Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog health - Ask members * If your pet is vomiting-bleeding-diarrhea etc. Vet time!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 6th, 2009, 03:13 PM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Dog scratching face, chewing on paws.

I have a Golden Retreiver, 4 years old, that scratches and rubs her eyes, chin and ears till they bleed. Also chews on all 4 paws. Her coat was always soft but now feels dry. There has not been a diet change. we have two homes 100+ miles apart and contidions continue at both locations. We have a second Golden Retriever who is just fine. Any ideas?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old October 6th, 2009, 04:03 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,742
Scratching, chewing paws and dry coat can all be indications of allergy. Even if a dogs diet does not change, they can (and do) develop allergies to their food. Also, kibble manufacturers sometimes change the ingredients of their products.

Common ingredients that cause allergies are chicken, wheat, corn, and soy - although any individual dog can be allergic to many different things. If you are feeding a food that is 'grain heavy' - you may want to consider a change in food. Grain heavy would be 3 or more grains in the first 5 ingredients.

Allergies can also be environmental or seasonal - your vet can do testing, but some vets will advise against it citing cost and vague results.
__________________
Kandy
Livin in a Newfie Drool Zone
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old October 6th, 2009, 07:53 PM
Lyrical44's Avatar
Lyrical44 Lyrical44 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Huntsville, Ontario
Posts: 238
My dog is allergic to dog food, food colorings and the food I was giving him at the time changed their ingredients and added food coloring, he was itchy and he had liquid stool, I would suggest getting an blood allergy test done with your vet, if you cant discover what the allergy is on your own.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old October 6th, 2009, 08:07 PM
Frenchy's Avatar
Frenchy Frenchy is offline
-
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 30,227
Sounds to me like allergies. Have you taken her to the vet for this yet ?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old October 6th, 2009, 08:51 PM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kandy View Post
Scratching, chewing paws and dry coat can all be indications of allergy. Even if a dogs diet does not change, they can (and do) develop allergies to their food. Also, kibble manufacturers sometimes change the ingredients of their products.

Common ingredients that cause allergies are chicken, wheat, corn, and soy - although any individual dog can be allergic to many different things. If you are feeding a food that is 'grain heavy' - you may want to consider a change in food. Grain heavy would be 3 or more grains in the first 5 ingredients.

Allergies can also be environmental or seasonal - your vet can do testing, but some vets will advise against it citing cost and vague results.

Thank you, very helpfull. Ironically we did switch them from Kibbles about a year ago (long before the symptoms arose) and have just switched back because of these conditions.

Last edited by dusty0627; October 6th, 2009 at 08:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old October 6th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Dog Dancer's Avatar
Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,579
It definitely sounds like allergies, so keep the ingredient list on your food bag for reference, and if the symptoms don't clear up within a month (it takes a while to see a difference) start removing foods from the list. Start with obvious allergy things like grains and chicken (I had to remove even poultry fat from my girls diet, and most grains as well). We now use Evo Red Meat and she doesn't have as much scratchies, although we are now dealing with some seasonal scratching. Food is a very tricky thing and narrowing down an allergy can be tough. If the scratching is very bad your vet should be able to tell you what you could use to help her with it. Benadryl helps sometimes, but your vet should be asked to give you a dosage and to see how long you can use it. That said, you should probably not use anything until you figure out the cause of the reaction first otherwise you won't know if you have found the source or just the meds are helping. When searching for an allergy source, don't forget to check the ingredients on treats as well.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old October 7th, 2009, 10:32 AM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 413
I love a breed that is so prone to skin allergies. Right now dealing with fleas (while current on Advantix ). I had a dog who suffered with some food allergies as well as flea bite dermatitis. Since your dog is chewing paws and rubbing ears, it sounds more like food or environmental allergies. A move of 100 miles isn't that significant for the environmental changes. My itchy dog traveled about 200 and got her flea infestation.

