why does my dog scratch his face
Worse during certain times during the day? Typically, allergy patients suffer most during the morning and evening hours and will exhibit excessive licking. Of course, this is when most pet-parents are home and trying to relax. Instead, you spend time trying to alleviate your dogs discomfort. The slurping of paws in the middle of the night is always welcome! : Allergies typically develop between the ages of 1-6 years of age and will often worsen with time. This is the opposite of what most people expect, as we tend to see lessening of our symptoms over time. We now know that dogs are similar to humans with eczema. Dogs
absorb the allergens through their skin explaining why dogs feet are a common trouble spot. After all, dog feet come in contact with a lot of stuff! Once the allergens enter through the skin they elicit inflammation then resulting in itch (foot licking or chewing), redness possibly secondary infection with yeast and/or bacteria. Treatment must involve controlling the itch (so the feet are not continually traumatized) and treating any secondary infections (bacteria and/or yeast) that may develop. While seasonal allergies may require less aggressive therapy, non- seasonal symptoms are often treated with a combination of medications and allergy testing/allergy vaccine therapy.
For additional information, please check out our educational articles and recent video on this topic @ www. HealthySkin4Dogs. com. #2 Scooting. so Embarrassing!! Believe it or not, researchers have actually looked at this! An abstract presented at The North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum (NAVDF) in April 2014 addressed the underlying causes of dog scooting. The medical term for this is anal pruritus. In the study 250 client-owned dogs were evaluated. The researchers found that allergy (food allergy or atopic dermatitis-environmental) was the primary reason for dog scooting! In addition, the study found that food allergy was not more likely to be associated with dog scooting than atopic dermatitis (environmental allergy. ) This finding debunked the myth that if your pet was primarily itchy in the anal region that you are likely to have a food allergy. Not true! Anal sac impactions and infections were also found to be an unlikely primary (sole) cause of persistent anal itching or scooting. Unfortunately, we often see patients in our dermatology offices that have undergone anal sac removal surgery in a failed attempt to resolve scooting. Food allergy is one of the last things I would suspect at his young age. Fleas - I agree, that would be my first suspicion, BUT there are other likely things.
If he is not biting at his rear/flanks as well, but only his paws, it may not be a flea or fleas. However, you could possibly get a Capstar pill to make sure; it kills fleas fast but only lasts for 24 hours, so you are not putting a lot of toxins into your dog. I am not a vet, but have had the benefit of learning from a rescue person who did her research, plus I have additionally researched nutrition on my own, plus have switched over about 2 dozen clients in my grooming shop to Taste of the Wild food (no, I don't sell it, lol), and have seen the benefits. So the following is some of what I have learned: At 5 months, pups do not have a mature immune system. If yours has had vaccines (toxins), they could affect him, and could lower his immune system which could allow an overgrowth of demodectic mange (the non-contagious kind resulting from the immune system not being at its best, also brought on by steroid shots if many are given). This should resolve itself if the pup is getting good nutrition and no more toxins/trauma for awhile (including waiting to do surgery like spay/neuter). Personally, I wouldn't be giving heartworm preventative, either - don't know if you are, but the less additional toxins the better if he is already coping with vaccines.
I would NOT pursue food allergy suspicions at this early age with this little problem. Flea allergy or yeast are both far more likely, so don't waste time and money before eliminating the most likely culprits. Many, many, MANY dogs suffer from an imbalance (overgrowth) of yeast. This makes them itchy. If it is not relieved, they scratch out hair, have raw spots, etc. and owners are often told the dog has allergies. Why do so many dogs have this? It's because of the food that is promoted, especially the grocery store foods with a lot of corn. However, many foods have too high an amount of carbs and too low protein. To find out what the top foods are (usually grain-free) that have suitable protein amounts vs. carbs, go to dogfoodadvisory. com and look up the food you are feeding (if you are not well-versed in the truth about dog foods) and then look at the best foods (5-star category). The site is VERY well set-up, easy to read, each food is analysed in simple terms for its ingredient list (quantity and quality) and reasons are given for the rating (1-5 star). Even if your pup is heading toward a bit of mange, I would recommend changing food to a top-quality one. Not all of them are super-pricey. Orijen is high-priced, but Taste of the Wild is moderate (I recommend the fowl or the red meat, as the protein is a bit higher than in the fish variety).
If you are not feeding one of the best foods, your pup is getting very low protein and too many carbs and his system is not as properly-balanced and healthy as it could be. If it is yeast that is making him scratch, that starts in the intestinal tract, and then the imbalance can show outside the dog (scratching, hair loss, raw spots, ear infections, even eye irritations! ). Another website you may find interesting is dogs4dogs. com, and the sister site, fameisabitch. com. They are run by the author of Scared Poopless, a fabulous book written with humor by Jan Rasmussen in the voice of her little Maltese, Chiclet. You can sign up for newsletters, too. There is a LOT of reading on the sites, all of it important to pet owners. (Make sure to see the cute video of Chiclet, too! ). If you are a new dog owner, you will be happy (and surprised) at what is considered the best for your dog vs. what we are often told/sold. Jan Rasmussen has the info from the top holistic vets in the country, and found out after one of her Maltese got sick that the things she thought she was supposed to do for her dogs could, in fact, harm them!! LOVE her book and her sites. Hope this helps.
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