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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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ITCHY!!!!!

I have a three year old Havanese and she has started itching, chewing, pulling her hair out on her hind legs - HELP! I haven't changed anything with her diet or environment, and she has been to the vet for Cortisone shots and allergy pills - they don't work. SHe has no fleas or hot spots and the vet just thinks it's a contact allergy, but I don't think so. Everything she comes in contact with, has been here for the last three years. I recently had a blood test done and am waiting for the results. Can anyone tell me if their dog has experienced these symptoms? It seems to have started about six months ago, out of the blue.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Effie'sWorld View Post
I have a three year old Havanese and she has started itching, chewing, pulling her hair out on her hind legs - HELP! I haven't changed anything with her diet or environment, and she has been to the vet for Cortisone shots and allergy pills - they don't work. SHe has no fleas or hot spots and the vet just thinks it's a contact allergy, but I don't think so. Everything she comes in contact with, has been here for the last three years. I recently had a blood test done and am waiting for the results. Can anyone tell me if their dog has experienced these symptoms? It seems to have started about six months ago, out of the blue.
Thanks!
Did the vet check for mites? that includes a skin scraping and looking under a microscope sometimes more than once? Does the skin look flaky? or dry? My Maddie itched and itched for several months but her skin was flaky. I started adding fish oil to her diet at her age she could have a capsule of human fish oil added to a meal once a day. It really helped her skin although she was also on something like benadrel. I never really knew what it was. The vet treated her for mites even thow he didn't see any .

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 05:02 AM
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My boys had an allergic reaction to K-9 Advantix. It could also be a food allergy???





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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your replies. Yes, she was tested for Mites and has none. I had her on fish oil too, but the itching continued, so I took her off. She could be allergic to fish. The flea pill she is on is all organic. What do you both feed your dogs? I guess I just need to wait for her blood work to come back. It's just so heart breaking to see her spending her days itching, biting and chewing!
Thanks again!
Tracie
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 09:59 AM
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Rosie started this about a month ago. After a few days of it and me searching for fleas and finding none, I gave her comfortis anyway. She stopped with the itching withing a few hours. Like I said no sign of fleas, but maybe only one and I just couldn't find hiim with all that hair. I didn't think about mites at the time; but that is a good idea. We have chickens and it is possible that there are mites around. I got them on me last year from the birds that nested on the front porch. Could be that the comfortis kills mites also.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 02:22 PM
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Lucile, I don't know if dogs can get them, but we once had a horse get infested with chicken lice. It was the middle of the winter, when the horse's hair was long enough for the lice to borrow under. (being the middle of the winter also made it VERY difficult to treat, since it required bathing in a delousing solution... Not pleasant for ANY of us!!!)


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 02:27 PM
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I am currently dealing with this with my 2-and-a-half-year-old. (“Currently”…as in just got the blood work back yesterday.) So, I feel your frustration.

Apparently, allergies can develop at any age, so, unfortunately, you can’t rule out potential allergens because the reaction is new. And, apparently, the blood test can’t be trusted to detect food allergies, so an elimination diet may be in your future. (I found this part out AFTER agreeing to the test. A scientific journal cited the statistical odds of a blood test correctly identifying a canine food allergy as “considerably worse than a coin flip.”)

Depending on which lab is running the blood test (HESKA in Colorado is supposedly the most accurate), the blood work SHOULD give you a good idea of whether there are environmental allergens in play. Luckily, my guy is not allergic to me (yup—an actual possibility—dogs CAN be allergic to humans). He IS mildly allergic to some other things I wouldn’t necessarily have predicted, such as cats (who knew???), flea saliva, and household dust. But, all in all, the test was largely inconclusive. So we’re back to square one and have more detective work in front of us.

In the meantime, we’ll continue bathing him weekly with an all-natural sulfate-free shampoo and oatmeal-based conditioner. We’ll also continue to wash ALL of his bedding and stuffed toys at the same time we bathe him (in HOT water), so there’s no cross-contamination if the culprit is truly environmental (e.g. dust, mites, fleas, etc.). This has helped somewhat: He’ll be blissfully itch-free for a day or two. I’ve also just found out that it may help to wipe your dog down with a damp towel after any outdoor walk, in case the problem is seasonal pollen. Oh—and we’re using a little olive oil in his food until we can rule out fish as the problem.

There are other, more invasive tests, and heavier-handed shampoos that your vet may prescribe if this persists. These include scratch tests and punch biopsies, and antibacterial shampoos if the constant scratching is opening up any wounds. And, of course, there’s the dreaded elimination diet.

Good luck! I’ll come back and post again if I find out anything enlightening.

Tracy (Chaucer's Mom)
The San Francisco Bay Area Havanese Group (www.SFHavanese.com)

Last edited by TAPAJ; 05-19-2011 at 02:32 PM.
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