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Thread: Very Itchy Puppy!

  1. #1

    Default Very Itchy Puppy!

    Hi all

    I am new to the forum... this is my first post!

    I have a 5 month old nova scotia duck tolling retriever who is a very itchy girl. She started itching & scratching all over right from the start and after many vet visits, it turns out she is allergic to grass.

    We put her on a course of antihistamines (sp??) which settled her down a lot, but now that she's teething, it seems to have gotten worse.

    She literally scratches her legs, torso and gums... now she constantly gnaws at her arms & legs.

    Its becoming really distressing for me, but I can see that its really bothering her as she whimpers quite a lot. Apart from starting her on steriods (which I really don't want to do), I don't have any other options.

    I started her on Pooch Power Plus - which is an organic powder designed to help itching, but its not working all that well.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? AND, will her gnawing tone down once her new teeth are through?

    Thank you all so much!

    Mollies Mum

  2. #2
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    Go to vet...get cortisone to stop the immediate itch and ask to have some Cortavance spray on hand when she breaks out. I know you said you don't want to start her on these, but think of it this way...if you were covered in hives...scratching yourself to bloods...would YOU beg the doctor for anything incuding cortisone tablets?

    There is a new non-steriodal medicin for atopic allergies. It will set you back about $1000 a year for a 20kg dog and it is called "Atopica"...talk to your vet about it!

    My Staffy boy is very allergic and it took some time to find out what he was allergic to.

    How did you determine that she was allergic to grass? Since she is a puppy...I can't see that vet doing an allergy prick test on her???

    If she is itchy...her scratching and biting will probably continue...baby or adult teeth!

    What do you feed her?
    What plants are in your garden?
    Do you flea treat her religiously every 4 weeks?
    What shampoo do you use?
    What do you wash her bedding, soft toys etc in?

    These are all very valid questions
    Last edited by Cleasanta; 02-19-2010 at 07:16 AM.

  3. #3
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    My first question is the same as Cleasanta's first question.

    What FOOD has your puppy been eating throughout all of this?

    Also, what tests did the vet do to ascertain the allergy to grass? Were their tests? or was the diagnosis given via trial of elimanation? Or was the diagnosis a guess?

    No, Cleas has covered those things as well...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    Ask your vet for a referral to a specialist. They need to confirm what the allergen is and they can sometimes now successfully treat the dog's immune response so that medication for life is not required.

    In a dog so young, it is a concern that she is already showing allergies. She will lead a very, very miserable life if you don't pull out all stops now to determine the exact cause. Atopic allergies are the worst.
    Without sounding harsh, you too will lead a miserable and frustrating life if the exact cause is not ascertained. All the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    Ask your vet for a referral to a specialist. They need to confirm what the allergen is and they can sometimes now successfully treat the dog's immune response so that medication for life is not required.

    In a dog so young, it is a concern that she is already showing allergies. She will lead a very, very miserable life if you don't pull out all stops now to determine the exact cause. Atopic allergies are the worst.
    Very true...I know all about this!

    Vet don't like doing prick tests until after 12 months old and still they show false negatives/positives.

    Atopic allergy is a bitch! It is very distressing for the dog and needs to be treated.

    If you can find out exactly what the allergen is...they will make a vaccine which needs to be given...I think (don't hold this against me) 3-5 times. This vaccine is specifically made for YOUR dog and its allergies. The vaccine contains tiny amounts of known allergen. This way...dog will build up "natural" immunity from within...just like vaccinating for Parvo and Kennel cough I do want to say though...this way of treating is not cheap

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleasanta View Post
    Very true...I know all about this!

    Vet don't like doing prick tests until after 12 months old and still they show false negatives/positives.

    Atopic allergy is a bitch! It is very distressing for the dog and needs to be treated.

    If you can find out exactly what the allergen is...they will make a vaccine which needs to be given...I think (don't hold this against me) 3-5 times. This vaccine is specifically made for YOUR dog and its allergies. The vaccine contains tiny amounts of known allergen. This way...dog will build up "natural" immunity from within...just like vaccinating for Parvo and Kennel cough I do want to say though...this way of treating is not cheap
    Very true. Even for humans, it's expensive. My husband had it done about 18 years ago.

    But, I guess in the long run, the expense of doing this (if it proves successful) is only a portion of what would be spent through the dog's lifetime trying to deal with the atopic allergy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    Very true. Even for humans, it's expensive. My husband had it done about 18 years ago.

