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Guest carolyn
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Guest carolyn

For those of you with itchy dogs, how did you determine the cause of allergies? What foods seemed to help?

 

My grey has been scratching herself all summer. We haven't changed her food, so I'm thinking she has seasonal allergies and we're just going to have to keep giving her Benadryl until the fall. But I've also heard California Natural Lamb & Rice is good for dogs with skin allergies. Maybe I should try her on it.

 

Any suggestions to help her be more comfortable?

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Guest Che_mar_Cody

Oatmeal baths are good for dogs too - I used them on Cody a few times, and it seemed to help with dander, etc.

Cody doesn't have the itchy skin but it gets dry, which I use fish oil tabs, or canned tuna with oil to help too. He does however have to be medicated with eye drops. Poor guys eyes turn beet red, itch and water. It only happens during the spring and summer

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Guest Greensleeves

1. Most dogs have BOTH food and inhalent allergies. You can do allergy tests (either a skin test or a blood draw. The skin test is reliable for both types of allergies; the blood draw is only so-so for food allergies--but I prefer the blood draw for convenience and the comfort of the dog). You can also try an elimation diet, where the dog only gets one sort of food at a time, until you see a reaction. I personally find this to be a nuisance--it takes a long time, but it can be very effective. The problem with the "novel protein" foods that are often recommended for allergic dogs is... what if your dog is allergic to duck or sweet potato... but *isn't* allergic to corn and chicken? You'll have spent a lot of money on expensive foods, and made your dog to suffer, for nothing.

 

2. It's important to limit the dog's contact with the allergens. To this end:

--frequent, cool-water baths. I actually recommend AGAINST oatmeal, as it's a common allergen and can actually aggravate the problem. This helps in two ways: It washes the allergens OFF the dog before they can be inhaled/ingested. And it soothes the skin, making the dog more comfortable, and helping to break the itchy cycle (scratching and chewing can aggravate the itch). Plain water is very effective for many dogs, although you can use a medicated shampoo (like Relief) for an extra measure of help.

 

Once you have the initial itchiness under control, you can scale back on the baths. But continue to wipe off feet, muzzles, and bellies with a wet (almost dripping) towel EVERY TIME HE COMES INSIDE.

 

3. There are several options for allergy medicines. Benadryl is good, but Hydroxizine is effective in more dogs. In more severe cases, medicines like Temaril-P are a good option for some dogs (my Flint does great on it; another dog here recently had bad behavioral side effects from the small steroid dose). You can also get periodic steroid injections, although I prefer hyposensitization therapy (allergy shots) that you can give yourself, as the steroids can have unpleasant side effects.

 

***

Seriously: The two best things you can do are find a good food, and give frequent baths. We've been able to keep Flint off meds for months at a time with diligent bathing.

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1. Most dogs have BOTH food and inhalent allergies. You can do allergy tests (either a skin test or a blood draw. The skin test is reliable for both types of allergies; the blood draw is only so-so for food allergies--but I prefer the blood draw for convenience and the comfort of the dog). You can also try an elimation diet, where the dog only gets one sort of food at a time, until you see a reaction. I personally find this to be a nuisance--it takes a long time, but it can be very effective. The problem with the "novel protein" foods that are often recommended for allergic dogs is... what if your dog is allergic to duck or sweet potato... but *isn't* allergic to corn and chicken? You'll have spent a lot of money on expensive foods, and made your dog to suffer, for nothing.

 

2. It's important to limit the dog's contact with the allergens. To this end:

--frequent, cool-water baths. I actually recommend AGAINST oatmeal, as it's a common allergen and can actually aggravate the problem. This helps in two ways: It washes the allergens OFF the dog before they can be inhaled/ingested. And it soothes the skin, making the dog more comfortable, and helping to break the itchy cycle (scratching and chewing can aggravate the itch). Plain water is very effective for many dogs, although you can use a medicated shampoo (like Relief) for an extra measure of help.

 

Once you have the initial itchiness under control, you can scale back on the baths. But continue to wipe off feet, muzzles, and bellies with a wet (almost dripping) towel EVERY TIME HE COMES INSIDE.

