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Paw issues and possible allergies...
  • LuckeeSevenLuckeeSeven
    Posts: 166
    Hey everyone-
    I'm getting frustrated with my vet, and am seeking out help from people with similar experiences... I apologize for the lengthiness.

    Backstory is about 2 months ago, Renji started itching like crazy, so I took him to the vet so they could take a look. Did a skin scrape, neg for mites. They diagnosed puppy pyoderma and put him on a month long treatment of cephalexin. This did take care of some of the red areas that had popped up on his belly, and all seemed well, until about two weeks into the cephalexin he started chewing his paws. At first it wasn't bad, but then it progressed to him chewing through the night, and almost becoming fixated on his paws. Itching lessened, but paw chewing increased.
    Brought Renji back for a skin recheck, red area on his chin was scraped, no mites. Saw a different Dr because ours was out sick. Brought up possibility of allergies, and Dr dismissed it, saying allergies never show themselves this young. (he is almost 5 months) Dr suggested liquid benadryl to alleviate itchiness.
    Two weeks ago, bring Renji back to original vet. His paws were red and crusty in the webbing between the toes. Red area on lip, convinced me to do yet another skin scrape. Neg for mites, yet again. Dr did a (tape test?) tested positive for fungal and bacterial infection of the paws. Prescribed Simplicef (cephelexin again) and Ketoconazole for infections as well as claritin to help with itching (benadryl was making him too sleepy). Also advised epsom salt soaks which prompts Renji to chew for hours once the soak is done.
    Still have two weeks left of these medications but chewing has not stopped which makes me think we are treating the infections but not the overlying cause. It is to the point where there is a spot he chews, and he whines because it hurts him so much. He screams if I inspect his paws and touch the red areas. I am frustrated because things are getting worse, not better.
    Even though the vet says allergies do not manifest before one year old, I have switched his food to a grain free, poultry free food. He is on week two, and his eye goopiness has cut way down. I know it can take weeks to notice an effect on food. I also want to try unscented baby wipes after he comes in from outside, but then I wont really know which is working (if either even does).
    I just want my little man to feel better, and would like to keep some of my paycheck, rather than seeing it all go to the vet with no positive progress. Any advice or ideas that I can try?

    Sorry the pics were hard to get...
    IMG_1439
    IMG_1437
    IMG_1433
    Megan and Justin with Renji & Roxy
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-08-09 09:49:52
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I would consult a vet dermatologist asap and ask them to test for immune function. It is so, so incorrect to say that a dog under a year never gets allergies. My vet dermatologist told me he was treating 12 and 14 week old puppies with full blown atopy and immune related skin diseases. Are you rinsing the salt off his feet after the soaks? I agree with you that this course is treating symptoms and not the cause, and you are wise to want to investigate other courses of treatment. In my Shibas case, treatment for her (she was also suffering pyoderma at 3 and 4 months requiring cephalexi, and had mites) was a course of immune therapy, antihistamines, and allergy shots for her atopy. I also had to switch to grain free and raw. This all occured when she was under a year. Ask for a referral to a dermatologist if you want real answers and solutions."Common sense isn't so common"
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    What food is your pup on? Has there been a recent change to it (new bag which could mean something wrong with new bag or a change in formulation)? Have you recently changed detergents or had the carpet shampooed? Anything new that you've done in the recent time - yard treated for ants, insects, etc? House treated for bugs?
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • YukikoYukiko
    Posts: 452
    You might already be doing this but if you are trying to rule out food allergies, make sure ALL treats given are also grain and poultry free.
    Post edited by Yukiko at 2011-07-09 21:37:24
  • LuckeeSevenLuckeeSeven
    Posts: 166
    @Lindsay- Thank you for your advice, I truly appreciate it. I did find a vet derm 30 minutes away, they only take patients through referrals, so I will call my regular vet and ask for one. His next vet check is at the end of the month, and I'm hoping to maybe see a change after the diet change. The vet said to do the epsom soaks at night, then just to pat dry. I was wondering why, since he is already chewing his paws... why would we want him to eat the salt residue left on the paws. I've been putting baby socks on his paws to try and keep him from chewing, but he is way too smart for that! I also don't want to keep in a cone... so when I see him chewing, I try to distract him by playing with him. Doesn't work too often. So sorry to hear everything you had to go through with your girl, hoping I can get my boy on track. Thank you again!

