Poor Itchy Puppy

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Mercurykitty
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Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Mercurykitty » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:32 pm

When we got Rose, we were feeding her Purina One Healthy Puppy (we were supposed to be giving her Purina Puppy Chow, same as the breeder, but my boyfriend didn't realize there was a difference and picked up the wrong food). She had the Purina One for about two weeks before we did a 10-day switch to Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development. She's been eating SD for about five weeks now. At the vet's advice we're avoiding treats that have food coloring, so right now she's alternating between Wellness: Just For Puppy and Natural Balance L.I.T. Sweet Potato & Fish (small breed).

About the same time we were switching the food, she picked up fleas and was treated with Frontline Plus. She's also had two baths using Tropiclean Puppy Shampoo, once a week before the treatment and the other this past Sunday. She started itching when she got the fleas (which is why we got the treatment) but the itching has yet to stop. My boyfriend has noticed that it's primarily focused at her belly and female-area, though I have noticed her biting at her feet and legs as well. The urge to itch interrupts playtime and is sometime so intense that she's grunting and groaning while she does it.

She also seems to be shedding quite a bit. Cockapoos aren't supposed to be big shedders, but she's dropping quite a bit of fur. I'm almost positive she has some areas where the hair seems thinner, but she's so fluffy it's really hard to tell for sure. It could just be that she has more cocker than poodle, but there is also the possibility of a problem. I brought it up with the vet yesterday but she doesn't seem to be concerned at the moment. Of course, she wasn't very concerned with the itching either. I do come off as the overly concerned new-pet-owner who does way too much paranoid-research online. :oops:

Should I go with the vet's assumption that she's "just itchy" or should I push the issue? Is she still too young (fifteen weeks) to develop allergies or is this something that I need to investigate further?

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Sarah83 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:07 am

Cockapoos aren't supposed to be big shedders
I'd guess at this being as much of a myth as the one that labradoodles don't shed. It's pot luck as to whether you get the poodle type or the other breed type or something in between and the cockers I've met certainly did shed. If she's itching a lot that probably won't help either.

Are you sure the fleas are definitely gone? When we had fleas we were told that just treating the dog is useless, the whole house had to be done several times along with both dogs. It was a pain in the backside in all honesty.

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by runlikethewind » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:42 am

Hi Sarah

I had/have a similar problem - not quite as bad as your poor girl with itching which turned out to be allergy. I think she is too young to develop allergies yet. If you can afford it, yes I would definately go back to the vet if your regime of ridding her and the house of fleas does not work. Sounds like she is having a bad reaction to them and taking a while to settle back again.

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Mercurykitty
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Mercurykitty » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:41 am

The vet did confirm that the she no longer had any signs of fleas. My boyfriend and I haven't seen any in the house since after we treated the cat (a week later than the dog).

Shedding isn't so much a myth as it is genetics for a specific dog. My grandparents had a cockapoo when I was little and he didn't shed much at all. My childhood terrier-poodle mutt shed very little as well. As far as I can tell, Rose got her poodle-parent's curly hair but she may not have picked up the low shedding gene.

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by runlikethewind » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:42 am

Just keep to one brand for the moment- not alternating. See if it is food related.

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Mercurykitty
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Mercurykitty » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:53 am

She went to the vet today for her third puppy shot and we met with a different vet than last time (they have four in the office). He didn't see anything externally that would cause the itching and thinks it could be food related. He wants me to take her off of the Science Diet (which has corn, a known dog allergen) and switch her to a higher quality food. If that doesn't stop the itching, than we'll have to test for environmental allergies.

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by amyva » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:57 pm

Glad your vet suggested food...as that's really usually the culprit. Keep trying - with good foods. They aren't as expensive as people make them out to be - and well worth any extra money you may spend. By higher quality, I mean - look at the ingredients. Don't get anything that includes corn or any kind of by-products. Try chicken and rice as the first ingredients. If that's no better, try lamb and rice. Keep eliminating possible culprits. Even rice can be a problem...they do make grain-free foods if need be. Doggies weren't meant to eat grains :)

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by runlikethewind » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:31 pm

yes in the US you have orijen and acana I think. look for kibble with potato if you want to eliminate rice. better still, go raw.

