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Desperate for help with dog itching/scratching problem

                              


Joined: Sep 12, 2011
Posts: 10
we have a 2 1/2 year old mutt mix of chocolate lab, maybe doberman, maybe vizsla. he had severe food allergy problems as a pup which took us forever to figure out.

the past year or more he has had a recurring itching/ scratching problem that is driving us completely insane. it seems to get worse as the weather changes now.

i would appreciate any help in figuring out the problem or treating it naturally. if there is anyone here who has a lot of experience with dogs please let me know.

the last treatment of allergy desensitization at the vet did not work, it was like 12 shots over 6 months.

it could still be a hidden food allergy problem but his digestion seems very good, and the reactions he had to foods were all intestine related, but maybe we are missing something.

Marla Kacey


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
Do you bathe him? With shampoo?

Not sure about dogs, but when I personally used the more expensive, supposedly more moisturizing shampoos and soaps, I itched to the point of embarrassment.

Now I use simple lye-based real soaps and have almost no itching, unless I buy socks that aren't all cotton.
Irene Kightley
pollinator

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 335
Location: South West France
    
  15
George,

We have a Dachshund who has a bad recurring skin problem. We've tried every product imaginable and we've consulted several vets who always prescribe the same expensive shampoos and pills- which never work.

A friend recommended that we try Derfen http://www.derfen.com/index.php?lang=english a veterinary product which is normally used to control sweet itch in horses and we've been very pleased with the results.

Irene


La Ferme de Sourrou : Nos projets avec PHOTOS
Chris Stelzer
Author


Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 118
    
    1
You could try giving the dog more fat. Maybe give him some butter? I'd also consider yogurt, even though you said his digestion is good. You could try DE, maybe he has a skin parasite? Another thing I'd suggest is making a 70-30% vinegar to water solution and rinsing him with it while working it in with your fingers. Then rinse with clean water. Hope this helps!


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Joined: Sep 12, 2011
Posts: 10
thanks chris.

we ordered DE it should be here in a day or so. we thought we made some progress a few days ago, it went from really bad to almost no scrathing at night time. we had given him salmon oil and kelp and took him off dairy and lowered the carbs. then the next few days it has been getting worse and worse. so tomorrow we have no choice but to take him in for a cortisone shot.

he loves butter and yogurt and has done well with it in the past, so maybe he will go back on those since the diet changes hasn''t seem to help much. we give him a lot of fat as raw bacon and now salmon oil. he really loves fat in any form.

we ordered 3 homeopathics, cortisonus, arsenicum album and tannic acidum.

i tried spraying him with a tea made from black tea and calendula. we thought it might be working at first, but it looks like no.

so at this point we will have little windows in between the shots as they wear off to try natural remedies, and we really need to hit a home run because he gets bad
fast as the shots wear off. and obviously the last thing we want to do is keep shooting him up with cortisone.

i have some eucalyptus misting in the humidifier now as it is supposed to be good for dust mites. but we are really just shooting in the dark, we have no idea what the actual problem is.

one more clue is that he gets crusty/chapped lips with scabs at the same time as the allergies happen. maybe someone knows about this.

                                


Joined: Jun 14, 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Saluda, NC
BARF diet for dogs. If it's a food related, this will fix it.
Vera Lothian


Joined: Dec 05, 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Wiltshire UK
What are you feeding him now? Have you considered a raw diet for him ime it fixes a large number of issues in dogs.


zone 8, 382.5 square meter garden 2 up 2 down 1920's ex-council house. heavy clay soil
Brad Davies
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Clarkston, MI
    
    8
+1 to both the posts above.

More fats and oils will help make his skin less dry, and his coat more shiny and soft. I have first hand experience with introducing 3 different dogs to the BARF diet with excellent results. Within 2-3 days you could notice their coat felt different. After a week their fine hair was extremely soft, though the under coat was still a little course. After 2 weeks the dog feels like it's hair has been washed with conditioner daily it's so soft.

