Results 1 to 15 of 15

What makes your dog itch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170

    What makes your dog itch?

    So what exactly causes your pet to feel so miserable when he has seasonal allergies?



    As your pet becomes exposed to normally harmless substances in the environment, his immune system can begin to identify these substances as “hazardous.”

    These can include grass and weed pollens, trees, mold spores, insects, and even human personal care and cleaning and pest control products.

    Allergens can be a problem for your pet when they are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with skin, ears, or paw pads.

    When your dog or cat is exposed repeatedly to any of these everyday substances, the immune system launches its attack on what’s now viewed as “foreign invaders.”

    Sensitized Dogs and Cats
    Cats and dogs can become sensitized to everyday substances
    During this attack, the immune system produces antibodies, and they, in turn, signal the release of chemicals into the bloodstream. Histamine, one of the major chemicals released, is largely responsible for the cascade of inflammatory events that follow.

    Your pet’s itchiness, irritation, redness and swelling are all a result of the release of histamine and other chemicals in your pet’s body.

    So how can you help your pet feel more comfortable? It comes down to three things…

    Minimize the amount of allergens in your pet’s living environment
    Help promote normal histamine production in response to allergens
    Help the immune system normalize its response to the attack
    Unfortunately, most traditional veterinarians fail to address all three of these causes for discomfort, and instead focus on only one or two, usually with drugs.

    Just like a three-legged stool needs all of its legs to stand straight and sturdy, your pet needs your help with all three approaches for not only comfort, but to help prevent damage to cells and tissues.

    9 Ways to Help Your Itchy, Allergic Pet
    There are multiple ways you can help your seasonally allergic pet. Since allergens can easily stick to paws and hair, the first two recommendations may be especially important:

    Your Pet Needs Clear Air Just as Much – If Not More – Than You!
    Surprisingly, indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, and more contaminants can lead to a greater risk of symptoms.

    Chemicals in items such as home building materials and laundry and cleaning products, and flame retardants in furniture and mattresses can particularly affect your pet because of her smaller size.

    Help protect your pet – and your entire family – from indoor air contaminants and common allergens with Dr. Mercola’s ClearAir Air Purifiers – available in both room-size and whole home.

    Frequent baths can provide fast relief from itching and wash away the literally millions of allergens that collect on your pet’s skin and coat. My Lavender Pet Wash is especially formulated for pets with sensitive skin (please avoid oatmeal-based shampoos!).
    Foot soaks are a quick and easy way to reduce the amount of allergens your pet tracks into your home and ingests when he grooms himself.
    Remove your shoes upon entering your home during the warmer months to reduce allergens on floors and in carpeting.
    Vacuum and clean floors regularly to reduce levels of allergens in your home.
    Help remove allergens and other indoor air pollutants with a home or room air purifier (see sidebar)
    Avoid unnecessary vaccines and drugs if your pet is suffering with allergies. Your pet’s immune system response is already stressed!
    Restrict grains in your pet’s diet as they can create or worsen inflammation and gut issues. Feed your pet a species-appropriate diet – my Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats Cookbook shows you how to prepare a wholesome raw food diet at home for your pet.
    Consider giving your pet a high-quality probiotics supplement like Complete Probiotics for Pets to help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria
    Add Krill Oil and Coconut Oil to your pet’s diet to help promote a normal inflammatory response.
    Reducing allergens in your pet’s environment – especially indoors – is a good first step. And so is addressing your pet’s diet and gut health.

    Relief for allergic pets often begins in the gut as an imbalance in gastrointestinal bacteria is often why seasonal allergies worsen each year!

    Why the Ideal Seasonal Support for Your Pet Isn’t to Get Rid of Every Last Allergen
    If your mission is to eliminate every single allergen from your pet’s environment – or to keep your pet away from all potential allergens, you’re in for a surprise.