It can be so difficult to eliminate the food allergens. It is trial and error and can take time. Corn can be a big culprit. I found that one of my dog's triggers was artificial dyes found in treats. Remember to check ingredients on the treat bags. Also, some dogs can be allergic to grass and sometimes this problem flares at different times of the year. This could explain the paw chewing and face rubbing.

A few things that helped us get through the itchies were adding an oil supplement to our dog's food (fish oil can work, but get your vet's recommendation and dose), running a humidifier in the room where our dog slept to add moisture to the air and help with dry skin, and using oatmeal shampoo (we use Hylyte).

Good luck with your dog. Your vet can prescribe allergy medication to help with the itching, but it won't resolve or identify the trigger(s). Please try to avoid using steroid shots as these can have some very negative side effects in both the short- and long-term. Also, some yeast infections can cause chewing and scratching as well, so this is also something you may want to consider. I think this isn't a high possibility. When my dog got a yeast infection it had a very distinct odor.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old October 7th, 2009, 11:01 PM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Dancer View Post
It definitely sounds like allergies, so keep the ingredient list on your food bag for reference, and if the symptoms don't clear up within a month (it takes a while to see a difference) start removing foods from the list. Start with obvious allergy things like grains and chicken (I had to remove even poultry fat from my girls diet, and most grains as well). We now use Evo Red Meat and she doesn't have as much scratchies, although we are now dealing with some seasonal scratching. Food is a very tricky thing and narrowing down an allergy can be tough. If the scratching is very bad your vet should be able to tell you what you could use to help her with it. Benadryl helps sometimes, but your vet should be asked to give you a dosage and to see how long you can use it. That said, you should probably not use anything until you figure out the cause of the reaction first otherwise you won't know if you have found the source or just the meds are helping. When searching for an allergy source, don't forget to check the ingredients on treats as well.
Thank you for your response, it is very informative. Will be checking out Evo Red Meat. Been using Benadryl for a few days but no success yet. Thank you again. Dusty0627
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old October 7th, 2009, 11:16 PM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieDog View Post
I love a breed that is so prone to skin allergies. Right now dealing with fleas (while current on Advantix ). I had a dog who suffered with some food allergies as well as flea bite dermatitis. Since your dog is chewing paws and rubbing ears, it sounds more like food or environmental allergies. A move of 100 miles isn't that significant for the environmental changes. My itchy dog traveled about 200 and got her flea infestation.

It can be so difficult to eliminate the food allergens. It is trial and error and can take time. Corn can be a big culprit. I found that one of my dog's triggers was artificial dyes found in treats. Remember to check ingredients on the treat bags. Also, some dogs can be allergic to grass and sometimes this problem flares at different times of the year. This could explain the paw chewing and face rubbing.

A few things that helped us get through the itchies were adding an oil supplement to our dog's food (fish oil can work, but get your vet's recommendation and dose), running a humidifier in the room where our dog slept to add moisture to the air and help with dry skin, and using oatmeal shampoo (we use Hylyte).

Good luck with your dog. Your vet can prescribe allergy medication to help with the itching, but it won't resolve or identify the trigger(s). Please try to avoid using steroid shots as these can have some very negative side effects in both the short- and long-term. Also, some yeast infections can cause chewing and scratching as well, so this is also something you may want to consider. I think this isn't a high possibility. When my dog got a yeast infection it had a very distinct odor.

Thank you ScottieDog for your very helpful response. Many of your suggestions are right on and have been eliminated (as much as they can be) but you have given us some other things to look into. Again diet was suggested so that will remain our focus. Vet recommended Benadryl but not yet working. Thank you again. Dusty0627.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old October 8th, 2009, 01:35 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty0627 View Post
Thank you, very helpfull. Ironically we did switch them from Kibbles about a year ago (long before the symptoms arose) and have just switched back because of these conditions.
If you are referring to "Kibbles & Bits" brand dog food, you may want to switch to a food that does not have the high levels of grains & fillers, not to mention food coloring. The original formula has corn as its first ingredient, which is a common allergy culprit. 3 of it's first 4 ingredients are common allergens (corn, soy, wheat). Even their "Wholesome Medley" formula, which I assume is supposed to be their version of healthy, has corn as its first ingredient, and soy is number 3. It also has poultry meal (any meal should be species specific, ie chicken meal, turkey meal, etc).

