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Discussion Starter #1
Gizmo seems to itch at her ears and the bottom of her mouth A LOT!

When I bring her places like the trainer they always ask if she has been checked for fleas. She is on Frontline and Sentinel and has been checked for fleas several times by the groomer, vet, and myself.

The vet says that her ears are fine and she doesn't have any skin issues.

Anyone else have this problem or any idea? I feel bad for her because she is constantly stopping playing or resting to get up and itch :( She somtimes takes her back legs and itches at her front ones.
 

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Tess scratches at her ears, chin & eyes and licks/chews on her front paws all of the time - she has bad environmental allergies.

If it is allergies, you might want to try wiping Gizmo down with a damp rag whenever he's been outside. Maybe that will help?

The other thing I thought of, could it be his teeth?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She is currently eating Wellness Puppy. I noticed on their website they make an allergy formula one. Not sure if I should talk to the vet before switching her to that. It's an adult one and she is only 6 months.
 

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She is currently eating Wellness Puppy. I noticed on their website they make an allergy formula one. Not sure if I should talk to the vet before switching her to that. It's an adult one and she is only 6 months.
I would talk to your vet first, but mine told me to switch to adult feed after she was spayed and go from feeding her three times a day to two because they can quickly become overweight. We switched to Fromm around that time which was all life stages anyways, and I've never had any issues with her weight.

I've been told that some dogs are allergic to the more common proteins (chicken, lamb, etc) because it has been such a common part of their diet for generations. I feed Lily more exotic proteins in her main diet for this reason.

If you mix it very carefully and slowly integrate the new feed, it should minimize any digestive problems associated with the switch. (Like one tablespoon of the old feed out and the new feed in) If that causes issues, scale down to a couple kibbles.

If her itching clears up after a few weeks on the new feed, you'll know what caused it. I looked at the wellness Basic and it looks pretty good
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/categories.aspx?pet=dog&cat=3,

Here is the natural balance, the good thing is it comes in a small kibble size for dogs with baby or little teeth (it will say "small breed bites" on the package)
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogformulas/PandD.html
and comes in five different protein flavors.

Good Luck:wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Last night I think this issue got worse. I turned around and saw the end of her tail fur was all redish/brown and then when I looked closer the end of her tail was all black and that is deffinitly where she was bleeding.
I also noticed a few blood areas higher up on her tail but I couldn't tell if she bit it there or if the blood just got on it :(
Has anyone ever gotten a dog allergy tested? I saw online even if you find the problem ingrediant it could take 60 days to clear up and I am worried about her :( It could be so many different things I don't know what to change first and I don't want to just change everything and make it worse....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BTW - I took her to the Emergency Vet and they said there was no permanant damage and just to keep an eye on it. I just don't want this to keep happening :(
 

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Aw, poor Gizmo. I'm sorry you've had such a rough couple of days. I've done the allergy testing and I think DanielB has also. Here's the thread I did on my experience - http://havaneseforum.com/showthread.php?t=8558. Basically I had my vet do the $150-$200 blood test for allergies - it identified a number of food & environmental allergies. When nothing had improved I finally took her to an allergist. She had the skin prick test done. The allergist said there is not a reliable test to identify food allergies and the blood test is not that reliable for environmental allergies either. We've now been working for over a year and finally are managing Tess' allergies sufficiently that her scratching/licking doesn't drive either of us nuts (she doesn't have any food allergies but has quite a few environmental allergies). It was very expensive to have done but I don't believe I would have gotten to this point without the guidance of the allergist. I'm not sure I'd recommend going that route for everyone. Many on the forum have gone through the process of identifying food allergies on their own (I think there are some references in the thread above and a few others). Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've seen people talking online about these issues and they are a lot worse then Gizmo's. I'm not sure if I am just overreacting (she is my first puppy). She scratches at her ears, bottom jaw, rubs her face, and bites her paws and fur where she can reach. She doesn't seem to have any other skin issues (except for this tail issue last night :(). I think she scratches excessivly, but I am not quite sure what is normal. I just know whenever I take her someone (like Petco Training) I always get asked has she been checked for fleas by the trainers and other students. I am assuming this means she is scratching excessivly. I've asked the vet and groomer about her itching several times and just get (some dogs like to itch, and there are no skin issues, ear issues, or fleas). I called my vet and made an appoitment for tomorrow afternoon. I hope he can do something to help her this time :(.
 

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I know a lot of dogs (and people too) in my neighborhood are suffering from allergies right now. What the allergist told me is that every dog scratches some but if they continually have to stop what they're doing (playing, walking, etc.) to scratch then there is probably an underlying issue. Best suggestion I have - if you think it might be allergies and want to start trying things (like changing diet), do one thing at a time and give each one a few weeks. If you try to change a number of things, you'll never know what was the culprit. If you want to see if a food allergy is the problem, try searching for "elimination diet". Basically you'll change his food to something with limited ingredients and a protien base he couldn't possibly have an allergy to. Leave him on that for a number of months and then start slowly introducing new ingredients.