 

3. There are several options for allergy medicines. Benadryl is good, but Hydroxizine is effective in more dogs. In more severe cases, medicines like Temaril-P are a good option for some dogs (my Flint does great on it; another dog here recently had bad behavioral side effects from the small steroid dose). You can also get periodic steroid injections, although I prefer hyposensitization therapy (allergy shots) that you can give yourself, as the steroids can have unpleasant side effects.

 

***

Seriously: The two best things you can do are find a good food, and give frequent baths. We've been able to keep Flint off meds for months at a time with diligent bathing.

 

 

I'm gonna agree here too. Our vet prescribed an antihistamine for my dog and it is working very well and is UBER cheap. I'll look at the name when I get home.

 

Oatmeal can be an allergen as well, and it was my dog that had the reaction from the Temeril P. (But that is another story....)

 

Another very important thing to do as well is get a thyroid panel, not just the one result T4. Some dogs, not all though can be itchy from hypothyroid.

 

And, we use Wellness Simple Solutions Venison & Rice whichis great if you need a food with a few ingredients. Some dogs can be allergic to rice as well-however.

 

I'll find out the antihistamine name and get back to you.

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Guest Greensleeves

Fritofeet, was it your coonhound that had the reaction? Or am I mixing multi-breed families? (I ask because my Flint is a coonhound.)

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Fritofeet, was it your coonhound that had the reaction? Or am I mixing multi-breed families? (I ask because my Flint is a coonhound.)

 

 

It is my coonhound that reacted badly to the prednisone. We are in the middle of thyroid investigation plus some other things.

 

The antihistamine that he is on is.....chlorpheniramine

 

My greys have both taken the same stuff and seem to do better on than the benedryl. Maybe I have just given them enough over the years that they are immune to it now. :rolleyes:

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Guest amcele
For those of you with itchy dogs, how did you determine the cause of allergies? What foods seemed to help?

 

My grey has been scratching herself all summer. We haven't changed her food, so I'm thinking she has seasonal allergies and we're just going to have to keep giving her Benadryl until the fall. But I've also heard California Natural Lamb & Rice is good for dogs with skin allergies. Maybe I should try her on it.

 

Any suggestions to help her be more comfortable?

 

I have been dealing with allergies with Maggie for about 2 years. We went the steroid route several times because she would scratch so much she would leave holes in her skin.

 

After having a spring, summer, fall and winter without any problems, Maggie developed the itchies. I finally spent the $$$ at the dermatologist (as she could not keep getting the steroid shots), did the food elimination route and found out she is allergic to chicken, lamb and turkey, which is found in most dog foods. Had I not gone the food elimation route, Maggie would have had itchies for a long time. So, sometimes it is worth the effort and nuisance. It was 3 weeks of vegetarian based dog food. Then add one meat based food at a time starting with chicken. If the allergy starts up again. Bingo--she can't eat it. The itchies don't take long to start. Then you go back to the vegs for a week and try the next. You don't have to spend a lot of money on different kinds of food. With the food allegies, one must read all the labels of food you purchase as even though the label with say Beef--there could be chicken, etc. in it.

 

She also has seasonal allergies. The dermatologist prescribed CLEMESTINE which she takes 2 times a day for seasonal allergies and a topical----------resiCort (available to buy online). The topical is wonderful on those itchy spots and smells slightly like fresh peaches. She is a happy camper on this regime.

I feed her Purina Sensitive stomach (salmon based) mixed with Purina Seven +. All 6 of our (3 mine and 3 my housemate's) dogs eat this combination of food as I don't allow the chicken, lamb or turkey in the house. If you look there are a few non-chicken, etc. based foods out there. I have also fed her Natual Balance (Dick Van Patten's) Sweet Potato (Maggie didn't care for duck or rabbit based foods).

 

Buy the small bags to try if working on food allergies. The food I couldn't use (she didn't like, etc.) I put out for the animals at work (deer, rabbits, etc.) as the SPCA doesn't accept open bags of dog food.

 

Good luck!

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