    @LJ- He was on Nature's Variety Praire kibble (Beef,had grain in ingredients) before I decided to try grain free/poultry free with him to try and rule out food allergy and switched him to TOTW Pacific Stream. I am also thinking of doing a half raw half kibble diet. I usually rotate protein and brands each 4pound bag anyways... No new detergents, or carpet shampoo. We have had ants in the house within the past week or so, and I use EcoSMART spray (plant based) and then wipe it down with Natures Miracle afterwards just to be careful. One thought that just came to me, I have been bitten/stung by fire ants that have infested our yard in the past few weeks. I'm not sure if they would be able to penetrate the fur/skin and get him, but I could see that making him itchy. However, I have not heard him scream while out in the yard, I'm almost positive if one got him, he would tell me! (He stepped on a wasp once and the screaming lasted 30 minutes, and the paw limp lasted until Daddy got home...) Thanks!!

    @Yukiko- Thanks! I forgot the first few days as I was slowly switching food, but recently got some grain free treats (Natural balance LIT sweet potato and fish, and Raw Naturals freeze dried beef) I love how I read all his ingredients but 3 day old frozen pizza is good enough for me, lol.
    Megan and Justin with Renji & Roxy
    Post edited by LuckeeSeven at 2011-07-09 21:41:38
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Luckee, I definitely ditto the advice to find a derm specialist. You shouldn't have to wait until your next vet check to get the referral... call your vet and tell him you want the referral now, so you can schedule an appointment. If your local derm specialist is anything like mine, they're backlogged for weeks, so the sooner you can schedule something, the better.

    FWIW, the Epsom salts did seem to help Bowdu, but it only helped keep infections at bay, and definitely wasn't a cure. I don't think that remedy works for every dog, since you're supposed to soak with the hottest water possible. I hung out in the tub with Bowdu so I was sure that the water wasn't too hot, and I did make sure to rinse the salt water off his feet and pat dry, so he wasn't tempted to lick himself dry. He also got his feet washed with medicated shampoos about twice a week at his worst (switching off between something like Mal-a-Ket or Malaseb and Selsun Blue).

    In the end, what finally ended the summer of torture was a combination of cone, figuring out the underlying cause (partly hypothyroidism in his case), a shot of Convenia, and the changing seasons...

    For baby socks, have you tried this sock harness?
    http://www.dermapaw.com/Home-made_sock_harness.html

    Not so sure about the product itself (we bought a pot with no real, noticeable improvement), but the sock harness is pretty cool.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • It could also be an enviromental allergey
  • Tanuki got something similar at the beginning of spring. I forgot exactly what our vet did, but it's cleared up and haasn't returned. We're pretty sure it's enviromental based on what we feed the pups and speaking to our breeder about it.
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 267
    I feel your pain. Maya is going through something similar too.

    Maya started to scratch her face and chew on her feet non-stop about a month ago. We took her to the vet and did some scrapping, no mites, but the vet still thinks it's caused by mites hidden deep in her skin, so gave her a shot. It got better the next week, so she got another shot, but then it all got worse, to a point she had to keep an e-coller on 24/7. The vet then referred us to go see an dermatologist. (That visit itself cost us $300.) After more scrapping, still no mites, but the dermatologist thinks we should still continue with the mites treatment, so we got 3 different meds for it. She also wanted us to start a diet trial, in case it's caused by food. She suggested Royal Canin venison & potato, because it has limited ingredients and Maya never had venison before (it takes about 8 weeks to develop allergies). We later found online that "Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato & Venison" is kind of similar but with better ratings, so we went with that instead.

    It's been 3 days since Maya was on her new med and food. She seems to be getting better and scratches a lot less, but we are still not sure what helped and if she's really cured (cause one of the med is to stop the itching). Hopefully, when she's off her mites meds, everything will be back to normal. We can then switch back to her old food and see if any symptoms reappear, then we can tell for sure if it's food allergies or not.

