Itchy dog. Ideas please

Woody50

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I have a cocker spaniel who has suddenly become very itchy. She sometimes gets like it in the spring and the vet gives her a steroid jab which sorts her out. We went to the vet last week and she had a jab but after 12hours shes scratching and itching again like crazy. She doesnt have fleas and nothing in her life has changed. Any ideas what else i can do to help her? Was thinking of bathing her but not sure what shampoo to use. All ideas gratefully received
 

ownedbyaconnie

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Itchy all over or itchy in one particular place?

My cockerpoo has the spaniel ears which are well known to have problems! I have found clipping the underside of her ear short has stopped her scratching her ears.

I’d also switch to a food that is grain free if you aren’t already. Itchiness is a common sign of a food intolerance. If you are grain free already maybe have a look at getting an allergy test?

I’d be wary of bathing her until I knew what was making her itchy as if she’s struggling with dry skin then bathing her is only going to make it worse. But if you do decide to I would make sure it’s a sensitive shampoo, maybe something like Johnson’s baby oil? Do you bathe her much?

It’s horrible to see them struggling, I hope you get to the bottom of it soon!
 

Amymay

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How ‘dirty’ is she? I find Daisy gets particularly itchy if her skin is not terribly clean (despite daily brushing, she’s a Bichon). I use an oatmeal based shampoo and good conditioner.

What are you feeding?

Do you use shake and vac, diffusers etc?
 

Sandstone1

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You could try a hypo allergenic food. This needs to be the only food. No treats or chews etc. Just the food. If she improves then add one new thing at a time back in to her diet. That way you will find out if its a food allergey.
It might be something like you changing your washing powder or using a new cleaning product. ie shake and vac etc. The best thing to do is take her back to the vet asap.
 

Pearlsasinger

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The fact that nothing in her management/environment has changed probably means that is where you need to look for what she is reacting to. IME reaction times get shorter and shorter and the reaction can get more severe as time goes on if whatever is causing the reaction isn't removed.
As above, if you use air fresheners/Shake'n'vac/perfumed cleaning products start by removing them. If that doesn't work, look at the diet and see what you can remove that could be the source of the problem..
 

Woody50

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Thanks everyone. She is 12 and always been on James Wellbeloved food. I don't use any diffusers or shake and vac and I don't bath her as a rule, unless she rolls in fox poo!! I will try the grain free James WB once the shop opens on Tues.
 

Supertrooper

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Thanks everyone. She is 12 and always been on James Wellbeloved food. I don't use any diffusers or shake and vac and I don't bath her as a rule, unless she rolls in fox poo!! I will try the grain free James WB once the shop opens on Tues.
Where is she itchy?
 

Follysmum

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My JR has become really itchy after the loss of his mates. He chews his legs constantly and rubs his back wherever he can. Vets think he’s stressed as nothing else has changed. It’s horrid when they itch and you don’t know why. I have used colloidal silver and it has helped.
 
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You can try Piriton which is perfectly safe for dogs in the correct dose. If you suspect an allergy, such as a food ingredient, then Piriton may well help.
 
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Thanks, funnily enough I read that online so she had half a tablet this morning. Still scratching but not as bad
It can take a while to start working & needs to be repeated every 8-12 hours. I'll guess she weighs around 12-13 kg? so she could have a full tablet but you can check dosage online.
 

Odyssey

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Yumega or salmon oil is very good for itching, as is CSJ Resist (powdered herbs). Resist stopped my mum's Cocker spaniel itching and scratching. It does need to be added to something wet, like soaked kibble or wet food though.

