Help! Spots, Rashes, and All Things Itchy

We have been noticing lately, more and more, that poor Miss Gia has some itchies that we just cannot seem to get under control.

When she first came to us, she had some not-so-cute rashes on her tummy. We were able to alleviate this by a simple switch to a higher quality food, as well as a few medicated baths.

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For a while, this seemed to curb her problems. However, as spring started to finally arrive in our little piece of Pennsylvania, we noticed our girl doing more itching and licking than ever! We would notice an issue especially after we cut the grass, or she spent a lot of time outside ‘hunting’ in the woods (her favorite!) At first, we could combat the problem by treating her with some liquid Benadryl, but now even that doesn’t seem to be able to combat her itchings!

Caught in the act =/

Caught in the act =/

She will even wake out of a deep sleep to lick or itch at her paws or back end or tummy, and then go right back to dreaming. We are having a hard time telling if this is something that is physical (there are no lumps, bumps, fleas, or rashes) or mental. She will just lick and lick at her paws if we aren’t there to stop her. When we correct her (just with a quiet ‘no’ or by redirecting her to a toy or bone) she will give a big yawn, as though she is worried or stressed. If I had to guess, I would say that it is probably a combination of both.

When we went to our vet, they were pretty blase about it… they told us to try Benadryl (duh, been there, tried that) and Fish Oil (check!) neither of which seemed to do much for our girl. We know that pittie mixes can have a tendency towards the itchies and the allergens, so I know that some of our wise blog friends will have some suggestions for us! We’d love to hear your thoughts to make our girl more comfortable… should we try allergy testing, or is there an intermediate step we are missing?

Thank you in advance for your help!

10 thoughts on “Help! Spots, Rashes, and All Things Itchy

  1. Oscar is having the same problem! I thought it was his flea allergy, but that has completely cleared up. He has no rashes, bumps, bites, etc…yet he STILL itches! It is driving me crazy! So, if you find a solution, please share!

  2. Melvin was once called, the most allergic dog ever. What I know from him is that most of the licking and scratching is allergies, true itching. About a 1/4 of the licking on any day is a habit they pick up after they realize how nice licking feels (ugh!). I have def come to know what is itching (needs medicine or wiped down) and what is behavioral licking (i say: ‘we don’t lick’ and he stops). Melvin had testing and it made a big difference in our ability to avoid some things. The medication road is long and troublesome so start with avoiding triggers and go from there. Wiping them down with sensitive baby wipes when they come in helps A LOT! Good luck!!!!!!!

  3. It could be a grass or pollen allergy =/ Probably why the vet was ‘meh’ about it. She’s already on high quality food and it seems to be seasonal. So there’s not much you can do except allergy medicine when needed. 😦 Hope she feels better soon though!

  4. It sounds like you’ve identified that her allergies are seasonal/outdoor. I second using sensitive skin baby wipes after each visit to the yard. Our Maggie has food & environmental allergies, albeit more mild in nature than say Melvin. Upon the advice of our holistic vet, she’s now on a raw/home cooked diet. Even if Gia’s issues are not with food, improving the diet will help her immune system. A couple things on diet change: though all raw might be best, consideration of budget, lifestyle & other dogs in the household may restrict you. Adding some fresher foods to kibble can still help allergies without going all raw. Products like Honest Kitchen, Sojos, etc can be great for this. You may also want to consider a change in protein sources that are considered hot in Chinese medicine (poultry, lamb & venison are hot, beef & pork neutral, & duck or rabbit cooling). Dogs with allergies run hot so changing proteins may help a bit. Grains are also very hot, drag down digestion & should absolutely be avoided in dogs with any sort of allergy. Since a healthy immune system starts in the gut, I would recommend adding a probiotic. Hope that helps!

  5. I give my kids probiotics in their food every morning. I also feed them grain free food. My girls are on Taste of the Wild and my boy is on k9 4 Life. The probiotics have definitely helped my lab with his skin issues, but his biggest issue was yeast infections in his ears.

    Best of luck to you and Georgia!

  6. Allergies, allergies, allergies… they are all over!

    In order to get over a nasty reaction you sometimes need to start out on a steroid and when it clears up move to a maintenance over the counter antihistamine. You might ask your vet if this is needed and to calculate the dosages not just for Benedryl but also Zyrtec, Claritin and Tavist. Sometimes just changing to a different antihistamine will help.

    It would also be a good idea to make sure she is bathed in a gentle oatmeal based shampoo that won’t irritate the skin and after she’s come in from a good roll in the grass wipe her down with wipes to get the pollen off of her.

    And, last but not least check her food, make sure it’s high quality ingredients with little fillers, she might benefit from a change of diet. You might also think about adding a probiotic in addition to the fish oil you already give.

    Good luck, I hope this info helps, I hate to see a pup all itchy and uncomfortable!

  7. We went thru a horrible bout with the itchies one summer with Nandy, never did find out what caused them. She got Benadryl, Melatonin, fish oil capsules, salmon oil added to her food…we frequently rinsed her off in the shower after being outside, we did the cone of shame, socks on her feet. Something would help for a bit then we’d be back to step one…I assume it was seasonal because by fall she was back to normal, and thankfully she never had another summer like that again (paws crossed!). Hope you can find something that helps, I know how frustrating it can be!

    • Thank you! We have switched to a pill form of the benadryl, as opposed to the liquid, which is a slightly higher strength. It seems to be helping, although not 100%… progress is still wonderful!

  8. My boy has the same condition, we have determined its seborrheic dermatitis. He gets antibiotics and Benedryl as well as Prednisone from time to time when it’s bad. I recently found an anti-oxidant rich supplement which he gets daily. We used medicated shampoos and conditioners and have a lotion with hydrocortisone. There are some vets who specialize in canine skin conditions, ask around. He still has outbreaks from time to time but not as bad as before we found this regimen. Let me know if you have any questions, will try to help as much as possible!

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