Common Reasons for Dog Itchy Skin and Dog Scratching

Occasional itching and scratching is natural dog behavior. Problems only arise, when our dog starts to itch and scratch with extreme frequency.

Common reasons for extreme dog itchiness include-

  • Allergies,
  • Bacterial infection, or
  • Skin parasites.

The irritation may sometimes cause our dog to rub his nose and body on the rug, on furniture, or even in the mud and snow. These behaviors may offer him some temporary relief, but it may also cause dirt to enter the wound, and further inflame the condition of his skin.

Depending on the cause of dog itchy skin, there could also be hair-loss.

Itchy Dog Reason 1

Hot Spots

As I understand it, hot spots are caused by bacterial infection on the dog’s skin. It usually starts when a scratch or opening on the skin is exposed to moisture, for a prolonged period of time.

My Husky developed a hot spot last winter, on the lower-inner part, of her back leg. It was raining frequently, and she probably developed the skin infection from exposing a scratch on her leg to water, or from lying on a damp surface. Being a Siberian Husky, Shania likes being outside in the rain. However, we now limit her rain time and make sure to dry her well when she comes in.

With hot spots, it is important to catch it as early as possible. Otherwise, the condition may worsen and spread, when the dog continuously licks or scratches on the infected site. If untreated, the infected area may become painful, may develop pus, and may start to smell.

Luckily, we caught Shania’s hot spot early-on and stopped it, before it was able to expand. We cut away the fur around the spot, and kept the area dry. The most challenging part was supervising my dog, and making sure that she did not lick or bite at the inflamed skin. Sometimes, an Elizabethan collar may be necessary to prevent licking, scratching, and biting.

After a trip outside, we gently toweled-down the area, and then lightly fanned it, until it was no longer wet. Keeping it free of moisture reduced irritation to the skin, which in turn, made it less likely for my dog to continue worrying at it.

If the infection spreads or develops pus, it is best to get treatment from a vet.

Itchy Dog Reason 2

Food Allergies

With food allergies, the itching and scratching is usually accompanied by loose or watery stool. My Shiba Inu is allergic to wheat, and he used to get really itchy from it.

To identify the source of the allergy, I started feeding my dog really plain meals (boiled chicken and rice); no treats or other types of food. I was also very careful during neighborhood walks, so that he did not slip in a “road-side surprise“.

It may take a few days before the allergens clear out of our dog’s system, and we start to see an improvement. Some dogs may be allergic to poultry, so if the boiled chicken does not help, then switch to an alternate meat source, for example venison or rabbit.

Grain-Free Kibble

I only boil or microwave the meat. Do not add anything else, and absolutely do not use table scraps. Table scraps are usually too rich for dogs, and may contain spices or ingredients (e.g. onions) that are poisonous to dogs. Some dogs may be allergic to multiple common ingredients. My Siberian Husky, for example, is allergic to wheat, oats, and some types of fish.

Once the extreme itching goes away, slowly introduce our dog’s normal food back into his diet, one by one, until we find the problem ingredient.

I start with only 1/4 portion of the first food. If everything goes well, I slowly increase the portion by quarters, after every few days (three or more). If the allergy symptoms do not come back after a couple of weeks, I introduce the next food on my list and so on.

If we are using dry food (kibble), find one that is grain free, and has good protein sources.

Some good kibble brands include Orijen, Blue Wilderness, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Wellness CORE.

Itchy Dog Reason 3

Environmental Allergies

Dog itching can also be caused by plants, pollen, or other chemicals.

The best way to deal with environmental allergies, is to keep our dog away from the offending chemicals or contaminants. For example, my dogs often stick their muzzle into holes, bushes, and plants. Therefore, if I suspect outdoor allergens, I try keeping them mostly inside the house for a few days. At the same time, I limit and closely supervise their outside time.

If the itching improves, then my dog is likely allergic to something in the backyard or neighborhood. Once I identify which plant is the source of the problem, I remove it from my backyard and avoid it during walks.

Note that some plants can be poisonous to dogs.

Like us, dogs may also have a reaction to inhaling certain air allergens such as pollen or mold. However, symptoms usually include nose irritation and frequent sneezing.

Itchy Dog Reason 4

Skin Parasites

Dog itching may also result from mites, fleas, or other skin parasites.

Our vet can easily diagnose this with a skin scraping. Depending on the parasite and the severity of the infection, different treatments may be appropriate. Ask our vet for the pros and cons of each.

Note that many parasite treatments involve the use of toxic chemicals to kill the mites or fleas.

Some dogs may have a bad reaction to these toxins. Therefore, I ask my vet about possible risks, as well as supervision and after-care requirements. I also get additional information from online sources to fill in the gaps, and provide a more comprehensive picture of available options. If I am still unsure about safety, I get a second professional opinion.

My Husky recently got demodectic mange from her puppy playmates in dog daycare. To treat the skin mites, our vet suggested the use of Goodwinol ointment. This treatment got the mites under control after about one week, but it also caused some vomiting and irritation to the eyes.

Flea and Tick Repellents

There are also some horror stories on flea and tick repellent products. This article has some good information on possible risks.

Since these repellents are designed to kill fleas, ticks, and other skin parasites, they are all toxic to some degree. As such, there is always the possibility that our dog may have a bad reaction.

Flea and tick collars can be especially dangerous because if they are not properly fastened, a dog may chew off pieces, or even swallow it whole.

However, not using flea and tick repellents may expose our dog to skin irritation, as well as dangerous diseases such as lyme disease. Before making a decision, it may be useful to read what the FDA has to say about fighting fleas and ticks.

If we find ticks on our dog, do not try to pull them off with our fingers. This may cause the body of the tick to break off, and leave the head still embedded in our dog’s skin. Embedded tick parts may sometimes cause a skin infection.

One of the best tools for removing ticks easily and safely, is with the Ticked off tick remover.

It may look just like a silly plastic spoon, but it works surprisingly well. Since I got it, I have been able to remove all ticks from my dogs without any problems.

Conclusion

Finally, dogs may also lick themselves as a result of stress, nervousness, or anxiety (e.g. separation anxiety). In these situations, a dog may engage in displacement behaviors such as self grooming, to calm himself down. Over-grooming can cause irritation to the skin and hair loss.

In general, we want to address skin irritation issues as soon as possible. Otherwise, our dog will likely keep licking and scratching at the problem area, and worsen its condition. Excessive licking may cause pain and further irritate the skin, which will encourage even more licking, and so on. If not addressed, this may be habit forming, and lead to Acral Lick Dermatitis.

These are the most common reasons for dog itching, dog scratching, and hair loss. However, there could be other causes, so it is always best to consult with a vet.

When dealing with allergy issues, find a vet who is willing to help us identify the source of the problem. Medication may help in the short term, but for a long term solution, we want to pinpoint the origin of our dog’s allergy, and stop it there.

In this article, we only focus on itchy dog skin. For a broader, more general discussion of dog allergies, check out Allergies and Atopy in Dogs. Dogs may also have allergic reactions to their yearly vaccination shots. This article on Vaccine Side Effects and Risks gives a good overview of possible dangers.

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Comments

  1. shiba500 says

    Thanks so much for this helpful post. We got our Shiba (mistakenly–didn’t know better) from a pet store. We received the breeder’s information a few weeks after, and the breeder seems to carry 70+ adult dogs and 40+ puppies. Our dog’s been itching and scratching almost chronically.

    We replaced the chicken + duck + grain diet with a grain-free pork diet (Merrick) close to 3 weeks ago, but she’s still a bit itchy. She’s on benadryl and occasional steroid.

    What would you recommend for someone in our situation? How did you figure out what your dogs were allergic to? We’re contemplating getting an allergies test done, but not sure how effective the test is. Congratulations on raising your dogs so well.

    • shibashake says

      When I suspected that my Shiba Inu had food allergies, I first switched him to a bland diet (pain boiled chicken and white rice). No treats or anything else. Some dogs are allergic to poultry, in which case we would need to use an alternate meat source.

      Sephy’s condition improved after a few days, so I knew that I was on the right track. Then, I *very slowly* reintroduced back each item from his regular diet. The symptoms returned after I started reintroducing his kibble, so I knew that the problem was from his kibble. Then, I carefully looked through the ingredients in his kibble and identified the most likely problem ingredient(s). I did more research and picked a new kibble that does not contain those problem ingredients.

      I talk more about what I did with Sephy in the food allergy section above. Here is a bit more on how I pick my dog’s food.