    I hope Renji gets better soon. I know how heart-breaking it is to see him suffer and how frustrating (and expensive) it is to not being able find the cause.Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
    Post edited by Mayama at 2011-07-10 14:43:42
  • LuckeeSevenLuckeeSeven
    Posts: 166
    @ M.C- Thank you for all the advice! The sock harness is a good idea- the socks have stayed on so far tonight though... we took an hour walk, then I did an epsom salt soak and a rinse. We patted them dry and I put the socks on. He shot me dagger eyes, but now is sleeping in his oh so stylish baby sock mismatched set. I can't wait for the seasons to change!! Will call the vet Monday and ask for the referral, I am sure they are swamped at this vet derm too since it is the only one in the Charleston area. Did they do allergy testing with Bowdu? Is there anything specific I should ask for them to do/not do? Thanks again!

    @shimaura- Thanks for your experience! I wish things cleared up quickly for Renji....

    @Mayama- Thank you so much for sharing your experince with Maya... it actually sounds really similar to what Renji is going through now. Our vet thought deeply burrowed mites as well. They never mentioned a dermatologist, otherwise I probably would have went there after I saw the clueless second doctor. It is indeed very frustrating, (and expensive!!) so I hope going to the derm will find a cause. What did your derm appt consist of? Hope Maya feels better soon!!

    Here's a pic of him in his socks :)

    IMG_1441
    Can you see the joy in his eyes?
    Megan and Justin with Renji & Roxy
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    We didn't get intradermal allergy testing done for Bowdu. Our vet actually recommended against it since he said it was pricey and prone to false positives. But he was still willing to refer us to the veterinary dermatologist.

    frank the tank has had it done for his young shiba. You may want to check some of his allergy threads -- you may pick something up from all the things he's tried, too!

    A number of Dogster users in this thread have also gotten the test. You may want to look over their experiences with it.

    Aside from intradermal testing, there's also VARL Liquid Gold serum testing (which claims to register fewer false positives, and is overall less stressful for the dog, though maybe more expensive). There's also a new food sensitivity test from Hemopet that just requires a saliva sample (search the forums for my post about this a while back). I don't know anyone that's tried the last one yet though, because it's a pretty new approach and I think most people feel the results won't provide satisfying, definitive answers as well as the other options that are currently available.

    At any rate, the derm specialist should be able to walk you through some of these options. I don't have any specific do's/don'ts... but I've definitely been there with frustrating vets who don't seem able to give effective diagnoses. I think the best you can do is push for a range of options, and don't be afraid to question your vet not to challenge him, but to ensure that you fully understand how and why they're treating Renji. Because I've found that sometimes general practice vets *don't* really have specific reasons... sometimes they're a little mechanical in their diagnoses. MAKE your vet think and give you a range of options, instead of being stingy with information.

    And of course, if you're not satisfied with the answers you're getting or the diagnostic process, there are always other vets.

    Also, I would just go ahead and get a bundle of unscented baby wipes. It's a minimal cost, and it could provide some relatively quick relief. Bowdu was hinting at some feet issues back in April or so, and I started the foot-wiping regimen immediately, which I think helped keep the problem from getting as bad as they did last year. I don't find that any isolated solution "cures" the problem, since allergies seem to be an ongoing battle with this breed. So I'm less concerned with trying to figure out which one thing worked than trying to get the situation under control marshaling every reasonable resource, if that makes sense.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 267
    During our visit, we kind of talked about the history of the conditions and treatments, did some scraping, got the meds for mites, talked about how to move forward with diet trials, and what to expect if the meds and new food won't help. According to our vet, the dermatologist can help set out a "game plan" and present you the options when the current treatment fails. They've also seen more dogs with similar conditions and will be more experienced in looking at the symptoms. By the way, make sure to ask your vet to fax over Renji's treatment information when referring you to the dermatologist.Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • LuckeeSevenLuckeeSeven
    Posts: 166
    @M.C- Thank you yet again for all of the information. I wasn't aware of the dogster forum for Shibas.. (strikes me as a different vibe than here), but that thread was very informative and useful. I called my vet Friday to give her an update (per her request), and never heard back, called again today and still nothing. They are definitely headed towards me finding another vet, I will be stopping by the vet after work tomorrow and hopefully have a word in person about the vet referral. Will also check out frank the tanks' posts as well. I bought a huge bundle of unscented baby wipes (even some travel ones for the car) and started that today. I also visited local pet boutique and talked to the owner about raw, and will be doing Primal Raw for the nightly meal, and TOTW for am meal. Wanted to make the switch to raw, and the boutique is offering all raw 20% off. Perfect time to incorporate that as well. Looks like another night of research! (P.s. went digging through your blog on Bowdu's paws, you have an amazing blog!) Appreciate the posts :)

