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Excessive scratching

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  • 11-11-2017 1:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,057 ✭✭✭


    Looking for a bit of help here, have a 4yr old staffie mix (pure white) ever since he's been around six months old he's suffered with itchy skin, he would scratch under his arms until they bled, scratch his eyes until they were inflamed.
    Brought him to the vets and they prescribed prednisilone 5mg a day. The meds have worked since but if he misses one day scratching comes back.
    Now he's been on them so long I'm worried about the long term health affects. ( he gets bloods taken every 3 months).
    So basically what I'm wondering if there is any natural remedies or ways to treat this issue as I don't want to shorten his life span by constantly giving him the steroids.

    Any help much appreciated


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Bells21


    You could go down the route of allergy testing to find out what is causing the irritation. Realistically this is the only way to get a definitive answer so that you can work to eliminate the allergen from food or the environment if you want to avoid steroids.
    Bathing with a gentle shampoo specific for skin problems can help remove environmental allergens if that's the cause.
    Looking at the food and possibly changing it might also help.
    To be honest, you will really need to figure out what the cause is before you know exactly how to treat it if you want to stop the steroids.
    On the medication side, there are also NSAIDs which are non steroid anti inflammatory. Some people have had good success with apoquel but this is a relatively new drug so maybe have a read about it. It doesn't cure the allergy either it basically blocks the signals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭Poorside


    would be no harm to give a grain free food a try, loads of good ones on the market these days.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    White dogs and their skin. It tends to come with the territory.
    I've never really found that natural treatments on their own are much good... To complement medication yes, but not alone.
    If you've got a few quid to throw at this, it might be worthwhile talking to your vet about alternative immunosuppressant treatment... That's what the steroids are doing too, but there are other (unfortunately more pricey) alternatives now which if you can afford it, should be well worth a look.
    Aside from that, I'd be trying an exclusion diet... No dry food at all. It harbours storage mites that many white dogs develop allergies to. Also usually contains grains unless you specifically shop for grain-free. No chicken. No beef. No grain. For a minimum of 6 weeks. At that point you can start one by one reintroducing those main dietary allergens to see what happens.
    Probably the easiest way to sustain a diet with none of the above is to either home cook or raw feed, or buy Rocco tinned dog food from online shop Zooplus, specifically in varieties not containing chicken, beef or grain (pasta, rice etc).
    Oily fish... Get it into him! At the very least, salmon oil or other oily fish oil (not cod liver oil). Oily fish contain lots of skin-friendly ingredients.
    Keep his bedding clean, preferably using Fairy detergent as it is much kinder to skin than other brands, and keep his living area in the house well hoovered and dusted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,057 ✭✭✭FixitFelix


    Thanks for the replies, Jovi has got blood test and skin samples to determine which allergies he has before starting steroids( for got to mention in OP) I might try cutting out the above mentioned foods he gets a mixture if chicken fish and dry ant the minute but might change to canned to see if it helps.
    Vet did say there is injection that can be given once a month but cost €100's and just don't know if I could afford that for the foreseeable


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Bells21


    FixitFelix wrote:
    Thanks for the replies, Jovi has got blood test and skin samples to determine which allergies he has before starting steroids( for got to mention in OP) I might try cutting out the above mentioned foods he gets a mixture if chicken fish and dry ant the minute but might change to canned to see if it helps. Vet did say there is injection that can be given once a month but cost €100's and just don't know if I could afford that for the foreseeable

    My dog was having immunotherapy injections for the best part of a year. It cost 350 for the allergy test, another 300 for the serum and it was 25 a month for the injection.
    We didn't see any great improvement while he was receiving these and we stopped after 13/14 months. However I've since read that this treatment is a long term process so perhaps we didn't give it enough time.
    We changed his diet over a year ago and began feeding raw. We did an elimination diet and now he doesn't get chicken. During the times when pollen is high we ensure to wipe him off when he comes back from being outside. We wash his bedding in non bio washing powder. I've cut out the majority of shop bought treats unless I'm happy enough with the ingredients that are on them. I use malaseb shampoo to wash him if he ever goes through a really itchy patch.
    He had a very comfortable summer with only really 2 bad patches which we seems to get under control quite quickly and now he's itch free. Some of his coat has even started to reappear on his chest and under his front legs.


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    Yes, the monthly injection is bloody pricey, but Apoquel might be a cheaper option... When it works, it works well from what I've seen. Doesn't have the side effects of preds either.
    Just to note op, if you decide to go for canned food, I was very specific in mentioning Rocco from zooplus because it gives you a sizeable range of novel proteins ie not chicken and beef, it has a lot of grain free options, and it is pretty good value if you buy in relative bulk on the special offers. I absolutely do not mean for you to buy any old canned food, because the supermarket stuff, Pedigree, Brandy etc etc probably have more grain in them than a sliced pan :o


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,057 ✭✭✭FixitFelix


    DBB wrote: »
    Yes, the monthly injection is bloody pricey, but Apoquel might be a cheaper option... When it works, it works well from what I've seen. Doesn't have the side effects of preds either.
    Just to note op, if you decide to go for canned food, I was very specific in mentioning Rocco from zooplus because it gives you a sizeable range of novel proteins ie not chicken and beef, it has a lot of grain free options, and it is pretty good value if you buy in relative bulk on the special offers. I absolutely do not mean for you to buy any old canned food, because the supermarket stuff, Pedigree, Brandy etc etc probably have more grain in them than a sliced pan :o

    No thanks for that, I won't be giving Jovi any old food, I'll look into the one you have mentioned above thanks for that


