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All of the sudden this spring Sammy (3 yo JRT mix) has had horrible scratching and nipping on his legs. the first time about a month ago, I tried Benadryl for 4 days and ended up at the Vet. He had a cortisone shot and antibiotics for 14 days due to resultant skin infection. This week i've noticed him scratching his neck and "arm pits" in the front and his belly some and the red blotches are back. I want to bathe him to ease his itchyness, but I don't want to irritate his skin more.

I've done a TON of reading online.. Apple Cider Vinegar rinses, benadryl, allegra or claritin all seem to be recommendations. But I would love to hear from this forum! I'm mostly a lurker, but I have received such good advice reading on here.

Some basics..

He's 35-37 lbs. He eats Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea dry kibble (recent switch from TOTW due to too many recalls but he's only been on it a month) and grain free treats and the occasional people food - always grain free, usually meat or green bean. Also, Fish Oil (wild Alaskan something) 3-4 mornings a week.

We have a fenced yard that he runs in daily.. nothing new there this year over the last 2.

Does anyone have any opinions on the vinegar thing? anti histamines?

I hate seeing him so scratchy!!

thanks tons..

Deanna (and Sammy)
 

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Biscuit used to be an itchy, goopy-eyed allergy dog. We fixed things for the most part by a)switching to a chickenless, grain-free food (Acana Ranchland); b)giving her half a Claritin every night (she's about 42 pounds); and c) giving her 1 human fish oil pill every night and 1 human vitamin E capsule 3 nights a week. Her coat looks fab and she's not nearly as goopy and scratchy as she used to be.

As for the antihistamines: we have tried Claritin (half and whole pills), Benadryl, and Hydroxyzine. They all worked about the same, but Benadryl made her too sleepy and thirsty, and Hydroxyzine was too expensive for the long term. I believe dogs can also take Zyrtec. You should ask your vet about this before giving him anything - wouldn't want to screw up the dosage!

Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is probably worth a shot. If nothing else, it would rinse away the allergens from his skin.
 

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Any dog (or any human) can develop an allergy to anything at any time. So it's worth switching foods, just in case. Frequent washing and daily brushing would help get the allergens out of his fur, but be sure to use something hypoallergenic. I don't see a problem with vinegar, but make sure his skin isn't raw, vinegar is acid and acid on raw or torn skin hurts.

Definitely call the vet and ask about claritin, etc. I know you can use them for dogs, but you need to get the dosage right. Benadryl does work, but any dog I've seen on Benadryl is like me on Benadryl- tired and a bit loopy, which isn't that much better than itchy.

Good luck!
 
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