    @Mayama- Thanks for the heads up, and the good tip! I like to try to be as prepared as I can for things, (putting away the paycheck this week already in anticipation!) I really wish I would have gotten insurance before I brought him home, because now this is considered a pre-existing condition. Arg! Will know better for next puppy I guess :)
    Keep me updated on Maya, maybe we can compare what is working for both of us.
    Megan and Justin with Renji & Roxy
    Post edited by LuckeeSeven at 2011-07-11 17:40:26
  • still may be worth it to get insurance now, who knows what will come up in the future!
    ninjarf21.tumblr.com
  • Hi Megan

    I'm sorry to hear Renji and you are going through this. I remember how stressful it was for me until I found a proper solution.

    These days I'm seeing more and more threads about Shiba Inu allergies. I would not go to the Vet anymore regarding allergies as I think it is much better to just go straight to a specialist (Dog Derm.). Just like you I wasted so much money going back to the vet and getting prescribed cephelexin. Cephelexin is basically to stop the infection of the wound and it does help but it doesn't stop the problem. Plus its probably not good for dogs to always be on antibiotics.

    Anyway it seems like the Vet has eliminated mange or mites. I just started using the product Revolution (flea + mange) product during that time to eliminate the chance that it was mange or mites.

    It could be an environmental allergy...Renji is still young so his immune system might not be quite as strong and could be sensitive to certain things outside. He could be allergy to grass pollens and I think wiping his feet anytime he comes back in from being outside helps. You don't have to use baby wipes, you can just use a wet hand towel. And also if you feed Renji high quality food or RAW it helps build his immune system up and helps avoid further issues later on..thats just my opinion anyway

    I've spend so much money trying every allergy product at regular pet stores but I can pretty much tell you 95% of them do not work haha. Anyway here is a cliff notes version of things I believe help with allergies.

    Chlorpheniramine Maleate - 4 mgAntihistamine (I give this to Severus any time we go to the fields. You can find that at walgreens but I would always ask my vet or derm first. http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-wal-finate-allergy-relief-tablets/ID=prod382719-product)

    Quercetin and Stinging Nettle pills are pretty good. It works as a natural antiinflamatory (http://www.amazon.com/QBC-Plex-Quercetin-Bromelain-Capsule/dp/B00020I0CI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310743467&sr=8-1)

    Fish Oils work for a lot of people too (I can't use it cause Severus is allergic to Fish)

    Raw Food

    Atopica-this is like the miracle drug for dogs that have extreme environmental allergies. It is so expensive and I'm not sure what the long term effect is which makes me hope that SEverus doesn't have to take this forever. He used to take one pill every day but now its once every 3 days. I give him Quecetin or Stinging Nettle Pills the days he doesn't take Atopica

    Allergy Test + Allergy shots-the test at least lets you know what he is allergic to so you can avoid it in the future. The shots really do help as he only has to take Atopica once every 3 days but it could also be because he is older now and a combination of other things.

    Things I like to use when Severus chews on his paws:

    Genesis Topical Spray-This usually helps Severus when he has a open wound. I just spray it once onto his paws and it gives him relief. The only thing bad is that it IS a steroid and using too much is probably not good (http://www.1800petmeds.com/Genesis+Topical+Spray-prod10681.html)

    Bag Balm-I use this if his paws are cracking or are really dry. (http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/bag-balm-protective-ointment/ID=prod10744-product)

    Hope some of this helps. I'm just rambling now haha. Let me know if you need anything else. and Good luck!
    Post edited by frank the tank at 2011-07-15 11:34:54
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Like Severus we have been through the exact same thing and the outcome is just about the same as well. Our dog began with symptoms at 4 months of age.

    The dermatologist really helped and we give shots twice a week and the Atopica is down to every four days. At the height of season our dog looks beautiful. He does still scratch some but no horrible wounds or bleeding.