    Pet's body's immune response
    Help support your pet’s body’s immune response to common seasonal allergens
    Reduce them, yes. But with outdoor seasonal allergens, you can’t control their source. Potential allergens will always exist around your pet, no matter what you do.

    Rather, a much better goal is to support your pet’s functional immune response.

    You want your pet to be able to handle allergens with a normal immune response.

    That’s why I don’t agree with the traditional veterinary approach to treating seasonal allergies with drugs. Steroids turn off your pet’s immune system rather than support its normal, healthy function.

    And here’s something many pet owners don’t realize...

    When your veterinarian places your pet on steroids for seasonal allergies as the only treatment plan, he will probably need to remain on them, intermittently, for life!

    As you might imagine, a forever-suppressed immune system isn’t likely to serve your pet well over his or her lifetime.

    At the same time, if your pet is suffering with seasonal allergies, you don’t want to stimulate your pet’s immune function. His immune system is already on “overdrive!”

    Instead of turning off or stimulating your pet’s immune response, you want to support healthy normal immune function to help it “re-balance itself” and respond normally, without cascading out of control.

    https://products.mercola.com/healthy..._rid=380246450
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,522
    Thank you, this is all good info. What baffles me in related articles and discussions is the complete absence of one word:

    mange

    Mange is a very easy condition for any dog to get, even for people who think "my dog eats well and is healthy". Mild mange may not raise red flags like large patches of fur loss, but it can still make the pet itch and scratch like crazy.

    And if a dog has mange, it has nothing at all to do with allergies and no amount of putzing with this or that in the dog's environment will get rid of the parasite. The knee jerk, catch all "allergies" label immediately sends people on an expensive, never-ending, frustrating wild goose chase if the dog just has mange.

    The cynic in me has to note that there is hugely more money to be made by all the parties involved by leaping to a diagnosis of "allergies". On the other hand preventing and treating mange is relatively simple, cheap, and effective.

    I'm not denying that many pets have allergies. I'm saying why doesn't anyone ever seem to mention mange before they send people down the loony tune rabbit hole looking for an allergy source.

    I noticed that this article is in Mercola's products department, and that they peddle their very expensive containers of "seasonal support" all around the article.

    https://products.mercola.com/healthy..._rid=380246450

    Interesting that cheap, easy Ivermectin to prevent and treat mange is not offered.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    Dogs can get itchy-scratchy for any number of reasons, but one of the most common is mange. If your furry pal is insanely itchy and his skin is inflamed, he might have one of two types of mange: demodectic or sarcoptic.

    Demodectic Mange
    Demodectic mange is also called red mange, follicular mange and puppy mange, because it's most often seen in young dogs. It's caused by the mite species Demodex canis, which lives inside the hair follicles, and is usually the result of an underdeveloped or suppressed immune system.

    Demodex mites can't survive off the host, so they move from dog to dog through direct contact. Typically, mites are transferred from a mother dog to her puppies shortly after birth. All dogs naturally carry around a small population of these microscopic mites that under normal circumstances cause no problems.

    Every mother dog ends up transferring Demodex mites to her litter. Most puppies have no reaction to them, but puppies with inadequate immune systems can become overwhelmed by mites. These are the pups who develop demodectic mange.

    There are three varieties of demodectic mange: localized, generalized and demodectic pododermatitis.

    1. Localized demodectic mange affects just a few body parts, the most common being the face. The mange will appear as a small patch of lesions around the face.

    This condition is most commonly seen in puppies, and most cases resolve on their own without any treatment as pups become immuno-competent.

    2. Generalized demodectic mange involves larger areas of skin or even the entire body. This variation creates secondary bacterial infections that cause intense itching, a foul odor and can be very challenging to resolve.

    3. Demodectic pododermatitis is confined to the foot and creates secondary bacterial infections between the toes and the pads of the feet. It is the toughest of the three to get rid of.

