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Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief

We have an eight week old Golden Doodle that has been biting and scratching a lot. We have taken him to the vet who thinks it may be lice (though I can't find any) and gave him a dose of advantage 5 days ago - no relief seems worse at times.

It really gets bad at night or early morning, he will wake up crying and biting at himself. His skin looks fine, however there is a dandruff starting to appear - white flakes.

I have tried everything I can think of - oatmeal baths, natural flea sprays (even though I don't see any fleas), etc.

He is on a natural no grain dog food - Taste of the Wild Salmon Formula, he also gets Before Grain meats - Buffalo and Salmon, I even add salmon oil to the dry food if not feeding canned.

So now I am stuck - I am thinking it may be yeast and putting him on Nzymes to see if that helps.

I am not submitting a picture as there really is nothing to see.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to hearing from you soon

Comments for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief

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Jul 10, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hello!
At 8 weeks old, your puppy must be recently adopted, meaning that he is away from his mother and littermates. You said the itching is worse at night and in the early morning, when he would be missing his mother and brothers and sisters the most.

He probably also has had a vaccination. Stress of weaning and 'vaccinosis' can manifest in different behaviors. Itching may be emotional, not from a skin disease.

Lice is an unlikely diagnosis since the nits (or eggs) are visible (they are cemented onto the hairs). Adult dog lice are a dark brown color and would show up easily on a light colored Golden Doodle.

It sounds like you have done quite a few things to help relieve the itching, but here is what I would suggest:

Over the next month...

1. Give him an oatmeal shampoo two times per week. Before the shampoo, give him a coconut oil massage, and let the coconut oil soak into his skin for 2-3 hours. You will need to confine him to a crate, and give him a chewie Kong toy with food inside to keep him occupied!

2.Feed him more canned and no dry food at this time. Since he has dry skin (you are starting to see dandruff), he will need moisture in his diet.

3. Give him Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower essence that is an 'emotional' balancer to help decrease stress. You can buy the 'human' one that is in alcohol, and add 2 drops to his drinking water daily. You can also make up a 2 oz bottle, add 10-20 drops of Rescue Remedy to the bottle and fill it with Spring Water. Give him 1/2 dropperful by mouth as needed, whenever he first wakes up, and repeat it every 5 minutes for 3-4 doses, then throughout the day, every 8 hours.

4. He may need a dose of homeopathic Sulphur Thuya 30c or 200c for vaccinosis. It may be easier to go to a holistic veterinarian to obtain these remedies, and who will advise you on how often to dose, and how to give each dose.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Jul 10, 2011
More Info on Pup
by: Leeh

Thanks for your feedback - I have been thinking that it might be stress and have been giving him the Bach Rescue Remedy.

Another aspect that I recently found out was it was not lice but walking dandruff mite that his mother had when pregnant! I am also noticing that my other dog is starting to itch and I know that this is highly contagious even to me.

So my question - do I treat for stress or treat for mites? I found a remedy for mites called Ted's remedy and uses perioxide and borax - is this safe?

Jul 11, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,
You are referring to the Cheyletiella mite, commonly called the 'walking dandruff' mite. It is a very large mite, the size of a piece of dandruff. If you use a flea comb, and comb your puppy over all of the dandruff areas, then clean off the hair and dandruff onto a dark piece of paper or cloth, look for any dandruff that is moving. If you do not see any moving dandruff, then your puppy does not have Cheyletiella. You can do the same thing for your other dog.

If you DO see moving dandruff, then using the same treatment for fleas will take care of the walking dandruff mite. AND make sure you also clean all of the bedding, all of the brushes and combs, and any place in the house where the dogs sleep. I would advise following the natural flea treatment found on our page for Dog Flea Medicine.

You are correct in noting the mite is contagious to humans. Therefore take care when you are handling your puppy, wash your hands frequently and do not allow him into your bed.

I am not familiar with Ted's Remedy. A Google search lead me to Ted's Remedy for mange, cancer, and drinking it to create alkaline blood. I would not give it to your puppy.

In the meantime, you can continue to use the Rescue Remedy. (Combining together some other Bach flower essences might be more helpful. In a 2 oz glass dropper bottle, combine 10 drops Rescue Remedy, plus 5 drops Honeysuckle, plus 5 drops of Walnut. Then add 2 oz of Spring Water. Honeysuckle is for homesickness and Walnut is to help get adjusted to a change, such as moving to a new home.)