      My Huskies especially have very sensitive stomachs, so I am very careful about what I feed my dogs, and I try to keep to a limited number of ingredients. I also only introduce one new food at a time, so if their poop gets soft or they start showing other symptoms, I know that the new thing does not agree with them. I mostly stick with poultry (because I already know that my dogs are fine with that) and potatoes, with as few additives as possible. I am currently using Wellness CORE regular.

      Note though, that there can be many sources for dog itching, and food allergy is only one possible source.

      So far, I have not needed to do allergy tests on any of my dogs, so I don’t have any first hand experience on those.

      Big hugs to your Shiba girl and please let us know how things go, and what works out best.

  2. Cassie says

    I have a male husky that was outside for six months before we got our female. Back in the summer she started scratching and biting herself until she started loosing her hair and bleeding. She lost a lot of weight and just looked terrible. Well after spending a lot at the vet and doing two scrape tests we still got nothing. However the mange dip that the vet gave us worked but then it spreaders to my male. We bought our female dog after she was a year old and during the vet visits we found out she had 3 types of intestinal worms! Now our male has it and we have done everything for him that we did for her and nothing is working. He lost all of his hair like she did and lost too much weight. He still scratches and now we have noticed that she is starting to scratch again. What could this be and how do I get rid of this crap?

    • shibashake says

      One of my Huskies also had tape worms and it was very difficult to get rid of. In Lara’s case, she kept getting reinfected because at night, she would hunt for and eat rodents. Some of the rodents have fleas that are infected with tape worm eggs, so Lara would get reinfected. To stop this, we now keep her inside the house at night, and supervise her well when she is outside, so no eating rodents.

      As I understand it, the worms are parasites so they absorb some of the nutrients that should go to the dog, and this could be one of the causes of weight loss. I am not familiar with the other types of intestinal worms, so I would talk it through with your vet. The key to getting rid of the tapeworms with Lara is to kill the existing worms in her body with medication from our vet, as well as prevent reinfection from the environment (in Lara’s case, by stopping her from eating rodents).

      Hair loss and scratching is likely from fleas or mites. This can also be passed from other dogs and other animals. For example, rodents often have fleas, and this can cause itching and hairloss. Fleas can be seen on close examination, so I make sure to get rid of them as early and quickly as possible before they spread. With my Huskies, it was also necessary to eliminate reinfection by carefully managing their environment and activity.

      Mange mites are not visible, but can be identified by the vet with a skin scraping. Based on what I have read, there are two common types of mange – demodectic and sarcoptic. Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious. Here is more on mange -
      http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/mange-dogs-canine-scabies
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mange

      I think it is best to talk to a vet about treatment options. Management of the environment and activity may also be necessary to prevent reinfection.

  3. niya says

    hye shibashake it was really nice to read your article and it was really helpfull as well. my dog which is shiba inu has the same same problem past 2years. she is 8+ years old and she did when through alot of difficulties. Actually we stayed at Japan around 7 years and we bought our dog in japan. After that we moved into our country back which is Malaysia now. it already has been 6yesrs we are here..At first she did not have this problem but after the 2nd year we notice that she started to have this skin problems. but that time it was not bad condition. It cured in 2 weeks after we applay her some cream which the doctor gave us. after 2 years later the condition started back.we didn’t know why it happened suddenly .we took her to so many doctors, which some of them didnt know why, some of them gave us steroid when the condition get worst after we stop giving to her. after visiting more Dc to have a check up and we came to know that she had demodex. after knowing that she had demodex, we did a lot of treatment by changing her food, shampoos and so on. We were afraid to visit the Dc knowing thst they might dont know the symptom or what. But 1 months before we went to the doctor back because we didn’t see any changes on her condition which was getting worst. they told us that she doesn’t have demodex anymore but she has a skin problems of fungal infection. last week we took her to different doctor and the doctor give us 3 types of Medicine. Her inflammations all did reduce a bit but i don’t feel satisfied yet. The food thar we are giving is Eukanuba dermatitis FP. I am really worried about her. we are putting her the cone to avoid scratching and licking or bitting her paws. Her condition is really bad. i don’t know what to do with it. Dc advice us to not frequently bath and not give rice and meats. can u please give us some recommendation orvany advice by getting rid of her inflammations all.thank you

    • shibashake says

      With my dog, the first thing that I do is try to identify the source of skin issue. There can be many different causes for skin irritation, so the surrounding context, routine, and environment of the dog are all very important.

      I set up a fixed routine for my dog and I try to identify what has changed when his skin problems *first* started occurring. From there, I try to make a good first guess as to the source of the issue. Then, I carefully test to see if removing the “suspected source” leads to an improvement.

      I am very systematic about this, and I test out only one trigger at a time. I describe some of my experiences in the article above, and how I go about testing each trigger for my dog.

      In terms of food, my Shiba Inu is allergic to wheat and my Huskies are allergic to oats and other grains. Therefore, I feed my dogs a grain free diet. Here is more on how I picked my dog’s kibble.

      Sometimes, allergy issues can be from multiple different sources. A dog can also get reinfected with mites and fleas. As a result, figuring out allergy issues can be a challenge and will often require a lot of management and supervision. If I am unable to identify the source of the issue and if my vet is unable to help, then my next step would be to see a dog skin specialist.

  4. Jessie says

    My Alaskan husky had a hematoma after scratching from skin allergies on his left ear about 2 years ago (when we moved him into this house). He was treated, but now he has started recently scratching at his left ear and shaking his head a lot – like his ear is bothering him. The vet could never figure out exactly what he was allergic to, just said a plant outside, could be a neighbors. Any suggestion on what to maybe out on him or bathe him with to soothe his poor ear? It has recently started bothering him now since the seasons are changing. The original incident also happened when the seasons were changing from summer to fall.

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba Inu is allergic to some types of pollen, and he used to get really sneezy when fall would roll around. What helped most is to observe him carefully and try to identify the source of his allergy. I noticed that he mostly sneezed when we went to a particular hiking trail, so during allergy season we would walk in a different location. This significantly reduced his sneezing.

      Allergy issues are usually difficult to solve because it can be a challenge to figure out the source of the allergy. I try to be very systematic about each possible source, and eliminate them one by one, starting with the most likely. For example, if I suspect that it is an environmental allergy, then I may change where we walk, or reduce our outside exercise (while increasing our inside exercise). If there is improvement, then I have narrowed things down to certain locations and can go from there.

      As for treating a hematoma, I would go to a vet for that.
      http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/02/ear-hematoma-treatments-for-dogs.aspx
      http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-i-hate-ear-hematomas

  5. PAHusky says

    Great article! I’ve been through the ringer with my 10yo husky Marleigh now for about a year. It started last June with a few areas on her stomach and has slowly progressed across her entire body. It’s been on her legs, eyes, stomach, tail, parts of her back, ears, paws, you name it she’s had it. We’ve been to three different vets and have gone through more than a few cycles of antibiotics and steroids. We’ve tried every diet under the sun. Any advice??

    • shibashake says

      What did the vets say? What tests did they run? I would consider going to see a skin specialist (animal dermatologist).

      Veterinary specialists are more expensive, but they know a lot more about their area of specialty. We have gone to see two different specialists for our dogs, once for Shania’s leg and another time for Sephy’s tooth. Both of them knew a lot, and were very helpful in working together with us to figure out a solution.

      In terms of allergies, this is what I usually do with my dogs,
      1. I identify which are the most likely sources for the allergy. A vet or specialist can help us with identifying likely sources given our dog’s medical history, environment, and routine.
      2. I usually take an aggressive approach and eliminate all likely sources of allergy from my dog’s routine. In this way, I can quickly restore comfort and skin condition.
      3. I very slowly reintroduce things back one by one to isolate which is the main cause of the allergy.

    • PAHusky says

      Thanks for the reply! All three vets tested for mites, and one took skin scrapings to test for mange, and all tests were negative. We have an appointment with the vet recommended specialist on Wednesday and are hoping for the best. Is it possible it’s not allergy related and could be caused by anxiety/stress?

    • shibashake says

      Based on what I have read, stress can sometimes cause hair loss. Stress can also cause excessive licking and lead to acral lick dermatitis

      When a dog is under significant stress though, there are usually other symptoms (body posture, behavior, etc.) and there is usually something which triggers the stress. Does Marleigh seem stressed? Did something happen last June that may have made her greatly anxious? Are there clear sources of stress still present in her routine?

      Let us know how things go with the specialist. Big hugs to Marleigh. Hope she feels better soon.

    • PAHusky says

      Sooooo it turns out the specialist was able to find a mite! I think that’s good news that we were able to track down the cause, even if a little disconcerting we weren’t able to find until now. We’re trying another cycle of higher mg steroids, another round of antibiotics, a weekly injection, and some more shampoo. Hopefully this clears it up and she can have a comfortable summer, but I’ll be sure to report back in a couple weeks! Thanks again!

