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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default New Puppy. Blowing coat and scratching like crazy!

    We got Obi about 7 weeks ago, heís now 15 weeks old. The last couple weeks heís been scratching a lot, itís gotten worse the last few days. He is a very ticklish dog, he starts kicking his leg and scratching when I pet him almost anywhere but behind the ears, so sometimes it seems like he just canít stop kicking his leg. But lately he scratches until he starts whining. He now has scabs under his front legs, on the inside of his front legs, and on his chest. And heís caused some thinning almost bald spots on his head.
    Heís shedding like crazy right now, he was brushed Thursday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and I vacuumed my floors last night, and today (Wednesday), I have chunks of hair throughout my house. So, Iím pretty sure heís blowing his puppy coat. Iíd like to think heís just scratching a lot because he has so much loose hair on him making him itch, but this seems pretty excessive. Has anyone had a puppy scratch so bad when blowing his coat that they caused scabs and bald spots?
    So, first thought when a dog is scratching is, of course, fleas. Heís not on any flea medication yet because the vet didnít have anything for puppies on hand, I usually try to take a natural approach to things like this, but I realize that that might not be an option with a dog and flea prevention. So any suggestion to prevent or get rid of fleas naturally that worked would be great, or things youíve tried that havenít worked, so I donít waste my time on them. Now, Iím not convinced itís fleas even though heís not on medication yet. I havenít seen a single flea on him, although with his thick long fur itís hard to check, I need to get a flea comb still. I got ďOnly Natural all in one flea remedy powderĒ to use on him in the mean time, and the scratching has continued to get worse. So is it fleas and that stuff isnít working, or is it something else and the powder is drying his skin or just making him itch. I bathed him about 2 1/2 weeks ago, about a month after his last bath. So, I wouldnít think heís have dry skin from that. But the soap shouldíve killed any fleas, and itís been worse since then. So fleas, or not, I donít know.
    Could it be an infection in his skin or an allergy, environmental or food related. I began switching him to a grain free food on Sunday, and the itching is worse now than it was before, but it still seems like itís just been slowly progressing. If itís environmental allergies, what can I do to make him stop itching, or soothe the itching.
    He just seems miserable and I wish I could make him feel better, but I donít know whatís causing the problem. He has a vet appointment next Tuesday for his last round of puppy shots, so Iíll be able to get an opinion from the vet then. Iíd like to take him now, but we really canít afford to take him to the vet twice in a week. I need to do something for him this week so he doesnít cause any more sores or bald spots.
    Any chance this is only because of him blowing his coat, and if so, is there anything I can do for him to soothe the itching.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Hi rlc326, I'm sorry to hear that Obi scratches excessively.

    Here are some thoughts:

    It's very hard to rule out fleas even after examining your dog. As you said, just because you don't see them, that doesn't mean Obi doesn't have them. I don't know how I feel about the natural approach to prevent and treat fleas. Some people on here might help you. Unfortunately, I don't know any natural remedies that can do the job of a flea prevention medication. I am sure some one will give you some useful info. This is a little bit off topic, and I hope you don't think I'm judging you, but most flea medication are completely harmless to dogs. And they are pretty effective, even for puppies! I used frontline plus last year when my dog was a puppy and I was pretty happy.

    From what you tell us I'm leaning towards a severe case of irritated skin that could be a result of many problems such as skin diseases, allergies or even other illnesses. Your vet should be able to run some tests next week in your next appointment. When my dog was blowing her coat, she was never itchy. I don't necessarily see a connection between the severe symptoms that you describe and blowing his coat. Puppies are very sensitive to switching foods, especially during puppyhood. I see that he has been on a different diet since Sunday. What kind of food did he use to eat? Does he eat other food other than his puppy food?

    Another thing that I think we can rule out is an allergic reaction to puppy shots, since I'm guessing he is not lethargic or have a fever, correct?

    Does Obi spend most of his time indoors or outdoors? There are four types of allergy in dogs: environmental, flea, food, and contact. A dog's body releases tons of histamine when he or she is exposed to high concentrations of pollen in the air, which prompts symptoms and the most common sign of environmental allergies is itching. How are the pollen levels in your area these days? If Obi is really allergic to pollen (not common, but it could happen), there is medication out there to give your dog every spring. And from what I have read, it's harmless and works very well.

    The fact that you cannot pet him it is making me think that he really has an issue. It seems that he might not want to be pet because he is not feeling well rather than he is a very ticklish dog. Has he had diarrhea recently? What other things seem off? Any weird behavior? I'm glad that you're going to see a vet on Tuesday. He or she should be able to run some tests and get to the core of the problem.

    In the meantime and while you wait until Tuesday to see your vet, if I were you I would use a natural shampoo to relieve itchiness. I hope Obi feels better soon

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    As far as the flea medication goes, I had planned to go with a pill because I have a 2 year old and didnít want to take any chances with him getting anything on him, then putting his fingers in his mouth, eyes, etc. So, I bought Simparica from the vet as she suggested, got home, read the package, it says for dogs 6 months and older 🙄. So thatís why heís not currently on flea medication.

    He was eating Kirklandís puppy food, Costco brand, it was chicken, rice and vegetables, but they stopped selling that kind. So weíre switching him to their grain free puppy food, which is chicken and pea. He doesnít eat anything else, other than treats. We donít feed him table food, but he does find the occasional food dropped in the kitchen and under my sons highchair.

    He didnít seem to act any different after his shots, heís not sleeping any more than before. I havenít checked his temperature.

    He spends more time indoors than out, but heís still outside a pretty good bit. One or two walks a day, potty breaks, and weíll go outside 2-3 times to let him run and play and get some energy out. Pollen has been pretty high around here lately, a couple weeks before we got him it was covering our cars in yellow specks every morning.