Please continue to keep us posted.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.





Jul 11, 2011
A couple of questions
by: Leeh

Hi Dr. Tillman - I appreciate all the info you have given me so far. I just have a couple of questions and comments now.

1. Did a comb through the pups hair - found lots of "dandruff" but nothing seemed to be moving.

2. With the Sulphur - how do you recommend giving it to the dog. I know for people you put under tongue and dissolve, obviously that is not happening with the dog. The first few doses I have given with yogurt - is this okay?

I will get the other flower essences today and make the remedy you recommend.

Will keep you posted on results.

Leeh

Jul 12, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,
That is good news that you did not see any 'mites'.

Regarding the technique for giving a homeopathic remedy, I will usually show a client in the exam room how to 'throw' the pellet into the 'cheek' area of the dog's mouth (without touching the remedy with your fingers, just by pouring a pellet into the lid, and then putting it into the dog's mouth). Or you can dissolve the pellet in Spring water, and give it with an eye dropper or spoon.

It is very difficult to manage a case homeopathically online, when I have not examined my patient. Using the repertory to choose which homeopathic remedy to prescribe for a patient, takes a full intake exam, about an hour or more.

I wrote:
"He may need a dose of homeopathic Sulphur or Thuya 30c or 200c for vaccinosis. It may be easier to go to a holistic veterinarian to obtain these remedies, and who will advise you on how often to dose, and how to give each dose."

A holistic veterinarian may do the exam, and decide that neither of the above remedies fit the case. Rather than treating on your own, it would be best to follow the advice of a holistic veterinarian who has seen your dog 'in person'.

In the meantime, just start with the Bach flower essences, and give him 1/2 dropperful by mouth as needed, whenever he first wakes up, and repeat it every 5 minutes for 3-4 doses, then throughout the day, every 8 hours.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.





Jul 12, 2011
Holistic Vets
by: Leeh

Thanks again for the info. I would LOVE to take all my animals to a holistic vets - even one that does both, unfortunately the closest one is an hour and a half away.

Just found out from the breeder that the puppy that is left had been scratching and the vet treated her with revolution and is now fine.

Just how toxic is that stuff? I really can't spend another week of sleepless nights and having my other animals get this. It has been almost three weeks and no relief. For the pup, me or my other critters. My patience is running out.

L

Jul 13, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,
Thank you for the feedback.

The AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) lists ONLY holistic veterinarians. These veterinarians practice a variety of alternative medicines, and some of them also practice Homeopathy, and some may practice conventional medicine. For veterinarians that only practice Homeopathy, you would need to check www.theAVH.org. The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.

For veterinarians that only practice acupuncture, you would check the Chi Institute or IVAS.

The AHVMA list is not complete. See the info below from their site.

"Welcome To The AHVMA Member Referral Search

Data Last Updated on 07/12/2011 by SK
NOTICE TO PATRONS:
The contact information in these directories is not authorized for commercial mailing use of any kind.

Not all members have authorized the release of their names for this purpose. If you are interested in purchasing our mailing list, please contact the AHVMA office with your written request or completely fill out, print and mail by regular mail the form at the link above. Violators can be detected by our webmaster. We thank you for honoring this directive."

At the end of each veterinarian's listing are initials that tell you what modalities the doctor in question uses.

As for your puppy, if you wish to try the Revolution, by Pfizer (active ingredient Selamectin, also contains isopropyl alcohol, and BHT for preservative), it is safe for puppies over 6 weeks of age. It protects against fleas, ticks, ear mites, sarcoptic mites, and heartworm, by absorbing through the skin and into the blood stream. It is NOT safe for sick, debilitated or underweight puppies.

Here is the manufacturer's website, so you can judge for yourself:

http://www.pfizerfrank.com/PDF/PfizerFrank/revolution_en_co_ois.pdf

Since your puppy is so 'frantic' with itching, perhaps a one time dose would be ok. But repeated monthly application of an insecticide with BHT preservatives is just not healthy in my opinion.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Jul 13, 2011
Continuing on
by: Leeh

First I really want to thank you for your input and advice - it is more than I have been getting from the professionals around here.

