Losing options on scratching....
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Thread: Losing options on scratching....

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2008

    Default Losing options on scratching....

    I've been battling a chronic scratching/dry skin/hair loss/hot spot problem in my 1yr old chocolate lab now for a few months and things aint getting any better!

    He can't seem to let himself alone and now you can just pull his hair out with ease! It seems as though is coat is getting thinner every other day and our floor is COVERED in hair!

    He came back neg. for mange. I was told by one vet that he was/is allergic to fleas and they gave him a steroid shot, flea killer, some ear cleaner and Pretnisone pills and he's STILL scratching and losing more hair! I refuse to give him more steroids as it makes him look sick and act like a zombie. I was also sold some medicated wach and conditioner which doesn't really do much for him after about a day or two. Another vet tried different flea killer and it still hasn't done much - I never really saw a lot of fleas on him in the first place. I've given him fish oil pills, tried every food under the sun it seems and to no real avail. I returned to my "old-school" country vet, ((he's about 80-some and a hoot!), he's into holistic cures. He says he's seeing more and more of this scratching in dogs every day and blames it on the barrium they supposedly spray by airplane to create rain?? Man, I'm at a loss and my poor dog's coat looks like something off a dead dog! He started all this stuff about 3 months ago and it keeps getting worse. (He had a BEAUTIFUL coat before this and now it's dull, dry as hell, flaky and he's covered in bare spots!) Pleeeeeeeease help!

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    NW IL


    I would redo the skin scraping. Go to a Dermatological specialist.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Richard McCullough's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Kenly, NC


    I second the skin scraping. My lab is allergic to Wheat, so after I got it out of his diet, he quit scratching.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member greg magee's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Pottstown, Pa


    I would try a raw diet and see if it clears up. at least change his food. It's either diet or envirement. try the food thing it's easier and cheaper than all those science projects

  7. #5
    Member Bill A's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    Had a similar (though not as severe) issue with my choc at about 10 months old. My vet treated him for a systemic yeast infection and have not had problems since. Vet gave us a prescription med at first and now that we know that our boy is prone to yeast we just give him yogurt on a regular basis to keep is gut flora in check. This has also been great for his ears which we now only have to clean every couple of weeks instead of daily. Hope this helps and good luck.


  8. #6
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    NW WI


    You need a specialist or another vet opinion if the vets you've seen haven't worked out. The dog is reacting to something. If you still have fleas, that needs to be dealt with, flea bite dermatitis is awful and will cause the symptoms you are seeing. Frontline or something else topical or oral that is effective, not the Hartz junk or shampoos/powders, plus you have to treat the environment, which means wherever the dog lives, bedding, your house, vehicle, etc. Finding the cause is important. The dog needs some relief now as well, which means anti inflammatories probably and possibly some antibiotics if he's gotten some secondary bacterial infections with all the scratching. Check the thyroid but that doesn't usually cause itching. Mites (mange), fleas, allergies are all suspect, the dog needs prompt treatment to alleviate the symptoms while a cause and long term solution are found. Good luck, skin issues are not pleasant, cheap or always easily solved. But if you had/have fleas, start there.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  9. #7
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    SE Wisconsin


    Agree about first making sure it is not flea bite dermatitis. One, what are you feeding him? I had a rescue that acted like that. Had multiple skin scrapings that were negative. He arrived on an unbelievable amount of meds, I changed his food to Duck and Oatmeal, got him off all the meds except he needed that one 10mg pred pill a week. He was placed with hair and numerous specialists later, they said he had deep seated mites and treated him with ivermectin. He also got weekly hypo-allergenic shampoos and rinses. Zymox has a shampoo and rinse or Malaseb shampoo. Take him to someone that can make sure it isn't mites for sure.
    Nancy P

    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Newtown, PA


    Nancy's right........you can do 20 skin scrapings and not come up with any mites. Unless it's proven that he is suffering from something other than mites (could be sarcoptic mange--those mites often do not show up) might be wise to treat him as tho he did have mites. I've gotten several rescue dogs in with mites but were being treated by the rescue vets for something entirely different. When I put them on Ivermectin within a few weeks the scratching was over and their coats began to return normal.


  11. #9
    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    S.W. Washington


    Go to the pet food store and roll over bags of dog food until ou find one that has no mention of the word CORN. Buy that and your troubles are OVER.

    Dawgs don't do good on cow food regards

    There are three classes of people: those who see...those who see when shown...and those who do not see. - Leonardo da Vinci

  12. #10
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Yardley, PA


    You could put him on Revolution for the next couple of months instead of Frontline. It directly treats sarcoptic mange in addition to providing anti flea and heartworm treatment. Also give him weekly baths in a chlorhexidine shampoo. The combination may clear up what isn't being captured in the scrapings. Treatment needs to continue for two months but you should begin to see improvements in 2-3 weeks. If the problem is sarcoptic mange, you may never see the actual mites since they are under the skin but they will continue to emerge over a 28 day period and need to be knocked off before they can lay eggs again.

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