Hello. I'm not the type to post on these sorts of forums (more of a lurker looking for solutions) but I haven't been able to find any sort of solution or hint of what is going on, so maybe you all can help.
My wife and I have four dogs, five cats (big house with a back yard). The cats are indoors only. Our dogs range in age from 6 to 10 years old, and they are all different breeds. A pit, a mixed breed (we think Dalmatian and hound) a Tibetan Terrier and a Pekingese. All rescues.
The pekingese has had skin issues since we adopted him. He itches like mad to the point of pulling all his fur out and causing hotspots- but only for a few of the winter months and the end of summer. Then he stops for a few months. Our vet has not been able to figure it out, especially because the sporadic disappearance of itching means it's not food allergies (he has been on the same diet all along) and it doesn't seem to be flea allergies, or your standard flea infestation. In fact, I can't remember the last time any of us even saw a flea on any of our animals. We're careful, and we seem to live in a low flea area.
Recently the Pekingese's itching started up again. The same old itching, and we did what we usually do to minimize his discomfort. The problem is all three of our other dogs and all of our cats have abruptly begun itching too. They have no rashes, no crusting, or pus. No sign of fungal infection. They scratch and chew their rear ends, their sides and scratch their heads. We are relatively positive this is not mange, sarcoptic or otherwise. We have not changed anyone's food, and they are near the end of their three month flea preventative (Frontline) so it seems really unlikely they are ALL having a sudden reaction to that.
When I search this, no matter how I phrase it, all I get is flea allergy, flea allergy, flea allergy. And I'm sorry, I don't care how common it is. The idea that ALL of our animals developed a flea allergy at the exact same time is absurd. This is really getting to be a problem fast. Our shorter haired pups have already started giving themselves hotspots, and our Tibetan Terrier is a distemper survivor who becomes incredibly distraught over things like this, due to brain damage. Our home is a mad-house right now, and as you can imagine-- we do NOT have the money to bring all of our animals into the vet at the same time. A preliminary chat with a vet check led me to reach out to other owners, because she had no idea what could cause all of our animals to break out with flea allergies in unison. Or food allergies for that matter, especially since our pekingese eats different food (different brand) than the bigger dogs, and obviously the cats don't eat dog food.
Does anyone have experience with this, or something similar? We have NO idea what is causing this, and nothing alleviates it. Flea baths, oatmeal baths. All kinds of natural home remedies, intended for everything from fungal infection to mange. We don't use any kind of pest chemicals or powders around the house or outside. We haven't changed anything about our day to day life. No new household cleaners or laundry detergent or air fresheners. And even if some kind of household chemical were the culprit-- all of our pets? At once??
Thanks for reading, and any help you could offer.