Although you will pay more for a good quality kibble, it's worth it and pays for itself in better overall health, less vet visits (for things like infected ears), and less poop.
__________________
Kandy
Livin in a Newfie Drool Zone
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old October 10th, 2009, 12:01 AM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kandy View Post
If you are referring to "Kibbles & Bits" brand dog food, you may want to switch to a food that does not have the high levels of grains & fillers, not to mention food coloring. The original formula has corn as its first ingredient, which is a common allergy culprit. 3 of it's first 4 ingredients are common allergens (corn, soy, wheat). Even their "Wholesome Medley" formula, which I assume is supposed to be their version of healthy, has corn as its first ingredient, and soy is number 3. It also has poultry meal (any meal should be species specific, ie chicken meal, turkey meal, etc).

Although you will pay more for a good quality kibble, it's worth it and pays for itself in better overall health, less vet visits (for things like infected ears), and less poop.
Actually Kibbles and Chunks but the ingredients list reads pretty much the same as you describe. Can't believe something they have ate there entire lives is now suddenly a problem but it sure seems to be the consenses and can't figure out what else might be the problem so will seek out another dog food. Thank you again for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old October 10th, 2009, 08:09 AM
Golden Girls's Avatar
Golden Girls Golden Girls is offline
An Honest Contributor
Fishing the Sea Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion, KickUps Champion, Jason's Pong Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Eskiv Champion, Aski Champion, Ping Champion
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,807
Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty0627 View Post
Actually Kibbles and Chunks but the ingredients list reads pretty much the same as you describe. Can't believe something they have ate there entire lives is now suddenly a problem but it sure seems to be the consenses and can't figure out what else might be the problem so will seek out another dog food. Thank you again for your help.
It took four years for one of my golden's to begin showing allergies to Pedigree Probably due to cutting back expenses the companies tend to add more and more junk ... not to mention as they get older like us their immune isn't as good

My vet had prescibed prednsione for temporary relief, I then switched to Solid Gold Hollistique Blends but found too much grain (direct cause of allergies in animals) now on Orijen 0 grain good luck
__________________
In rescuing animals I lost my mind but found my soul
~ anonymous ~
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old October 10th, 2009, 09:42 AM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty0627 View Post
Actually Kibbles and Chunks but the ingredients list reads pretty much the same as you describe. Can't believe something they have ate there entire lives is now suddenly a problem but it sure seems to be the consenses and can't figure out what else might be the problem so will seek out another dog food. Thank you again for your help.
Now they could have reformulated this over the last 14 years, but I tried my Scottie (with the allergies) on Kibbles and Chunks when I pulled him off Puppy Chow. We saw issues within a couple of weeks. This food has many dyes in it and my dog had a sensitivity to artificial colorings. The sad thing is we buy the dog food that appeals to our senses (smell, visual, texture) and pet food companies play to this. Purina Beneful is one of the worst foods on the market, yet I see so many bags of it coming out of the stores. It has so many artificial colors and is basically a bag of corn. But it looks pretty and smells good to us. No lectures on your food (who knows how long I would have fed this had my dog not gone bald on me), but you may want to look online at some pet food review sites. Several will give information on how to read the pet food nutritional label and how to grade or score foods.

