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Itching, itching, itching

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Cookie

100% Doofhound
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 6:48pm PST 
About three weeks ago all 4 of our dogs started itching. I had just switched them all over to Earthborn Holistic food, so I blamed that at first, although I thought it very strange that all 4 dogs should have a reaction to the food, especially one that seems to be so highly recommended. One thing that really baffles me is that my dog, Cookie, has had a yeast infection in her ears on and off for a year, and the yeast infection cleared up once she was switched to EH, but her coat got dull and itchy and scabby. The area between her hind legs is also very inflamed.

As for the other three dogs, they all have places on them where they've scratched themselves raw. One of the dogs has never had any skin problems but now has a huge sore behind her ear. One struggles with demodectic mange, but was dosed for that before this whole fiasco (with a medicine that treats not only mites but heartworms, fleas, ticks, etc), and she is constantly, itching, too, although she is the only one with no sore spots. The last dog has had dry skin issues in the past, but has seldom been this itchy. He also has a few scabby areas on his back.

Finally, a few days ago my step-daughter said she kept getting bitten by fleas when she sat on the couch.

So I was wondering, do you think this is a food issue, or flea bite dermatitis, or something else? The only flea I've seen on my dog this year has been a dead one on her foot; I've been treating her with flea meds since March, and I brush her copiously (because I have to, or else the house is overrun with dog fluff). I know she can still be bitten by a flea and that can trigger a reaction. Is it possible all 4 dogs are reacting to the fleas, or could it be the food?
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The Boys

The Three- Stooges.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 8:07pm PST 
I would say it's fleas. I had this happen before even took my dog to the vet. He couldn't find any fleas and thought maybe it was food allergies. Couple of days later found a flea on my cat. Bathed everybody, sprayed everything and treated the dogs. Problem gone.

Since you've seen a flea I would treat for that first.
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Cookie

100% Doofhound
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 8:30pm PST 
OK. IF it's fleas I think the problem may stem from our indoor/outdoor cats. I don't think they've been treated for fleas yet this year.

I've heard that apple cider vinegar works well in soothing skin irritation. Does anyone have any experience with this? Will Benadryl help the dogs stop itching?
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Octavia

I'm Not a Pit- Bull
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 4:08am PST 
Try giving all the dogs a cool bath to help stop the itching. Do any of them have hot spots? There are anti-itching sprays available at pet stores, like PetSmart that you can spray on the dogs to stop the itching. I've found Primal to be the best diet for my dogs, except Kamala, who can't handle the raw and she is on Royal Canin and doing very well. You may want to take a trip to the vet, too. laugh out loud
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Cookie

100% Doofhound
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 10:40am PST 
It seems to be fleas causing the problem. I thoroughly vacuumed everywhere. I gave Cookie a bath with flea shampoo (I think the brand is called Natural Chemistry), and also massaged her with apple cider vinegar while I had her in the shower (apply, let sit for several minutes, then rinse). The apple cider vinegar really does work wonders... it greatly reduced the redness. She didn't have any hot spots, only red, sore skin. I have also brushed her thoroughly and re-applied the flea meds. She is not speaking to me at the moment, but she will change her mind come supper time.

She is due for her yearly vet check-up soon. I wish I knew a good vet in this area. The two vet offices closest to me have ticked me off, and I have heard bad things about the next-closest office. I miss my old vet from WV. :-( She knew what she was doing, gave it to you straight, and tried her best not to cost you an arm and a leg. I wish there were more like her.
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Sandy

tiny...but fast!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 11:03am PST 
For our cats I've found the advantage is the only thing that works for fleas. It seems like the fleas live cats more than dogs. I bet the fleas r biting ur dogs then jumping back to the cats.
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Octavia

I'm Not a Pit- Bull
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 6, '13 9:43am PST 
I use Frontline Plus on all my dogs and am very happy with it.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 6, '13 9:54am PST 
Benedryl will also help with any extreme itching. The dosage is 1mg. per 2 pounds of body weight but I have had success with far less than that. Mika for example is 80 pounds but gets relief with only 25 mg. or even less. If you do choose to use the Benedryl and haven't before please keep an eye on your pups for reactions and problems with it. Hope everyone is feeling much better soon.
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Octavia

I'm Not a Pit- Bull
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 6, '13 9:59am PST 
I second the Benedryl - works like magic! big grin
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Cookie

100% Doofhound
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 7, '13 5:51pm PST 
Yes, our previous vet told us to use Benadryl. It's quite handy.

Cookie is doing much better. Her skin is much less irritated and the itching isn't nearly as bad, plus I haven't seen any fleas in days. I wonder if posts are worse this year? We had no fleas at all here last year.
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