I did a little experiment recently, not really on purpose, but here is was. I normally give my dog some bacon grease every couple of days, not a lot, just the running’s from 2 slices I have with my breakfast. I would just drizzle it onto his food and mix it in. Well I decided that I needed to trim down a bit so I cut bacon out of my morning routine. After about a week I noticed that my dogs coat was feeling more and more course. I don't know of any controlled way you can test softness of a dogs coat, but it definitely felt different enough for me to notice. I let the "experiment" run for another week and paid attention to how is fur felt, and it most definitely was getting more course. So after a 2 week stint I decided that I must have my morning bacon, if not for me for the dog! haha. But in all seriousness his coat went right back to being extremely soft in no time, and he started loving breakfast time again.

SE, MI, Zone 5b "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
~Thomas Edison
                                


Joined: Mar 28, 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
The dry skin and scabs brings dry skin to mind. Dry skin can come from liver issues in humans. I had an eczema on my hand for more than 20 years that I finally healed with common "weeds" in the yard. A mixture of plaintain, burdock leaf, yarrow, calendula and comfrey both rubbed on fresh and infused in olive oil, then the oil was "schmeared" on.

It's not much help because these things aren't available road side in the winter, I'm not sure if they could be found in health food stores or not.

I have a Pug that gets skin issues when fleas come to visit (usually from a certain family member) and he doesn't stop itching. I bathe him with a human natural shampoo with added tea tree oil and lavender oil, about 1/2 cup shampoo to 1/4 tsp of each essential oil (those ones I find in my local health food store). This seems to help the skin itching for about 3 or 4 days. He loves bath time so bathing often isn't a problem.


Always put your eggs in one basket.........why would you carry two?
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 193
Location: SW Missouri
    
    6
We have 11 dogs -- 4 of whom regularly itched and got dry skin and hair loss in patches. We still are not sure why, but attributed it to allergies of one sort or another. For at least three years we struggled as you have -- trying one suggested remedy after another and spending a lot of unnecessary money in the process (since none of it worked). Then we finally hit upon something (or rather some things that worked), and now all our dogs have beautiful, soft and healthy coats. But first let me tell you what did not work...

Things NOT to use:
DE - #1 on the list of things to not waste your money on. Diatomaceous earth is nothing but the remains of small marine creatures whose "skeletons" are comprised of sharp, microscopic spicules. DE is great for killing insects whose soft bodies they penetrate with those sharp little points. It is also great for making the soft, sensitive skin of your dog irritated too! When your poor pooch is already hurting, DE only makes it worse by rubbing the skin with an abrasive drying agent. Sorry to those of you who suggested it, but this is something I know from long experience -- as a pet owner with a lot of pets AND as an ex-zookeeper and a vet tech. DE should be saved for the bugs in your garden or in out of the way places in your house -- not for your dogs and cats.

Sulfur - Another one of those things that can be of great benefit for insect control and as an additive to the garden (increases acidity)-- but really good on your pet. It is also quite irritating to the skin (and stinks as well). The one exception to this is that in ultra fine powdered form (pharmaceutical or food grade) it blends well with petroleum jelly to make a wonderful healing salve for minor wounds. Think Bag Balm.

Powders -- talc, cornstarch, rice starch or whatever -- regardless of what soothing or medicinal additives it may have in it. I tried various soothing blends like peppermint, tea tree oil, and other mixtures of herbs and essential oils blended in the powder, but what they all came down to was some nice smelling things in a very drying medium. Powder is good for absorbing oils and drying the skin when it is damp or oily, but it also dries already dry skin.

Really oliy/greasy creams, balms and lotions -- Some of them may have short-term benefits, but in the long run, they mostly just act as magnets for dirt and debris and deprive the skin of healing oxygen by coating it. If your dog is suffering from a bacterial infection or a fungal problem (it may NOT be allegies you know) then heavy coatings like this may only hold the nasties in close to the skin and give them a nice protected spot to multiply. One possible exception is Neem oil. Used very sparingly in a light carrier oil (like almond oil), it can help sooth irritations and heal the skin. This worked pretty well on a couple of my dogs -- though it does not work if your dog has flea allergies unless you first kill the fleas (and that is another problem entirely!)

