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itchiness and hair loss


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When we firt got Bailey we had alot of trouble with constant scratching and biting and did benadryl for quite awhile while we figured what kind of allergies were causing the problems........ (long story there, but anyway..) about a month ago she finally got a steroid shot to stop the itching and started on frontline plus - we finally narrowed down that she likely was allergic to fleas because we noticed a few, but her itching was so bad youd have thought she was horribly infested. :o anyway, all that helped alot, but by that time she had lost alot of fur on her sides. the vet said it could take months for the fur to grow back but Im worried tjhat it still wont because she still bites the area (though nothing like before!) Im trying to figure out if I shoudl try something topical either to soothe the skin or goign the other route something "yucky" so she wont bite it - or if I should add some sort of oils to her diet to moisturize her skin more (her coat seems nice, but maybe it would help?)
anyone have some advice or ideas??
*edited to add - I feed chicken soup, and bathe with vets best itch relief snhampoo with tea tree oil (mabye the oatmeal would be better?)

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[quote]about a month ago she finally got a steroid shot to stop the itching and started on frontline plus [/quote]

You should also treat the environment for fleas as well. A dog with severe allergies to flea bites can still be bitten when on a topical treatment.
There is a type of earth TDG mentioned before...this earth can be used to kill fleas in the environment. Hopefully TDG will see this and give us the name. The next thing is, you should be vacuuming your dogs sleeping areas daily, I would also apply a flea treatment to the dogs bedding, carpet, and outdoor areas, look for products containing oils or extracts of juniper, citronella, eucalyptus, cedar, Canadian fleabane, or citrus oil.
Don't shampoo your dog too often as this can dry out her skin and cause added irritation.
[quote]or if I should add some sort of oils to her diet to moisturize her skin more (her coat seems nice, but maybe it would help?) [/quote]

I would definately be adding more omega 3 fattys acids to the dogs diet. Good sources for omega 3's are sardines, wild salmon, ground flax seeds/ or flax oil, haddock, and cod, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in evening primrose, borage, and black currant seed oil. A combination of the Omega-3s and GLA seems to have the most potent effect.

You can make your own topical treatment for the irritated area on your dog...you can make this spritz from a tea brewed from calendula flowers, spray on several times a day, directly to the lesion. Other herbs such as chamomile, yarrow , lavender , and mullein may also be added to the herbal brew.
You may want to get an elizabethan collar from your vet to keep your dog from chewing at the sore area.

You should also try to improve your dogs immunity. Some people like to detoxify first. Then add herbal liver helpers such as dandelion root , and milk thistle seeds. Also try to return the gut to a normal flora by adding beneficial bacteria by adding probiotics to the dogs diet, also increase the dietary fiber in your dogs diet.
Also try to balance the immune system using herbs such as echinacea (don't use for more than 3 weeks), or you can use Siberian ginseng. I add astralagus to my dogs food, I find this works wonders in building the immune system (I use it myself in the winter to ward of colds and flues, it works)
Its also a good idea to add immune enhancing supplements including vitamins C and A and zinc may also be helpful.

For a natural anti-inflammatory or cortisone-like herb try licorice root...this may enhance the adrenal gland and also take some of the itch away.

Some people find it beneficial to add raw meat in the dogs diet.

A healthy immune system helps dogs deal with allergies. Some times over vaccinating a dog can add stress on the immune system as well making the immune system weak.

Good luck to you :wink:

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i'm with cassie here, this is most likely something that has to be tackled from the inside fore the most part.

for non-toxic environmental treatment for fleas use diatomaceous earth. you need to get the food grade tho, do [b]not[/b] use the type that is sold for pool filters. sprinkle it everywhere outside in your yard (if you have one of course) and just leave it. reapply after it rains.

you can also use it indoors, sprinkle in the desired areas and vacuum it up after 24 hours. this stuff is non-toxic and can even be used as a natural dewormer for all intestinal worms, but the dust should not be breathed since the sharp particles can irritate throat and lungs.

fish body oil (NOT cod liver oil) at a dose of 1000mg per 10 lbs of body weight is not only excellent for skin and coat, it also stimulates the immune system and reduces inflammation. whenever high doses of omega 3 fatty acids are fed, the daily intake of vitamin E should also be increased since the EFA's oxidize rapidly and increase antioxidant requirements in the body. (more details [url=http://www.mordanna.com/dogfood/index.php?page=efas]here[/url])

i'd also venture a guess that maybe a different food than the chicken soup might also be helpful. don't get me wrong, it's a pretty good quality food, but it has a lot of different ingredients (4 different protein sources, seven different grains, lots of "extras") and there might be some in there that irritate your dog.

when my own dog suffered from severe flea allergy dermatitis, i put him on california natural chicken & rice (a very simple food, chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, sunflower oil, natural flavors, taurine, flaxseed, vitamins/minerals) and megadoses of fish oil and for a week i bathed him with tea tree oil & aloe vera shampoo (earthbath.com) every day and followed up with a home-prepared oatmeal rinse that i dabbed on the affected areas after bathing and let dry on the dog. for that i ground up 1/4 cup of organic oats in my blender until i had a fine powder, which i added to a quart of boiling filtered water, turned off the heat and let steep until cooled. i applied this stuff a total of 3-4 times a day until the swelling and redness were gone and hair started growing back.

thank god this was our only bout with a flea allergy, ever since i changed my feeding regimen completely, my dog doesn't get all irritated anymore when he picks up the occasional flea. so much for a professinal who told me that "if a dog has a flea allergy once, they never get rid of it".

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Thanks so much for the ideas! where do I get the diatomaceous earth and the fish body oil? I havent done much to treat the yard, which wasnt very smart on my part, but mostly because I couldnt figure out what to use, it needs to be safe for kids and other animals, so your idea sounds great. I do vacuum alot, but Im sure with the yard untreated and the animals in and out its not doing alot of good :oops:
one good thing (I think) is she doesnt have "sores or leasions" its not red or swollen at all her sides are jsut a little sparse of hair :lol:

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