  6. Ralph says

    4 years ago I adopted a three year old Siberian female husky named Yoka. She is the loveliest companion one could imagine and seems in excellent condition. Lately she is scratching a lot and it has become worse over time. I checked on flees but nothing. There is no excessive hair loss and I cannot find any irritated skin or hot spots. I have not changed her diet which is basically meat and rice. However she keeps being a cuddly dog and seems not to be bothered with the scratching I am a bit worried. The vet gave her a shot but it doesn’t seem to help at all.
    Anyone any ideas?

    • shibashake says

      What did the vet say? Did the vet think it was some sort of contact allergy?

      Where is she scratching – all over or just in specific areas? Has she gone to any new environments? Has anything changed in her routine?

      Has there been any changes in coat quality? Is there any skin dryness? Is she shedding? What is her grooming routine like? Any changes there – shampoo used, frequency of baths?

    • Ralph says

      The vet just said that it was probably an allergy. The scratching is all over and even as such that she scratches her back against the underside edges of the pool table.
      Nothing in her diet, routine or environment has changed.
      Her fur coat is in perfect condition and, as said, there is no abnormal hair loss. I brush her about daily. As she never is smelly I bath her about once every two months during november-april. The rest of the year she swims with me in the sea after which I hose her with tap water, sometimes with a little shampoo. Her skin looks good; no dry spots, no red spots, nothing. And it is easy to check as she frequently lays on her back, same as your dog does on one of the photos.
      The other two dogs around the house are my mother’s boxer and pointer, my mum lives next door, these two do not scratch more than normal.

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, it difficult to say with allergy issues. My *guess* is –

      1. It could be a dietary issue. The allergy could just be showing up now.

      Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.
      ~~[ASPCA]

      The ASPCA article above has some good general information on dog allergies.

      2. It could be from the swim. There is a lot of stuff that goes into the sea nowadays.

      When my dog has allergy issues, I usually try to eliminate the most likely sources and then see what happens. If I think it is from his walks, I will stop that briefly, and replace it with inside play and exercise. If I think it is from his food, I will switch him to a bland diet, etc.

      It is probably best to work together with your vet on this.

      Hugs to Yoka. Let us know how it goes.

    • Ralph says

      Thanks for your reply.
      I can hardly imagine it would be because of swimming in the sea. There is hardly any industry at this part of the coast and this season she has not been in the sea yet, so last time was back in October.
      I will start a hydrolyzed protein diet this week and hope that helps starting to find the cause.

      Ralph

  7. Barbara says

    Does anyone know if it is possible for a dog to be allergic to spiders, we have hundreds in our garden it seems to be the last thing we have not kept her away from to determine her terrible skini irritation. Babs

    • shibashake says

      I believe so. Some types of spider bites can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.

      Insect bite allergy is the exaggerated inflammatory response to the bite or sting of an insect. Arachnids such as spiders and ticks, and Insects including fleas, blackflies, deerflies, horseflies, mosquitoes, ants, bees, hornets and wasps, and arachnids such as spiders and ticks can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive dogs.
      ~~[VCA Animal Hospitals]

  8. Angelique says

    Hi i found this site and it seems very interesting … I have a 3 month old siberian husky named shieba ( with a coinsidence) :) .. Today we just had an accident and i really need a help, i left her home alone and somehow she was able to open the bathroom and she grabed hair gel, bath sponge, hair removal cream , powder and some tishues, i called my vet and she told me to observe her and to inform them if i see some reaction like bad smell from her mouth. Now i’m noticing that she does not have the bad smell but she’s sneezing a lot and she looks itching her neck.. Right now is very late in malta as i can’t contact again and i’m looking forward for some help.. Thanks a lot and pls help :/

    • shibashake says

      Hello Angelique,

      How is Shieba doing? From what you describe, it sounds like skin irritation, likely from the gel, cream, or powder. I would be most concerned about her eating some of the stuff, and having that cause physical issues. Was there a lot of gel, cream, or powder left when you got home? Was most of it on the floor? Do you think she ate a lot of it or was she mostly just playing with the stuff?

      When in doubt, I usually bring my dog in to see the vet just to make sure that everything is ok.

      Hugs to Shieba. Hope she is feeling better.

    • Anonymous says

      Hi
      Shieba is doing fine thanks and yes i took her to the vet but everythig is ok till now. :) i don’t think she ate a lot of cream etc i dont think she stupid enough to mix the taste material with something delicious :) … Thanks for your response and time again :)

    • Anonymous says

      Hi today shieba took some chicolates with hazel nuts and coconut and i took her to the vet co he told me to take her as soon as possible , he gave her an injection to vomit and she did, an he told that the injection in it self has tranquilizer too , but now it had pased nearly 2 hrs and she kept crying since and she ‘s like without any health :/ is that a problem?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Angelique,

      When it comes to health issues, I find that it is best to consult with my vet. They know my dog’s medical history, general physical health, etc. I give them a call, tell them the symptoms, and see what they say. If they are unavailable, and the condition seems serious, then I take my dog to the emergency vet.

      Hugs to Shieba. Hope she is feeling better.

  9. says

    my 7 months female siberian husky got allergies legs now now chest wats the best care and medicine for my husky name kayla i buy dog flea and tick powder and soap for her allergies not effective to kayla pls help

    • shibashake says

      There can be a variety of reasons for skin allergies and hair loss. First, I try to identify the cause of my dog’s allergy. Once I identify the cause, then I can come up with an effective treatment or solution.

      To do this, I take my Sibe to the vet, to rule out skin parasites, and get my vet’s advice on next steps.

      Next, I may look at other contributing factors, for example examine my dog’s diet, stool, and routine. These will indicate whether the cause is dietary or environmental in nature.

  10. Anonymous says

    hi.. I have a 6 month old female husky. And I noticed that there are red markings just below her mouth and near her eyes. Is it an allergic reaction? There is a construction site near our place and dust are every where and we leave our dog all day outside our house. Are her red markings because of this? Should I take her to the vet?? by the way i love all your articles. I’m a first time dog owner. <3

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky.

      What kind of “red markings”? Are they little dots? Is there hair loss? Does she try to scratch the area frequently?

      For health issues that I am unsure of, I usually take my dog to the vet, especially if it is causing discomfort or irritation. Otherwise, I end up worrying myself silly anyway :); so better to be safe and catch things early.

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you for responding… :)

      I just found out what those red markings are.. and its a sunburn! I live in a tropical country and its summer now. Which means it’s super hot. Do you have any suggestions on how can I prevent it from spreading all over her body? and how can I treat those sunburns? Thanks in advance :)

    • shibashake says

      Ah, it is good that you have figured out the cause.

      My Huskies also have a lot of fur, and because of that, they heat-up really quickly during hot weather. Here are some of the things that I do to help my Sibes stay cool during the summer months.

      They usually prefer to stay inside the house, when it is hot outside. When they do venture outside, I make sure they have a ready supply of clean, cool, water, and that there are many shady spots with free air-flow.

      As for sunburns,

      light colored animals can get sunburned just like people. Encourage them to stay in the shade and ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on sunblock for your pet.

      The Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego (VSH)

      Here is another article on dogs and sunburn -
      http://www.petside.com/article/can-dogs-get-sunburned

  11. Rhianna says

    Hi! Im so glad I found your website! I have a 7 yr old sheba inu, her name is foxy. she is a healthy dog. has some allergy problems with scratching at different times of the year but nothing major except for lately. she has started scratching both sides of her mouth with her front and back paws to the point where the skin is raw. I was doing some research and the only thing I found is tge possibility of mouth cancer? what are your thoughts? it just seems like it drives her crazy all the time! any thoughts would help!

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, the closest I have experienced to this is when Shania had some hair loss on the eye area and it turned out to be mange. Luckily it turned out to be localized demodectic mange so the vet gave us some topical cream to treat it and we were able to get it under control fairly quickly.

      Checking with the vet is probably best to get a good diagnosis and treatment.

      Big hugs to Foxy and hope she feels better soon. Keep us posted on what the vet says.

