50% Rugged Farm- Dog 50% Couch- Pooch
|Barked: Sun Jan 6, '08 7:03pm PST |
|It could be a variety of things, but like you said, the first thing that popped into my head when I read the title was "Allergies!".
Dogs can actually develop allergies to their food and/or surroundings over time. So he might be allergic to some sort of winter thistle this year that he was not allergic to last year. Joey gets allergy infections in between his paws during the summer months because of the scratchy grasses that he is allergic to. We have to keep him on Benedryl (daily) and we don't let him pee/poop in the grass, he is strictly confined to cool pavement, sod, and gravel during the summer. Lately, he has been experiencing the same symptoms. It is winter. To help him out, I wash his paws with warm water every time he comes back inside from being outdoors. When I take him jogging, we stay on the pavement and out of the bushes. This has helped him a lot and I have not needed to give him any Benedryl.
What food has he been eating? Have you been giving him any new/exotic table scraps? But like you, I doubt it would be food allergies if you haven't changed his diet. Then again, people and dogs can develop new allergies. I have been eating peanut butter all my life- but lately I have been getting rashes every time I eat it. I am now allergic to peanut butter/peanuts which really sucks because they are my favorite foods!
Has Oz been tested for skin mites? Itchy rashes and hair loss are one of the beginning stages of mites. And as much as we like to think that our dogs will never get mites (since mites are usually aquired in filthy living conditions), many dogs will get them some time or another. Mites can be found anywhere. A dead tree, in the grass, from another dog, or even from different people. If you suspect mites, it would be wise to get a skin scrape done by your vet. Mites are one of the few "illnesses" we can "catch" from dogs.
I assume that he is also on a flea/tick preventative. If not, I'd start him on one.
Well since I've already wrote a novel I'll stop before a sequel is written. I hope this helps you out! Hopefully Oz will be feeling back to normal soon!