    95% of over the counter sprays treatments do not work. The socks do not work and after awhile over time our dog would become irritable with that or the cone. Socks do not do a thing if your dog has Inhalation allergies.

    Seek and veterinary dermatologist and don't waste the rest of $ with a reg vet to treat. After some point the dog will build antibiotic resistance which will be detrimental in the long run.

    I am really happy with the results of the allergy shots. It takes about 6 months but there is much improvement when it works.

    Our oldest Shiba has allergies too and it was really hard on her as we went through all the other stuff rather getting to the heart of the problem to begin with. It whole ordeal has made her a bit more shy and reclusive when she had flairs. Things have settled out with her and as a senior dog she seems to be holding her own.

    Again my suggestion is find a vet derm Heres a link http://www.aavd.org/FindADerm.aspx to get to the heart to the issue to avoid personality changes during attempting to home treat the problem.

    It really is worth it to get the help of a professional in the specific specialty.

    Good luck!
    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2011-07-15 12:15:46
  • I just wanted to update the thread- and thank everyone again. We had our derm consult today. Renji's paws have been getting better with unscented baby wipes, claritin, and the new diet consisting of TOTW Pacific Stream and premade raw at night. The dermatologist does not want to do any type of allergy testing until Renji is closer to a year, he wants to make sure he is exposed to all the seasons and possible allergens before spending the money on intradermal or serum testing. He gave us TrizChlor to spray on his paws, and we will call to update him in one month to tell him how things are progressing. He thinks it is a possible food allergy and we will progress from there.

    I appreciate all of the help and input from everyone- this is a great community!
    Megan and Justin with Renji & Roxy
  • Good luck, I feel your pain! Signey has had allergy problems since she was 6 months old, nearly year round. We're pretty sure she's allergic to chicken because of some "experimenting" with it, as well as fleas. I believe that there is something in the environment in our area that is causing the animals to itch, because it seems like 75% of the dogs that we see, and that my friend that works at a vet's office sees, have some level of skin allergy.

    Try not to change too many things at once. If you add a supplement to the diet, make a food change, etc, don't change anything else in the diet or environment for at least a month.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Kouda has the itchy paws too. For the last month or so he's had some redness on his toes or mouth which came and went away. Then yesterday morning when he came out of his crate, he was obsessive about chewing his feet, and they were all bright pink on the knuckles and between some of the toes. He carried his tail low, and kept chasing his rear like it was bothering him. On his morning walk, he also kept rubbing his face on the ground. We put his cone on him and got an afternoon appointment with the vet. He did a local scrape and ruled out mites. Expressed his anal glands, and one was full. The verdict was likely some allergy, but it could be environmental or food. Got some drugs to help him feel better in the mean time.

    Not sure how soon we should expect improvement, but a day and a half later he still can't go without the cone. He's on fluconazole (50mg), cephalexin (250mg x2), and prednisone (10mg). After lunch today, since he wasn't feeling better, we called the vet and asked how much benadryl we could give him for itch relief. With the benadryl, he can go on walks without needing to pause every 2 seconds to attack himself. But once stopped or inside, the cone is still necessary.

    The vet said to update him again tomorrow if things have not improved.

    With the cone on, he pouts or comes to sit on you and be comforted. We were able to brush him for a good hour with the zoom groom and he fell asleep. It also seems like his first real coat blow is starting, as the brushing yielded a few handfuls of fluff. He is currently 8 months old.
    image
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Good luck. Hopefully the itchiness goes away. Glad to hear you are working with your vet. My only thought was maybe the coat blow is related to itchiness since you did indicate that also seems to be starting? I have no idea, but that popped in my head as I read the end of your post.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Yeah, the coat appears to be blowing. Got some more big handfuls of it off of him. Makes us wonder if we could restuff his toys with it! :p He really seems to enjoy the brushings too.

    I think the Benadryl helps with the itchiness the most. And for that reason, we held off on the prednisone today. Will resume if he gets noticeably itchier.

    Our trainer told us she uses Vetericyn on her dogs during itchy seasons, so we picked some up. http://www.amazon.com/Vetericyn-Wound-Infection-Spray-16/dp/B004WSAFTC

    We washed Kouda's feet and applied the spray. Of course he hated that. But a few hours later he actually wanted to play a little, even with the cone on. And by play, I mean he wanted to bulldoze his bed with the cone and play tug with his corduroy octopus toy.

