Arya has the itchies....
...and she's had them since she was 7 weeks old. Currently 21 weeks old (nearly 5 months).
They are very mild... she'll just suddenly stop doing something and itch. Or chew on her feet or hind leg for a moment and then continue with whatever she was doing before.
Vet found she had ear mites and sarcoptic mange when I took her in because they had gotten considerably worse (this was when she was 12 weeks if I'm remembering right). She got a lot better with the treatment, and the vet gave her a clear bill of health... but she will still have the occasional itchies.
Nothing in her ears or skin that I can find. No fleas, no ticks, nothing like that. No rash, no smell.
She is fed a balanced Prey Model Raw diet. Her treats are high quality grain free kibble. I've used different brands for that, like TOTW, Natural Instinct, Wellness CORE, and most recently Earthborn Holistic, each one a different protein. Made no change in her itchiness level.
She doesn't constantly itch. Some days are a bit worse than others, but for the most part, she'll spend about 45 minutes total in a 24 hour day scratching at something or rubbing her eyes.
Right now I haven't added anything to her diet. She gets the 80-10-10 ratio of meat, bone, and organs.
Recently I've started her on occasional public access training (when she's over a year old we will begin actual task training, until then it's pretty much just taking a walk through a store). And today she started itching in the store. Just stopped in the middle of the aisle way we were walking through and started itching.
I know she is clean and does not have fleas or anything that would pose a health risk... but others don't. I didn't punish her for it or anything, she's a puppy and doesn't know better, she was just itchy. But... it's made me start thinking about it again... and how I'd like to find a resolution if at all possible.
She's not a full-blooded GSD. Mixed with (known) aussie, potentially Doberman or Rottie as well... but definitely some GSD and Aussie.
Have you tried coconut oil? It can help mouisturize the skin
Haven't added anything yet, bc I was trying to eliminate potential causes (like fleas, food, etc). But eliminating things one at a time for 2 weeks at a time or switching to expensive "exotic" proteins didn't make any difference.
So... I'm thinking I might do a "morning mix" for her. An egg or two (raw and cracked open just enough), a teaspoon of the raw local honey, and coconut oil.... And see if that makes any difference.
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Maybe some environmental allergies. Testing for allergens may be only way to know.
I hope to do so when I can, but it's not an option right now. My current vet won't do it unless the dog is having extreme allergies and skin issues and the drugs and steroids aren't working. (Will be changing vets when I move....)
That, and while I have money saved for emergencies, I don't have the expendable income right now for major allergy testing for only mild "itchies".
I do think it's environmental, and something I don't have control over. I use/make my own all natural cleaners, don't use any kind of chemicals in my yard, nor do any of my neighbors to my knowledge. Even my own soaps and shampoos are of the homemade and/or all simple natural ingredient varieties. And all of which I have tested on a small part of her skin to see if they cause a contact allergy or rash, and nothing.
So, if environmental, it's something I cannot control (like plants or pollen or something), so, while a test will tell me for certain/confirm my suspicions, if it is something I can't control like some plants, I live in a rural area, and if all goes as planned, will be moving onto acreage. I can't micromanage every plant there....
But yeah. When I have the financial means, I do hope to test.
In the meantime, anybody have advice?
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Moms will probably chime in here. She can tell you about rinsing the dog down with ACV and water. Bragg's is the brand recommended. I also wipe my itchy dog down when he comes in from outside. Coconut oil in his food also seems to have helped.
I agree with you on the environmental issue- how do you control that?? I have found that giving him one Apoquel (prescription) pill or a half of a pill when he's really itchy is most helpful. Others use Benedryl et al.
Lynn & Traveler
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