  12. Blazzer says

    we just got a 8-10 year old dog and i am a little bit concerned. He is supposed to be a cross between a chitzu and terrier and since we have him i have been noticing a few things, he shakes alot, rubs his head into the carpet, rubs his back on the couch cushions the last two days, he is a very skinny dog, and his breath is fowl, is this normal for an older dog, he is very quiet and very lovable with our family, not sure if he ever had shots or was medicated for anything before please help

  13. Marie says

    Hello,

    I have written a couple of times regarding my Schnauzer’s itching back paws and ears. I have been trying to figure out if the allergy has come from the fish based food I was giving her, chicken treats or environmental–grasses, pollens, etc. I stopped giving her the fish based food in March and started her on a food of the same brand that has less fish in the ingredients but is generally chicken (Acana–all of their formulas have some fish). Also, since June we have been watering our grass more and I lifted up some curtains that were touching the floor that she laid next to often. Anyway, she stopped licking her paws and scratching her ears in the second week of July (what a relief–it had been going on for over a year) and I was wondering what your opinion is whether it was the food or the environment? Would it have taken 3-4 months to see a change if it were the fish food? As a reminder, the itching was ongoing for over a year–it did not stop during weather changes; it had only stopped for five days once when she was sick for a week. Thank you again for your time.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Marie,

      Anyway, she stopped licking her paws and scratching her ears in the second week of July

      That is very good to hear!

      It is difficult for me to say whether the cause was food or environmental, since I have not seen the dog or his environment. When Sephy had food allergies, he was itchy all over his body, and his stool was soft or liquid.

      Hugs to your furry one. :D

  14. Joy says

    Hi, our 16 week shiba is constantly itching. She has no fleas, no ticks, but we noticed that she has flaky, dry skin. I heard from a lot of places that oatmeal baths relieve itching skin. So we took her to Petsmart to get an oatmeal bath, but she STILL keeps itching and STILL has dry skin! Is there a next step we should take? Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      How long have you had her? Did she itch as soon as you got her or did it only develop after? What food is she eating? Does she get a lot of baths normally? What is her routine like?

      Has she been to the vet for her shots? What did the vet say?

    • Joy says

      We had her for 8 weeks. The itching started to develop after. She is eating Orijen Puppy food, which is a very high quality dog food. She gets baths at least once a month. She has been to her vet for shots and the vet says she is very healthy.

    • shibashake says

      Does she itch everywhere or only in particular spots?

      Some possibilities that come to mind include-
      1. The shampoo is too strong and drying out the skin.
      2. There is some shampoo left over in the fur which can irritate the skin.
      3. There is contact allergies with something else in her environment.

      I don’t bathe Sephy very often. During the summer I play the water hose game with him, and turn that into a play/bathing session.
      http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-bathing-how-to-bathe-a-dog-with-a-fun-game

      What did her vet say about the dry skin?

    • Joy says

      Hi Shibashake! We took her to the vet and asked him about her dry skin. The vet gave us fish oil to put on her food and it helped her itching and dry skim tremendously. Thank you so much for taking time to reply!

  15. Jeffry says

    HEllo

    I own a three month old husky, she is a beauty, as of lately I have noticed that she has developed some kind of rash on her groin area. I brought her from the Dominican Republic the other day, and she has all her shots. I had to switch her food abruptly because the one I was feeding her is not available here in NYC. The new food gave her the runs as expected but it seems to be getting better already.My worry is about the allergies. I don’t want to take her to the vet yet because it may be something that can be easily fixed. Here is a picture of what the allergies look like.
    http://imgur.com/qU0bj

    Any idea on how I can manage her allergies. Also if you think it is an emergency please say so that way I can take her to the vet asap. The only new routine we have been doing is me taking her to the park where she runs and lays on the grass and gets to lay around for a long time. Besides that everything else has been the same

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, it looks a bit like Folliculitis (also called Pyoderma or bacterial infection of the skin). Is it only in the groin area?

      Folliculitis usually involves the undersurface of the body, especially the armpits, abdomen, and groin.
      ~~[PetMD]

      Impetigo is a condition most commonly recognized in puppies prior to puberty and involving the non-haired skin, such as the groin and armpit areas.
      ~~[Pet Side.com]

      It is hard to say though. Are there any other symptoms in addition to the rash? Does she lick a lot at the area? Does she lick a lot in other areas?

      In such cases, I usually just bring my dog to the vet just to be sure. Even if it is just light allergies, at least the vet can confirm that it is not something else.

    • Anonymous says

      Hi thanks for your reply,
      I have not seen her licking it or anything it doesnt even seem to bother her. Since I’m a first time owner it has me a bit worried, Just want feedback on if I have to take her to the vet, or do you think its something minor?

    • Jeffry says

      Also to add to it, some people suggested that it was most likely contact allergies, they said to shower her with a non detergent shampoo, any idea on which one I can use

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, contact allergies will usually also show up at the paws or muzzle. Those places usually have the most contact with the ground and other objects, so they are most susceptible to contact allergies. The belly/groin area is pretty protected.

      Has only her belly area been in contact with anything unusual?

      This is not to say that it is not contact allergies, only that it seems a less likely cause (to me) given the area of incidence. Please remember though that I am not a vet and I have only seen that one picture – so this is merely my best effort at speculation.

      Husky Lara had a bacterial skin infection (pyoderma) on her belly and groin area when she was a pup. It didn’t itch and didn’t seem to cause her any discomfort. We noticed it soon after we got her, so my guess is that she may have developed it because of stress from the change in environment, food, etc.

      In Lara’s case, the infection was superficial (only a surface infection) and secondary (likely triggered by something else, e.g. stress, change in food, environment, etc). The vet didn’t think Lara’s infection was serious so we just kept the area clean, kept her environment very clean, and we also put her on Innova puppy kibble. We wiped the area several times a day using dog wipes. At the same time we kept a close watch on it to make sure it didn’t worsen. It went away after several weeks and has not reoccurred.

      However, each case is different. Based on what I have read, pyoderma can result from many things and can be superficial or deep skin.

    • Jeffry says

      Hello again thank you so much for your reply. I gave her a bath with a hypo allergenic shampoo and have not taken her to the park ever since. Thankfully her allergirs are going away now, her skin is back to normal. Haha it seems that one problem gets resolved then comes another. She had diarrhea because we switched her food abruptly. Then she had allergies. Now she is developing the bad habit of biting the leash, and if i take the leash away she goes after my jeans. Haha although she is not perfect i honestly couldnt be more happy now that I own her. I will try to send pictures of her when i have the chance

    • shibashake says

      Thankfully her allergirs are going away now, her skin is back to normal.

      Awesome! That is good to hear.

      Haha it seems that one problem gets resolved then comes another.

      LOL! Yeah – puppies are like that. I had a lot of leash biting issues with Sephy (Shiba Inu). He is a wild one! :D

      Big hugs to your girl! I would love to see pictures of her when you have the time.

    • Jeffry says

      Hello again :)
      This is Saya the very first day we got her, although I don’t see the size difference since I see her everyday. When I look at the picture I see how small she was when she first arrived. http://imgur.com/L3fUj
      This is one of the more recent pictures, I took not too long ago http://imgur.com/WZnud
      and this is her once again http://imgur.com/Tvs1s
      Well those are the pictures of the love of my life :), although she loves strangers more than me haha she jumps from joy whenever any of my sisters get home, she even started following my sister around everywhere, something she used to do with me, I feel lonely haha :D

    • shibashake says

      She is absolutely adorable! I especially like that last picture with the grinning face.

      although she loves strangers more than me

      Haha, yeah my Sibes are like that as well. They will go home with whomever has the best dog cookies!

      she even started following my sister around everywhere

      Put cheese in your pocket and she will follow you around everywhere! :D

      Big hugs to Saya. She is a cutie!

    • Jeffry says

      Haha indeed they do follow anybody, it scares me sometimes because I leave next to a precint nd she loves jumping on cops. Haha specially when they are not looking she tries to harass them lol

    • shibashake says

      LOL! I bet they love her. It is difficult not to love an affectionate, playful, and people friendly Sibe. :D

    • Jeffry says

      You got that right. They love petting her and playing with her. Nice to have a few police friends, They might let me get away with breaking some laws lol. By the way which collar would you recommend for Saya. She is always pulling I stop when she pulls and don’t walk until she stops. But whenever I take another step she decides to start pulling again

    • shibashake says

      They might let me get away with breaking some laws lol.

      LOL! I was thinking the same thing. Like the “Get Out of Jail Free” card from Monopoly. :D

      I use the Premier martingale collar and a 6 foot leather leash with all my dogs during walks. I take the collar off after we come home so that it doesn’t accidentally catch on anything while they are running around. They each have a different colored one. :D

      I use this collar only for its no-slip properties and not for collar corrections.

      With Lara, I stop when she pulls and I also shorten the lead and bring her in right next to me so that she can’t be walking around and smelling things. After she does a Sit, I start walking again but I shorten the lead and give her less freedom. If she walks well, I give her back a bit more freedom and so on. If not, then the next time I stop for a longer period of time. The lead is also a great communication tool. I play around a lot with the lead length and lead pressure.

