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dog scratching a lot

(10 Posts)
fixtheironingboard Sun 07-Jul-19 09:12:02

Hi everyone

I have a poodle cross who is nearly six months old. In the past month, he's been biting and scratching at himself - a spot high up on his front leg, and both of his back legs. He also scratches his ears a lot. He is up to date with all flea treatments, is groomed gently every day, there's no ticks or dry skin that I can find, and he's washed in plain water if he'd muddy and given a bubble bath with Johnson's baby (very diluted) once per week.

At first I thought he was perhaps hot, so I took him to the groomer for his first groom. She said there was a tiny bit of matting in the areas that he was chewing at himself - probably because of the chewing - but she gave him a really good trim and said she found no sores or broken skin or welts or splinters or anything like that. No parasites she could see. She suggested I give him tinned sardines in oil once a week in case his skin was dry. So I've been doing that.

That was three weeks ago and there's been no improvement, and since then I see the spot on his front leg is actually a bit red. I put some sudocrem on it last night.

I don't think he's stressed or anxious. He gets two walks a day, lots of brain training and isn't really left alone (maybe for an hour two or three times a week).

He is on Royal Canin Puppy, which is what he was weaned onto and I've never changed it. I know dogs can have allergies to their food but he's been on this since we got him and the scratching is only in the past month. He has little pieces of real meat (ham or sausage usually, sometimes chicken) as training treats. The sardines once a week. He will snaffle a bit of cat food (wet and dry) if we're not vigilant. He eats grass and leaves when we're out and about walking and usually vomits them back up again right away. He eats soil and moss sometimes if we're out on a walk. He gets a pigs ear now and again if I have to leave him for an hour.

Where I walk him varies - beach (he digs in the sand and goes in the water but always gets a rinse off afterwards) park on a lead, fields with long grass off lead, on pavements and through the town centre, etc etc. There's nothing else about his behaviour that concerns me or suggests that this is stress or anxiety - though I am a first time dog owner so there might be something I am missing.

Has anyone any suggestions for me or should I take him to the vet?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sun 07-Jul-19 09:17:15

I would take him to the vets anyway for a checkup.

It could be the food as allergies can develop. Look at allaboutdogfood.co.uk to compare brands.

It could also be environmental. We have to give BiteyDog piriton regularly (with my vets blessing) as he often has his head in bushes which causes hay fever like symptoms (streaming itchy nose and eyes).

fixtheironingboard Sun 07-Jul-19 09:35:42

Great - will take him on Monday. Thank you!

If he was a human child, I'd have been at the GP a couple of weeks ago - but as a first time dog owner it is difficult to know what is routine and should be dealt with at home, and what isn't.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 07-Jul-19 14:31:33

Our terrier did similar and I changed her food which helped enormously. I think she was slightly allergic to something else as well, but her food was the main issue.

Slicedpineapple Sun 07-Jul-19 22:36:10

Our dog has food allergies that took until he was 5 months old to show. He was also on royal canin puppy. He is allergic to chicken and turkey, which are in that food.

The pollen count is also very high at the moment so any environmental allergies will be triggered. Our boy suffers with this time of year (he too likes to walk through long grass) and itches because of it. We give him piriton.

Girlintheframe Mon 08-Jul-19 05:07:27

Our pup is prone to allergies and was attaching/biting himself a lot. We moved him over to Millie's Wolfheart and added Yumega into his food which has helped massively.

fixtheironingboard Mon 08-Jul-19 12:39:19

thanks everyone. He'll still scratching a lot - though no broken skin thanks to the sudocreme he is looking a bit bare in a couple of spots on his legs. He still seems happy in himself and is eating, sleeping and drinking usually and stomach not upset. I have an appointment with the vet this afternoon. Hope they can suggest something to ease him a little bit - hate to think of the poor little thing being uncomfortable.

I've had a look at allaboutdogfood.com but have no idea what I am looking for - Royal Canin is what he was weaned onto, and if he's developed an allergy to that presumably I need to know exactly what it is he's allergic to before searching for a food that doesn't contain it?

OP’s posts: |
Slicedpineapple Mon 08-Jul-19 13:26:26

You can do the elimination diet to help work out what he is allergic to.

This link is really informative

https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/blog/food-allergies-and-the-elimination-diet/

Allaboutdogfood uses a colour coded text system to help work out 'troublesome' ingredients in dog food, which is great once you've sussed out what he could be allergic to, just keep an eye out for them. Watch the ingredients in treats, too.

Signs of my boys food allergy were ear infections, bum scooting, very itchy skin.
If his environmental allergies flare up as they are now, he will just have itchy skin. We bathe him regularly to try and keep his skin free of pollen (as best we can) and apply aloe vera. He tells us when he is itchy as he will stare at the aloe vera pot and bark. Once we put it on, he stops and goes off to entertain himself. Clever boy!

LoafofSellotape Mon 08-Jul-19 13:28:51

I would stop using Johnson's,it's pretty harsh at even when diluted. I've seen many a child react to it ,could well be irritating your dog.

fixtheironingboard Mon 08-Jul-19 17:44:39

Just thought I'd check in with an update and thanks to all.

So - vet said that despite the scratching and biting, his skin was in good condition and it was right to use the sudocrem as once they break the skin, they can get secondary infections that can be hard to treat.

She said there were no fleas or other parasites, and though he could have developed an allergy to his food, she wanted to try piriton and a special shampoo first. The logic of that being that many of the hypoallergenic foods aren't mixed for puppies' needs and he's still growing so needs the puppy food.

Brought him home, gave him the piriton tucked inside a slice of sausage and bathed him. He does like a bath - and the shampoo made his coat much lovelier than the Johnson's did. I'll get rid of that on your advice @loadofsellotape.

I have a follow up appointment with her in a week to see if there's been improvement. Really want to keep on top of this as I hate to see him biting at himself.

OP’s posts: |

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