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Itchy and Belly rash

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Biscuit

1189104
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 18, '11 5:12pm PST 
Hi everyone,
Biscuit has gotten noticably more itchy in the last couple weeks. At first it wasn't bad, but in the last two or three days he's scratching a lot, or chewing on his paws and/or belly. He also will rub his head and nose against the carpet a lot. And he's gotten a flare up of this red rash on his belly by his groin as well.

Here's some background:
When we got him from the shelter he had lots of hotspots, the vet said it was likely a flea allergy. Those have cleared up.

He was experiencing really bad shedding and dandruff after the spots cleared up. Vet said to change his food.

We did discover a flea on him a couple weeks ago that he likely picked up on a visit to my husband's parents (they live in a rural area). We didn't see any bites or any other fleas.

He's been on Blue Buffalo Fish and Sweet Potato formula for five weeks now, and we've been giving him fish oil for four weeks. His skin seems a lot better.

I'm not sure what to do next. Could it be a contact allergy, food allergy? Could it just be residual issues from the flea we found? And, can anyone give us some good remedies to help him with the scratching, rash, and the discomfort he's feeling?
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 18, '11 6:58pm PST 
If he has a bad enough flea allergy, one is all it takes!

I've learned this first hand- right now I'm dealing with one of the worst flare ups I've ever experienced with Mulder, and only recently have I been able to get things somewhat under control.

If its bothering him badly enough, you might want to take him to the vet and get their opinion. I didn't believe Mulder even had fleas until the vet basically did a full body comb and found them on him (only a couple, not a bad infestation at all). I was shocked, but there was the problem. It only takes one to make an allergy dog absolutely miserable.

Switching flea products is what the vet prescribed in my case. And steroids to help with the itching, though I have decided not to go through with that.

Belly/groin itching doesn't really scream "food allergy" to me, but the paw chewing might. The Blue is a good option, though you could always try a grain-free if you're really thinking its food related.

Does he get gunk (think yellow-ish discharge) in his eyes as well, or is it just the head rubbing/scratching? Might be seasonal allergies- dogs can get them every bit as bad as people/ I know ragweed is a really bad one here.

Talk to your vet about trying an antihistamine. Mulder was beyond being helped by benadryl (tried it, did nothing), but it might be helpful in your case.

Maybe consider some cortisone cream for the belly rash- just make sure he doesn't lick it! Could also try an aloe spray or other soothing topical, might not help if its bad enough, but it certainly couldn't hurt.
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Biscuit

1189104
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 21, '11 7:57pm PST 
Thanks Mulder. I was just reading about what you all are going through, sounds similar to us! Hope you're doing better!

We were told by our vet (without running any tests) that he was pretty sure Biscuit was dealing with a flea allergy when we adopted him four months ago. So we've been diligent with the prevention, but maybe we need to change it. And his belly rash is weird, it flares up and then goes away, and then flares up again. Its pretty inconsistent.

Its so frustrating, he's so itchy and miserable and there's not much we can do. He's scratching everywhere he can, and chewing his tail, legs and paws. I think we may go ahead and take him to the vet this week and request an actual blood allergy test.
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Biscuit

1189104
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 21, '11 8:00pm PST 
Oh, and no gunk around or in his eyes. His eyes are clear, nose looks good, and ears are clear. Its just scratch scratch scratch. :/
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Samwise (RB- 7-21-2012)

I'm a simple dog- & just want to- be loved
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 6:53am PST 
Hey Biscuit,

I know it's been a crazy year for fleas! My mom is an ambassador for FRONTLINE, and she says although FRONTLINE is not a repellant against fleas, it does typically kill fleas within 12 hours of contact. The hyperactivity response that kills fleas causes them to rise to the top of the hair coat as they die, which can account for seeing an increased amount of fleas – and itching - while they die. I know sometimes just one flea can cause an itching rampage. frown

You may need to continue using FRONTLINE for 3 consecutive months, until all the flea eggs on you and possibly in the environment have emerged as adults and been killed.

If you use FRONTLINE Plus, you are eligible for a satisfaction guarantee to help ensure your confidence in FRONTLINE. If you have any concerns about FRONTLINE’s efficacy, please see your vet to find out more about Merial’s Satisfaction Guaranteed program.

I hope this helps! dog walk
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Mika

As long as they- think they're- the boss
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 7:59am PST 
This definately sounds like some type of allergy.Please call your vet to get advice on an antihistamine which can help with the rash and itching as well as the gunky eyes. We give our Mika chlorphenaramine 4mg. twice daily for similar symptoms she is also fed Blue Buffalo,and on flea control,as well as heartworm prevention,fish oil and a multivitamin. We used benedryl 25mg twice daily before but it made her dopey,hyperreactive,and spaced out. Mika is a 70lb. Akita which is why I suggest speaking to your vet before giving meds.What's right for her may not be the best option for tour dog.
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Aina- Aloysius de- LeMaitre

work hard, play- hard
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 10:48am PST 
Maybe itʻs still a reaction to fleas. Still, I am not one who feels fleas warrant treating an animal with a known canine carcinogen (topical flea treatments). There are other ways less toxic to the dog but still toxic to the flea
On the other end of possibilities to consider for your itchy scratchies is your food. Food can be a powerful healer or a strong irritant depending on your specific requirement. It could be that some of your itchy scratchies would be interpreted by particular vets as "heat" working its way out of the body, possibly in response to a particular food item in your diet. Consider reviewing your diet in detail with a vet experienced with canine nutrition, preferably one with experience beyond the limited foods they sell in their office. Nutritional counseling could provide a simple answer to aid in your healing from the fleas and any other possible skin related disorder you are experiencing.
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Biscuit

1189104
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 8:05pm PST 
Well, we found another flea on biscuit today. So fleas may be the itch culprit. He also has a sore on his face, likely from scratching. But we made a vet appt for Wednesday to be thorough. Is it normal for flea allergic dogs to itch their face too, or is that usually something else?

Aina, do you have any alternative flea recommendations to the topicals? The advantix doesn't seem to be working for us, since he's had two fleas now.

And thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'm a new dog mom so I'm overly paranoid and we're still learning the very best way to care for our sweet boy. I appreciate all the feedback!
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Aina- Aloysius de- LeMaitre

work hard, play- hard
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 23, '11 8:51am PST 
Those darn fleas!!!
We use a homemade mixture of organic essential oils and organic NEEM oil. The essential oils are important to ward off the insects but also since the NEEM is STINKY! Even at a low percentage, the NEEM can stink but essential oils like lemongrass and cinnamon do a great job of masking that smell.
The NEEM repels but also soothes the skin if itʻs had itchies.
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Allee Oop!!!

I love my Mommy
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 23, '11 10:01am PST 
It most likely is the flea allergy, Allee has this. Try Comfortis for prevention, it has really helped her.
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