VERY itchy Border Collie ...

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Miss Shasta- of- theDesertVal- ley

The Comedian
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 7:32am PST 
I've read many threads here and am almost 95% sure it's an allergy related itch. My Shasta, who will soon be 3, has all of a sudden began to itch something fierce at her paws and inside legs. When she itches/bites at her paws, her leg will twitch rapidly (like a tickle spot). There are times in the day where's she's calm and can sleep, but majority of the day she's itchy.
red face kitty

During the summer months both my girls get a few ticks and I have been dealing with that for years and know that's not the culprit. I checked her over real good to make sure she wasn't bit (ants, etc) and noticed that under her armpits she has a red rash. I know it's not her food and am thinking it may be the grass/weeds outside. With the weather warming up (I live in phx, az) allergy season is approaching quickly. I have read that ones wash their borders with shampoos such as selsun blue, oatmeal shampoos and then others are giving their borders benedryl (ie: benedryl (50-100 mg / 2-4 capsules) for a 55 lb dog). My border is quite the big girl at 65 lbs (despite all the exercise and healthy food) and would have no idea how much to give her.

I've read about honey, too ... I know the effects are wondrous for humans (give local honey to my daughter for allergies) but was not aware of it for dogs.
Is this safe since it contains a lot of sugar? confused

Any and all help would be appreciated!

Edited by author Mon Mar 2, '09 7:40am PST


What dont kill- you only makes- you strong
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 12:30pm PST 
You mention healthy food what are you feeding?? I use honey for drakes cough it works wonders. Not sure about honey for allergy's. I recommend seeing a vet just in case to see what it is. Rashes can turn into skin infection if they itch to much. I bath drake in earth bath brand tea tree oil shampoo and that helps his itchy s alot hes prone to demodex. I have drake on welness core and his skin issues have pretty much vanished. Good luck with your pup

The Big Red(ish)- Dog!
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 1:41pm PST 
Sounds like an allergic reaction to me, too. You could give the Benadryl a try. If it works, it's an inexpensive solution. I think she can have 1 mg / lb of weight (so 65 mg) at least twice a day, but a vet could confirm that over the phone pretty easily.

Food could be contributing as well. What are you currently feeding?

And I've heard that local honey can help because the pollen comes from local plants - but - if she's got any yeast going on as well (from the licking, etc.) the sugar could aggravate it.

Allergies are the worst. We're in Phx, too, and Clifford is allergic to virtually every kind of grass in our area. Plus some foods. Does she have any open sores on her feet & legs?

Henry CGC

i love the snow
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 1:49pm PST 
benadryl will only treat the symptoms though, not be a solution. and over time with chronic use it weakens the immune system and builds up tolerance (in people too).

i was told border collies like alot of herding breeds have sensitive stomachs and that especially itchy paws indicate a food allergy.

i would strip the diet down to bare minimum: 1 protein and 1 carb only for 4 weeks and see if there is any improvement. if there is, you can start adding in another protein.

Somewhere there- is something I- can eat..
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 3:15pm PST 
Xena has both been bitten by and ingested (I think she was mad that it bit her... DH caught her eating it) a Black Widow... In addition to the venom, she had a pretty nasty allergic reaction. The basic formula is 1mg per pound of body weight for Bendadryl. If this is just a reaction to either an insect bite or topical allergy, then it works just fine to calm down the reaction. It doesn't really sound like a food allergy, not with a skin rash.. But, depending on how long it's been going on, the rash may just be from chewing/licking the skin... like a "hot spot." Bendaryl will help with that if that's the case, but you might need some prednisone from the vet to really get over it.. just a short term dosage, the same like we humans get when we have a severe allergic reaction. They give the steroids along with bendadryl.

Personally, I would start with a dose of benadryl. 65lb dog should be able to take 3 tablets (75mg) just fine (or break a tablet in half and give 2 1/2 tablets, but it's not as precise as using the liquid). Or, if you want to be more precise, get the liquid childrens and buy a large dropper to give the meds. If this doesn't clear it up, I'd visit the vet just to make sure it's not a skin infection or some other itchies... Try the benadryl for a day or two at least, though, unless another symptom pops up that makes you more concerned.

Edited by author Mon Mar 2, '09 3:18pm PST


The pup with the- waggiest tail!
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 3:52pm PST 
To a VERY itchy Border Collie from a VERY itchy English Setter
Yoshi has seasonal allergies that range throughout the year from mild to SEVERE (worst months Sept-Nov., we live in the northeast)
The shampoo that has worked the best for him is Selsun Blue and we have tried the oatmeal, and everything under the sun including the prescription shampoo and rinses prescribed by our vet. There were times when we were bathing him 2-3 times a week. When he comes into the house on the itchy days I wipe him down with a baby wipe and the pads of his feet. I also use the supplement Nupro in with his food (Canidae) I give him Benedryl (only during the severe times) which helps sometimes. The doctor has suggested Cortizone shots during the most severe times of year which we have avoided so far. I also put a dog brand hydrocortizone ointment on the hot spots. I spoke to my vet about local honey and he said it couldn't hurt. It's hard to get local honey in Brooklyn, NY but we are working on it. Both Yoshi and Punkin were rescues that have not been brought up in this area. Punkin had terrible allergies (originally from SC) and after 3 years I can say, it has gotten better. Yoshi is originally from Ohio and hopefully will build up some sort of resistance and get a break from all the itching. Good Luck

Is that for me??
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 4:25pm PST 
Yoshi, if you are already feeding Canidae, have you tried the Grain Free Salmon? It has done wonders for Moira's itchy skin - she's BC and Lab. How's that for a mix?
Miss Shasta- of- theDesertVal- ley

The Comedian
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 4:34pm PST 
Thank you so much to you all! hug

I will start with the benedryl to see if it alleviates any of her itchiness. I have local honey as well, but wanted to try one thing at a time. We are going out of town next week and she will be staying with my fatherinlaw (where she was born/parents are) and he has no grass/weeds around at all - so maybe she'll fair better after a visit to grandpa's!

Shasta's food consists of lamb and rice and she's been on it for about 1.5 years. Yes, Borders have VERY sensitive stomaches and I found this out the hard way with EXPLOSIVE diarrhea every 3 months. After many attempts to figure it out, it was the food she was eating and has been 100% ever since. My older Border, Abbee was/is not like that ... she can eat anything and not bother a bit. They both eat the same food - and nothing else, no human food whatsoever.

Clifford, there are no open sores on her paws or legs ... I've given her a good check over.

After she comes home from "grandpa's" - I'll be sure to give the selsun blue a try.

I appreciate ALL replies - Shasta appreciates it too!!snoopy

Edited by author Mon Mar 2, '09 4:39pm PST


My master is- good and smart- (up movie)
Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 7:14pm PST 
I've posted my story a lot, moose eventually only really improved on a raw diet (yes he has severe seasonal allergies to grass and all year to cedar) and I tried everything with him. Raw diet + Omega 3 and he is a new dog.

He had the worst reactions on the inside of the legs with itchy red welts. We have not had any seasonal allergy symptoms yet this year after 5 months on a raw diet.

If you have a cedar bed, you might try swapping it out.
Sadie Mae

They call me- Butt-Jumper!
Barked: Tue Mar 3, '09 7:40am PST 
I been itching alot lately on my belly the site where I got fixed and back paws mommmas taking sister to the vet to get booster shots and I am going to, to see whats going never really itched till here lately I will let you know what the vet said!
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