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leslie123
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by leslie123 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:05 am

Just wondering how you are doing with the itching problem in your pup. We have an almost identical situation and we've seen some improvement but there is still more itching than is normal. We're trying a simple diet of one protein source and one carb source now (Natural Balance, LID) so we have our fingers crossed.

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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Mercurykitty » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:28 am

She's still itching, but we're still in the early stages of the food switch (1/4 cup new food with 1/2 cup old food).

We're switching her to Blue Buffalo Small Breed Puppy. I was originally torn between Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and Natural Balance but ruled the later out because it's been involved in two recalls in the last three years. Given the choice between the first two, the vet had no specific preference and said both were good quality food. He also said he would rather see her on either than the Science Diet she's currently eating. I eventually settled on the Blue Buffalo because it has many different recipes, which will make switching easier if we don't catch the allergen in the initial switch.

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leslie123
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by leslie123 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:45 pm

Mercurykitty wrote:She's still itching, but we're still in the early stages of the food switch (1/4 cup new food with 1/2 cup old food).

We're switching her to Blue Buffalo Small Breed Puppy. I was originally torn between Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and Natural Balance but ruled the later out because it's been involved in two recalls in the last three years. Given the choice between the first two, the vet had no specific preference and said both were good quality food. He also said he would rather see her on either than the Science Diet she's currently eating. I eventually settled on the Blue Buffalo because it has many different recipes, which will make switching easier if we don't catch the allergen in the initial switch.
Yes, I am aware of the recalls. They have put a testing system in place since then and you can call and get the specific results from any product you buy from them now. I looked hard at Blue Buffalo as well and I may try it if this route doesn't work. Are you using chewable heartworm and topical flea/tick medications? We have Sulley on Heartguard plus and right now he's got frontline on because we got a free one from the vet. I'm thinking of using advantix though because it also kills mosquitos. But I've been wondering if either of those things are part of or included in the problem. Since he has soft/runny stools half the time I still think food allergy or intolerance is more likely. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you, I hope well! Keep us updated. :D

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Mercurykitty
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by Mercurykitty » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:23 pm

Blue Buffalo recommends a 14-day transition to their food, but we were desperate to get her off of the Science Diet and did a 5-day transition. So far, so good. Her stools have been on the softer side, but not runny and she hasn't thrown up at all.

Yesterday was her first full day eating only Blue Buffalo. She likes the kibble individually as treats but when I put a half-cup in her bowl for a meal she's not interested. However, when I add a tablespoon of hot water (to "fully release flavors and aroma" states the package) she gobbles it right down.

Even during the last few days of the transition (1/3 old, 2/3 new) we've already noticed an improvement with the itching. She's still itching quite a bit but she's reacting differently. She's no longer scratching like her life depends on it.

We went to the vet for her rabies shot today and the vet on duty (the one from two visits ago who basically blew me off when I mentioned the itching and hair loss) did acknowledge the she's lost quite a bit of fur. I told her about the possible food allergy and the change of diet, and she said it can take six to eight weeks to see results.

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leslie123
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Re: Poor Itchy Puppy

Post by leslie123 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:09 pm

I hope things continue to improve for you. We've seen quite a bit of improvement with our pup. He's been a little over a week on the new food and his stools became totally normal right away. His itching is slowly getting better every day and some eczema spots he had on his lower tummy are pretty much gone. What a relief. Unfortunately we don't know exactly what ingredient is to blame, but the new food is grain free so its likely a grain that was causing it. I just hope that soon its completely behind us. I also read that it takes 3-6 weeks for the allergy symptoms to go away so we're anxious to see how things are in a couple weeks or so. Best to you!

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