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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18039
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My mixed breed (supposedly Husky, & Springer Spaniel) was the

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My mixed breed (supposedly Husky, & Springer Spaniel) was the "blonde" of litter. He has white hair that's always has had orange tint so we call him, Rusty.   Rusty, 9 1/2, started suffering w/awful allergies when we moved close to the woods & moved again, now IN woods. Was tested & determined to have pyrodermia. Foul smelling, cracked open sores, running ears.   Have wash from vet I use. TIRED of fungal antibiotics & scared of Prednisone (tho it clears prob), I have him on Omega Fish Oil which keeps hair NICE (except around collar) & no real smell. HOWEVER, he is VERY RED scratching & itching terribly, rubs face on carpet, licks CONSTANTLY. Always scratching 2. Can dogs have a chigger allergy? I keep fleas OFF with treatments & an electronic pest repellant on collar. I ask about chiggers as he "goes" just inside the woods. Feed him Beneful, though I suspect this is Inhalant allergies & trying Benadryl is not helping much. PLEASE help. Can't afford $250 vet visits. DERMAiONX?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
Hi Sassyfras,

It does sound like he has an allergy and has developed dermatitis from the scratching.   The allergy could be from an inhalant or a contact allergen or even a food/treat item.   Beneful, in my opinion, is not a good dog food. I would recommend a much higher grade dog food such as eagle pack or innova. They are more expensive, but you feed less making it cost about the same. Many breeders also swear by the BARF diet stating that it now only helps the coat, skin and immune system, but also helps with allergies and other health issues. I personally feed a combination BARF and innova diet to my dogs.

You can read about inhaled allergies here:

And on allergies in general here:

A lot of dogs have an allergic reaction to corn and wheat in dog foods, so you may want to switch dog foods to one that does not contain corn or wheat. It may take several weeks to see improvement after the change of food. You may also give your dog Benadryl up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. We do recommend starting at 1mg per pound and working up to 2mg if it doesn't seem to be working well enough.

There might be a secondary skin condition in addition to the allergy such as staph dermatitis or yeast dermatitis. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief.

Unfortunately, if it is an allergy, identifying the allergen is important to enable you to limit your dog's exposure to the allergen. While expensive, allergy testing can identify the cause and help either by allowing you to remove the allergen or by developing a desensitizing shot for your dog. In the long run, allergy testing is cheaper than the constant treatment of skin dermatitis, ear and eye infections and other symptoms that can occur with allergies.

If finances are an issue, one of the following organizations may be able to help you in that area.
Help-A-Pet This group helps low income families with vet care.

IMOM   This organization help people with emergency medical care in some cases.

Care Credit Quick application and approval for care credit card. You can sometimes apply and get approval while you are at the vet office.

American Animal Hospital Association
Helps animals that have been abandoned or if the owner is having financial hardships

Angels 4 Animals
This organization offers financial aid or treatment to those pets and owners in need.

God's Creatures Ministry
Help pay Vet bills for those that need help

The Pet Fund
Helps provide emergency vet care to those in need.

United Animal Nations
They help rescuers, low income and homeless pay for vet care.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18039
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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