Frequent shampooing or shampooing with commercial soaps -- much too harsh and drying

Things that helped in some dogs, but not others, or were only partially effective:
Neem oil in almond oil (as mentioned above
Diluted apple cider vinegar in water as a rinse after shampooing with a natural, non-detergent soap (preferably homemade and containing no additives or scents of any kind)
Gentian violet -- 1% dilution applied directly to "hot spots" of specific areas of irritation (not over the whole body, and never allow the dog to lick it! For cases of infection or obvious skin abrasions/irritations -- not for food allergy dryness. DO NOT APPLY TO CATS!)


What DOES work:

Adding oil to the diet (especially lard, butter or coconut oil)
Adding Linotone to the diet (available from animal supply places or your vet -- contains cod liver oil)
Cleaning bad patches with diluted hydrogen peroxide twice daily to disenfect (in cases of infection or obvious skin abrasions/irritations -- not for food allergy dryness)
#1 BEST for skin problems of a fungal or bacterial nature -- Dakin's Solution. This is merely a solution of about 1/4 cup of household chlorine bleach and a tsp. of baking soda in a gallon of water. Use as a wash of the affected area. It can also be used as a safe and effective wound cleaner. (Hospitals use this on human wounds, in fact.)



Mostly, I have found that it is generally self-defeating to try several things at once or to try too many things in rapid succession. ome of these may interfer or even actively work against others (never use Dakin's Solution in conjunction with vinegar, for example, or you will produce an extremely toxic gas that could make you and your pet very ill or even kill you!) Try one thing at a time and give it a few days or even a couple of weeks to work before moving to something else. This is especially true of anything that requires a dietary change. Oils in the body will require awhile to show outward signs.

The other two things are #1 -- make sure you keep your dog in a relatively humid environment (winter is especially drying for indoor dogs in overly heated rooms). If you do not have a humidifier, put a pot of water to simmer on a stove. #2 -- Feed your dog a natural diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits, grains like rice (not corn -- which many dogs are allergic to) and fresh eggs, dairy products and some meats. (I cook all my dog's meals human quality food. You could eat what they eat and like it. Commercial dog food is pure garbage!)

Well, that is my tome for the nigh. I need to go to bed!
Ding Fod


Joined: Jan 02, 2012
Posts: 7
I would try vinegar or H2O2. Make sure the dog isnt eating feces, his own, yours, chickens/cats etc.
Eric Rice


Joined: Aug 23, 2011
Posts: 22
Please feed your carnivores a natural species appropriate diet. Feed them raw meat, raw bones, and raw organs. This will solve many of our dogs problems and even some we dont realize that we are causing by feeding them a modern diet filled with dead, heavily processed, chemical flavored, cheep, garbage that we call dog food.

For some crazy reason I dont have coyotes or mountain lions as pests eating the veggies in my garden or eating corn or wheat in my fields. Carnivores dont desire these things unless we trick them to eat it as an additive / filler in dog food.

Also, this will not make your dogs blood thirsty and start killing every warm blooded creature in sight.

We should apply permaculture and common sense to our dogs as well.

If you want proof I will take some video of my dogs eating a dead calf from a neighbors farm. While all my other animals are free ranging around them. I have been feeding BARF or raw for about six years and my 3 dogs have never killed any of my livestock.
Phil Williamson


Joined: Dec 31, 2011
Posts: 9
Location: NW Montana
The answer is simple and most just don't get it. Your dog needs (Salt) place some unrefined sea salt in there water and on there food. Don't use D.E. on the skin unless your sure it is fleas. D.E. is great for a internal cleanse on all animals but dries the skin out. Also D.E. is available at feed stores for half the price you can get it online, you can get a 50 lbs bag for 25-30 $ same stuff that is repackaged and sold online for more money. Salt and water cures 70 of all (supposed) disease in animals including humans. Dehydration is an epidemic these days.
Mariah Wallener


Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 144
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
Lots of great suggestions so far. I'll just share my anecdote.

When I adopted my Cattle Dog mix 3 years ago she itched a lot. I put her on a raw food diet (prey model, as described by Farmer Eric). Her itching problems went away and have not returned. Her coat looks great, too.