      Sometimes, if she pulls many times in succession or is walking especially badly, I will turn around and walk in the opposite direction. In this way she learns that if she pulls and does not listen, we take even more time to get to where she wants to go.

      Hugs to Saya!

      More on leash training techniques.
      More on leash training equipment.

    • Jeffry says

      Thank you so much for taking your time to reply. I will order that collar as soon as possible. The problem with Saya to be quite honest is inconsistency. I walk her on certain days and I don’t allow her to pull or to bite on the leash. On some days I can’t walk her and my sister has to do it. But everything I teach Saya goes downhill. My sister allows her to pull, allows her to buy the leash etc. So sometimes it feels like what I’m teaching her is pointless since my sister does the exact opposite although I tell her how to do it properly

    • shibashake says

      Heh, Lara is the same way. I walk her in the weekdays and in the weekend my partner walks her. I am usually a lot more strict with her, so come Monday, she will try to see what she can get away with.

      Sometimes, it helps to all go walking together. I walk Lara part of the way and then my partner walks her the other half. That way, we get to see what each of us is doing, what we are doing differently, and what can be changed. Sometimes, it is difficult to be strict with them when they hit you with those beautiful eyes and face! :D

    • Jeffry says

      Indeed it is difficult! Quite honestly if there is one thing I would like to fix is her walking properly I would love for her to heel and walk besides me. Sometimes she actually does it. Other times not so much

  16. Marie says

    Hello,

    I originally wrote to you on January 22, 2012 regarding my itchy Schnauzer. Thank you for your response. My dog is still licking her paws and experiencing hot ears that are itchy too. I thought maybe it was actually environmental but it seems to be year round now since January, 2011 and since feeding Acana by Champion foods. I thought it was the fish based formula so I switched to the Chicken formula, which has a smaller amount of fish and she is still itching. I mentioned that I give her chicken jerky treats and have even before the itching began. I know a food trial is going to be a lengthy process and I have two dogs that I prefer to feed the same food so I was wondering what your opinion is as to how likely her allergy might be the chicken or the fish…basically, do you know if it is that likely that she would become allergic to chicken after being fine with it for the first three years of her life or does it sound like it would be the fish since the itching began a month after giving her the fish based food? Thank you for your time and help.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Marie,

      Based on what you say, it sounds like fish is more likely the problem. However, it could also be some other ingredient in the kibble. The problem with kibble is that it contains many things and the brands may also change their formula. My Husky Shania, for example, is allergic to oats and some types of fish.

      When I suspect that my dogs have food allergies I put them on a bland diet. I give them boiled chicken and plain white rice – no sauce or anything else on it. For dogs that are allergic to poultry, we can try some other meat source such as lamb, rabbit, or deer. No treats at this time. This limits the type of ingredients to just 2.

      I keep them on the bland diet for a week or more. If the allergy symptoms disappear, then I know that it is food related. If it does not, then it may come from something else, some of which are listed in the article above.

      Have you tried giving your girl a bland diet? If so, how did it go? Did the allergy symptoms lessen or disappear?

      Hugs to your girl. Hope she feels better soon.

  17. Maya says

    hi.. we just got a 2month old siberian husky. it’s been a week since we brought her home. now she develops this skin allergy on her belly. red spots that looks like a pus in the tip of the spot. her food is beefpro. we put hot water to it to make it soft for her to eat. we brought her to a vet to see the allergies. the vet gave us topi derm wound cream. instructed us to clean the area with hydrogen peroxide, dry and apply the cream 3 – 4 times a week. we did as instructed but the spots seems to have grown plenty. we asked the vet and says, it must be the food we gave her and need to change her food to a hypo allergenic one.. what do you say about it?.please help.. thanks!

  18. Michael says

    Hello , ive got a wolf/german shepard breed dog , ive had him for 8 years , and all has been well ,until about a year ago. he started scratching and biting his back and base of tail causing his skin to become raw red, so we took him to the vet and she gave him a jab , and gave us some cream , and she also shaved the area that he had been scrathching , his wounds and stuff got better and where it was shaved it grew back , then a few months later he starte again , so we took im vet again where he got the same treatment and was asked to use cream again , each go costs us around £50 makin it very expensive , anyway it cleared up , and came back again , so we shaved his back and keep a constant eye on him so that he dosnt itch himeself, his back is getting better, but he just will not stop tryin to scratch it , it still ver flaky , and almost exma like, hes now got a muzzle which anytime we go out we keep on him so that he cant scratch himself but the problem is he still keeps itching withb his feet. Anyway tonight i heard him squealing a little and found him with his muzzle off, he managed to get it off, but when i looked under his tale its sorta almost no skin under his tail , and hardly any hair on his ass, and it looks very red and flaky , but its impossible that he did all this damage, also its almost like the infection is coming rom his bum area and spreding to the back of his tail and down to his penis area, he also nibbles his legs and under his armpit until its bleeding. , its very concerning for me to see him like this. it can’t be fleas as he ha been frontlined about a month ago. Also we found this strange lump on his left foot at first we thought it as a pad, but at a closer inspection we realised its in the wrong place , its like on his thigh and when we touch it gently its squidgy as if there is something in it like pus.Its like hes got hotspots and infection. I also have began noticing he seems much , much weaker on his back les , which is not good , please help , thanks you for your time :)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Michael,

      Hmmm, some common causes that I know of-
      1. Fleas. My dogs are also on a flea and tick preventative, but they still get ticks from time to time during walks in the hills. I think that these preventatives reduce the occurrence of fleas and ticks, but during tick season, for example, my dogs still get them. If there are fleas in the house or backyard, they could cause recurring itch issues.

      I had a flea attack once when I was renting an apartment for the summer. We had the place flea bombed and that seemed to get rid of them. However, I made sure to have a long discussion with the people about the chemicals used, how toxic it is to dogs, and how long before it is safe for dogs. Some people also suggest using sprays, because that is more effective at getting under furniture.

      2. Anal Sac. One of my dogs worry a lot on his rear area and our vet said it could be because of irritation from his anal gland. I make sure the vets check on his gland, and manually expel it if necessary during our yearly examination.

      3. Tape Worms. Based on what I have read, tape worms can also cause irritation to the rear area. When my dog got tape worms, I could see them (little white grains) in his poop.

      What does your vet say? (2) and (3) can be more easily checked for, so it is usually the fleas that are problematic.

  19. NYC says

    hey I’ve found your site very informational! thank you, anyways I’ve got a 15 month old pure breed GSD, that i bought in Germany about when he was 9-10 weeks, has no fleas,ticks an just gave him his last dewormer! and his shots are up todate also,our problem is the itching, sometimes he goes on an on for a long time, it’s very depressing to be honest! an today while i was brushing him i noticed him had flaky skin that came of the brush….he get’s a weekly bath sometimes 2-3 times depending on how muddy he gets, due to the fact that i’ve made him a house dog and never had the pleasure of sleeping outside, i highly doubt he has outdoor allergies! where the food is concerned, i don’t thick so either becausei monitor his eating habits and i’ve changed it up 4 times now! one being that he is very funny when coming to food only certain type of dry food and meat he will eat! and because i thought he might be allergic to it. so i need help badly, when his uncomfortable i am as well ask my wife she sleeps on the couch lol

    • shibashake says

      he get’s a weekly bath sometimes 2-3 times depending on how muddy he gets

      Interesting, I just asked my breeder about this, and wrote an article about dog bathing. Bathing multiple times a week may be too often. I have two Siberian Huskies and they have a double coat similar to the GSD. They are usually naturally clean because their outer coat is dirt repellent and water-proof. Too frequent bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils, and dry out their skin. Shampoo residue can also cause skin irritation.

      My breeder sometimes bathes her dogs every week (for shows), but only with mild shampoo that is specially made for dogs. She says that once a week is ok to still maintain a nice coat.

      With my Sibes I find that frequent brushing is sufficient to keep their coat clean. If they get really muddy, I just wipe them down with dog wipes.

      What food are you currently using? Many dogs are allergic to wheat and corn. I feed my dogs a high-protein, grain free kibble, and they seem to do well on that.

  20. Hannah says

    Hi ShibaShake!!! I was actually reading this and had read Carol’s comment that she posted on Jauary 23rd 2012. I have the same problem with my 2yr old male Siberian Husky. It seems that we have had this problem since we first got him which he was 3 months old. I have had him on Taste of the Wild dry foods. I have tried the salmon and the fowl formulas and he is still having a problem. I really am starting to think that its not food related. And as far as I have read Taste of the Wild is grain free. We have taken him to the vet and they only response is that he has an allergy which we can see that. Also we have noticed that the only time he bites and licks is when we are away which makes me feel maybe there is an anxiety issue too? Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

    • shibashake says

      It could be from separation anxiety. When dogs are stressed, they may engage in displacement behaviors (such as self grooming) to calm themselves down. Does he also chew on things around the house? How does he act when you get back? Where does he spend his time when home alone?