If there's any chance it could possibly be fleas - have you used a flea comb to see if you get any "dirt"? I've had times where I never saw the fleas themselves but the vet did find flea dirt so we treated for fleas and the scratching stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have not used a flea comb, but was thinking of getting one this afternoon. She is mostly white especially in the back and I check her fur often and find no dirt nor flea but I am still nervous. The other night I saw her trying to smush a little brown crawling bug near where she was laying (looked like a worm), not sure if it was a stage of the flea. I killed it for her. Unfortunetly where we live there are a lot of crawlies and they get into the apartment a lot :(
I was going to let the itching slide for now since the vet/groomer said it's prob nothing or if it is allergies probably it's external, but after the tail incident I am really nervous.
 

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Gizmo'sMom (what is your name, btw? :) ) scratching can be due to all those things Jill has mentioned. I think the fact that her tail was so itchy, she bit it means something is definitely bothering her. You've been assured it's not fleas, so I would suspect allergies. Food allergies are pretty "easy" to resolve, though Jill's experience was rough and her dedication to helping poor Tess out has been heroic. Jane has also had to jump through hoops with her Lincoln's allergies.

Many times, you can simply eliminate grains (all wheat, barley, millet....) and eliminate chicken and try a food that has only one or two sources of protein at a time. I often recommend to customers with the same issues you are having, to try Taste of the Wild Smoked Salmon, Acana Grasslands, Natural Balance Duck and Potato, EVO Red Meat or Orijen Red Meat, or 6-Fish - to name a few. Grains cause an awful lot of itching in many dogs, lack of good coat, skin, chronic ear infections, bloating, gas, obsessive licking .... Check the indgts. in treats as well. There is a recent thread in the "Alternative Diets" section on "Healthy Treats" and several links to products that are for dogs prone to allergies.

I'd definitely try wiping Gizmo down every time she comes in from outdoors - it can't hurt. See if she spends time on carpeting and make sure those areas get vacuumed often.

Her immune system may not be the best due to her background, but you can try to figure out what seems to be her triggers and try to eliminate those. I think I'd try to the change diet as it will be much cheaper than an allergy test. As Jill said, stick with it for a little bit as it can take a few weeks or months to see a huge change. Oh.... and please avoid the "hypoallergenic" products/kibble from the vets' ! Those would be from Hills, Pedigree, Royal Canin... I dunno.... so many .... Check them out at www.dogfoodanalysis.com and see why they are anything BUT hypoallergenic since they are chock full of grains! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was going to switch her food to (http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/categories.aspx?pet=dog&cat=3) the only thing I feel really bad about is her favorite treats (the only ones she seems to get excited over) and her bully treat (I believe) is chicken. I hate to take them away from her for weeks if it is not that. If it is that then obviously poor little Gizmo will not be able to have them :(

I want to see what the vet says tomorrow afternoon about her. Couldn't hurt.

My name is Chrissy :)
 

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Hi Chrissy, :) That sounds like a great food too, so hopefully it will help you figure out if Gizmo has food allergies. There are so many treats out there that I wouldn't feel badly about avoiding her fave one for now. How about freeze dried beef liver, or fish? Those are very tasty and great for her. Good luck at the vets'!
 

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Whatever protien you go with in the food, try to stick with the same thing in the treats. In treats, I frequently get: dehydrated duck, buffalo flossies/bully sticks, etc. Hopefully your vet will have a very simple solution for you. Let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Someone I work with wife is a vet and I called her. She said to try children's benadryl for 3 days and if that works then it is an allergy and to start removing things little by little to see what works.

She does not think it is seperation anxiety thankfully (I was nervous about that, since I work during the day). I'm hoping the benadryl will give her a few days of relief at least and then hopefully her mommie can figure out the issue :)
 

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Chrissy, does Gizmo stay outside a lot? It's possible that she is being biten by fleas, even though they are killed by the Frontline. If a dog has a flea allergy, just one bite will set them off. My daugther's St. Bernard had a terrible time in the summer with fleas.

Has the benadryl helped?

I'm getting itchy just thinking about it!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
She actually doesn't go outside very often, I take her out for a walk 45-1 hour a day but she mostly goes in the apartment on a potty patch while I am at work and late at night (don't like walking alone at night). We live in a complex so we don't have our own backyard so she is always on leash.

I started the Benadryl last night and she seemed less itchy this morning (only saw her do it a few times) and they said it could take a few days.

I saw my vet last night and he said he gets the they itch all the time and all over a lot and it "usually" stops by 9 months but it could be an early onset of allergies. He liked the Benadryl test and said to give her 3 mls 2-3 times a day and monitor it. Her tail is healing nicely and she hasn't touched it since (he said she probably won't since she hurt herself) and he said her skin and hair are good and really clean :) She is going back for shots in 2 weeks (shhh don't tell her :)) and he put a note in his system to check her skin again. He said she deffinitly has no fleas "currently on her anyway" and she is really clean and no bumps or flea dirt.

Hopefully the itchies will stop soon, I feel so bad for her.
 
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