I have a 9 year old lab mix who has never had a skin problem until a few summers ago. I took her to the vet, she got a steroid shot and the problem was solved. She usually got one shot every year and we had no more problems.
This year she got her shot and she kept itching. Took her back to the vet and was given antihistamines which aren't working very well. She can't have another shot because of some other meds that she's on.
I wipe down her paws when she comes in and apply a soothing skin spray, which works for a short time. I've also started adding salmon oil to her food.
Her food is specifically formulated for skin health, and the vet asked about her diet, which makes me think she ruled out food allergies.
Does anyone have any ideas that I may not have thought of yet? I feel so bad for my poor girl.
I remember a friend having bought a book about allergies in dogs, that she found very helpful (her dog was also a lab mix with skin allergies. The dog was mostly yellow lab, but might have had some golden retriever mixed in).
I think this is the book she bought (below). I found it on amazon, and it can still be bought new or used for around $8 to $10 (or you could get it from the library).
The Allergy Solution for Dogs: Natural and Conventional Therapies to Ease Discomfort and Enhance Your Dog's Quality of Life (The Natural Vet) by Shawn Messonnier (Paperback - Jul 6, 2000)
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
my female also seems to have skin allergies, or so i thought. i mean why wouldnt i? that's what the vet told me. but treatment wasnt helping, and it seemed as if i was throwing money away. now i don't think she had allergies at all. i am yet to see a flea on her so i don't think that is it either, besides these dogs get frontline plus every month. so here is what i came up with, i think she has mange. i've been treating with a rememdy from this site. seems to be working so far, she is no longer red and itching much less now. in fact after her first treatment she was acting like a puppy again, i mean she is normally happy after a bath, but woweee never that happy
also the itching was getting so bad that she wasnt eating as much, and she seemed depressed. but now she is back to her old self. don't know if this helps or not, just thought i'd share. http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/dog_mange_cure.html
you may want your dog to be checked for a fungal infection if her itching isn't getting better. That can be just as itchy as allergies and if the steroid shot didn't help, then really i would be looking at other things than allergies...because usually a steroid shot calms the itching down. However, if you dog had a severe skin infection also, the yeast and bacteria can be just as itchy as the allergy reaction. I highly recommend brining your dog back to your vet and have the following done:
1. fungal culture
2. skin scrape
3. skin impression
All of those can help clue in to what is causing your pet's itchy scratchy. If you're pets skin was sooooo severe when it got the steroid shot, then i hope the dog was also put on some antibioitics. But really the above tests could help further diagnosis what is causing your dog's issues. I highly recommend getting a good allergy shampoo from your vet (such as histacalm), and bathing the dog 1-2 times a week. But its really important to go back to the vet and figure out what is causing these issues...it could be allergies, but it could also be fungal, yeast etc. And if you aren't treating them...then you aren't treating the itchies.
Thanks so much for the information! I'm going to call the vet as soon as they open.
Her skin wasn't especially severe when she got her steroid shot; it's just been in the last few weeks that the itching seems to be getting worse. She has been on antibiotics these last few weeks, though, because she had surgery 8 days ago.
Even though her food is formulated for skin health, she still may be allergic to one of ingredients. Its common for dogs to have allergies to chicken because its so widely used in dogs food. You may want to try out a food with a novel protein source such as venison, duck, rabbit, etc. and see if there's any improvement.
Our boston terrier has dry, flaky, pink skin but I noticed since being on his current food (Natural Balance Duck & Potato) his coat is a lot shinier and his dandruff is a lot better. I also give him a skin supplement made by Wellness (its a combination of oils) every other day and he gets a bath about once a month with a medicated shampoo. The shampoo immediately takes any pinkness away but baths are a double edged sword because they can also be drying to the skin...
Good luck with your pup, hopefully you can figure something out to help...
I agree, it could still be a food allergy. Dogs (and people) can develop allergies over time to something that they've tolerated okay in the past. It's common for dogs to be allergic to all types of grains and some protein sources. I've read that it's beneficial to change their food about every 3 months (making sure the main ingredients are different), so that they don't develop allergies or end up with a vitamin deficiency/overdose. I just recently switched our chi-terrier mix to Wellness for Small Dogs. He's doing really well on it.
I'd also get your dog checked for a fungal infection like Gatorgal suggested. I'm not sure if dogs are like humans, but being on antibiotics can make fungal/yeast infections more rampant in people. So, it seem to reason it might be the same for animals.
if she had surgery 8 days ago...and her skin got worse and is still itchy...especially after a steroid shot, i would highly recommend a skin scrape in addition to the fungal..makes me suspicious of demodex. Some animal can break with it after surgery and steroids make it more itchy. good luck and let me know what happens.
I just went through this with my bichon (he is still wearing his cone) and I did some online research and found a recommendation to clean the spots and dab with apple cider vinegar. I did that and it seemed to help.
Another vet here adding to Gatorgal's right-on advice. If your dog has not had a recent blood screen, ask your vet about that, too. I've had some patients come to me with similar signs of a mild skin allergy that was suddenly much worse, and discovered that the dog had a hormone imbalance, such as a low thyroid level, or Cushing's Syndrome! One more stone to look under for an answer!
This thread is a few months old, I hope you found a solution. If not I bought a suppliment on 1 800 pet meds called "Super Pure Omega 3" gel caps that have made a huge diffrence in my 6 year old Jack Russell's itchy condition. She has allegies to pine, georgia clay and a host of other outdoor stuff. I tried this and within a month the bald patches she had scratched off were growing back. It has been over 6 months now and she looks wonderful.
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