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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My dog is constantly itching. She does not have fleas. I

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My dog is constantly itching. She does not have fleas. I do not give her any over the counter treats. She gets vegetables, cherrios for treats. Absolutely nothing with grains. Her groomer says that she can't find anything that could be making her itch. Sometimes I think she is going to jump out of her skin, she itches so much.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 5 years ago.

Dr.Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help Allergies can be a huge problem as you are experiencing. Dogs can be allergic to foods, to fleas, to inhalants (pollen, dust mites, molds and dander), and have contact allergies (where they are in contact with grass, wool, etc.). Furthermore, if they are allergic they usually are allergic to more than one thing.

Dr.Barbara :

In the area of food allergies it can be the protein in different grains plus other sources of protein that most commonly cause allergies, but every dog is different. Doing an elimination diet is the best way to diagnose this and there are several of these diets available. Those consisting of fish and potatoes are the most common and for treats you could give pieces of fish, pieces of potatoes, or vegetables. . .no cheerios as these are grain based (oats).

Dr.Barbara :

However, if she is also allergic to inhalants then her itchiness may not go away with just an elimination diet. One important question I have is. . .Is she itchy seasonally or the same year round?

Dr.Barbara :

Dr. Barbara

Customer:

She is itchy all year around. She is on a dog food that contains no grain. Sorry about the cherrios, will stop them tomorrow. All her treats are natural, and I read the labels. We feed her lamb and rice.

Dr.Barbara :

Unfortunately lamb and rice foods are no longer considered hypoallergenic diets because many puppy foods contain these ingredients and our dogs can become sensitized to these. I would choose fish and potato or venison and potato or duck and pea. . .limited unique ingredients. Houston should be on a strict diet trial for 3 months with no other foods other than what is in her limited diet or veggies for treats. Even though her treats are natural they could still contain allergens for her. All grains, etc. are natural for examp

Dr.Barbara :

example so make sure her treats are only made to match her food. While she is gradually beginning her new food I would ask your vet for some Temaril P. This is a great anti itch medication that combines a small dose of prednisone and an antihistamine. I'd do the Temaril P for about 10 days and then see how she does on the strict elimination diet. We

Dr.Barbara :

have another diet available called ZD, which avoids allergens by hydrolyzing the protein content. With this diet you will only be able to give veggies for treats. . .carrots are great. Do remember that even tho' a diet is in general hypoallergenic, it may not be for Houston, so you may have to try more than one. Again. . .stay away from lamb and rice. Do the diet trial for 3 months and be very strict about her treats. Best of luck to you both. Dr. B

Customer:

I can sure change her food. Thank you for your help. Margaret Wadley

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