    Sarcoptic Mange
    The Sarcoptes scabei mite causes sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies. Female mites tunnel into a dog's skin, laying eggs as they go. This causes a significant inflammatory response.

    Unlike the demodectic mite, sarcoptic mites can live several days off a host's body and up to three weeks in a moist, cool environment. In the average home, they have a two- to six-day life span off a host.

    Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and can infest not only dogs, but also other animals, including cats and people.

    Symptoms of Mange
    Demodectic mange causes tremendous itching in dogs thanks to secondary bacterial and yeast infections that are almost always present along with the mites. You'll probably also notice some hair loss, bald spots, scabbing and sores on the skin.

    Dogs with generalized demodectic mange can become quite ill with a fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. If this is the case with your dog, it's important to make an immediate appointment with your veterinarian.

    The presence of demodectic mites (which can only be determined with a skin scraping or biopsy) doesn't confirm the diagnosis, because the mites live in all dogs. There must be both mites and skin lesions for a diagnosis of demodectic mange.

    Because this type of mange points to a genetically predisposed weakened immune system, a confirmed diagnosis in an adult dog should always prompt testing for other conditions like Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, heartworm disease, cancer or immune deficiency.

    There's really no reason to isolate dogs with demodectic mange, because the condition is a result of a weakened immune system, and isn't contagious.

    Symptoms of sarcoptic mange tend to vary from dog to dog, but the most common are intense itching and hair loss. Sarcoptes scabei mites prefer areas of skin without hair, so the first place you might notice a problem on your dog could be elbows, armpits, ears, chest, belly or groin.

    It's important to treat a sarcoptic mange infection promptly to prevent it from spreading to your pet's entire body. Often there will be red pustules and crusting of the skin. Because the mites are intensely itchy, your dog will scratch and may traumatize the skin, which can cause sores and secondary infections.

    Dogs with sarcoptic mange must be isolated to avoid infecting other animals or people. Bedding should be thoroughly cleaned or replaced, and the dog's collar should also be disinfected.

    In addition, because the mites that cause sarcoptic mange can survive off of a host in your home for several days, your floors, drapes and upholstered furniture need to be thoroughly cleaned. If you don't remove the mites from your living space, your dog can be re-infected along with everyone else in the family.

    Natural Treatments for Mange
    Unfortunately, conventional treatment of both sarcoptic and demodectic mange often involves dipping your dog's entire body in a powerful chemical pesticide that kills off the mites.

    These dips can cause harmful side effects such as restlessness, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite and a decrease in body temperature. Other medications may be given as well, orally or by injection, via topical application or shampoo. All these treatments involve chemicals that can cause side effects.

    My recommendation is to consult an integrative or holistic veterinarian to explore all your options for eliminating the mites and relieving symptoms.

    Your dog may or may not need to be dipped in strong chemicals or receive other potentially toxic therapies, depending on the severity of the infestation. Other, less caustic treatments can include:

    Lime sulfur dips, which are remarkably stinky, but all natural and very effective. This is an excellent, all natural-way to get rid of both types of mites without the use of chemicals
    Vitamins and other dietary supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oil and probiotics, to help relieve itching, improve the condition of your dog's skin and support her immune function
    Disinfecting baths using tea tree or neem oil shampoo (it's important to avoid soaps and shampoos containing oatmeal)
    Topical remedies such as neem, cedar oil or lavender oil and other soothing and healing herb poultices for local lesions
    Internal herbal remedies to fight bacterial infection and strengthen the immune system, including echinacea, arabinogalactans, colostrum, beta glucans, olive leaf, neem, thymus extract, oregano, pau d'arco and garlic
    Homeopathics like sulphur, silicea and psorinum
    Acupuncture and Reiki massage can reduce your dog's anxiety and release beneficial feel-good hormones (e.g., endorphins and cortisol)
    Treatment of mange should continue until three consecutive skin scrapings are negative. And because not all scrapings show positive for mites, all symptoms should be resolved, including infected skin and hair loss, before it's safe to conclude that your dog no longer has mange.

