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Reb is scratching like a Banshee.

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 11:36 AM
Rebel has been scratching for about the last week, I thought maybe he had picked up fleas from somewhere, our daughter works at the OSPCA, so it's a possibility. None of the others are scratching. Took him to the Groomer for his Spring clean and mentioned it to her. No fleas, put on his revolution but still scratching.

I haven't changed their food, they all eat Merrick kibble topped with canned food, I have changed the canned from Merrick to Evolve, now I am going to switch back just in case it is that.

Before I take him to the Vet to check for allergies, I would appreciate any feedback/ideas what may be causing it.

Dr Lee
May 16th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I do not think this is fleas from what you are describing: 1) none of the other dogs are having problems, 2) you and the groomer are not seeing fleas and 3) you used Revolution which is a wonderful medication.

Unfortunately that means we are looking at another cause of itching and as you had mentioned allergies becomes high on the list as always.

How long have you had him? Any patches of hair loss? Any redness? Any other clinical signs? :pawprint:

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 12:51 PM
First off Dr. Lee, thanks for your attention.

We have had Reb a little over 3 years. He has never had any scratching issues before and none of the other dogs are experiencing signs of anything. He has no hair loss, he does have however an irritation on what you might consider the breast bone, which looked a bit ulcerated and I have been putting polysporin on (maybe not a good choice) and the redness seems to be fading. As I said the only change is in the canned food that I give them.
He tends to scratch everywhere on his underbody, not the head at all.

If it were allergies, is it normal to develop them out of the blue?

Frenchy
May 16th, 2008, 12:59 PM
If it were allergies, is it normal to develop them out of the blue?

I heard that like for humans , allergies MAY come and go. Bailey has food and seasonal allergies , has to be on Vanectyl for the seasonnal ones. From April to November. But I started the Vanectyl this year , before he started to scratch.... I should have waited , I think he may be ok this year. :shrug:

Dr Lee
May 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Yes, allergies can develop out of the blue whether they be allergies to environmental or food. However if the itching is severe and sudden in onset then I often look for some other possibilities. I assume you have bathed him but if not, then sometimes topical irritation can cause itching. Bug bites can be a cause. Also while fleas themselves may not be an issue now if the pet is flea allergic - then just one flea bit can keep a dog itching for awhile after the fleas have been taken care of. Skin infections can also cause this - be it yeast or bacterial. Ringworm and mites (mange) usually have some other visual changes in dogs but are also possible. These would be the causes I would try to rule in or out. Endocrine disorders such as thyroid, Cushing's disease etc... are unlikely to cause itching but can contribute to dermatologic issues. Finally stress of any sort can lead to dry, itchy hair coats. Hope the list helps and does not confuse. :pawprint:

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I heard that like for humans , allergies MAY come and go. Bailey has food and seasonal allergies , has to be on Vanectyl for the seasonnal ones. From April to November. But I started the Vanectyl this year , before he started to scratch.... I should have waited , I think he may be ok this year. :shrug:

Couldn't you just take him off of it and see what happens, I hope its not allergies $$$$$ to my Vet, butI can't seem to stop him scratching he sounds like Thumper, there's not much distance between him and the floor.

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Thanks Dr. Lee, you have definately given me food for thought. I really don't think he is stressed. I will address some of the more simple possibilities and if it does not stop will then take him to their Vet for evaluation. :)

rainbow
May 16th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Did the scratching start after the canned food change? Does Merrick and Evolve have the same protein source?

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 01:22 PM
I don't know Rainbow, I will check. Protein source as the meat?

The Merrick I feed them is Grammy's Pot pie (primarily chicken) or Turducken. The Evolve, I have been giving them different flavours.

rainbow
May 16th, 2008, 01:33 PM
The meat especially but it could be grains too. I'm not familiar with the ingredients in either. Maybe you should just feed him the one that he was eating before the scratching started to see if it stops.

Chris21711
May 16th, 2008, 01:41 PM
In the Evolve all I can see is Oat Bran and Brown Rice, no grains per se.
The Merrick - Barley, Flaxseed and Brown Rice. I am going to stop giving it and see if it helps, if it doesn't then off to the Vet.

Cocoa really loves it, she has started to get more picky and it is so much easier when they all eat the same.

clm
May 16th, 2008, 08:05 PM
I've had dogs with seasonal allergies. My first dog and now Baxter. As soon as the grass started growing and pollen in the air. Baxter gets watery eyes and itchy. I give him one kids benedryl when it seems to be really bothering him, but check with your vet first before you give any medication.
He's fine in the house, only when he's outside for any period of time does the watery eyes and itching start. My first dog was the same.

Cindy

Frenchy
May 16th, 2008, 08:41 PM
Couldn't you just take him off of it and see what happens, I hope its not allergies $$$$$ to my Vet, butI can't seem to stop him scratching he sounds like Thumper, there's not much distance between him and the floor.

Vanectyl is not too expensive. I did start it because I would find long pieces of fur , but less than usual (he pulls them out , that's how it starts , then he licks until he bleeds) but maybe this year , I caught it just in time. It's not easy to stop and see ... because if you have to start again with the meds , it's a lot of pills for the first 2-3 weeks. Makes him drink and pee a lot. Not too good for his kidneys. Now he only gets 2 pills every 2 days.

Dr Lee
May 16th, 2008, 08:47 PM
I hope its not allergies $$$$$ to my Vet...

There are also many inexpensive ways to address and help allergies. And as, I hope, many of my posts encourage - multi modality is the key. Using multiple medications or holistic/nutritional supplements can allow not only better control of diseases but allows us to use less of each. This of course increases safety.

As clm had suggested, benadryl works well. There are also other antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (atarax) which can sometimes even work better than benadryl. The use of omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils) can help reduce inflammation through competitive inhibition of the arachadonic acid cycle. Topical corticosteroids such as triamcinolone sprays or hydrocortisone sprays work well and at the same time minimize steroid exposure to the rest of the body. Food trials can help eliminate protein allergies. Also the use of hypoallergenic shampoos and hepa air filters can help minimize allergen contact with the pet. :pawprint:

Chris21711
May 17th, 2008, 01:54 PM
Thanks Dr. Lee, right now I've cut out the Evolve canned food, it has been 2 days now, I think it might be subsiding, you can hear the thump, thump every time he scratches so it is very noticeable, I am not noticing it as much. Hopefully it is as simple as that.

kiara
May 17th, 2008, 02:57 PM
When you work with strays, you have to be careful and change your clothes when you get home. And wash your hands very well. You can bring home all kinds of diseases that can be contagious to you and your own pets. Your dog may have developed food alleriges, or something has been brought in from the OSPCA? Sometimes only one pet can be affected, since it may have a low immunity? Since your dog is scratching his underbelly it could be the chemicals you are using as floor cleaners or rug shampoos? It is good to investigate these possibilities. And make the necessary changes.

Chris21711
May 17th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks kiara, but I'm not overzealous in cleaning. As far as bringing something home from the shelter, that is a possibility but my daughter as a rule is quite careful. She has been there 6 years now and never to our knowledge carried anything home, not even when she worked in Cat Rehab. Thank God.