I have decided to give the pup another week or two of just treating him naturally and see if it gets better as I know it does take time for the toxins to flush out of his system. And I REALLY hate the thought of putting any more poisons into his poor little body. Though is strong in every other way.

I am also going to start feeding him more of a raw dog food diet, as I know that this sometimes works for skin issues as well.

I am also finding collodial oatmeal helps - I am making a spray with it and some calming essential oils.

Thanks again and I will keep you posted on his progress.

Leeh

Jul 14, 2011
My Online Vet Repsonse for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,

That sounds like a plan!

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Jul 22, 2011
The itching continues
by: Leeh

Hi Dr. Tillman

Just got home from our local vet, she did a bunch of different skin scrapings. And though she can't see much there are two items that are leading her to believe that it is either mange (he has a spot that is crusty on one of his legs) or lice. She is leaning towards lice.

Two days ago I did a revolution treatment, but so far no relief at night. Not as bad during the day, but still waking up at night crying and scratching.

She gave him antibotics - which I am hesitate to give, but will make sure he gets lots of yogurt to keep up the good yeast.

She is thinking that he may be getting re-infested so I am going to re-wash everything.

My questions for you:

1. Any suggestions for treating the home? He has free range of the house so pretty much the whole house could be infected

2. MOST IMPORTANT - my other dog has never been tested or treated for heartworm. I would like to give him the revolution though I know that it is also a heartworm medication. is it safe to give him? He is 1yr 9 mos. old and very healthy though he is also starting to itch.

Thanks - Leeh

Jul 24, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,
In my opinion, even though I have not seen your dog, I am more suspicious of sarcoptic mange being the problem, than lice. Sarcoptic mange is EXTREMELY itchy, and is very difficult to find on skin scraping. While lice are not really itchy at all, and you can SEE them!

You wrote,
My questions for you:

1. Any suggestions for treating the home? He has free range of the house so pretty much the whole house could be infected.

Routine house cleaning will take care of sarcoptic mites. Basically sarcoptic mange is transferred directly from dog to dog, or from dog to human. It does not really live in the house or on the ground. Washing sheets, vacuuming, etc. will do the trick.

Dog lice DO NOT live in the environment at all. Lice are species-specific, meaning dog lice ONLY live on dogs, human lice only live on humans, etc. Also, the eggs from lice are cemented on to the hairs of the 'host'. Which further ensures that each louse will remain on the host. Lice are visible to the naked eye, as are the eggs.

Mites are microscopic, and can only be seen under the microscope.

2. MOST IMPORTANT - my other dog has never been tested or treated for heartworm. I would like to give him the revolution though I know that it is also a heartworm medication. is it safe to give him? He is 1yr 9 mos. old and very healthy though he is also starting to itch.

It would be best to have your other dog tested for heartworm, before you use Revolution on him. Revolution will NOT kill the adult worms in the heart. If he is positive for heartworm, he will need to be treated.

Also, Revolution will treat Sarcoptic mange mites, but it will take 7-10 days to start to see any relief from the itching. The Revolution will kill the adult mites that are burrowing in the skin, but it does not kill the eggs. Eggs can be hatching out every day! Therefore, it will take 2-3 applications of the Revolution every 3-4 weeks before you really start to see new hair growth, and the itching to decrease.

I hope this answers your questions.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.






Jul 24, 2011
Mange
by: Leeh

Can this mange be treated holistically?

I have started the dogs on a product called Nzymes and am using their healthy skin program. Also put them on Darwin's Natural Food diet and Wysong Epigen 90%.

Is it true that diet alone will eventually rid the dogs of mange?

Arrow is still itching,but since starting on the enzymes the itching at least seems to be getting better.

I have also decided to switch vets here there is a holistic vet about 45 minutes away and I am going to take them there.

Will keep you posted.

Jul 25, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Itching and Biting Himself for Relief
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leeh,
Unfortunately, I have not been successful in treating Sarcoptic mange holistically. It may be that the patient's vital force is too weakened by the time I see them, for them to respond to homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, improvement in diet, etc.

I also have not seen much response in skin problems with the product you mentioned called, 'NZymes'. But it will certainly not hurt to use it.

Good luck with the new holistic veterinarian.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section



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