    Once your dog has cleared the infection, it will be very important to strengthen and support her immune system so it can defend against parasitic infections in the future.

    As always, I recommend a balanced, species-appropriate and fresh diet (make sure to eliminate carbs in the diet that will feed opportunistic yeast and staph bacteria), and a reduction in the number of vaccines your pet is given to help boost her immune system naturally.

    https://healthypets.mercola.com/site...dog-mange.aspx
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,522
    Yay! Thanks much! :- D

    Unfortunately there is also SO much bad advice and misinformation in their article. In fact, having a hard time finding anything useful or advisable in there.

    I'm giving up on the Internet. :- )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    how are you doing with househunting?
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,522
    It's a holistic process. I'm starting with a full body lime sulfur bath, acupuncture, reiki massage, and for good measure scraping my skin until it bleeds. Three times. Hoping this will work!

    But seriously, thank you for asking. The gears are slowly starting up. Hopefully one day I will have good news, sometime before all six of us turn into pumpkins.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    When my mother went into assisted living I rented out her house. You would not believe how many people wanted to rent it as it was pet friendly. I always said I would never give up my animals and wouldn't ask anyone else to do so either. Must have had a hundred people want to rent it. 4 bedrooms, three car garage and an acre of land and pet friendly.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,522
    Wow, I'm sure they appreciated it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    Everytime the lease was up before they signed a new lease they wanted to buy the place but I didn't want to sell, but after my mother died I agreed to sell it to them. They lived there almost ten years, the only tenant I ever had. They never wanted to move and they were very good tenants so I agreed to sell it to them. They had lived in the city, I think it was the first time the dogs had ever seen grass
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  10. #10
    My dog always licks, chews and scratches his skin, perhaps related to the bites of fleas and ticks, although I have regular applied medications to his back.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    it only takes one flea bite to set of an allergic reaction if he's allergic to fleas. Are you feeding a high quality grain free food? If you think its something from the outside get some unscented baby wipes, wipe his feet, belly and face every time he comes in from outdoors. This will take off as much of the allergen as you can.

    You should take him to a vet to do skin scrapings to find out what he's allergic to then go from there
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,522
    Ain't no one scrapin' my dog's skin. Ever, ever. The idiotic side of veterinary medicine. We'll be walkin' out the door.

  13. #13
    You do have some good information in here. Have you heard about anything with Honey from a local dealer in helping with allergies. Another good holistic thing I do for my dogs is I have a spray bottle filled with water, vinegar and lavender that I spray my dogs with daily, and it does a great job at repelling the fleas.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,170
    I have heard of people giving a small amount of raw honey daily to help with allergies. They say it helps but I think its just for an allergy to pollen
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  15. #15
    Could all this itching just be something simple that the vet cannot tell you. Like the dog soap, flea spray or something like that? I found this link that had 5 ideas on it that seem helpfulhttps://www.enduraflap.com/blog/post...nal-allergies/ but, I am still going to try the honey. What would an allergic reaction to pollen look like vs flea allergies ?

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

Similar Threads

  1. Has your dog reacted badly to 'Cytopoint' injection (new anti-itch shot)
    By Ruby Red in forum Dog Health and Nutrition
    Replies: 124
    Last Post: 11-13-2018, 10:24 PM
  2. .....And the itch went on........
    By itchypooch in forum Dog Health and Nutrition
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-07-2017, 04:16 PM
  3. anti itch remedies
    By linda2147 in forum Dog General
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-11-2015, 08:26 AM
  4. Feline Acne Causes Cats to Itch and Scratch
    By Alpha1 in forum Cat Health and Nutrition
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-09-2013, 10:37 AM
  5. Ditch the Dog Itch: Allergy
    By haopee in forum Dog Health and Nutrition
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-26-2012, 04:03 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Family & Health Forums: Senior Forums - Health Forum