Scratching muzzle, biting paws - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Scratching muzzle, biting paws

Eli's occasional scratching has intensified over the past 3 or so weeks. He seems to be scratching intensely behind his ears and particularly his muzzle. When he's not scratching his muzzle with his hind legs he's rubbing it over the carpet. He also bites at his front paws. We use Frontline and I see no signs of flees. He's white with light pink skin so I imagine they'd be pretty easy to spot, but maybe not? His skin appears healthy to my untrained eye. It's not flaky or dry looking. We haven't changed his diet or shampoos so don't think it's allergies (gulp). I'm going to go wash him now with oatmeal shampoo and dry him on warm instead of hot (I'm always careful to keep the hairdryer moving and at least 18 - 24 inches away). Can I try giving him another dose of Frontline? It's been 2 weeks since the last application.

Can anyone shed any light on what this might be and how to stop it? Poor baby seems to be scratching all the time.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 07:00 PM
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Ache was having the same problem and it was driving me crazy seeing her like that. I stopped all the treats and just gave her the food and flossies. It was still happening. The vet sent her a medicine called Temaril and the problem was over. (Nice break of scratching) Now that the treatment is almost over she is scratching again. The vet told me that the next move will be a dietary change. I will begin looking for a new food soon. It is terrible seeing them scratching non stop. I don't think you should give him another dose of Frontline yet, but ask the vet to be sure. Good luck.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 07:05 PM
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First off I would consider paying a visit to the vet for a check up if Eli is that miserable. He might do a skin scraping to look for something microscopic. The oatmeal shampoo should certainly help in the meantime.See if you can leave the oatmeal shampoo sit on him for a while before you rinse it off...give it a chance to work. If you are on frontline you should be ok as far as fleas go and I would not put more on unless your Dr. tells you to do so. Some dogs just have seasonal allergies from junk in the air. Anything blooming in your area??? Trees, grasses etc are the culprits sometimes. Your vet might have you give a childrens benadryl for some relief when Eli starts scratching to see if it helps. Is he outside walking on the grass and then coming in and biting on his feet?? You may want to wash his feet when he comes in a see if that helps.
Keep us posted!! Hope you can get him some relief.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I hadn't thought about seasonal allergies. His coat is a bit longer now so it's possible he's picking up pollens and such from the bushes and grass. I'll observe him for a few more days and take him to see the vet if the itching doesn't improve. It's just so strange - and kinda cute - to watch him behave like a cat as he tries to swipe his paws down his muzzle. Thanks for the advice!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 08:58 PM
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It may be an allergy and those are classic allergy symptoms. It is allergy season. Dogs do not have the same symptoms we do. As time goes on without treatment they will lick the skin and it will turn black/purple on the lower stomach or paws you will notice it on the pads. Temaril is a light steroid and is what most vets go to first to try to get the allergy in control. Sometimes that is all that is needed because it is seasonal. My girl has allergy's and did Temaril, an antibiotic, and a topical antibontic/fungal/steroid. She is still scratching not as much. Boo Boo my Lhasa also was on Temaril (none of the other stuff) he is no longer itching, he has many allergys and has been tested. Misty's probably has been developing over time, we are going to take her for testing at NC State vet school before it gets worse. White dogs have a higher rate of allergys and skin problems. The itching, scratching and biting can be obnoxious, but if it makes us miserable....think of how your dog feels. Misty had the food test they didn't think it was her food but still checked. The reason is Boo Boo has food sensitivity too wheat and corn..also this means no food where the protein source would have been fed corn or wheat. So no farmed fish or chicken and turkey and in the US these are often fed corn as are some farmed fish and of course corn fed cows and even lamb. Wow, who Knew. So the vet knew she was on a good food. Yes there is pollen in the air and it gets in their hair, but the main problem is they inhale from the air. You really should consider taking Eli to the vet so you can get this under control before it gets worse.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 09:07 PM
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try fish oil pills. My Nessie have a seasonal reaction. I give her fish oil pills. It seems to help and certainly won't hurt.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 09:16 PM
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Sorry to hear that Eli is so miserable. I was going to post on this subject as Lizzie has been scratching her face and rubbing her muzzle on the carpet, too. It started a week ago. I had given her a bath and rinsed very well. Used new shampoo-Pure Paws. She also had her Sentinel and was bothering the cat after he got his Revolution. I am going to try fish oil and see how that goes. I did buy California Naturals skin and coat conditioning oil, but notice it has garlic in it. I doubt they would market it if it were dangerous but you always hear that garlic is bad for dogs.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 08:40 AM
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I feed Havee a grainless food and give him salmon oil at every meal. This seems to help his scratching. I stay away from chicken too.

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