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itchy lab - help please

498 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  griffin2004
***this was sent originally as a pm to shannon, but i also want to put it out here for anyone who could help us as well - or for others who could benefit from the advice given*** thx shannon!

we have a labrador with a big chewing problem right now. she's had a history of allergies that most obviously affect her fur/skin. it began at about four yrs old, she's now nine yrs... we've had all sorts of blood/chemistry/allergy tests run on her but i'm not comfortable with any of the vet's rec's... all having to do with lifetime cortizone shots, etc. i'm sure you're familiar.

i researched years ago & discovered amazingly awful things to do with commercial dog foods. we've since cut ALL (except for natural tocopherols such as vitamin E, etc) preservatives, byproducts, basically all but doing a raw diet for her... she's not suffering anywhere close to the level she was since the diet change but still has "relapses". example: if she gets too hot, she chews on her tailend until it's bloody (sorry!) & then the scabs itch her & she's even more miserable. we're coastal so she gets put in the ocean about once/week... also the natural flea stuff doesn't seem to work on her... seems that even one flea bite may be the thing that sets off her allergic reactions?? we're really at a loss. we've done epsom salt baths, oatmeal baths, benedryl (against our desires, but tried it anyway-only seemed to make her drowsy, & when it wore off, she itched again)

what would you suggest? we're desperate for her relief! she shouldn't lead a lifetime of suffering itchiness! poor pup. the unnatural flea treatments seem so awful to me, but we've resorted frontline for the past two yrs which seems to control the flea/tick problems, however, we'd LOVE to go back to natural treatments... any ideas?? we live in a tropical forest *of sorts*, residential but with all of the insects, plants and all that goes with the hot tropics, sand fleas included.

anyway... i'm going to turn this into a post as well, just wanted to be sure to reach YOU in particular as you have a wealth of wisdom regarding canine care! thx!
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(while respectfully waiting to hear what shannon says...)

Why not go ahead and try a raw diet?
Have you asked your vet about Zyrtec? It's a human anti-allergy medicine, but my MIL uses it on her allergic dog. She's had pretty good relief.

What were the results of her medical tests? Do you know what she's allergic to? Does she have fleas? Just because she's itchy doesn't mean there are always fleas.

Because of where you live, it might be best to keep your dog on the monthly flea control. Insects are really a problem in the hot tropics, and sometimes pesticide use is just necessary. Is she on heartworm preventative too?

Have you done an elimination diet? Where you give her one new protein every few weeks and see if she reacts to something specific?
My dog also had hideous allergies... I switched her to Nutro Ultra and supplement with The Missing Link Canine Supplement. Her allergies have disappeared. Something you also may try is having her allergy tested and then give her allergy shots. That's what I did for the longest time before I just flat out couldn't afford it.

As for flea control, where I live (south texas) we just have to use a topical monthly flea control for our dogs. I can't get away with natural stuff... it just doesn't work that well. we do use a combination of things... lavender salt on the carpet, vacuuming daily, etc etc...
I have a super-itchy little dog, too. I have her on Wysong Anergen. Any thoughts about it? I've always heard that the Wysong products are pretty good.

I haven't been giving her Missing Link, but I'll start and see if that helps.

I haven't been able to get her to the allergist yet (I'd have to take a day off work) so I'm trying to find a solution myself if at all possible.
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