    I'm leaning towards some kind of environmental or seasonal allergen like pollen. It's been really windy lately, and the pine pollen is all over the place. I remember specifically that Kouda investigated a pile of the pollen cones a week or so ago. And possibly ate some.. There's also been bees and wasps in abundance, no evidence of a sting, but he has freaked out after finding some on the ground.

    Anyhow, we are limiting his food intake to items with the same ingredients as his kibble - salmon and sweet potato. He enjoyed sweet potato baby food, but really loves the scoop of canned salmon/sweet potato I give him after we spray his feet! One positive of this is we get to be creative with his treat options.

    Some pics, last night
    image
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    today, after a wash and spray
    image
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    Getting comfortable
    image
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    @zandrame I'd be interested in hearing your longer-term experiences with Vetericyn. It was recommended to me too but I totally balked at the price and marketing gimmicks... If it actually works though, I'd look into it. Bowdu's allergies are starting to creep up on his paws again, as they did last April and the year before. Just hoping I can manage to keep him as well controlled as I did last year with just Benedryl, The Honest Kitchen Sparkle, and baby wipes...
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @curlytails, sure yeah, I will more than likely keep updating if I have anything to document. Haha, we'd never heard about Vetericyn before, so don't know about the gimmicks, but the Amazon reviews were good, and even the girl at the pet store uses it for her dog with grass allergies. We opted for the 16oz bottle because it was only a few bucks more than the 8oz :p I do like that it can be used around the face and eyes, and don't have to worry about him licking some.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    Update on Kouda's allergies -

    It's been 10 weeks since Kouda's initial outbreak. In the beginning along with the antibiotics we tried Benadryl, but it just didn't take enough of the edge off for him so we started on Hydroxyzine, which has worked fairly well. We've noticed that if we miss the 8 hour window for the next pill, even a little, that he gets considerably itchier. He has ups and downs through the days, but not ever good enough to go the night without the cone. At night he wears a ComfortFlex harness and his Comfy Cone, with a carabiner attaching the two together - otherwise he can pull the cone off when determined. He has headgear :P The cone is large, but he's a flexible little guy, and when driven can squish the cone against a foot and reach his toes. He has even been known to lick the inside of the cone to rub against a paw. In the early days we dreaded the damage he would do overnight.
    image

    We transitioned him to Nature's Variety LID Duck for a small trial bag, and then to the Lamb formula (vet recommended avoiding poultry). In general his poops have been much nicer than they ever were on the Nature's Domain. So that's a bonus! He also gets a variety of freeze dried lamb bits for treats, and lamb tripe. We also started him on a daily dose of krill oil, an alternative to fish oil (avoiding salmon and other fish).

    We were at a loss for most of these 10 weeks, but recently he's been improving. Right now he's sleeping on his cushion without the cone and prior to that was playing nicely.

    In the beginning we thought he might have had a reaction to the Trifexis dose (yes, the one for 20+lb dogs) that he had on April 15th. The itchiness started sometime between the night of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, as his feet were raw when he came out of the crate the next morning. One of the stated reactions to Trifexis is pruritus, or itchy skin. But even with a food change, two months later he was still itchy. So we thought it might be pollen or grass, but we always wipe his feet when he comes inside. Then we decided to eliminate the peanut butter we'd been using to get him to eat his pills, he now swallows them in a sandwich of dried lamb.

    What has seemed to help best is a strict cleaning regimen of weekly baths and washing after every time he goes outside. We dunk each paw in a 16oz cup with warm water and 4-5 sprays of Veterycin. Followed by a wipe down with Earthbath hypo-allergenic wipes. Then a spritz on each chewed area with Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray (http://www.vetsbest.com/products/dog-topicals.php), which is really strong smelling (reminds me of the industrial bathroom cleaning solution they use at my workplace), eww. We also avoid grass on walks, which isn't too hard since he prefers ivy for his business anyway.

    A couple of the other things we tried -

    Veterycin, full strength - made him squirm like crazy and cry. We figured he was just being dramatic and didn't like the spraying sensation. He tolerated it better when food was shoved in his face at the same time. But then I tried it on a cut on my own foot and that stuff STINGS! Explains why he would run around in circles and jump in a lap as soon as we sat down (his method of seeking comfort). To note, Veterycin is 99.8% water, and the main active ingredient is hypochlorous acid, 0.011%, which is a derivative of bleach.

