the sheets, his eyes will get red. I also have a Persian cat. Ever since I bathed him, blowdried him, and comb him often, he really doesn't shed that much hair. My husband had a small reaction over the holidays when we stayed at our parents house and I brought our Persian with us. He had a small reaction, but this was after our persian sleeping, eating, grooming, using the litterbox in our room for 3-4 days straight. I think his allergy symptoms are very mild. He had more of a reaction when we went to a pet store with all kinds of dogs walking around! It also doesn't stop him from hugging our Persian cat and rubbing his whole fact in his coat! I yell at him to stop, that'll he'll regret it. He just washes his face afterwards. He says that his reactions to our cats (especially our haired one) is not NEARLY as bad as when he goes to other people's houses with cats. Our friend has a long haired cat and my husband cannot spend too much time there because his symptoms will be so bad. I think it really depends on the animal and frequency of bathing. But if someone is also allergic to environmental factors, these will attach to pets that go outdoors so they may always have allergy symptoms.
I think your choice for a mini poodle is great! I love having a standard and a smaller dog. They are easier to take to places and transport. Two bigger dogs would be more complicated, at least for me. I think you will pick up the grooming aspects in no time. All poodle owners had to start somewhere, right?
As for small animals, I've never tested my dogs with things like birds and rodents. They are both great with cats. What's weird is that my poodle got really excited when I got my Persian, but that's settled down. I took him to my uncle's house who has a cat and he wanted to chase that cat so bad! I think it's because the cat was really young and nervous and of course ran. He was so fixated. If you can train your dog to accept different species as part of your pack, it makes it easier. The pro of getting a puppy is you can train them to accept other animals, but getting an older pup or adult has its perks because you can see what their fully developed temperament is.
I feel bad for David having to suffer with the allergies! I hope you can get the meds sorted out.
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I feed Opie on a full raw diet, and once tricky is fully developed will be swapping her over instead of feeding half and half. I give Opie an evening primrose capsule a day to help with his coat too Opie loves bananas too. they seem to taste better if he's stolen them
don't understand why albinos are still being bred easy money for a rare colour, I'm guessing. Opie's literate jax had a diamond shaped flash two inches high in the centre of his chest but there were no albinos in their bloodline.
with male on male aggression being rife in dobermanns I would be looking at female poodles. having had to rehome jax because of it, it's not a risk I'd take again.
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He looks so much better in his after pics. You've made lots of progress with him. I am sure the demodex will die down as he matures. MaryLynn is right about this being related to an immature immune system. I hope you can work out the allergy thing, but please be careful with David's health. Bad asthma is scary. We deal with it in our house too, but the allergy is to cats, not dogs, so as much as I loved having cats in the past, new kitties aren't in my future.
Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX RN RA RE RAE RAE2 RAE3 RAE4 NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
Peeves AKC: CGC BN RN RA
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