Constant scratching and chewing

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Constant scratching and chewing

Postby kath » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:32 pm

Hi, I'm new to posting and I hope you may be able to give me some suggestions. Our 11 year old male Brittany has always been a regular leg licker as well as car windows, the rug, our legs etc. Lately, he has begun to lick incessantly as well as scratching, especially his ears and neck areas. He has scratched some of the fur off of these areas and he seems unable to scratch enough. We gave him a bath last weekend b/c we thought maybe that would help but it didn't. Then I gave him one Benadryl, two seperate times but there was no noticable effect. Next I gave him two Benadryl, one time but again no change. I don't know if other peoples dogs have had the same problems, and if so, what have they done about it. Could it be allergies? We feed him VeRus Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Oats & Brown Rice Dry food. It's an all natural, holistic dog food. Any help would be much appreciated!
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Re: Constant scratching and chewing

Postby Cindy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:46 pm

Well, it is winter time and the air is dry. Could it just be that? Do you give him any fish oil with his food? That, along with changing to Taste of the Wild dog food really helped my dogs and their dry skin. I'm assuming you've checked him over well for any signs of fleas. Sometime just 1 flea bite can make a dog scratch like crazy if they are allergic.

BTW - welcome!!!
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Re: Constant scratching and chewing

Postby kath » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Thank you Cindy. I have checked him for fleas and I haven't see any. We have two dogs and our other one is not scratching at all so I don't think that's the case. As far as dry skin, that's a thought. He sleeps in our bedroom at night and I have a humidifier in there which puts a good bit of moisture into the air but maybe he needs more. We are not giving him any fish oil but that's worth a try. Thanks for your help and I'll look into the dog food. Kathy
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Re: Constant scratching and chewing

Postby dmedric » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:22 pm

You might also try switching away from chicken/poultry. Maybe try something with duck.
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Re: Constant scratching and chewing

Postby Tmbrfrmr » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:16 am

Check out the earlier post on food allergies below, you might want to look at the website http://www.nzymes.com for some useful info. I have had brits with itching issues and resolved the problems with diet change and adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to their food.
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Re: Constant scratching and chewing

Postby Barb Wright » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:57 pm

The licking sounds like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) since you say he has always done it, and in his case perhaps it is a calming device. My dog started licking her front legs a couple years ago (she is 15) and I just distract her for a second or two and she stops.

The scratching, since it is a new behavior, may not be related at all. Scratching, especially to the extent of removing hair, means the skin or something under the skin itches or tickles or is irritated. Determining if the cause is exterior (bug bites, mites, dry air, topical preventatives, environmental sources such as paint/new furniture/cleaning solvents/pesticides etc.) should be eliminated. If you have done anything new and can relate it to the beginning of the scratching would be a start. Think back on the timing of when he started it and what changes may have occurred in his exterior environment. There may be a clue there.

If the scratching is because of internal allergies then it really becomes difficult to get it figured out as the sources and causes can be multitude :( Benadryl and anything the vet will give you (usually steroids) will only relieve symptoms not help you with finding the source/cause of the discomfort. As previously suggested, changing to a novel and limited ingredient food, adding salmon oil to the diet, plus the addition of digestive enzymes (always a good approach for an older dog) and adding probiotics, are always a good place to start. You need to actually eliminate anything you have been feeding previously, including treats, and If it is a food allergy you should see changes rather quickly.

Vaccinations and preventatives are very common sources of allergic symptoms. If it was my dog I would cease all vaccination protocols and if possible avoid all preventatives. The immune system needs a chance to recover and deal with internal issues, and to put it mildly, chemical cocktails just screw up immune function IMO.

Anyway, you have a hard mystery to solve, I hope some of the above ideas help and that you will let us know how things are going. I feel for your pupper, itches can drive everybody nuts !!!
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