Don't know why it's in bold! 🙄
 

Andie02

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I have found Aromesse products to be excellent, they do them for dogs and horses, they are based in this country and currently have an offer of 10% off. For itchy ears their Ear Relief Cleaner and Ear Relief Drops used 2-3 times per wk are keeping my JRT's itchy ears problem free and they shifted a load of black crap out of her ears, her ears did not smell. They have a Dermacton shampoo bar and Dermacton Itchy spray and cream. She has Orijen Six Fish kibble or Orijen Tundra kibble and Forthglade Just Turkey, Just Lamb or Just Duck alternated. The only chews she has are natural fish skin from Skippers or dried tripe chews. Both JRT's also have The Petcare Factory Probiotics and Omega Plus Skin and Coat supplements daily.
Avoid rice, bread/toast, sugar beet, potatoes and sweet potatoes and any grain.
Occasionally she may have an itchy paw but the Dermacton spray or cream very quickly resolves that.
It can take a few weeks when changing foods to make a huge difference but the Aromesse products should help fairly quickly.
Also, very important, avoid household products and use a product for washing bedding such as Nikwax Rugwash and lots and lots of rinses, modern domestic washing machines do not use enough water to rinse properly. Nikwax does rinse out easily.
Apparently some dogs can have issues with 'over vaccinating'. Some pollens can also cause allergies.
I have had many dogs over the years but this is the first with itchy issues, so have done a lot of research and have managed to keep her itchy problems under control. Initially vets put her on steroid tablets but after some time I decided enough was enough of those and set about solving the problems rather than supressing with steroids. Vet also suggested Apoquel but I decided no more drugs.
Flea treatments can also cause reactions, I do not use those.
Good luck resolving your dog's itching.
 
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skinnydipper

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GSD Woman is referring to diet related dilated cardiomyopathy.

When grain is removed from dog food the manufacturers replace it with other fillers such as legumes, pulses and potatoes - so peas, lentils, potato, sweet potato, etc. It is these ingredients that have been implicated in DCM rather than a lack of grain.

ETA. If you are going to use kibble for an elimination diet I would suggest using one that is hydrolysed. Hydrolysed proteins have been broken down and are less likely to trigger an allergic response. Something like Purina Pro Plan or Hills ZD.
 
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GSD Woman

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Yes, it is the grain free necessarily but the belief is that most other fillers can manage to block the absorption of taurine. A small study showed that the DCM dogs had low blood levels of taurine.
 

Amymay

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GSD Woman is referring to diet related dilated cardiomyopathy.

When grain is removed from dog food the manufacturers replace it with other fillers such as legumes, pulses and potatoes - so peas, lentils, potato, sweet potato, etc. It is these ingredients that have been implicated in DCM rather than a lack of grain.

ETA. If you are going to use kibble for an elimination diet I would suggest using one that is hydrolysed. Hydrolysed proteins have been broken down and are less likely to trigger an allergic response. Something like Purina Pro Plan or Hills ZD.
A hydrolysed diet did bugger all for my dog.

If you do go grain free it’s still possible to use a kibble that doesn’t have peas and beet in it.
 

Odyssey

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The link between grain free kibble and DCM has been debunked in a credible article on allaboutdogfood. The author is an independent expert on dog food, so I believe he knows his stuff. When you know the facts, it rather puts it into perspective. It's amazing what the multinationals will pay someone to come up with when their profits are threatened by superior products! 🙄
 
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skinnydipper

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A hydrolysed diet did bugger all for my dog.

If you do go grain free it’s still possible to use a kibble that doesn’t have peas and beet in it.
As I have said in previous posts, sometimes a dog will react to a hydrolysed food, as my own dog did.

The vet initially started him on Hills ZD but it contained chicken (which he was allergic to) and even though it was hydrolysed he reacted to it and was changed to Purina Pro Plan. When on Purina Pro Plan he developed hypothyroidism and as soy is an endocrine disruptor I changed him to a home cooked diet

I'll share these posts again - they might help somebody.

It doesn't matter if the food is cheap, expensive or "hypoallergenic", what matters is whether it has an ingredient your dog is allergic to. Chicken and rice are common allergens. The term hypoallergenic is meaningless. Hydrolysed veterinary diets are an option but the dog might still react to them, as mine did.

