An itchy dog can be very frustrating for both the owners and the dog. A bit of itching here and there is quite common in dogs, but excessive itching forces us to look in to the reasons that may be causing this.
Of course there are many reasons for itching. Most commonly fleas are blamed and if a flea treatment resolves the issue then that is great. Reacting to plants in the area such as Wandering Jew is apparently another common cause. Food sensitivities can also cause an animal to scratch more than normal. Our veterinarian suggested it would be unusual for our dog to suddenly become sensitive to food at the grand old age of 11 if he had previously not been an overly itchy dog. I recalled he had itched off and on over the years but never to the extent he currently was. After some trial and error testing we decided he did have a problem with potato. He was always itchier after sharing our hot chips on take away day. Sweet potato or kumara as we call it also seemed to bring on extra itching.
.Our dog had his spleen removed due to a large benign tumour growing on it early in 2015. When we thought the tumour was cancerous we decided to change his diet to a more expensive brand that was also grain free. and funnily enough he hardly itched for the year following his operation. After this time he steadily became itchier and itchier. I wondered whether having no spleen could have anything to do with it but again the vet said it wouldn't.
The vet prescribed prednisone for the itching and antibiotics as his tummy was somewhat inflamed. The itching stopped almost immediately, however as we were weaning him off the prednisone which was a short course, he developed either pancreatitis or had a gastro attack. We were not sure which it was. In case it was pancreatitis we changed his biscuits to a low fat variety and minimal ingredients.
We didn't want to do prednisone again, however I had spoken with a lady who had her dog on a daily low dose of prednisone that was controlling her dogs itching. I found an animal homeopath in our city, a student homeopath with a supervisor for advice. She visited and asked many questions about our dog covering all aspects such as nature and toilet habits etc. Once she had all the information she felt she required she went off to research what remedy would best suit his symptoms and him in general. After confirmation from her supervisor that she had in fact selected the appropriate remedy it was time to administer the pillule. It was Alumina 30C. Not all the reasons for giving a particular remedy have to be present in the person/animal for the remedy to work. Our dog who usually eats anything and everything made it difficult to get the little pillule inside him. I dissolved it in a small amount of water which is ok and sucked it up in a syringe then slowly dribbled it in his mouth with some spillage. I and he did get quite good at this with successive doses.
After the first dose he made himself comfortable on the couch and rested. He didn't itch for around twelve hours which was incredible. The next day he had about three sessions of itching which is pretty good in my books. We gave the other daily doses and waited and watched. The itching slowly returned, but not as bad as before the remedy. Our lovely homeopath decided to give him the same remedy but in a stronger potency. It never had the same effect as the first dose but he was definitely better overall.
Being a family who shares with the dog it was easy to absentmindedly hand over something he shouldn't have such as potato. We became vigilant at keeping potato of any type away from his mouth. When using homeopathic remedies some things can be considered antidotes and adding known triggers are not helpful of course. It would be nice to be able to resolve the issue with the known trigger and apparently it is possible but at this point we are keeping potato away and also making sure the wandering jew plant that keeps coming through the back fence is kept at bay.
The itching again subsided once these things were removed. I don't know whether the wandering jew affected him or not. I removed it because I have read it can be a problem for dogs. Now we could say these things may have been the problem in the first place and that is why he has improved so much, but because he had such a dramatic improvement after the first dose of the homeopathic remedyI believe it definitely has helped him. As pointed out to me removing aggravations can allow the remedy to work better which stands to reason. Also the remedy can depending on which remedy still be working for several weeks. Sometimes homeopaths like to wait a period of time before trying another remedy to ensure all the healing has been had. We did throw quite a few spanners in the works while giving the remedy such as changing his food again and then back.
After a period of a few weeks with much less itching I decided to avoid feeding any other of the nightshade family to him. The nightshades include potato, tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini,cucumber and eggplant. The summer garden produce was finished so this made it easier to stick to. His itching and scratching is so much less these days.
It is so much nicer for him to be scratching now and again and not multiple times a day. The combination of all these strategies have helped our dog regain a more peaceful life.
tebo on October 05, 2018:
Thanks Rajan Singh Jolly. It took a long time and lots of trial and error. Thanks for reading.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 01, 2018:
Good to know that your dog is back to normal. Glad you could find out which foods you needed to avoid feeding your dog to prevent itching. Thanks for sharing.