I posted a while ago about Dakota, my now 11 month old yorkie and his constant itching. I went to my vet and have had him on a non-allergenic diet (Hill's brand Ultra Allergen Free and the same treats) for 7 weeks and he is still itching. Majority of the itching is on his paws and head.
On a side note, I did notice a slight improvement very early on but have a hard time believing it was anything worth noting as it takes weeks to filter the old food thru his system. His coat has been much nicer on this food though!
Anyway, his itching is very bad and I have been referred to a dermatologist. We'll see... not sure what it could be a reaction to but hopefully we'll see. Has anyone had luck with dermatologists? How much confidence should I have in finding an answer?
no, my vet said that he best steps he saw fit based on the signs (that led him to believe it was food related) were to cut off all food and treats and start him on the allergen free diet. I thought it was extremene but also took Dakota to another vet (an emergency clinic) and they agreed that this was the best way to determine whether or not it was food related in the first place.
If the itching was gone after 8-12 weeks then we found the culprit - something/literally ANYTHING he used to eat. (I wasn't happy with this approch because if it was a food allergy I would want to know what food so I could still give him some treats, etc rather than just the non-allergenic)
If the itching still exists after 8-12 weeks then we would discuss next steps. I am in the process of finding a better vet but unfortunately (in my area at least - Milwaukee) it's hard to find a vet that seems half as caring or much less interested as the vet tech that checks you into the room!
I wonder if it's worth asking for a skin scraping to rule out mange? The other thing it could also be is environmental allergens. Did this itching coincide with him going outside more? I don't know what the weather is like there, but that's why I mention grass etc. It could also be something he's walked through. Grass, leaves, household cleaners, you name it. Personally, if this was my dog, I would feed him cooked brown rice, with a tiny portion of meat in it, and nothing else. What are the ingredients in the food you are feeding now? I would bathe his feet with a very mild oatmeal soap, and dry them very carefully. I would then put some zinc based diaper rash cream between his paws, and rub some in, on the bottom. Has your vet mentioned an anti-histamine, like benadryl?]]What were you feeding him before? >
I was feeding him Purina Pro Plan before and now its the Ultra Allergen Free food only.
A skin test is something I have heard mention of - is this something the dermatologist would do or the vet? Or either?
It's cool out here, snow just melted so not sure it could have been grass. Hardwood floors indoors and can't think of exposure to anything else that stands out as a possibility to be honest. I don't use scented detergents myself so that is also ruled out.
I have tried benedryl without noticing any improvement.
I may try the oatmeal soap with the lotion, he's always licking/biting at his paws and the red coloring comes and goes.
My advice is to ask for a skin scraping, from the vet. I am guessing that it is it is a food allergy, since Pro Plan has both corn and wheat in it, but that can be tested for. Good luck, and I hope your little dog stops itching soon.
I will keep you all posted... trying to get into the vet here in the next couple days. I want to have the skin scrape done if possible. I am convinced for the most part that it is not food related but what do I know.
Look up Atopic Dermatitis on a search engine. My dog was chewing his paw until it was swollen and red and also scratching his ears. This condition makes them scratch in the folds of their skin, eyes, and feet. I changed Murphy's shampoo and keep his bedding washed regularly. He has gotten much better! When he starts itching again, it is usually time to change the sheets or give him a bath. We also put him on a holistic diet, which he loves. Talk to your vet but also try some simple things mentioned in the websites you will find. Good luck!
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals
just got back from the vet with Dakota and my roomates dog, Sadie. Both have been itching all the time and the allergen food study was 8 weeks into it so it was time for a follow up.
The vet did a skin scrape and it came out negative. Doesn't mean it isn't mites but he certainly didn;t see anything. He did apply the Revolution treatment since we agreed there wasn't much to lose in doing so. He also spoke of cortisone pills to get the constant itching cut back immediately and then try over the counter allergy pills if necessary. He still believes it is some type of allergies, although it is fairly clear it isn't a food allergy as they the other vet thought 8 weeks ago.