    But, I guess in the long run, the expense of doing this (if it proves successful) is only a portion of what would be spent through the dog's lifetime trying to deal with the atopic allergy.
    yes...everything is relative

  8. #8

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    Hi all

    Thank you so much for your responses.

    I take her to the vet on a weekly basis to assess how everything is going, I give her antihistamines when she's having a bad day, but will go back this week and talk about more medication.

    I'm really interested in the Atopica, so will definitely investigate - not fussed about costs, I just want my pup to be happy.

    We determined grass (kykuya? specifically) as for the first two weeks that we got her we were waiting to move into our new home, so we were at my in-laws and she showed no itching problems. Within days of moving into our home, she started itching. After a change in diet - I now cook all her meals with fresh meats, rice, vegetables and eggs but I don't think this has made a huge difference.

    We ended up taking her back to the inlaws for a week stay to see what would happen and she stopped itching, mostly. We're now planning to rip up our lawn and put something more user friendly in, but I have also noticed she's worse on the really hot days. So, I try keep her as cool as possible and leave her inside with the air-conditioning on. During the days that I am working, she goes to my Mum's - minimal itching (different grass) & she's in air-cond all day too.

    I discussed the allergy testing with my vet and we're going ahead with this, my vet wanted to her to get a little closer to 6 months before we really start controlling her diet too. So that is on the cards for the coming weeks.

    What is the cortavance spray? She's got a cortisone cream that I rub into her belly - she's quite bare in some areas still, but the fluff is starting to grow... I have noticed that she itches most on her belly which doesn't have a lot of hair - she's moved away from scratching under her arms, now that she's getting her adult coat.

    I gave her a tablet this morning and she's been sleeping most of the day which is nice because its stinking hot here. I also take her for a swim in the ocean most days as I would think the salt would be good for her skin?

    She's flead every month, I wash her soft toys and bedding in hypo-allergenic baby wash and I use a medicated shampoo which is left on for 10 minutes then rinsed off - this was from the vet.

    Not sure about the names of my plants, but they're mostly shrubs/trees - I don't really have any flowering plants etc. I did inititally think of this so Mum came over with her gardening books and it looks as though there is nothing in backyard that could be irritating her.

    Thanks again for the advice, I'll start doing some research so I am better informed for my vet appointment next week.

  9. #9

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    Please be aware ... this advice is from my own personal experience & may not be at all appropriate or applicable to your situation ....

    Tara will be 3 at the end of this month. She started scratching constantly at around 5 to 6 months. Poor thing could get no respite & her under arms were constantly red raw. I've only just got this under control at around 2 to 2.5. It looks like she may be growing out of this condition slowly.

    Spirit started constantly scratching at around the same age. (5 to 6 mths) The red, irritated skin is much more prominant on little Spirit because she's white. Spirit's had 3 doses of Cortizone, so we just can't do this any more.

    They have Periactin daily to ease things. We bath them every week & alternate between Malaseb & Aloveen. We were putting Essential 6 on them, but it didn't really make any difference.

    I kept wracking my brains as to what could be causing this for no apparent reason. They have exactly the same diet as Zena (GSD) and yet she never scratched like this. The only difference I could think of was I gave Zena (& Mish of course) a daily brush. I thought "What the hell. Nothing else has worked, so I might as well start doing this again." All I can say is "Well blow me down. What a difference !!"

    Tara just scratches now because she sees Spirit doing it (drama quuen). I have noticed through brushing her all the time that Tara has "dandruff", so the daily groom with the stripper is like an intense "head stratching" session for her.

    Whilst Spirit is still scratching, it's substantially reduced ..... maybe by 50%. I slap on liberal amounts of Aloe Vera gel to her red areas (tips of ears, legs, feet & her worst area ... tummy) and this gives her a lot of relief as well. I'm hoping like Tara, wee Spirit will grow out of it as well over time.

    So all I can tell you is, after all this strong medication they've had, that's the only real thing that has worked for my 2 young ones ..... a daily groom to get rid of as much dead skin & fur as I can out of them. Weird I know, but there you go.

  10. #10
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    Ok

    Sumo never had a problem until we moved into our new house. We of course thought it was the grass too, but it wasn't.

    It was actually the 200 Agapanthus we had in the backyard. The way we found out was to draw a circle with texta in his armpit...rub some Agapanthus juice in the circle and wait to see if a reaction. Less than 5 min and he had massive hives!

    These are tests you can do yourself with any plant...grass etc.

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