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/
http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/ratingpetfood.htm
http://www.elkcountryanimalshelter.o...OG%20FOOD.html

I only started to question the ingredients in dog foods after the melamine poisonings a few years back. I just assumed that they were basically all the same and if it was on the store shelf, it was safe. Good luck. Another feeding option is the raw diet. I don't raw feed, so I can't comment, but I know many have seen health benefits from this diet. Many members here advocate the raw diet and can offer links and assistance, if you want more information.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old October 10th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Lyrical44's Avatar
Lyrical44 Lyrical44 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Huntsville, Ontario
Posts: 238
has your dog experienced really runny sometimes almost liquid stools? If so that *might* be the food colouring, Bennie is allergic to it and its REALLY fast acting, and quick to go away. We were feeding Pedigree, and they randomly switched their formula to have orange peices in it, Bennie lost about 5 pounds over night because of it, it was horrifying! (we changed our food after that)

Our Jazzie has allergies to foods, and the vet suggested we try Jazz on an all natural chicken or fish dog food, and it seemed to help her alot, although I think her feet will be pink forever :S.

Its really difficult to figure out an allergy on your own sometimes, especially with things like "Kibbles n Chunks" or those foods, because they have such a mix of ingredients. I was informed that a food with meat, like chicken, as the first ingredient, and fewer cereals in them, are usually good, but always try to go for a good brand.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old October 12th, 2009, 12:53 AM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
Kandy, Scottie Dog, Golden Girls, Lyrical44,

Thanks for all your input.

For some clarification, we switched from Purina Kibbles and Chunks about 9-12 months ago because we could no longer find it in the stores in our area. We switched to Ole Roy Kibbles and Chunks at that time. We have chosen these dog foods because our dogs like them and they are picky. We always believed dog food was better than table food.

We are now spending more time at the second home (see above) and had an unopened bag of Purina Kibbles and Chunks that is at least 9 months old, the girls have been eating from this bag for the past 3 weeks. The 7 year old has not shown any problems ever, the 4 year old started showing problems about 6 months ago. Stools have never been a problem, just dry skin and agonizing scratching.

After 3 weeks on the Purina version of Kibbles the 4 year old's coat seems to be getting less dry in my opinion but my wife doesn't agree. All other symptoms remain.

Spent this weekend checking out ingredients in dog food and the best I could find was Purina One and frankly it didn't get me too excited based on what I've read. I haven't found Evo Red Meat or Orijen 0 grain in stores yet, where do you purchase them?

Scottie Dog, did not yet check out the links you've provided.

Thank you for all your help.

Dusty0627

Last edited by dusty0627; October 12th, 2009 at 01:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old October 12th, 2009, 09:37 AM
Shaykeija's Avatar
Shaykeija Shaykeija is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,582
Is there any good pet food stores near you? That would be the place to try as most regular retail stores only sell crap food. Any pictures of you fur kids for us? Everyone here loves to see new members critters. Good luck with the itchies..
__________________
The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog...

There ain't no cure for stupid ...... but we should make sure we laugh and point it out to everyone else
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old October 12th, 2009, 10:12 AM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 413
Dusty, you are seeing one of the challenges of feeding a premium dog food--these can be very hard to find. Your best options are a pet boutique or a feed store.

Another problem is that the premium dog foods do cost more. Sadly, due to the economy, many us are cutting back on the quality of our food as well as our dogs. In the long run, you typically feed less of the quality foods since the dog absorbs more nutrients (and get less poop ) and if the food can prevent health problems, your vet bills decrease. So although the sack of kibble costs more to purchase, it really is a better value in the long run.

When I was searching for dog food, I ended up selecting Blue Buffalo organic chicken and brown rice. It is a decent food--but definitely not the best--and my dog does well on this. I picked it because I could get the food at several locations (foofy pet boutique, PetSmart, feed store). I won't lie, it is an expensive food, but I only feed one cup a day. It is a big difference from feeding several large dogs.

Some of the lines of food you may want to look at that you can find at the PetSmart, PetCo style stores include Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance (some allergy dogs have luck with duck and potato--I think these are called LID or limited ingredient diets), Blue Buffalo, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, and if you have membership to CostCo, I think they have a Kirkland brand that ranks well. With the exception of the Blue Buffalo, I have not fed any of these foods, but I do remember they were on my list that I researched and were foods I considered. These foods are not as high quality as the Evo or Orijen, but may be foods that you can find. And if you can't consistently find the food, regardless of the quality, it won't help your dog.

