Okay, here it goes!:
My puppy is a wonderful 9 month old border collie/shepherd/lab mix (not too sure but he definitely has collie in him) and has developed a very bad itch. His itch
because he has fleas (we've checked several time and had him checked, nothing!), he has no hot spots, no bleeding, no hair loss or anything. He's a very happy pup
that has a great coat of fur and has a very good diet. He loves the out doors and other dogs. Since he doesn't have any fleas we're thinking it's allergies of some
sort. Here's what we've tried so far:
1) We have him on a restricted diet (First, Natural Balance Kibble, and now we're trying Blue Wilderness as we've heard really good things about it and it's a bit more
balanced than Natural Balance). He's allergic to Chicken for sure so we don't fed him that. We just started the Blue and he's enjoying it so far.
2) We've also started added a fish oil to his food once a day
3) Gave him a bath with Oatmeal and Aloe shampoo to relieve itching (which didn't seem to help at all!)...Made it worse perhaps..so I gave him another bath but just a
rinse down with no soap or anything. Patted him dry (as I've heard rubbing is not good for the skin) and let him air dry indoors for a bit and then blow dried him a
bit. Once he was completely dried I brushed him (as brushing a dog while wet is not good either). I've been brushing him once a day for a week now to get all the
lose hair and dander off.
4). We started thinking it could be our laundry detergent. So we switched our detergent to a hypo-allergenic detergent (no fragrances) (as he tends to scratch lots
when he in our bed). We washed all of our bedding using that. We washed our dogs bedding in just the machine with no soap and put it on extra rinse to get all the
detergent off (I've heard using detergent on dogs bedding is a no no). Washed his collar with no soap as well. Cleaned his houses out (just water and gave it a good
5) We then thought well perhaps it's something outdoors? So we did all the cleaning, bathing, vacuuming of the house and kept him indoors for a few days (of course
we took him out to pee and took him for walks but on leash whereas he loves to run at the park, roll in dirt, mud and play with other dogs). This didn't seem to help
6) As I mentioned before in #5, we vacuumed the house too get all the hair off the carpet and whatever else is in the carpet.
I should mention as well that we don't us any cleaners around the house that have fragrances either.
Here's some other information that might help.
He's itching is not localized really. He bites his fur sometimes but no hair loss. He scratches just above his tail, his ears, chews at his paws...all of the listed,
he has not developed any sores, loss of hair, hotspots and this has been going on for a few months now. I would have expected to see something like losing hair, hot
spots or bites on him but nothing!
Other bit of information, he seems to scratch the most at night! He goes crazy and keeps us up at night! We sometimes lock him out of our bedroom but seems hardly
fair to him as he`s just itchy! So we let him sleep with us again... He used to sleep in his crate downstairs but now we let him roam the house (he`s house broken and
is very good.) and now how found a nice spot to sleep in our onsuite bathroom since the tile is cool for him. He sometimes calms down but then he wakes up again and
starts all over. During the day he doesn`t seem as bad. He scratches less but still more than a normal dog should. (like right now he`s passed out on the kitchen
floor not scratching as he`s probably so tired from scratching all night)
Another quick point which I just discovered this morning is when I pet him, he doesn`t seem to want to scratch...could it be an attention grabber (scratching that
his?) Doesn`t really make sense since he scratches in the bathroom at night...why would he do that if he wanted attention? he`d come to us if he wanted
attention...just a point of information I would add incase anybody would have any ideas...
Also, whenever he scratches I check immediately sometimes hoping to find a flea, tick or a red spot, nothing!
More about his diet: Like I mentioned before he`s on a restricted diet with no grains, (if you`re not familiar with Natural Balance or Blue you can check out the
ingrediants here: Blue Buffalo - Natural Dry Dog Food
(He is currently on Blue Wilderness Salmon)
His food that he was on before was: Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Dog Formulas
He had been on a few flavours as we thought he might be allergic to something in the food. He didn`t really seem satified with any of them. (Scratching I mean).
we took him off of natural balance because a) read quite a few reviews from dog owners that it does cause problems with dogs (ie: scratching, daiarreah, vomiting ect).
We found this interesting since Natural Balance is listed as a better quality food for dogs. I know all dogs are different and some dogs are just more sensative to
things but wanted to try something different anyways. So, in the end, we`re trying Blue Wilderness. We are also considering raw food after this if this doesn`t work
withing a month or two. Anybody have any thoughts on that for stoping scatching?
For treats, we`re giving him the same treats as his dog food (same ingrediants but a treat form). So this way we are limiting the ingrediants on what he eats.
Toys: He has some stuffed toys and some bones which is likes to chew on (perhaps I should take away the bone for awhile to see if that helps...can`t see if that`s the
corporate as he only chews that during the mornings but I guess it still could be...) He gets bully sticks every now and then but he hasn`t had one in a few weeks so
that`s not it.
We`ve also even thought it could be humidity in our house but that`s not a real problem as we keep our house cool at night. We`ve even tried keeping the heaters off
for a few days during the day to make it cool all day and night but that didnt seem to do anything. We could check our humitity but I`m sure that`s not the issue.
Internal possibilities: He could have a yeast infection, scabies (which we highly doubt it is as we live in Canada but could be perhaps), hormonal imbalance, or
hopefully not, cancer. Scratching i`ve also heard can be caused by anxiety, stress, depression, or boredom, which he definately isn`t as he gets lots of attention,
excercise and is very playful and happy. He loves to smile all the time. To me, he`s like a normal dog but with one issue, scratching!
I know I wrote a novel here but I`m trying to figure out why my poor puppy is scratching so much and trying to avoid going to the vet as that`s really expensive!
Trying to narrow things down as much as possible until we`ve run out of options and then we`ll have to go the vet. Does anybody have any experience with any of this
or know of any other possibility of why my poor puppy is scratching?
-An itchy dog`s owner