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Thread: Itching and licking paws
03-28-2012, 03:57 PM #1
Itching and licking paws
I rescued a Bully in mid January. When I first got him, I noticed he was scratching at himself here and there, I just took it as him possibly getting used to a new environment, and a friend who works with dogs agreed. But, for the past week or two, my dog has been licking his paws and chewing at himself ALOT. At first I thought he may have gotten fleas from somewhere, so a week ago I bought some flea shampoo, and gave him a bath. Waited til now to see if it would do anything, but after the bath he is still chewing himself. I believe I read somewhere that chewing AND licking their paws is a sign of an allergy? I feed him Before Grain Buffalo, and I'm $#@!uming maybe he's allergic to something in the food? I switched to this food about a month and a half ago, and I've realized the chewing has gotten worse since I've gotten him, and the only thing I've changed is his food. Anyone got some insight on this? Some other food to recommend maybe? Or some other advice? I don't want him to be constantly itching. :(
03-28-2012, 04:27 PM #2
First, don't use a flea shampoo. Just get him on a good monthly flea preventative.
Now, it's spring here in Michigan (and it's been unseasonably warm), and everything with branches or leaves is dropping pollen everywhere. Hello allergy season! My Saint Bernard is an allergy dog, and in the past 3 weeks or so (since the first day it hit 70) her ears have been getting all gunky, she's scratching more, and licking her paws more.
So it's probably not the food, but a seasonal thing. BG is a good kibble, but if you're worried about some of this being food related, you can switch to their salmon formula, but you can probably just stick with the buffalo. Most allergies are environmental, not food related, but a good kibble goes a long way.
You have a couple of options. You can either treat the symptoms (Benadryl, 25 mg per 25 pounds, wipe the dog's paws and underside down after being outside, lots of vacuuming, cleaning with non-chemical products etc), or you can ask your vet about allergy testing and get a referral to a specialist.
It would probably be easier to just get the allergy testing, and save yourself the time and money in the long run. That way you know what he's allergic to (be it food, dust, pollen etc). Odds are it is environmental, as the itching has gotten worse since spring hit.
03-28-2012, 04:52 PM #3
Alright I'll take that into account. Thanks for the quick response. I havent weighed him in a while, but when I got him he was around 75 pounds, so I just gave him 75mg of Benadryl. Gonna hope that that helps, because I have allergies too...So there is ALWAYS Benadryl in the house lol and if this doesn't work, I'll grab him a different kibble.
03-29-2012, 04:29 AM #4
20% of allergies are food related, 80% environmental. And it's possible an allergy dog could have both food and environmental allergies.
My allergy girl gets Benedryl twice a day and she is fed kibble that is grain free. The vet also recommended staying away from chicken and beef. So, we feed a grain free salmon based food. It's helped a lot with the constant paw gnawing and ear infections, but she's still occasionally itchy and her ears need cleaning every few days during spring and fall and weekly during the rest of the year.
I got a referral to a specialist from my original vet. It was pretty expensive to go to the specialist and they were quite a drive from my house. I did some chatting with people I know who have allergy dogs and found a regular vet near me who does allergy blood testing in office. It's much cheaper through that vet and he is just a 5 minute drive. So, my best advice is to do some phone work and see if you can find a local vet that does allergy blood work in office.
03-29-2012, 09:34 PM #5
I was thinking about switching to the Salmon BG just to try it...And as you mentioned a specialist is EXPENSIVE. If it's necessary I'll take him to one, but I'd rather try some less costly options first if possible.
03-30-2012, 02:34 PM #6
I have the exact same issue with my dog. We rescued him from wandering around and he never had an issue. It was cold at the time of rescue but it has since gotten much warmer here in New Mexico and his itchiness has gotten bad to where he scratches every few seconds.
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