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Hello, everyone! I’m new and I introduced myself in the Introduction thread. Nice to meet all of you. :)

My dog, Abby, just turned 5 years old, is a Parson Russell Terrier mix, was just groomed, and gets a good amount of exercise. She has been licking and chewing on her feet and scratching alot lately. I’ve already ruled out fleas, she does not have any red or inflamed spots on her skin, and has a wheat-free diet of holistic food (Solid Gold Dog Food). I’ve been giving her salmon oil, but I don’t see any improvement.

To be clear, Abby has always licked her feet, but not obsessively. She has never hurt herself and if I tell her to stop, she will.

Abby is a service dog and goes everywhere with me. I suspect she might have allergies to late fall pollen or possibly something else.

What do you recommend I try before bringing her in to the vet?

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like allergies. You could try another meat in the food. You will want a single protein food and try a meat your dog has never eaten. Zignature is a good choice there are many meats to choose from.
Our Menu | Zignature
 

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It could be a food allergy, or environmental either one. Or both. You can start with one or the other, and do process of elimination. Start with environmental, and give some antihistamine like spirulina, bee pollen, or if you would rather Zyrtec or benadrly. Just be sure those don't contain any decongestants.

If non of those work, it could come down to the same thing with food, but kibble has so many synthetic ingredients, grains, etc...that can be triggers you may go through a million foods before you find the one with the problem.

The vet can also allergy test, and give you a better idea as to what way to go. Do keep in mind, the vet will likely also want to prescribe meds that will work for some time, but they aren't "curing" anything. Just masking the problem. Stop the meds, and the symptoms will return.
 

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The vet can also allergy test, and give you a better idea as to what way to go. Do keep in mind, the vet will likely also want to prescribe meds that will work for some time, but they aren't "curing" anything. Just masking the problem. Stop the meds, and the symptoms will return.
I could take her for an allergy test. That might be easier than going through the process of elimination. Do you know how much those tests tend to cost?
 

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Wipe her feet after you come in from outside. Sounds so simple, but often, if allergies are not severe, simply removing some allergen from the dog can be immensely helpful. This is assuming she is reacting to a pollen/ something in the grass.
With all due respect to hypoallergenic foods/ novel proteins, etc - at this point you have no idea if this is caused by food or environment, and you can make yourself crazy switching diets, guessing what she may or may not be reacting to.
Do try an antihistamine. May or may not help, but can't hurt. Also, if she has "grinch feet" - lots of hair between her toes and pads, sometimes trimming the hair short helps reduce chewing and licking.
 

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Wipe her feet after you come in from outside. Sounds so simple, but often, if allergies are not severe, simply removing some allergen from the dog can be immensely helpful. This is assuming she is reacting to a pollen/ something in the grass.
With all due respect to hypoallergenic foods/ novel proteins, etc - at this point you have no idea if this is caused by food or environment, and you can make yourself crazy switching diets, guessing what she may or may not be reacting to.
Do try an antihistamine. May or may not help, but can't hurt. Also, if she has "grinch feet" - lots of hair between her toes and pads, sometimes trimming the hair short helps reduce chewing and licking.
What kind of antihistamine and how much should I give a 19 lbs dog? Thank you
 

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Wipe her feet after you come in from outside. Sounds so simple, but often, if allergies are not severe, simply removing some allergen from the dog can be immensely helpful. This is assuming she is reacting to a pollen/ something in the grass.
With all due respect to hypoallergenic foods/ novel proteins, etc - at this point you have no idea if this is caused by food or environment, and you can make yourself crazy switching diets, guessing what she may or may not be reacting to.
Do try an antihistamine. May or may not help, but can't hurt. Also, if she has "grinch feet" - lots of hair between her toes and pads, sometimes trimming the hair short helps reduce chewing and licking.
Hello,

This may sound like a silly question but I am just wondering if antihistamines only help environmental allergies? I too am trying to rule out food and environmental allergies and have tried various foods including raw. She still seems to get itchy, especially right now. She seems to itch less on "Prednisone" (I think thats what it is) but I don't want to give her that kind of medicine long term. Do you think if I try a antihistamine and it works that it is definitely environmental?

Thank you
Kerri
 

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@warpedpink - many of the OTC human antihistamines can be used in dogs. Benedryl is probably the most commonly used one, dose is one mg/lb q 12 hrs. Please do check with your dog's veterinarian before administering any new meds :) @KerriAnn - no, whether your dog does or does not respond to an antihistamine is in no way indicative of the source of the allergy... Pred long term is definitely something you want to avoid if at all possible. There are other options. Apoquel may be an option - ask your vet!
 
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