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,277 ✭✭✭aonb


    FixitFelix wrote: »
    No thanks for that, I won't be giving Jovi any old food, I'll look into the one you have mentioned above thanks for that

    OP, what DBB wrote is very good - white animals (horses, dogs I know about) very commonly have skin issues. Salmon Oil is definitely worth looking into. Being a staff x, s/he probably has quite a fine coat too. Finding whether your dogs sensitivity is allergy or environment based is a total pain. Having had a dog with serious skin allergies, some suggestions or things to just do some research around:

    *storage mites in dry food - only buy a small amount at a time
    *grains can be a real trigger - brown rice is a good replacement, potato too
    *check out home cooking - very tasty and cheap &easy once u get the hang of it - this was the eventual solution for our dog
    *raw wasnt for me but its definitely an option to consider
    *be aware of detergents when washing his bed - or if u use a coat -
    *lubricate that skin - from the inside out is best
    *coconut oil - check it out


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭floraldream


    Hi all ye all seems very knowledgeable! My little dog gets itchy sometimes too, what do ye think of the lullukus brand dog food?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,943 ✭✭✭Cherry Blossom


    A good few years ago now I was feeding my two Barbary duck and lamb lukullus and my itchy terrier did OK on it even though it contained poultry fat. Then for some reason they just wouldn't eat it anymore so I changed foods. Bear in mind its cold pressed so has a shorter life once opened so stick to small bags if you can.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭floraldream


    A good few years ago now I was feeding my two Barbary duck and lamb lukullus and my itchy terrier did OK on it even though it contained poultry fat. Then for some reason they just wouldn't eat it anymore so I changed foods. Bear in mind its cold pressed so has a shorter life once opened so stick to small bags if you can.

    Thank you Cherry blossom. I give him half a pouch of the wet food a day,is it ok to be open for a day?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,943 ✭✭✭Cherry Blossom


    Sorry its the dry food I meant. Wet food open for a day is fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    Veggies can cause yeast problems so something to be mindful of if you're feeding them.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    I did not know that! What's the story there TK?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    DBB wrote: »
    I did not know that! What's the story there TK?

    It comes up a lot on raw feeding groups etc I guess the sugar is supposed to feed the yeast? I can hear the grain lovers scoffing at my non-scientific answer there lol :p:pac:


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    tk123 wrote: »
    It comes up a lot on raw feeding groups etc I guess the sugar is supposed to feed the yeast? I can hear the grain lovers scoffing at my non-scientific answer there lol :p:pac:

    Ah yes, I see. I was always under the impression that fruits were more of a risk there (for humans at least) but I guess some veggies are fairly sweet too. Something to bear in mind alright, though I don't think it'd panic me too much either!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    DBB wrote: »
    Ah yes, I see. I was always under the impression that fruits were more of a risk there (for humans at least) but I guess some veggies are fairly sweet too. Something to bear in mind alright, though I don't think it'd panic me too much either!

    You could grow potatoes in Lucy's ears lol so I'm willing to try anything :pac: I've stopped giving veg but am feeding Nutriment atm which has veg in it.. so trying some alternatives!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 Karma2017


    FixitFelix wrote:
    Looking for a bit of help here, have a 4yr old staffie mix (pure white) ever since he's been around six months old he's suffered with itchy skin, he would scratch under his arms until they bled, scratch his eyes until they were inflamed. Brought him to the vets and they prescribed prednisilone 5mg a day. The meds have worked since but if he misses one day scratching comes back. Now he's been on them so long I'm worried about the long term health affects. ( he gets bloods taken every 3 months). So basically what I'm wondering if there is any natural remedies or ways to treat this issue as I don't want to shorten his life span by constantly giving him the steroids.

    OP, I recently went thru a scratching phase with my dogs but it wasn't as serious as your situation. I discussed it with my vet and I tried a few things including Malaseb shampoo but nothing worked.

    So I started to look at their diet and supplements. I started using Plaque Off (seaweed) earlier this year and once I stopped using it the scratching stopped. I think on top of salmon oil and green lipped mussel it was too much.

    I started going to a really good vets in Maynooth at the start of the year. They have a pet plan which covers yearly vaccs aswell as a blood and urine test. I was wondering why do you do blood tests every 3 months? Is it because of the steroids?

    I have to agree with the previous posts on Rocco wet food. I am lucky my dogs are OK with grains so I give half dry and half wet. I use Rocco Sensitive which I think has 65% meat and 30% stock. It's has high meat content but it's still good value.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,057 ✭✭✭FixitFelix


    Karma2017 wrote: »
    OP, I recently went thru a scratching phase with my dogs but it wasn't as serious as your situation. I discussed it with my vet and I tried a few things including Malaseb shampoo but nothing worked.

    So I started to look at their diet and supplements. I started using Plaque Off (seaweed) earlier this year and once I stopped using it the scratching stopped. I think on top of salmon oil and green lipped mussel it was too much.

    I started going to a really good vets in Maynooth at the start of the year. They have a pet plan which covers yearly vaccs aswell as a blood and urine test. I was wondering why do you do blood tests every 3 months? Is it because of the steroids?

    I have to agree with the previous posts on Rocco wet food. I am lucky my dogs are OK with grains so I give half dry and half wet. I use Rocco Sensitive which I think has 65% meat and 30% stock. It's has high meat content but it's still good value.

    Sorry blood tests are every 6 months, yeah it's because of steroids to check liver function etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,300 ✭✭✭✭razorblunt


    I've posted on here before about our Westie who gets very itchy, especially in the summer due to mites in the grass, but we've noticed some foods trigger her too.

    An oatmeal based shampoo, Hibbie Scrub and fish oil in her food really helps matters.


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