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Fleas or not? (Dog) (kinda long)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sorry - wasn't sure where to put this, but I'm trying to diagnose my dog from work, LOL.

So my BC cross dog was scratching really bad last year on Purina Exclusive, so I changed him to Taste of the Wild in about November. Scratching problems cleared up. About a month ago, I switched TOTW flavors, and he started scratching again, so I assumed food allergy. Switched back, and scratching is still really bad.

He's scratching out a lot of fur, and has given himself sores scratching. Now we've never had to deal with fleas, due to our climate, so I was just checking - if none of the other animals are scratching do you all think I'm looking at an allergy? Probably a seasonal allergy is what I'm thinking, since it started about 1 year ago. (I sure hope so). (I do have a vet appointment, but I'm just worried about the little guy. And fleas gross me out, LOL.)
post #2 of 8
I'll move it to the Cats and Other Animals forum. The people with dogs often frequent this forum.
post #3 of 8
I'd wait for the vet to check him out. Have you SEEN any fleas? It could be a number of things.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'd wait for the vet to check him out. Have you SEEN any fleas? It could be a number of things.
I haven't seen any fleas, thank goodness. But I've never in my whole life seen one, so I'm not sure I would be the best judge.

I got a couple of natural remedies from the dog food store, and he does seem to be feeling better.
post #5 of 8
If he is a lighter colored dog, seeing fleas visually will be easy...simply flip him on his back on your lap (if he doesn't mind belly rubs), and check out his tummy; if he has fleas, you may see them on his groin area; you might also see little red dots, indicating bite marks from the fleas. Fleas are small black bugs, btw.

If he isn't a 'belly rub' type of dog, just part his hair in several areas, and look for evidence of creepy crawlies, or the bite marks.

If you see none, then I am geussing that it may be seasonal allergies...it could also be mange, or some other 'invisible' bug; you can give him benadryll (consult your vet on how much) to aid in the swelling, and itchyness. You can use hydrocortizone on his red irritated skin, or even simple aloe vera; this will help cool and soothe those areas. This should help you with his problems, until you can get a proper consult, and skin scrape done on him.

Good luck...
post #6 of 8
It's rarely the food. Only about 10 % of allergies seen in dogs come from food.
http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=143

And if your dog is allergic to fleas, you are not likely to see a big flea infestation. The reason is that dogs who are NOT allergic to fleas can be coverd with them and not suffer very much, whereas it only takes one or two to make life miserable for a dog who is allergic to fleas.
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/medica...allergies.html

If it IS fleas you might see what is called "flea dirt."
http://www.livingwithbugs.com/flea_dt.html

If he's only scratching during the warm weather it could be something like pollen.
http://dog-allergies.blogspot.com/20...s-in-dogs.html

Here is a little more info that might help:
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/404_pets.html
http://www.precisepet.com/vet/allergy.asp

Good luck, allergies in dogs can be tricky to pin down.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
It's rarely the food. Only about 10 % of allergies seen in dogs come from food.
http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=143

And if your dog is allergic to fleas, you are not likely to see a big flea infestation. The reason is that dogs who are NOT allergic to fleas can be coverd with them and not suffer very much, whereas it only takes one or two to make life miserable for a dog who is allergic to fleas.
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/medica...allergies.html

If it IS fleas you might see what is called "flea dirt."
http://www.livingwithbugs.com/flea_dt.html

If he's only scratching during the warm weather it could be something like pollen.
http://dog-allergies.blogspot.com/20...s-in-dogs.html

Here is a little more info that might help:
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/404_pets.html
http://www.precisepet.com/vet/allergy.asp

Good luck, allergies in dogs can be tricky to pin down.
Thanks so much for those links, they were quite helpful. I thought to call my pet food store - one nice thing about a smaller hometown store - they keep records of my purchases. I started my dogs on Artemis around November of last year. I'll bet JD had been itching for a couple of months by then. So I thought I was "curing" a possible food allergy, and maybe it was just that time of year.

Last time I was at the vet, another dog owner came to get results of their dog's allergy testing, and it was quite an extensive panel, so I'm hopeful that my vet knows allergies well.
post #8 of 8
it could also be a yeast infection Mines pretty prone to them He gets really itchy and starts scratching really bad and gets a oily feel to him his fur and he starts to bald in places usually in the groin area and under his front legs where his "arm pits" are but when it flares up we just get him an antibiotic and some medicated shampoo from our vet (who now keeps both on hand just for us ...lol) and all is well in a a week or so.
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