      Here are some of the things I looked at to address separation anxiety issues with my Shiba Inu.
      http://shibashake.com/dog/separation-anxiety-dog-why-how-reduce-dog-stress

      Thanks for bringing this up as another possible source of dog scratching and licking. I will definitely add it to the article.

  21. bestdogever says

    Amazing site, so much super information here. I have a few questions here. My 1 year old german shepherd female seemed fine when I got her, however, at about 4 months she seemed to have issues with urine. It was actually struvite(sp?)crystals. Cleared that up as various vets said she would outgrow it. At about 7-8 months I had her vaccinated for rabies. She had a horrible allergic response to it…in fact, cried for one week in pain and went limb in her back. Since then, she had a horrible heat cycle (menstrual) and had allergic responses to everything. I had allergy testing done on her, and she’s allergic to beef and wheat. I have her on dogswell nutrisca lamb and chic pea now. With the heat cycle, she had blood shot eyes, just overall malaise. She just turned one in January, and started losing hair just on the ankle…I had the vet skin scrape her but she is negative for Sarcoptic and Demodec mange. Still itching horribly to a point where it has to hurt her. It is continual and gets worse towards evening. I flipped her over and did not see hair loss at all! She then started having issues with her anal glands…these keep getting full and need to be drained every week to two weeks. Her coat is wiry and not soft like my male GSD’s coat. His is shiny and soft. The gland issue is not good, and the vet told me I had to add more bulk to her diet, meaning fiber, so I’ve done that. But the itching is horrendous, and I’m not sure what to do. The vet just wants her on an allergy medication but I need to know the source. I’ve already done the test for foods, and she is not worse on grain, she is the same. I just don’t know how to treat her. Any suggestions? I’m worried as I consulted with another vet over the phone in California and she said it could be a thyroid disorder. We won’t know fully until a full panel is done, as she is the vet that did all the food allergies for her. HELP…suggestions!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello bestdogever,
      I wish I could be of more help, but what you describe here is beyond my own experiences. I would consider consulting with a specialist and see what they say in terms options.

      I went to a specialist for my Shiba Inu’s cracked tooth, and also for my Siberian Husky’s crooked leg. Both times, the respective specialists were able to give me a clear picture of available options, and how to best move forward.

      Hugs to your girl. Hope she feels better soon. Please keep us updated when you have the time.

  22. Caroline says

    Hi, thank you so much for such an informative article. I was browsing the internet in attempt to find some help for my 3-year old Jack Russell Terrier. Recently my dog had a really bad ear infection and we took him to the vet and got antibiotics. He had already been Lately scratching his face a lot, but we thought it may of had something to do with his infected ear. His ear is better, but the scratching does not stop. He scratches his face and when he does he even whimpers. I feed him a high quality food (WELLNESS) and am not quite sure how to go about finding out what is wrong with him. I’m worried that about him and don’t want him to feel uncomfortable. What is the first step to take?

    Thank you so much!

    • shibashake says

      Hmmmm,

      Has he been digging?

      My Sibe Lara loves to dig, and often, a bunch of dirt would get into her ear and she would scratch it a lot as a result. We started to clean her ear every day, before sleep time, and that seemed to help things a lot.

      Have you taken your boy back to the vet for a checkup of his ear? I would probably have a chat with the vet, and see what he has to say.

      Another possibility is environmental allergies. We can observe where our dog spends most of his time, and see if there is anything there that may cause an allergic reaction. Dogs can also get stung by bees or spiders, which can also cause discomfort, and itching. Are there any unusual areas or bumps on his face?

      How is his energy level? Is he eating and drinking normally? Is his stool normal?

  23. Carol says

    Hi. I was curious about food allergies and all or any signs of them. My 2 year old husky has been scratching and nipping at her hair along her back and tail to the point it looks like a reversed mohawk. She’s been on Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice since she was able to start eating solid food. I’ve taken her to the vet and he’s said it could be allergies related to food or fleas (no longer any fleas, but when there were it was very little and taken care of immediately), or just simply dry skin? I’m switching her over to a bland diet of rice, hamburger, and green beans and see how that works. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Carol,

      How is it going with the bland diet?

      With Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice, I noticed that it contains corn gluten meal as well as wheat. Many dogs are allergic to corn and wheat. I feed both my Sibes a grain-free kibble, and that seems to work well for them. My Shiba Inu is allergic to wheat, and my Sibe Shania is allergic to oats. I am not sure about my other Sibe Lara, because I haven’t given her anything with wheat, corn, or oats. The only grain she has had is rice.

      With my Shiba Inu, the wheat in his kibble caused him to itch a lot more than usual. He would also lick his paws more and he had some diarrhea. With my Sibes, they both had bad diarrhea, but I did not notice any significant increase in itching.

      Here is a bit more on what to look for in a kibble-
      http://shibashake.com/dog/feeding-your-dog-a-healthy-diet#dry_food

  24. Marie says

    Hello,

    I believe that my three year old schnauzer may be allergic to fish. She started eating a fish based food Dec 2010 and began licking her paws excessively in Jan 2011. I was told it was likely environmental and not food related, however she recently was sick and did not eat for 5 days; while she was sick she did not lick her paws. As soon as she was back on her food, she began licking and itching again and now it seems worse–her paws and ears are constantly hot too. I also give her chicken treats so I don’t know if it is the chicken or the fish so it is very frustrating. I read that your dogs are allergic to fish and that you feed EVO, however it has herring meal in it. Is this not a problem because it is not the main ingredient? Most kibbles have fish oil…is this ok if it is a fish allergy?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Marie,

      I read that your dogs are allergic to fish and that you feed EVO, however it has herring meal in it. Is this not a problem because it is not the main ingredient?

      That is a very good point. In the case of Shania and Lara, they seem to only get problems when I actually feed them salmon and tuna. In particular, they get diarrhea from it. I did not try other fish. I am not sure if herring is different, or just that the kibble preparation process removes something that they are allergic to, but they seem ok with the EVO.

      To rule out food allergies, I switched my dog onto a bland diet. I used boiled chicken and rice, but we can also use lamb, venison, or rabbit, as an alternate meat source if we think poultry is an issue. Has your Schnauzer had chicken treats earlier on, or was this a recent addition? What are the ingredients in her old food?

      It usually takes a few days before the change in diet will have an effect. Then, if the allergy symptoms go away, we know it comes from the food.

      I checked through the ingredient list of Blue Wilderness Chicken and did not see any fish, so perhaps that could be an option.
      http://bluebuffalo.com/dog-food/wilderness-chicken

      When your girl was sick, did she stay in the house the majority of the time? If that was the case, it could also reduce her exposure to environmental allergens.

      Hugs to your Schnauzer. Let us know how it goes.

  25. cybdi says

    Hi,
    I was wondering what you could tell me about my dog.. he’s been rubbing his nose on the rug and carpets which made a little part of his nose pink now… And I’m not sure if that’s from rubbing his nose too hard. Also he has fleas on him, but I don’t know the best way to treat him.. I already tried frontline but it didn’t seem to work… I also tried a oatmeal flea shampoo but they only seem to work for a couple days.. since I see fleas on him now I was thinking maybe my home is infested with fleas… And if you know the best product to get rid of them could you please tell me. thanks..

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cyndi,
      With fleas, it is necessary to not only get rid of the fleas on our dog currently, but to get rid of them in the environment where our dog sleeps and plays. If we do not remove the fleas from the environment, they would just get back onto the dog.

      A few years ago, I rented an apartment that had fleas. I got some people to come over and flea-bomb it, which worked really well.

      I also use flea and tick repellent regularly on my dogs, to prevent fleas and ticks from when they are walking outside. Note though, that all repellent products are toxic to some degree, so use with care.
      http://shibashake.com/dog/itchy-dog#ticks

      If the problem is serious, then the vet can probably provide a more powerful medicinal bath.

  26. Miranda says

    I have a little Yorkie/Maltese mix he is 2 years old and i think that he may have hotspots..But im not sure…I have a cone on him right now so he cant bite himself and he seems to have no problem until i take it off and then he scratches/bites himself until he looks like he is going to bleed..So i went to pet smart and got him a hot spot ointment and i put it on him 2 times a day…My mom thinks he might just be allergic to the new food we have got him…He also has a smell to him and i have to bathe him almost everyday now…Which i think is drying out his skin even more,,,Does anyone know what may be wrong with him or have any suggestions on what i should do to fix it…
    Thanks
    -Miranda Burroughs

    • shibashake says

      Where does he itch?

