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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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itchy rat terrier

Resolved Question:

My 4 year old rat terrier is having a lot of problems. She started having seizures about two months ago - she had about 5 in one day, two the next, and none since then. She is taking phenobarbital twice daily for this. She also has a history of very sensitive skin, and has had a couple of bad flare ups since the onset of the seizures. She took prednisone for this, which cleared up the oozing sores on her stomach, but her rear end and tail are covered in small bumps and she has scratched out a lot of hair in that area and spends a good amount of her waking hours wriggling on her back as if she is in agony from the itching. A few days ago she developed a nose so dry it feels like sand paper and has twice vomited a clear liquid. Her lips are also slightly swollen and moist and have lost some hair. I don't know if she just has a weak immune system, or what. The vet has put her on a hypoallergenic dog food to check for food allergies, but she is ravenous (maybe from the phenobarbital) and I have been unable to keep her on the HA food only. The only possible irritant I know she has come into contact with is our new carpet, but all symptoms other than the sore mouth were present before we got the carpet. My vet bills are becoming unmanagable. Any ideas? Thank you -
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 10 years ago.
I would suggest trying a veterinary dermatologist as they are the specialist in skin allergies.
If she is not on frontline to eliminate fleas you might want to try that. With a flea allergic dog just one bite will make them nuts itching.
If your vet is trying that new hypoallergenic food and its too costly for you to keep her on it all the time (and yes the pred may be the issue with the hunger) you could try a food such as Wellenss fish, duck, rabbit, or venison or a similar one put out by Dick Van Patten or Merrick etc.
Just read the ingredients list carefully as some of the diets say in big letters duck and in small print show chicken, beef, soy etc.
You can read about skin allergies here
and perhaps find a dermatologist from this site
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Skipper is on Frontline so I don't think the itchiness is a flea allergy. I was told that prednisone would make tests for skin allergies inaccurate. Also, I have been feeding her a homemade diet of chicken and brown rice, in addition to Beneful Healthy Radiance (which is supposed to help with skin and coat issues) as this is cheaper than HA food. I don't understand the dry cracked nose, swollen mouth, vomiting of clear liqiud, and occassional listlessness, as she has been on the phenobarbital long enough for the listlessness to wear off.
Expert:  NancyH replied 10 years ago.
Beneful is not a very good food at all. Its full of corn, wheat, and 'animal fat' which is usually beef tallow which are all common allergens. Plus its full of preservatives that many dogs react poorly to.
All the reactions you list can be from eating food the dog cannot tolerate well.
I would really seriously suggest sticking to a diet such as the Wellness fish, rabbit, duck, or venison to see if that will help the dog get better.
Cheaper isn't better for your dog in this case. It might end up with her seriously ill from it.
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