    Lavender/Peppermint - very diluted essential oils. No observable effect, but made him and his bedding smell nice!

    Apple Cider Vinegar - stinky and he just wanted to clean it off more.

    neem oil - super stinky stuff! Makes you want to gag, even when diluted 1/10 with sweet almond oil. And it seemed to make his itchiness worse and his toes red(der).

    Cortizone 10 - chamomile formula. Didn't seem to help any, and made his feet corn-chippy.

    chlorhexidine soaked gauze from the vet - no noticeable improvement, so after we ran out we did not ask for more.

    Ditch the itch cream - a (human) product that seems really good, and he didn't mind it, but the yeasty smell continued. We realized that the Oatmeal in it can be food for yeast. Booo.

    @curlytails, here is a picture of the same foot a day after the one from last time, with only Veterycin, so I do believe it helps. April 19
    image

    Looking good on April 30
    image

    Not so good on May 5 (this is probably the worst)
    image

    May 17
    image

    May 31, don't have any better closeups, but he's improved enough to nap cone-free
    image

    Since we established our current regimen, he's less inclined to chew on his toes, instead focusing on his wrists when he does try, but he no longer has any completely raw/red wounds. The skin where the fur is missing is now gray.

    So we still don't have a solution yet, but have decided we'll see a dermatologist if his current improvement regresses. It would be nice if it was peanut butter or the Trifexis, because we can avoid those things. But grass or pollen will be difficult long-term.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    An excellent dermatologist in the Seattle area is Dr Mundell with Animal Dermatology. He sounds like he has Atopy, and would benefit from allergy injections.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    I wanted to update. We have been dealing with allergies (inhalation induced Atopy) for many years (with more than one Shiba actually) and the allergy shots DO help in our case. I was skeptical to begin with, but as treatment (Shots) were layered and paired with other medication it helped in the adjustment and eventually one by one we were able to back off of most oral or spray meds.

    We found that treatment is best started when testing in an off flair season and integrating the shots gradually up to when the full season starts, that backed with an occasional allergy tablet and or alternative therapy until the body adjusted to the shots. Shots are a year round thing but seem to effective over the long haul for us.

    At times in the beginning I thought the shots would never work but two years later we are doing well *knock on wood*. We also have traveled into other blooming zones that were behind ours with little problem. We also time our training and performance event schedule around the seasons (indoor or outdoor). It isn't one thing I feel, but a combination by putting together a whole system that works in conjunction to reduce or keep flairs at bay.

    Good Luck to all finding the "sweet spot" in allergy treatment.
    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2013-06-25 10:28:25
  • RikaRika
    Posts: 51
    Rika has something like that too, and it is diagnosed as Demodex. She chews on her paws to the state that they bleed, and she was red and itchy all over a few months ago. Maybe you canask the vet about that. Hope Renji gets better soon :D
    Rika -- 1 year old red coated Shiba Inu <3
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    lindsayt said:

    An excellent dermatologist in the Seattle area is Dr Mundell with Animal Dermatology. He sounds like he has Atopy, and would benefit from allergy injections.

    I read about Dr M in your Beebe thread on the NK forum. Unfortunately we aren't anywhere near Seattle.

    Atopy is genetic right? Though his parents aren't affected and neither is his sister. If that's what it is, he must have really bad luck (or we do). @lindsayt, do you keep track of that in your database? I emailed you his info last week, hope you got it!

    I've heard only positive things about the allergy shots. Though that's a depressing lifetime commitment. I'm terrible around needles! I would so prefer a pill form.

    Currently checking out the dermatologists around here. After a bad experience with behaviorists, we are slightly more paranoid than normal. If anybody personally recommends any good ones in the San Diego or LA areas, I would love to know.
  • MagMag
    Posts: 31
    Miki-has demodex too and she is on ivomec 0.25 drop a day. it took 5 mos for it to go away. then we stop because she was clear and three weeks latter it was worse we didnt get the skin scrap. should have 2 done after the 5 months before you stop the ivomec

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