An elimination diet is a good place to start - feed a novel protein, one that Hoover is unlikely to have eaten and feed only that until his stomach settles. Then add ONE ingredient, leave a couple of weeks before adding another ingredient. Done this way will you be able to identify which foods are culprits and exclude them permanently from his diet. Broadly speaking an allergy is an immediate reaction, a food intolerance can take a couple of weeks to produce a reaction but its effects to health are no less serious. When vets conduct the elimination diet they give the initial protein 6 weeks trial but usually results are seen before that but it can still take a matter of weeks before the problem food proteins are out of the system.

Blood tests for immunoglobulin reactions to food are useful and can instantly identify allergens and you then know not to add them to his diet. These tend to test for a limited number of allergens and my dog had two panels done with two different labs to cover a wider range of allergens. Although the tests are useful as a guide, they are not perfect and my dog tested negative for something that subsequently made him ill.

Some people think grain free is the answer but it is missing the point. Dogs can be allergic to any protein in any food. Pea and potato which are used as cheap fillers in dog food are both common allergens.

I wish you luck and lots of patience, there is no easy fix and it is a long road.
Allergy to protein - potato, rice and other carbohydrates also contain some protein.

I resorted to cooking for my dog when he developed hypothyroidism and zinc deficiency when on a soy and corn veterinary diet.

There were so few foods that he didn't react to (lymphocytic/plasmacytic ibd) that I wanted to ensure that he was eating a nutritionally complete diet using the few foods he could eat.

Eventually I came across Raw Fed and Nerdy and, although he couldn't eat raw due to his compromised immune system, I used the free service they provide which gives you the nutrient requirements based on your dog's weight and NRC guidelines https://rawfedandnerdy.com/adult-dogs-nutrient-requirements.

Armed with that information I then joined Cronometer (free) and entered his target values and saved them - it's a bit time consuming but you only need do this once. You can then enter each day's diet and see if you are meeting targets for nutrition and what needs tweaking.

If the food you are feeding is not on the database you can look up the nutritional info on the internet and enter it yourself.

You can't use minces with bone as you should not cook it, it needs to be meat/organs without bone. I added seaweed calcium, I used Animal Essentials and Lunderland.

I did not use the following services but they could be useful if you are short on time.

Charley, The Raw Vet, offers a service where she will analyse what you are feeding "Check My Diet".

Savannah, Raw Fed and Nerdy, will formulate a diet for your dog.

Cat Lane, The Possible Canine, a canine nutritionist - you will find her on face book, will also formulate a diet based on your dog's requirements.

I hope something in this information might be useful to you, Planete.

ETA. Linda Case's book, Canine and Feline Nutrition, seems to be well recommended but I thought it might be over my head.
 
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sbloom

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Our Dane is on 1/6 dose of steroid tablets, has fortnightly hibiscrub baths and has a diet wholly customised to him by a homeopath. It took us some time to get to this, we tried Apoquel at HUGE expense but he still occasionally needed a loading course of steroids anyway, we tried sensitive diets but he needed a very narrow diet including mostly raw. He went nuts on most vet dietsanyway, and woukd have hot, pink skin. He has had vet taken blood tests that confirmed various food allergies as well as to dust and storage mites.
 

GSD Woman

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The link between grain free kibble and DCM has been debunked in a credible article on allaboutdogfood. The author is an independent expert on dog food, so I believe he knows his stuff. When you know the facts, it rather puts it into perspective. It's amazing what the multinationals will pay someone to come up with when their profits are threatened by superior products! 🙄

Do you have a direct link to the article? I'm on that website looking.
 

skinnydipper

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Do you have a direct link to the article? I'm on that website looking.
I've just followed a link from All about dog food to this: https://www.docofalltrades.net/2020/12/another-new-study-links-dcm-and-diet.html
written by a veterinary student which simplifies the findings of the study I shared a link to in post #28.

Interestingly, GSD Woman, it says "Published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, a retrospective analysis has again affirmed a link between certain diet types and dilated cardiomyopathy" 🙂

and in the study itself it says "Dogs that received taurine supplementation during the course of their disease had a significantly longer survival time than did dogs not receiving taurine supplementation" :)
 
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