So this may be a dumb question but...
Can dogs develop allergies to a food they have been on for 2yrs or so?
I know that with people their system can change and they can suddenly become allergic to something they've eaten their entire life. Can the same thing happen in dogs?
My 3yr old mini Aussie has been scratching like CRAZY the past couple of months. We have tried so many things to help her.
We ruled out fleas. We have a very strict flea program as one of our cats is HIGHLY allergic. But to be safe we had the groomer and 2 vets "search" for any signs of fleas and they could find none. Though the one vet was a bit of a smitch, but we'll get to that later.
She bites her paws and her legs but her behind area is the WORST. She will chew herself raw if we don't stop her. She's actually made herself bleed a few times. It's heartbreaking because she works so hard at chewing that she'll be panting by the time she's done.
We had her at the groomer when it first started and had them check for fleas and give her an oatmeal bath to soothe her skin thinking maybe it was the weather changing so she had dry skin. It helped for about 2 days then she was back to scratching. So off to the vet we went.
This vet was a real smitch! It's a shame we have been going to this practice for years but all of the good vets are leaving. She searched our dog for fleas and found none, even said she found none. Then when we tried to tell her where Jetta was biting and what she was doing to herself she held her hand up, shushed me(literally), and told me it's fleas. She had just said a few seconds ago that she couldn't find a single trace of fleas or flea matter! Anyway, she prescribed a flea pill and a script for something in case of infection (I forget the name of it and no longer have the bottle.) Even though we knew she didn't have fleas we gave her the flea pill as per smitchy vet's orders. Surprise, surprise there was no change in my poor dog.
We refused to take her back to that practice (which I said before is a shame since we've been going there for years.) so we found a new vet. They specialize in both natural and traditional forms of treatment. Boy are they NICE! And they listened intently to everything I said about what Jetta was doing to herself and then some. After looking her over they found her in perfect health other than the scratching. So they did a skin scraping to make sure it wasn't a type of mite. Everything came back fine. So they said it may be a food allergy and to try an elimination/bland diet. ~sigh~
So here are things Jetta does:
- bites paws and legs
- chews her behind unmercifully
- pants horribly after these chewing episodes
- when she lays in front of a fan she doesn't itch. If we have the fan going she will drop in front of it and just lay stretched out and won't itch.
What we've tried:
- Benedryl (works a little bit she still chews but not nearly as much as without)
- oatmeal baths in lukewarm water (not too warm because I know warm-hot water can cause dry skin)
- We've tried these 2 medicated itch sprays. The Petco Brand one worked AMAZINGLY! BUT we can't find it anymore So I got the Burt's Bees one which "works" but you have to apply a ton more than the other one.
- Skin and coat supplement (Did absolutely nothing for her)
We haven't changed laundry detergents, haven't changed her diet, we've lived in the same area since she was a puppy. There's nothing she could have gotten into (believe me, I checked)
My poor girl is ripping herself to shreds! I just cleaned the house yesterday and today there are a million fluffs of black hair and it's not from my cats. She also, has sometimes gotten hives and her skin can get red and hot.
She's a fairly active dog, not as active as she should be but active.
Before I started typing this I gave her 25mg of generic Benedryl and as I type she is lying in front of the fan on high speed perfectly content.
Here is the ingredients to the food she is on. She gets a half a cup twice a day. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management. Anyone see anything terrible that stands out?
What's the best "bland" diet to try? Recipes?(I've heard of just plain chicken and white rice) How much should I feed? (Jetta is about 32lbs, a smidge overweight.) Any other ideas? We've tried so many things other than the "bland" diet. I hate to see her suffer like this. And I don't want to shave her but if I have to I will =/
Any ideas? Jetta says "Thank you."