I'm not saying this is your dog's issue, but I do believe that if skin issues are not parasitic in nature (fleas, fungal, etc) then they tend to be inflammatory reactions and I think feeding any animal (dog or human) a species-appropriate diet aids greatly in reducing inflammatory issues.

As an added bonus, since many mentioned dehydration, this diet provides a lot of water from the food and my dog is not drinking all the time like she used to when eating kibble.


Permie Newbie. ruralaspirations.wordpress.com
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2450
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  60
One additional idea: we had a golden retriever mix with horrible "hot spots." She scratched and chewed herself so much that she had bare spots, skin flakiness, weepy spots and also this greasiness to her coat that made her feel, well, gross. The vet took one look, felt her coat and gave her a blood test for her thyroid. The vet was spot-on (pun not intended, but welcome!): the dog had low (hypo-) thyroid.

Once we got her on medication her skin, coat, comfort and behavior all improved dramatically.

I'd much rather suggest something more diet or natural remedy based than a thyroid med, but I think we're all getting exposed to things that are compromising some of our normal bodily functions. Dogs in particular have high metabolisms for their size which makes them more susceptible to toxins (as are children).


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
Find an old farm vet and have a serious talk with them about mineral and vitamin deficiencies. most critters we car for are missing micro nutrients and a bit of sea salt can fix this short term but proper diet for a predator is essential. the reason DE works on some critters is they have some kind of mite or flea that causing things to go bad. A detailed blood test can give you what a dog is deficient of but most vets wont run a full spectrum blood test most of the time.

Some times the condition is in the pups head and that can be cured by finding out what the cause is and addressing it via training.


Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
Wood burning stoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, DIY,
Stove plans, Boat plans, General permiculture information, Arts and crafts, Fire science, Find it at www.ernieanderica.info


Erin Dee


Joined: Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Williamston, Michigan
It sounds very much like your dog has a combination of food and contact allergies. One of my girls has both, as well, and she's so miserable in the fall - my heart goes out to your dog and to you for having to watch the suffering. It sounds like you've done so much already.

Things we have to do in allergy season:

* Put boots on her when she goes outside to keep as much off her feet as possible
* Wash her face gentle with warm water and a washcloth after meals (we're feeding a hypo-allergenic diet, but her face gets irritated by contact allergens when she's outside and sniffs around in the grass)
* Topically apply Preparation-H to hot spots; it reduces inflammation and she hates the taste of it, so doesn't lick it off

Best of luck!
danelle grower


Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 83
Oh I am so so sorry to hear this. I just hate it when our fur babies are miserable. I know how it can wear on you. I have had dogs in the past with skin problems. Never did find a solution. Vet said he was allergic to fleas. He was put on meds. That was before I know what I know now. Diet is key. I can't tell you what to feed your dog or even what you should feed your dog. You need to do whats best for you and your dog. What I can tell you is that when I started cooking for my dogs they no longer needed anti seizure meds had no more seizures. Needed no more arthritis meds joints were fine and no more pain. They never needed their teeth cleaned never needed to be wormed. They had spunky personalities and shiny coats and eyes. They also lost tons of weight. To top it all off cooking for them was way cheaper than buying high end dog food. I never did get around to trying the BARFF or RAW diet. By the time I found out about it it was to late. I know that by cooking for them I gained several years that I wouldn't have had other wise. Not to mention so many more vet bills. I wish I had a magic lotion or potion to give. Just wanted to share our story and the power of a diet other than the brain washing we have been duped into believing. Best wishes and hope you find the answer you need.
                


Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 51
Another vote for the raw, prey model diet. This is coming from a woman who worked in veterinary hospitals and believed (and sold) the stuff for about 15 years. I never thought I would but having a spaniel with recurrent allergies and low grade, chronic ear infections I finally gave it a go and could not be more surprised or happier with the results. Our dog also used to have whole body reactions if he got even one flea. Now, he has to be covered before he starts turning pink. For the most part we feed rabbits and guinea pigs that we raise (humanely!) which helps keep the food costs down. I would strongly suggest you look into this.