    Heís been ticklish ever since we got him, before he started shedding, before he started scratching so much. Itís not like I canít pet him at all, he just several spots that are ticklish, and Iíll pet or scratch him a couple inches over and heíll be fine. I just think sometimes he gets a certain spot and canít help but keep scratching like when heís tickled. He has diarrhea sometimes, maybe once in a day, and then once again 3-5 days later. He hasnít had consistent diarrhea since we switched from the puppy chow the breeder was feeding him. Other than the scratching heís pretty much himself, as far as I can tell. Like I said weíve only had him 7 weeks and all this slowly started about 3 weeks ago.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Welcome rlc & Obi...

    this sounds like it's getting worse....write down everything you can remember...what his food was, when this started, anything else that might have changed....your laundry soap, cleaning agents...and what you gave him a bath with

    personally....if it were my pup..he'd be at the vet by now...I really wouldn't wait until next Tuesday....he's in discomfort & needs help

    the one thing I noticed when we traveled with our dogs in the Carolina area years ago was ants....small ones...biting our dogs & they definatley had a reaction to them

    I think the vet needs to take a scraping of these scabs & maybe can find out more info

    Please keep us up to date on what you find out

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlc326 View Post
    As far as the flea medication goes, I had planned to go with a pill because I have a 2 year old and didn’t want to take any chances with him getting anything on him, then putting his fingers in his mouth, eyes, etc. So, I bought Simparica from the vet as she suggested, got home, read the package, it says for dogs 6 months and older ��. So that’s why he’s not currently on flea medication.

    He was eating Kirkland’s puppy food, Costco brand, it was chicken, rice and vegetables, but they stopped selling that kind. So we’re switching him to their grain free puppy food, which is chicken and pea. He doesn’t eat anything else, other than treats. We don’t feed him table food, but he does find the occasional food dropped in the kitchen and under my sons highchair.

    He didn’t seem to act any different after his shots, he’s not sleeping any more than before. I haven’t checked his temperature.

    He spends more time indoors than out, but he’s still outside a pretty good bit. One or two walks a day, potty breaks, and we’ll go outside 2-3 times to let him run and play and get some energy out. Pollen has been pretty high around here lately, a couple weeks before we got him it was covering our cars in yellow specks every morning.

    He’s been ticklish ever since we got him, before he started shedding, before he started scratching so much. It’s not like I can’t pet him at all, he just several spots that are ticklish, and I’ll pet or scratch him a couple inches over and he’ll be fine. I just think sometimes he gets a certain spot and can’t help but keep scratching like when he’s tickled. He has diarrhea sometimes, maybe once in a day, and then once again 3-5 days later. He hasn’t had consistent diarrhea since we switched from the puppy chow the breeder was feeding him. Other than the scratching he’s pretty much himself, as far as I can tell. Like I said we’ve only had him 7 weeks and all this slowly started about 3 weeks ago.
    Hi Ric, thanks for the notes. I wish I could be more helpful, but it's hard to come up with a diagnostic or treatment plan without seeing Obi in person. I've been thinking about Ric all day.

    I agree with what nick's spirit said and I think the vet should take a scraping of the scabs. If it's not food, my bet is that it's environment related. I've seen dogs that are allergic to hardwood floor cleaners (my mom's dogs) and they show other type of symptoms (testicular redness being the most prominent).

    Please, keep us updated.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Ren went through something similar to what you are describing a year ago. Ren was a September puppy and was sent from NY to us in TX in November when he was 8 weeks old. It seemed like from very early on whenever he woke up in the morning, he would spend some time "grooming" himself - basically scratching and chewing himself. But usually he'd do that for a couple, 3 minutes and then he'd be fine most of rest of the day. I distinctly remember in March of last year, when Ren was about 6 months old, I took him to a friend's house and it was right after that he chewed himself a hotspot. Then he chew himself another hotspot.

    The reality is itching is one of the biggest things that keep pharmaceutical companies rich. There are sooooooooooo many possibilities that could cause a dog to itch. Consequently, when you tell your vet that the dog is itchy, rather than running test after test to try and find out the cause, vets will normally prescribe meds to deal with the itch and not the cause of it.

    In our case, our vet suggested Zyrtec and gave me Apoquel to use as needed. She said she didn't want to put a puppy on steroids because of the side effect of increased thirst and the resulting frequent need to pee which would be particularly difficult for a puppy. I used the Aqoquel a couple of days to give Ren relief while I put him on Zyertec. The Apoquel worked quickly. Apoquel is commonly used these days and I know several dogs that are on it long term. At first it seemed Zyrtec helped. But after a couple of weeks, it was clear he was still itching like crazy. At that time I was working some obedience with him and he couldn't walk a few steps at heel without stopping to scratch, it was that bad.

    I noted that when he first started itching like crazy, it was pollen season. I suspected allergy but just wasn't sure what exactly he was allergic to. Then I noticed he smelled and then I knew he had an yeast overgrowth issue. So I went on a campaign of bathing him weekly with a herbal anti-itch shampoo and after each bath, I would do a leave-in rinse consisting of a cup of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water. I did that once a week for 6 weeks. He smelled like vinegar but the itch went away.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Hi Ric, any updates on Obi? What did the vet say?

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Sorry, I havenít been on here in awhile. We went to the vet for his scheduled appointment. The vet said it wasnít fleas, and he also tested for mites, which was negative. So, he sent us home with antibiotics and allergy medicine. $60 and a few days later, he had stopped scratching almost completely. Iíve noticed him chewing around his back legs a little, but thatís it. Iím glad heís feeling better, but I still have no idea what was causing it. We have a follow up appointment next Tuesday. Hopefully the vet will know more. And hopefully whatever it was doesnít come back after heís done with his medication.

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