      The itchiness is likely from some kind of allergies, which can result from a variety of sources as described above. It is difficult to tell exactly which one just from the itchiness symptom. If there is a smell, then there is probably some skin infection.

      When my dogs had extreme itching, I first took them to the vet. The vet can determine whether the itching is from skin parasites. The vet can also provide antibiotics to help with the skin infection.

      With my Shiba Inu it wasn’t skin parasites, so I switched him to a bland diet and carefully observed his outside activities to determine if it is environmental allergens. It turned out he is allergic to wheat. With my Siberian Husky, it was skin parasites.

  27. eddiesmom says

    eddie just got a patch of what i think is demodectic mange around his eye and he keeps scratching what should i do i was going to take him to the vet but someone said anibacterial doggie soap would help

    • eddiesmom says

      just made appt for eddie looked up mange around eye scared myself silly and called vet. there was a site saying that its a sign of weak immune system, and a sign of heartworm. so hes all set up for after xmas and iam getting his allergy test done too yay =)

    • shibashake says

      Yeah a vet visit sounds like the best way to go.

      When Shania had demodectic mange, she first had a bald patch on her leg. Then, she scratched her face and transferred the parasites there too. I have also read that these bald patches can sometimes be a result of zinc deficiency.

      After the vet diagnosed Shania with demodectic mange, I was very worried. However, it actually was not too bad at all, especially if it is caught early. We just applied the medication and things were back to normal within a week. It took a while for the fur to grow back though.

      Let us know how things go at the vet. Hugs to Eddie.

    • eddiesmom says

      thats what the vet tech that made my appt said that it could be the zinc deficiency. i was going to buy a can of blue wilderness salmon i might just switch him to that food anyway i heard its top notch, it has all special vitamins(zinc) for wolf type breeds. and iam going to give him a bath with anti allergy shampoo as well because hes shedding and sneezing this always happens. So hes going to the vet all spiffed up, and smelling pretty lol hey you never know he might meet a nice looking bitch there (i dont want to embaress him lol.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah I have also heard really good things about Blue Wilderness. Both my Sibes are allergic to fish though, so no salmon for them.

      hey you never know he might meet a nice looking bitch there (i dont want to embaress him

      LOL! You are too much. :D

      Eddie is a lucky boy!

    • eddiesmom says

      took eddie the vet today he had a great time, me not so much (try explaining why your dog is marking every corner in there so embaressing. anyways he has allergies can you believe it they think its due to dander since hes shedding, i was shocked so i walked out of there with his allergy meds and a cone that iam going to write 2012 on and is now his new year party cone lol. No champange for eddie this year he’s on meds its not a good combo lol ahahah.

    • shibashake says

      iam going to write 2012 on and is now his new year party cone lol. No champange for eddie this year he’s on meds its not a good combo

      LOL! You are too funny.

      I am glad that it is all taken care of. Btw. have you seen the Pixar movie “Up”? There is this really funny scene in there with the “Cone of Shame”. I very much enjoyed that. :D

    • eddiesmom says

      oh yes lol my daughter loves that movie lol i forgot all about that lol. the meds they put him on is giving him an extra burst of energy and trust me if you met eddie you would say oh no not more energy its like watching the indie 500 hundred on a rainy day lol he ran around my coffee table then dashed into the kitchen and spun out around the kitchen and boom hit the stove got back up and did it all over again. lol but he stops to refuel (at his water bowl lol)

    • shibashake says

      LOL! Eddie sounds wonderful. No wonder you love him so much. :D

      Did he meet any cuties at the vet?

    • eddiesmom says

      sighs… there was a few 2 boys and 1 girl lol but everyone was like giving me dirty looks because he kept doing the playful growl cry let me off the leash woman stunt. oh and the marking yeah that was great. but i dont think eddie is into female dogs per say lol there was a female dog that was in heat at the dog park and he well kinda bared his teeth at her when she laid down.. whats wrong with him lol but he had no problem humping the big doberman that was there..( he was a male) so they refer to eddie as the ptown pup lol hey but hes proud.

    • shibashake says

      LOL. For some reason, Sephy loves German Shepherds. I don’t think it matters whether they are male or female. :D

  28. cat22 says

    I have a malamutte shepherd mix who has chronic ear infections. We’ve been treating his ears for 4 years now and he has developed a polyp in one ear fully blocking canal. He is now on meds and is doing better in that “bad” ear, but his good ear is now acting up.
    I’ve been to 2 speciality dermatoloy vets and have been told that 90% f food allergies are due to chicken, turkey, duck. My dog is now on a salmon based food and he still has problems. I’ve noticed over the past year he’s been on 3 different dry foods all containing rice. today I changed his diet to EVo, which is rice free the fish formula and can’t wait to see if he improves. My vets did say when doing food trials stay away from CHICKEN.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cat22

      It is true that some dogs are allergic to poultry. However, both my Sibes are allergic to fish. In my experience, food allergies are very dependent on the individual dog, so it is a matter of finding out what works best for each dog.

      I also feed my dogs EVO (the chicken version since they are allergic to fish) and it has worked out well. Let us know how things go with your Mal. Good luck and big hugs.

  29. eddies mom says

    i would like to thank you so much, iam the proud mumma of a pure white siberian husky named eddie, and after a vicous and i mean vicous investation of fleas, i kept giving him flea bath after flea bath. i soon noticed a puss bubble on his neck where he has been scratching i treated and walla the fur grew back and he looks like a million bucks. the vet told me what i was doing was working and that it looked good. but just yesturday i noticed 2 bald spots one on his tale and the other on his back. well i freaked out this never happened to me and his vet was closed and i went browsing and i found your blog now i know what it is and how i can treat before it becomes worse thank you soo so much

    • shibashake says

      How is Eddie doing?

      Bald spots can be the result of any number of things, so it doesn’t hurt to give the vet a call and have a chat. If the bald spots expand or look worse, definitely have the vet take a look.

      Hugs to Eddie. Hope he is feeling better.

    • eddiesmom says

      hes doing fine as happy as ever i put aloe gel on his tale and it looks better and the gitting at it has slowed down. i wouldnt have even noticed it to tell you the truth if i wasnt brushing him. but if it expends ill def call the vet

  30. Jimmy says

    I have a female chihuahua.as soon as I let her inside the house she runs to our center table in the living room and starts rubbing her hind against the table in a back and forth motion. She stays there for a good 45 mins at times. if she doesn’t do it there she will do it on our bed upstairs or our living room sofas which have wooden frames. Please help if anyone knows why she is doing this?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jimmy,
      It sounds like it could be an issue with the anal glands, but it could also be something else. Does your dog also scoot? Is there anything in the dog feces?

      It is probably best to give your vet a call and see what they say.

  31. roberta says

    I have a german shepherd who is constantly scratching his nose until it begins to bleed. This has happened once before within the last 3 months. It healed and I didn’t think anything of it. He is 3 years old, physically he is in excellent condition, except for this. Any idea of what may be going on? He has been doing this for about 4 days now.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Roberta,

      It could be several things.

      I know my dogs always poke their noses into holes, under bushes, into bushes, at bees, at spiders, etc. One time my Sibe got a bee bite on her foot and was scratching at it a lot. Sometimes it could also be something that the dog is allergic to from the bushes or plants.

      Another possibility is bad stuff getting stuck in the nose cavity. My Shiba Inu inhaled a fox-tail a couple of years ago and it really did bad things to his nose. He kept pawing at it and he was also sneezing out a bit blood intermittently. We took him to the emergency room for that.

      It may be best to take your dog in to the vet so that you can be sure what is causing the problem. Since it has happened before, it could be something in the backyard. Identifying the source will also help us prevent it from happening again in the future.

      Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

  32. Ashley J says

    I have two huskies one ive had more than a year and my newest one sasha i just recently have gotten. Miya my older one has recently just started itching constantly on her belly and lower back legs. We have given her allergy medicine everyday with no improvement. And now I just saw my younger husky sasha rubbing her face on the carpet idk what it could be i think it allergies cause miya did the same thing this time of year last year. Should i take them to the vet ? or what im lost at what to do ?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Ashley,
      I would take them to the vet. It sounds like it could be skin parasites which can then pass from one dog to another.

      My Sibe Shania got demodectic mange once while in daycare. The vet quickly diagnosed it with a skin scraping and gave us Goodwinol ointment. It caused some vomitting, but it got the mange under control after a few weeks. The fur will take longer to grow back though.