Blue Waldman

Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
Nu-Stock...great stuff, works fast and has natural ingredients.
Xisca Nicolas


Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 926
Location: La Palma Canary Zone 11
    
    8
Deb gave good profesional advice, that I can confirm with my profesional experience too. Fat is very important (even for us, many people do not eat enough fat, good ones of course)

About fat, I would add that chicken are very good, any poultry. They have good fat, the meat is good for dogs as well, and the bones are perfect, as they are not too hard for chewing. The prey is at the size a dog can hunt!!!

This is not the case of a cow...

I tried the raw diet before BARF existed, and I had to stop it, and I was furious to get itching go away with kibbles!

I did 1 mistake with raw food... I could only get cow, and some dogs react to the protein of cow...
Reaction is itching, only this, no digestion problem....


Xisca - Canary - Look at pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project
However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
Gail Moore


Joined: Jul 09, 2011
Posts: 142
Location: south central Appalachia, southwest Virginia, US zone 6/7
    
    1
According to Chinese Medicine, various proteins are "warming", which add to inflammation. And various proteins are "cooling' which do not add to inflammation.

This information may or may not be of help to you. Yet, if you have a way to research this. It may help.


Best of everything on your dog's healing adventures.


The world needs all kinds of minds. --Temple Grandin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn_9f5x0f1Q
Weird or just different? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K5SycZjGhI&feature=endscreen&NR=1
Summer Miller


Joined: Aug 07, 2012
Posts: 1
We adopted a dog with lots of issues, and I work with kids with neurological issues that usually have a gut component, so I will chime in here. I know the thread is old, and hopefully your dog is better, but if not...

With our girl, it was grass and environmental allergies on top of systemic yeast, which no one would help me get rid of, so I had to go about it my own ways. This is what I did/do:

1) Have the thyroid checked
Dr. Jean Dodds is recommended, as she uses baselines for the breeds, not just a general guideline for dogs, like some others.
http://hemopet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=53

I don't like putting animals on any medications, but get her levels ok and get her healthy while you work on other issues and then wean off and retest later.

2) Food Grade DE
Used internally to "clean out" any unwanted pathogens and yeast.

3) Probiotics
To rebalance the gut, hit hard the first few weeks and taper off. This will help kill yeast and other things in the intestines.
http://www.benebiotics.com/order-now/

4) Diet
You can switch to a BARF diet for a while and see what happens... Ours cleared up immensely, but she was allergic to chicken and beef and pork made her agressive. She ended up doing really well on quail and veggie scraps. I would just cut everything out, start with ONE thing and then see what happens.

5) Spots...
I used Vetericyn for clearing up hot spots and other issues but have switched to a Dakin's Solution of sorts.


Hope that helps!!
pete samson


Joined: Sep 30, 2012
Posts: 20
Location: central european territories
For thyroid issues, consider using iodine, either in it's pure water-solution form, or a kelp-additive with high iodine content. Dogs accumulate fluoride and bromide -a flame retardant and used in some food processing and medications- as do people. Both attach to the same receptor sites as natural iodine is supposed-to, however they are accumulative toxins.

I had similar skin conditions as the dog mentioned in the OP. Resolved it by getting the thyroid working. Started out with 13mg/day then upped it to around 200mg/day over a months' time. This high quantity leeches-out the fluoride, bromide and heavy metals I had ingested and absorbed directly through skin contact. I don't know if I'd go that high with a dog. Maybe 100mg/day at most. The kidneys excrete the extra.

A messed-up endocrine system, fluoride and bromine full, iodine deficient, leads to numerous symptoms, and some experience it as psoriasis. The artificial thyroxine medications are not a solution. Natural versions I only use in stop-gap cases where immediate relief is needed, and always in conjunction with the iodine.


The diet options like increasing fats and eliminating grains are good ideas also. Use them in conjunction at minimum. I liked some of the other suggestions also. The two are the primary ones that worked. They also solved a LOT of other issues at the same time as the skin.

Pure iodine is not poisonous; it is a necessary nutrient. It must be increased gradually, though, as the high excreted amounts of toxins can cause temporary issues.


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