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Discussion Starter #1
I got my dog (blue heeler/lab/pit mix about 6/7 months) early September. After I brought him home I noticed SEVERE itching, hair loss, and of course the bumps. I originally thought MANGE, however, I noticed something odd. All of this is on his legs, feet, and general lower body while his back and general face area/neck are completely fine and even growing beautiful shiny fur.
I brought him to the vet 2 days after we got him and was given 500 mg of cephalexin along with a steroid shot to help the itching. His poop at this time was pretty bad, it was basically just liquid. The shelter we adopted him from was feeding him science diet so they didnt think allergies at all. His itching got a little bit better, but no real improvement.
So we moved vets.
The next vet told us mange because puppies dont typically have allergies. By this point we had skin scraped my dog 6 times, all negative results. They prescribed another dose of Cephalexin 500 mg, 25 mg of hydroxyzine, dewormer liquid (white cream, not sure what its called), and lastly advantage multi. they told us to do all of these things 2 times a day and the mange would be gone. the advantage multi was once every 2 weeks and we've done that 4 times now. until about 2 weeks ago he was WONDERFUL!!! hair growing back, no itching, and even good looking poop. so we thought for sure it was mange.
HOWEVER, all of a sudden two weeks ago..it was like a light switch turned back on! he's still on the same meds, same everything, but something changed. he's been itching like the first time we got him again. cant sit still.

is this mange or am i a complete idiot for not seeing the signs that this is in fact some type of allergy? I called the vet and he told me its hands down an allergy since it worked but all of a sudden stopped but i just dont think we can completely eliminate mange. is advantage multi really sufficient enough to kill mange?

i was thinking about doing the allergy test but god almighty they are expensive! i also read that they can give you a false positive and therefore they can be helpless. this has got me so stressed out and i want to jump off of a building.
anyone know whats going on?!
 

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my pup is 8 months and been suffering allergies (suspected food) for months. We know he can't do chicken or egg and there are other things that must be bad too but haven't whittled that down yet.

Science diet has major allergens in it. Anything with corn/wheat/soy I would not feed a dog and almost all dog food has chicken & eggs which are both pretty allergenic. Beef is also a big culprit. This includes treats you are giving him too. You need to watch what hsampoo you use b/c that can aggravate it. My vet said at this age it's prob not environmental but it is prob food allergies. Where is the hair loss? My vet said ears/rear hair loss is usu allergies.
 

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also i'd wash his bedding in hot water...did you buy him new bedding when you got him? old bedding could have a ton of mites. does have fleas?

skin stuff sucks because if you treat him for one thing and you're wrong it can make the problem worse instead of better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
he's wonderful on his head. his ears are fluffy. now that you mention it though, his butt are is pretty bad all the way down to his paws.

i've washed his bed, so thats not an option. do you think the advantage multi would've gotten rid of the mites?

i also had no idea the science diet had allergens.
Have you done an allergy test for your dog or your vet has worked with you on the food? My vet wasn't really helpful with options, he just told me that it was allergies and to come in for an allergy test. I'm afraid he just wants me to fork over the $300. I'm living in a college town so changing vets again is pretty hard since there aren't many options. Did you just test different foods before realizing what your dog is allergic to?
 

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Well I took him to the vet and he went on a course of antibiotics and temeril P (allergy plus prednisone med). I took advantage of that time to switch him to TOTW pacfiic stream puppy- chicken, egg, & grain free. He got better. I started adding in treats and it just blew up in a hurry and got a 2nd infection. Round 2 of the same. So he was put on a hypoallergenic diet with a new unused protein source...still no grains. You might could try Natural Balance LID Duck/Potato if your dog has never had duck. It is VERY limited ingredients and very similar the the RX food I am giving my dog ingredients wise...the difference is that my dog's RX food has FDA regulations for it to be labeled as "hypoallergenic"...they don't use the same equipiment on the different meats for super sensitive doggies.

You can give your dog a tsp of coconut oil for ever 10 lb body weight every day. You have to work them up a little at a time...start with a tsp a day and then add as his stomach adjusts. This is the #3 ingredient in my dog's RX food for skin and is very touted by doggie dermatologists. It moisturizes and has antibacterial & antifungal properties.

I forgot about YEAST. Coconut oil is a good lotion for yeast. Also dipping your dog's affected areas in a natural apple cider vinegar wash (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) will help IF it is yeast. If the dog doesn't have yeast it can upset the PH balance of your dog's skin. You know if it's yeast by having the vet do a culture but a lot of people say yeast smells like fritos or corn chips. Smell your dogs feed and see what the odor is...could also be fruity. Antibiotics can throw your dog into a yeast infection...see what I mean about 1 treatment can cause a whole other problem???? Using a steroid cream will also make your dog more prone to yeast. It's maddening!

My doggie is doing better but still licks some. I suspect this is because he's become a lot more opportunistic about what he eats. Before the special diet I gave him plenty of treats and variety but now we are on just straight dog food. I have caught him trying to eat off the ktichen floor or what the kids leave behind...having to relaly drive it home that their careless leaving food around can make the dog miserable and make him gnaw at himself to get relief.
 

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btw if he doesn't clear up on the rx diet the vet said we need to consider an allergy test due to his young age...it will have an opportunity to give him a huge quality of life increase if we can figure this out. the allergy tests are better at detecting environmental stuff than food. the only way to know for sure with food is an elimination diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i started reading a little bit about yeast. he doesn't smell at all and he doesn't have anything wrong in his ears. do you think it could still be a possibility? does your dog have really bad flare ups like the pictures that they would suggest maybe it is yeast? i'd like to try the coconut oil.
 

