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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently pet sitting a friends dog that obsessively chews on her little paws and scratches like crazy... :(

My friend rescued her from a shelter...she is a little thing with wirey terrier hair...

She is bathed regularly and given benadryl to try to give her some relief...

She also has her on flea medication...

Could anyone suggest a shampoo, spray, etc. that they have had success with??
 

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Shampoo is not going to fix the problem. Sounds typical of allergies, and I would start with food. What are they feeding her? Brand? Some shampoos may offer a few minutes/hours of relief, but in order to fix the issue, you have to find out what is causing the allergy.
 

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Also, define "regularly" in regards to her bathing. It's good they're washing her, but too often is sometimes just as bad as not at all. It can dry out her skin, especially if the shampoo is of poor quality. Conditioner might also help the problem.

I also concur with the questioning of the food. Some dogs are allergic to dyes, or other things in kibble, and itching will result.
 

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Very good point...

They are feeding her Iams Proactive lamb hard food...
Yeah, I would get her on a good food asap..Here is a link to a review of the food she is on..

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=1771&cat=all

There are WAY better choices, and with an allergy dog, food can be one of the most important things..NO corn, soy, wheat or any variations of. Also, NO lamb now, as she has been on this..I would steer clear of chicken and beef too at this point unless they are SURE she has never had them in previous foods. You want to change the protein source altogether. A fish based food, or kangaroo, bison, etc. Foods that are good to change to would be Nature's Variety, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Innova, Acana, Fromm, GO, etc. You will not find them at petsomethings or grocery stores, but at smaller pet shops and grooming salons.

As per the bathing, use a good, mild pet shampoo. Rinse thoroughly, and I would not use conditioner at this point, as most conditioners have scents, lanolin, etc which can just be more irritating if she is allergic to them. Use hypoallergenic shampoos...not oatmeal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input...the link to the analysis of the dog food is informative, but scary.

The dog's owner returned yesterday and I discussed with her the idea that the allergies are caused by "Little Gretchen's" food. She is totally open to helping "Gretchen" by purchasing a better grade food.

What would be considered the low end of the high end foods?? In other words, what would be the most cost efficient brand of dog food that would be a good grade and not irritate her allergies??
 

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Has the dog been seen by a vet. Only 5% of allergies come from food. Any food without grain is better than food with grain. Some dogs have problems with chicken. BUT it could be fleas.

Take a white sheet and brush/comb the dog on the sheet. Any brown bits? Wet them with water. If they turn red, it is flea feces.
 

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Hi all - newbie here :)

I just took my pups to the vet last week because they were both chewing their paws like crazy. My Pit/Mastiff mix was actually losing more hair than normal (when he has his annual allergy "attack" he gets small bald spots, but this year was really bad). So it's something that we're used to and we know will happen, but we still wanted to get it checked out. The vet advised that we were having the worst allergy season he's ever seen and that the dogs he's been seeing have been having really bad allergy symptoms. He prescribed Benadryl (at much higher doses than us humans take, but the dogs can take).

So it's not always the food, it could be environmental too... I would suggest talking to the vet first.
 

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I agree with food being the place to start. Poor dog. Lots of pet foods have fillers and chemicals which cause scratching and illness, sometimes severe.
But since this dog is not yours, changing his/her food while you have him/her will not help because they'll just go back the old one. Maybe mention it to them.

If they aren't the type to take offense, Ask them to try something like Acana Lamb & Apple. Why I suggest that food is because, many dogs that are allergic to the general brands do better when they are switched to Lamb (as many kibbles are chicken based). Also, the only grain it has is Oat. Oats are generally very well tolerated (rice is not, and corn is awful for allergies). It doesn't have too many ingredients and it's a very very high quality food, with all ingredients from Canada.(except the Lamb, the Lamb is from New Zealand I think, which is great because they have the best Lamb which is hormone and antibiotic free and feeds on clean grassy pastures)

Poor dog, I really hope they help it and change it's food to something it's not allergic to. Also, oat-based shampoos are better for dogs with allergies.
 

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Taste of the Wild High Prairie formula is grain free with quality ingredients and pretty reasonable. It is a Bison formula which is uncommon enough to not trigger allergies to many common proteins (chicken, beef, lamb).
 

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Has the dog been seen by a vet. Only 5% of allergies come from food. Any food without grain is better than food with grain. Some dogs have problems with chicken. BUT it could be fleas.
QUOTE]

While this may be what is concurred from the few studies done, I strongly disagree. I have seen SO many of my client's pets that licked and chewed and were eaten up with allergies and tear staining COMPLETELY clear up year round when nothing else but food is changed. Way more than 5%. Of course it can be a combination, environment, fleas, food, but the cheapest and easiest thing is to change foods, assuming the dog is flea free (which I did assume, my bad). IMO there is no reason to see a vet and incur that expense just to change foods. And unfortunately, many vets will try to talk the client into what they sell, which 99% of the time is just another junk food like Hill's. There is nothing wrong with an owner doing some research, and trying to manage an allergy with food changes before going to the vet for medications with terrible side effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The owner says "Gretchen" does not have fleas...

The vet told her to give the dog benadryl...just like so many doctors...treating the symptom instead of trying to find the cause :(

Anyway, only time will tell...I am thinking she shouldn't look for results before around 2 months...give the old food time to get out of her system...

Thanks for all the great suggestions... :)
 
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