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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15368
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have been to the vet at least 4 times and all they can

Customer Question

I have been to the vet at least 4 times and all they can tell me is that it is allergies. I've tried making homemade food, tons of different medicines, Zyrtec, vitamins, fish oil and he is still extremely itchy around eyes, nose and mouth. He won't stop licking around his mouth and one front paw. The skin around his nose is red and inflammed and there are some hot spots. He also has brown/red discharge from eyes. He also swallows a lot and licks the couch and blankets. I need help!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Willie he will be 5 in January
JA: How old is Willie?
Customer: 5 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Willie?
Customer: I cant think of anything else I already listed
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is Rebecca; I am a veterinarian. Please give me a moment to type my answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry to hear Willie is so itchy. This could be allergies, but it could also be things like autoimmune disease, skin parasites, infection. Were any tests such as skin biopsies or skin scrapings done?

Do you use flea control on Willie? Fleas and their saliva are one of the most common allergens in dogs. Even if you are not seeing fleas, you should use a good flea product such as the Seresto collar or Frontline. When a dog has become hypersensitive to fleas, it only takes one or two to set them itching and scratching; and you can't see a single flea on a whole dog.

Food allergies can cause intense itching of the face. Feeding a homemade diet may not help. When dogs have food allergy, they are are allergic to a particular ingredient, which can be any protein: chicken, beef, wheat, rice, etc. Just switching brands of food, or switching to homemade diets may not eliminate that ingredient. When you try treating a dog for food allergy you have to eliminate everything he eats now, and chose a "novel protein" diet, or limited ingredient diet containing ingredients he has never eaten before, such as a venison/sweet potato diet or rabbit/potato. You feed nothing but this diet of 6 to 8 weeks, no treats or table food. If the itching improves, then it is food allergy.

Another option is a "hydrolized protein" diet such as Hills Z/D or Royal Canin HP. Again, you feed only the diet, nothing else at all, for 6 to 8 weeks. You can get these from a veterinarian or from but they contact your vet for permission to ship it to you.

If it is environmental allergies, changing the diet to homemade or grain free won't make a difference. Unless you can identify the allergen, you have to treat the symptoms with steroids, antihistamines, and supplements. There is a new allergy medication, called Apoquel that really helps about 80% of dogs with allergies, sometimes in just a few days. It is a prescription from your veterinarian.

Please let me know if this helps, and what other questions you have. It is so frustrating when dogs have allergies, because there is no cure yet.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
They never did any additional tests or scrapes just physical exams. I do not see any fleas and he isn't itching anything else. Would this still be a concern? I usually use advantix for flea control..but haven't in a while. I am making homemade diet of raw ground beef, hard boiled eggs with Dinovite multivitamin and fish oil...what would be the best way to ease him into a novel protein diet and which brand is best?Recommendations? I would prefer to stay away from the hydrolyzed diet...and give him something more natural. The licking and the constant that connected or something else?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 9 months ago.

As I said, not seeing fleas does not mean it is not a flea bite allergy. The veterinary dermatologist put every itching dog on a good flea product as one of the first things they do.

If he is allergic to beef ( a common food allergen) then your homemade diet is not hypoallergenic.

The best novel protein diets in my opinion are the Royal Canin diets. The dermatologists gave them the best marks for their novel protein, limited ingredient diets being totally free of being accidentally contaminated with other food ingredients.

Licking and swallowing could be related to allergies, or to a problem in the mouth such as dental tartar or a painful tooth, or to nausea.

Let me know if this is helpful! And what other questions you have.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 9 months ago.

I have not heard back from you; I hope you were able to see my response. Let me know what other questions I can answer.