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how itchy is too itchy?

612 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dalans
I guess the title says it all. I find Lila (10mo bernedoodle) to be a bit itchy. Scratching her face, neck, ear with her hind leg quite a bit. How much is quite a bit? Well, I imagine a scratch once per hour or so? Nothing obsessive, but still. It's happening.
I thought it might be the ear, but we are really good and all clear there - no smell or discharge or tenderness.
Definitely no fleas or any parasites or even flaky skin.
Then I thought it might be food, so I cut out chicken for a few weeks. At first I thought that helped, but she still does scratch. And it's not just boredom. Sometimes she will drop what she is doing - walking across the room for example - stop and scratch - and then resume.
I will try to observe more carefully and see if it is always on the same side.
Any thoughts or ideas? Is this a puppy thing?
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It could be something down far enough into her ear that you can’t see it. Have you tired cleaning her ears?

If you are sure there is nothing in her ear, then it could be allergies. Environmental allergies are far more common than food allergies, and most of the country is just getting into the swing of allergy season.
My groomer told me - mind, this is anecdotal, so grain of salt - that lots of doodles have issues with dry skin and coats because of the difference between typical poodle hair/oils and the other breeds' typical fur/oils. You might need to start doing some sort of deep conditioning. It's also common for doodle coats to have a layer of undercoat trapped unless they're groomed really deeply really often, which can be itchy, and can also trap additional environmental allergens close to the skin.

Scratching can also be an appeasement behavior.
Thanks. I do clean her ears - started a few months ago and now they are nice and clean (took several weekly treatments with a diluted vinegar/alcohol solution). Used to come out brown and gross. Now clean and good, but we have reduced to monthly treatments to avoid drying out the ear canal.
Parus - she is brushed and groomed very well, but I will take another careful look. I have to think that if this is a skin thing I would see red skin or at least some flakiness.
Interesting that this could be appeasement - I did not know that. I hate to think that could be part of it, but dogs are dogs. She yawns as an appeasement behavior sometimes too, I think.
This allergy shot literature has a semi-objective scale for measuring itchiness, if that helps: https://www.cytopoint4dogs.com/pdf/cytopoint_petowneritchtracker.pdf

Edit: The "normal" description is not very helpful, I know, lol. But I found the stuff about itching when distracted, etc, kind of helpful in establishing a normal baseline.
Scale is very helpful. Thanks

In our case I think I figured it out. I reintroduced chicken for two days and now she's a scratching machine ?

We are going back to beef!
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