I really didn't want to do the steroids but I also don't want to watch him suffer anymore... and it has not gotten better at all with anything I have tried (it's actually seemed worse lately).
He actually ended up giving both dogs a cortisone injection and will re-check them in 3 weeks. Like I said, going into it I would have preffered not to do it that way but in the end it sounded like an ok option to have it the one time and hopfully reduce some of this discomfort they are both having.
Has anyone had any good/bad luck with cortisone shots (one - not planning to repeat....)
Thanks again for all of the advice, I appreciate it.
Lots of rain here... Dakota won't hardly go outside!
Skin scraping negative? For mites I take it? Did he do one for a allergy test? Regardless if hefeels it is the food or not, the allergy test can actually pinpoint the exact allergen be it grass, pollen, corn, ect. I would have insisted on the allergy testing be sent out (takes time for the test, not done in-office) So you can know with absolute certainty what is causing it.
Hope what he is doing helps the poor guy!
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
He did explain what the allergy test would entail as far as waiting for results, additional testing if necessary and that it would cost $300 or so. Please do not get me wrong, I was and am prepared to pay what I have to in order to ensure Dakota is healthy and comfortable... but he also explained how the chances of pinpointing exactly what it is can sometimes be low (40-50%) and he was able to rule out a number of common things with the food test (certain ingredients, grass (this began in winter and we still don't have grass showing by us!), etc.
The mystery to us all was the fact that both dogs have similar symptoms which woudl be an odd coincidence if it were an allergic reaction to something specific (rather than mites or something).
This may be as simple as house dust mites, which would cause atopic dermatitis, or actually any environmental allergen. Do you live in an older house? Is there a possibility that there's mold somewhere? I'm not trying to insult you, I know that atopic dermatitis can be really hard to pin down. One of the former posters said she washed her dogs bedding, and the itching relented. Just go through your whole house, and think of anything that could be making him itch. Do you have feather pillows, or a feather bed? Those are great for dust mites. I'm disappointed in your vet, resorting to cortisone, for a quick fix. I would try everything, including a new food, no matter what.It also takes more than 8 weeks to get rid of an allergic reaction to food sometimes. Good luck, and I'll be interested to know how things go.
Hi, thanks, and don't worry about insulting me... no offense taken. The house I live in is older but as far as we know there isn't a mold issue. There are hardwood floors so it takes a lot of constant cleaning to keep the dust away so I would like to think that is under control.
I will keep you posted.... hoping the extreme measures at least pay off.
I was browsing the site, as a non-member, but when I came across your story I felt compelled to create an account to share my thoughts. I have a doberman-lab mix with horrible allergies. She is allergic to a few things and for about a year and a half was bald on her hind end because of the constant scratching. She was tested for food and flea allergies and also for mites. Finally the vet gave her an injection of something to stop the itching, not cortisone, and that same day the itching the stopped. Almost immediatly her personality became more playful and happy. She has now been itch free for about six months. I can not recall right now what the medication was but it was not a steroid. I know that I haven't exactly answered any questions but I wanted to tell you that there is hope.
I recently adopted a 15 year old doxie from a dachshund rescue with some awful allergy issues. (I was aware of the health issues before I adopted her, I purposely requested a doxie that would be difficult to find a home for). She has had itchiness, very severe ear infections, licks her feet, and hair loss. My vet decided that she has an over abundance of staph bacteria that grows on her skin (all dogs have some amount) and to top it off she is allergic to the staph bacteria. She was on antibiotics for about 6 weeks (cultures done first to determine which antibiotic worked best for her) and I had to keep up with the ears religiously. She now gets bacterium injections to desensitize her to the staph bacteria. First daily, weekly, then bi-weekly. This whole process will take very long but hopefully it will work. The severity of this dogs ear infections are unbelievable. I imagine that is why she was really given up.