Please take some time to review the links I provided earlier so you really understand what the dog food is made of, how to identify allergens, and know what proteins/grains are included. My philosophy is that I try to feed the best quality food I can find, that I can afford, that my dog does well on.

Knowledge is your power--you are the provider and advocate for your dog. Learn how to read the labels and make the best choices you can for your dog. Also, if you aren't adding a Fish Oil Capsule to his food, try this. It really helps with the skin and coat. Good luck.

Edit to add: Wellness is another great line that I can't believe I forgot to mention; it is one of the higher end premium foods. Some of the Merrick foods are good as well (but this line is also difficult to find). Also, I have found that my "foofy" pet boutique and the feed stores are much less expensive on the dog foods than PetCo and PetSmart. One of my stores has a rewards program where you earn a free bag after a certain number of purchases.

Last edited by ScottieDog; October 12th, 2009 at 10:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old October 12th, 2009, 01:39 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,742
I used to feed either Ol Roy or a store brand called Atta Boy. I never even thought about what goes into dog food, and I had 2 dogs that lived to be 17 and 16 respectively, eating this stuff their whole lives. When we got our first newf, the breeder put in her contract that we had to feed Pedigree. I seriously thought this was a 'premium' food. Only after our first newf was diagnosed with total kidney failure at 19 months did I start looking at different things to see if I could have done anything different. One of the things I started researching was food. I was speechless to find that something I thought was good for my dog (better than 'table scraps' as you say) was probably one of the worst things I could have been feeding her.

Now I see the difference a good food makes - my dogs don't get ear infections, their coats are soft and shiny, my newfie girl makes poops the size normally associated with a much smaller dog and you can see the general level of good health in them. Yes, my other dogs lived long lives on poor quality food - but I have to wonder how long they would've lived had they had a good diet their whole lives. I've learned that there is a big difference between surviving and thriving.
__________________
Kandy
Livin in a Newfie Drool Zone
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old October 13th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Dog Dancer's Avatar
Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,579
A good rule of thumb is if you can buy it at Safeway or any other grocery store it's probably not a great dog food. You will need to search out a dog food specialty store. There are more and more around that are getting on board with good quality foods. I see very little advertising for the premium brands, I think the word of mouth speaks for itself. With my two dogs on Evo Red Meat (each dog is 70 lbs) I feed them about one cup per day with a bit of liver on top. This cup is split into two meals. My older dog has very small poops (my granddaughter says her Yorkie poo's more!), but my lab has food allergies also and so doesn't process it as well and has more poop. But less poop is definitely a benefit to a food that is more readily digisted. Corn is a big allergen and one of the main fillers in dog foods. Good luck on your search, if you're in doubt about a brand you see feel free to come back here and ask about it.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old October 13th, 2009, 12:04 PM
luckypenny's Avatar
luckypenny luckypenny is offline
Doggie Wench
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St. Philippe-de-Laprairie, Qc
Posts: 11,813
Here's a link to a list of stores that sell Orijen in Michigan. Chances are, if these shops carry Orijen, they'll carry other high quality foods such as well.

http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/storeLocator/Michigan.aspx
__________________
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old October 13th, 2009, 12:12 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,742
There are also places online that you can order premium food and get free shipping. I live in a rural area, and the only store that carries decent food also sells pets so I don't do business there. Other than that store, my other local food choices are Eagle Pak or Innova. I order all my dog supplies online, everything from the kibble & canned food to their treats.
__________________
Kandy
Livin in a Newfie Drool Zone
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old November 6th, 2009, 12:30 AM
dusty0627 dusty0627 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7
doing better

Thanks again for all you help. She is doing much better but don't know if it is the food change or the season change. The future will tell. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old November 6th, 2009, 01:20 AM
rainbow's Avatar
rainbow rainbow is offline
-
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Beautiful BC's Kootenay Country
Posts: 34,759
So what are you feeding her now?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:30 PM.