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Hmmm....our rescue feral houla had sarcoptic and demodex mange and all the skin scrapings came back negative too...but we know she had both as her litter mates (yes, I tracked them down) had both types. It took 6 months to get her clear of the sarcoptic, and washing bedding, etc is critical. We had her dipped twice, had medicated shampoo, antibiotic, a salve and wellactin supplement. When she gets stressed the demodex will start again...however, I am told this DOES NOT CAUSE ITCHING AND SCRATCHING from the vet...She has hair loss around her face and chest area and it looks inflamed at times. I think HOLLY would be able to address this one!!! Could be allergy...we have both dogs on Purina One Beyond Lamb and Barley (the other houla has horrible allergies) and they seem to do fine on it, in fact, Azmira Lamb and Rice and the Purina One were the only foods tolerated, and we tried dozens. Don't give Milkbones or other treats until you can figure it out. I feel for you as it is awful to watch them scratch!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thats interesting. you've heard mange does NOT cause itching/scratching? i'm currently washing his bed again. How often should I do this?
I'll have to wait awhile before going to get better food since the only places close to me (within an hour drive) that sell dog food are walmart & target. obviously i'll need to go to a pet specialty store. i'm glad to see that everyone is leaning more towards the allergy.
 

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I know sarcoptic causes itching like crazy but the vet said demodex doesn't! hmm. Could you google both and read up on symptoms? I was exhausted cleaning the bedding all the time...it did take months to get the sarcoptic clear....but she will flare when stressed out with the demodex...and she gets stressed often...The other thing is that it was her muzzle/chest/neck areas that were the worst, and she only had some tiny spots elsewhere. I feel for you! A heeler is a GREAT dog! They are so smart and loyal!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i just have no idea what to do if it is sarcoptic! all he's got for that is the advantage multi which is completely outrageous if it is mange. do i need to be cleaning ALL of the furniture in my house that he gets on?! i have another dog too and she is completely fine although her stomach is all of a sudden turning a darker purple color. this just happened recently and i've had my dog for almost 2 months.
 

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We really need Holly on this post!!! I know that when dogs get stressed their stomachs can turn red/purple... I didn't clean my furniture...Maybe your dog doesn't have sarcoptic mange...maybe it is an allergy....could you post the pictures of the skin on this and hopefully someone will be able to comment that has medical knowledge/diagnosis help. yeah...we put Addy on Revolution and it worked great! The medicated shampoo went a long way to help too, it is anti fungal/antibiotic.
If you type "sarcoptic vs demodex mange on the URL it will bring up information on both of them and pictures. Addy didn't have any hair at all as a puppy....please don't worry....it could be allergy instead!!! I feel bad for you and hope I didn't make the situation worse for you...please post pictures if you can!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
who is holly?

here are pictures taken just now!

i have attached pictures of his skin under his fur (really pink/raw)

a complete picture of his back, its really shiny, no hair loss!
 

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Well, I do have to say that our houla's was SO MUCH Worse than what I am seeing on your dog! I think that you have your dog on the right meds from the vet....but I am not a vet so take with a grain of salt! If it is demodex then it "flares" and looks like this, and also an allergy could cause it. I would just continue to follow what the vet says at this point. It could even be a "contact allergy" based on where the spots are on your dog! Is he/she lying in anything, chemicals, laundry detergent/blankets? Addison still has problems but they are manageable...These pictures will help more medically knowledgeable posters help you a lot more! The best suggestion I can give you is to do a search for posts on DF and type in "mange", there are dozens of comments on this along with treatment... And then do a search on "allergy skin" and you will find information on those too. Do a search on "Holly" and you will find really good advice on health matters. I do hope this helps! Please don't worry...it is "fixable". You have such a great dog!
 

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coconut oil is hugely popular with the doggie dermatologists I hear. It's a big ingredient in my dog's allergy food, too. As long as your dog can tolerate it, it's can't hurt unless they start gaining too much weight. Wash the bedding in hot water, no detergent. The beneful is total crap and I think now that you're off of that maybe it can get better. LynneMarie on here is a groomer and I believe she said the dogs who ate beneful and kibbles n bits had horrible skin b/c of the dyes. Don't quote me on that.
 

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thank you so much! we really do love him, we just cant believe how terrible the itching has been. he has been EXTREMELY loyal and so sweet and he has become QUITE the herder when i call in our other dog. through all of the torment of the itching, he has remained playful and sweet. he has such a good heart.

i've read around a lot that it is probably a contact allergy because of location, also. its all over his legs and paws but nowhere near the top of him. someone else on another post suggested YEAST. i'm going to start him on a good, allergen free diet just so i can eliminate that as a possibility. worse case scenario, i pay $300 for the skin test AFTER i've personally eliminated all of these things.

anyone have any suggestions on anti-itch things? benedryl doesn't do anything for him. won't even make him slightly tired, no matter the dosage!! he's a monster dog.
i'm definitely going to look into the coconut oil!!

thank you so much for all of your help! i can not believe how supportive y'all are!! its made me motivated to fight through this horrible time. i was really ready to give up :(
 

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Oh my gosh, please don't give up!!! A heeler is a wonderful dog! Lots of training and socialization is needed. If he was on Beneful, really bad food!!! I would avoid certain treats too that might cause problems, one of our dogs can't even eat milkbones!
Holly is very knowledgeable and I always follow her advice....

He may lead you on a merry chase the first year as heelers need a job to do or they can get...well...tear things up a bit! But wow, what great dogs they are and sounds like you have a sweetie!!! Keep posting if you need anything else, try reading up on the posts with allergies and mange and it should help.
 
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