  33. Kyndra says

    My shiba has what looks like a bite on his side and it has lost the hair around it. We don’t know how it got there but it’s there… We took him to the vet but they don’t know what’s wrong either. What should I do?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kyndra,

      What did the vet recommend? Did the vet test for skin parasites?

      What does the bite look like? Is it just a small bite, large bite? It is getting worse? Is it causing discomfort and is Shiba scratching at it?

      I would definitely consider going to another vet to get a second opinion.

  34. miranda says

    One of my dogs has this like red spot on her back near her tail, i dont know how else to describe it but its about the size of my fist and has little red bumps. Also theres no fur there. My grandmother told me its a hot spot from fleas, that shes probably allergic to them. i dont know anything about hot spots, but how could i fix this, ive tried frontline, but the fleas are still on her.
    I also have another dog that has a huge wound on his neck, it looks like he was attacked by another animal or got his head stuck in a fence we have been cleaning it with peroxide and sterile water. we wrapped it up yesterday, but he ripped it off. were taking him to the vet tomorrow. but i just want to know why he rubs dirt and mud in it. It seems to take the pain away when he does it.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Miranda,
      I would take both dogs to the vet.

      Sometimes, if there are too many fleas, the dog may need stronger topical medication or medicated baths. When we took Shania in because of mange, our vet mentioned that medicated baths may be a possibility if things don’t improve with just the medicated ointment. Luckily things got better.

      why he rubs dirt and mud in it.

      As I understand it, mud is cool, and that cooling effect can help to ease pain and perhaps also help with swelling (similar to using ice). However, mud may also contain bacteria, insects, etc. The vet will probably use an E-collar to prevent him from scratching the wound and getting it dirty.

      Let us know how things go with the vet. Big hugs!

  35. Keisha says

    I have a skin question about my husky. I have only had her for about 2 months. When I picked her up from my mom 2 months ago her belly and inside of her lower legs were slightly red. She was found outside so she could have gotten into something, but she lives with me now in a diffrent area. I wanted to address it soon so I took her to the vet and he said to try to give her benadryl to help with the itching. I think it has helped slightly as far as itching, but her skin has gotten much worse in the area and the hair around her eyes is a little red. He also gave me a spray, but I don’t think its working. I don’t think its a flea allergy becuase she doesnt have any fleas. Could she be allergic to her food? I’m thinking about switching her food to a salmon based food instead of chicken based. What else could it be? Thanks -H.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Keisha,
      Did the vet test for mites? One time Shania (my Sibe) had hair loss around her eye and foot due to demodectic mange. The mites are too small for the regular eye to see, so the vet had to take a skin scraping. She got the mites when she was at daycare.

      When my other dog had food allergy issues, he itched, but I did not notice any redness. My other dog (a Shiba) is allergic to wheat. My Sibe is allergic to fish oil and oats, so she can’t eat salmon. If you think it is food allergy, it may be best to switch to a totally bland diet. E.g. just boiled chicken and rice. If you think the allergy is poultry related, then rabbit and rice, or deer and rice are possibilities.

      How is her stool? I have observed that food allergy usually also results in very soft or watery stool.

      I would definitely talk more to the vet, and maybe even get a second opinion from a different vet.

  36. Colleen says

    He is quite a character and always testing his boundaries with us (i.e. sitting on top of the couch). He’s only allowed on the couch when he’s invited and he sure wasn’t invited up there.

    Reptar’s favorite toys are balls. He has a love hate relationship with the ball in a ball toy. It was first an outside toy but the barking got too intense. He spent an entire weekend day trying to get the ball out by pawing at it and yelling. He even brought it over to me for help.

    He had a growth spurt and I didn’t realize it until these pictures. From May to Sept he grew! I feel like he’s in his terrible two stage. He’s constantly fighting with us and resisting everything we’re try to teach him lately but at the same time he has been so attached to me lately. When I turn around, he’s at my side. I can’t seem to get a minute of privacy. haha.

    PS – his birthday cookie was actually quite good. I’ll admit that I tried a piece. it left a terrible after-taste though. :-)

  37. Colleen says

    I’ve decided to take him to the vet after all. He’s losing some hair on the side of his ear. I wonder if its an allergy maybe. hmmm we shall find out Friday.

    I have a new online album for Reptar with some new pictures. I’ll eventually move all the others to this new album but here’s the link to the new one in the meantime. http://picasaweb.google.com/crose0130

  38. Fran says

    Hi, our dog Sammy has just started scratching the inside of her mouth with her front paws. We have looked at the skin on the inside of her lips, but can not see anything. Do you have any suggestions as to what her problem might be?
    Many thanks
    Fran and Sammy

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm – could be an issue with her gums or teeth. Shania was doing something similar earlier in the summer and it turned out to be a bee bite inside her mouth :( She likes chasing, pouncing, and biting at bees.

      To be on the safe side, see what her vet has to say.

  39. Colleen says

    We didn’t end up going. The neosporin seems to be helping a great deal! poor lil guy has no hair on the inside of his ear anymore though, and its all red. :( but it’s starting to heal very nicely.

    • shibashake says

      It is a big happy day when Shiba does not need to go to the vet! :D I am very happy to hear that Reptar is healing well. The hair will grow back very quickly. In the meantime take lots of pictures so that he remembers not to wage battles with bushes in the future. ;)

  40. Colleen says

    Looks like we’ll be heading to the vet. BIG SIGH from me and an even bigger sigh from Reptar. If only I could teach him that if he doesn’t scratch, he doesn’t have to go to the vet.

  41. Colleen says

    I’m not sure where to post this but I have a question. Reptar has a nasty cut on the top of his ear (the inside) and he is continuing to scratch it and pick the scab off. I understand it itches while it’s healing which is why i’m sure he’s scratching it but it can’t heal this way.

    When i’m home i can make him stop scratching but while i’m at work, I cant control it. I can’t wrap it while i’m gone (and how do you even wrap an ear?) in fear he’ll rip it off and ingest whatever i wrapped it with. My vet said to keep it clean and put some Neosporin on it and if its not better in a few days to bring him in.

    Any thoughts on how I can help it heal on it’s own? I’m afraid the vets going to put him in a cone and we all know what happens when a Shiba wears a cone! eek!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Colleen,
      BIG HUGS to Reptar.

      As for the scratching, I am not sure I have more to add to what you already know. Some people suggest using Bitter Apple but that never really worked for Sephy and I wouldn’t want to put additional chemicals over the scab area.

      Putting some ice may help to numb the area and therefore make it less itchy – but that will only be for the short term.

      I’m afraid the vets going to put him in a cone and we all know what happens when a Shiba wears a cone! eek!

      Oh Shiba – they often make things a lot more difficult for themselves. When Sephy was wearing his Cone, I looked into getting a more comfortable and flexible cloth/soft cone (e.g. Comfy Cone). However, I think Sephy would just chew a cloth cone to pieces. There are other alternatives –

      http://petprojectblog.com/archives/general/alternative-to-elizabethan-collar/
      (The comments on the page are also interesting)

      Another possibility is to have Reptar hang out with a neighbor or friend during the day.

      Wish I could be of more help. All of us here will be sending lots of positive healing energy your way!

      How did Reptar get the cut btw? bushes?

    • Colleen says

      Thanks! I have no idea how he got cut, I’m going to assume it was from some bushes. He has no brakes, so when he’s running full speed he often face plants or runs into things. He always shakes it off so I never feel too bad for chuckling when I witness this.

  42. Debbie says

    We have a 10 year old red Shiba Inu “Bond”. He is constantly licking his anal area and feet. In addition he gnaws at his paws, hips, and elbows. We have tried many food. I just got ready to mix his new food Orijen 6 fish formula and read on a blog that protein content is too high for Shiba size dog. Low activity, 1/2 walk daily on wood chip flat strand. Slow recovery from non surgical ACL rehab.

    Any comments on Orijen.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Debbie,

      For dog food information I like the dog food project website. Here is their article on high protein foods.

      When it comes to dog food there are lots of people with many different opinions, so I would also quiz the people at your vets to get a fuller picture.

      I have tried regular Orijen on both my dogs and it seemed to work fine. However, now I am using Innova EVO because I can get that locally from a pet store, whereas Orijen is not as widely available. EVO has also worked very well for my dogs – they are 2 and 3 years old.

    • Debbie says

      Should one use brown rice or white rice when doing chicken and rice as per your suggestion regarding allergies? Trader Joe’s make a good brown or white cooked rice as the only ingredient.

    • Debbie says

      Try keeping your dog inside the house-only for a few days. If the dog itching improves, then it is likely that your dog is allergic to something in the backyard or neighborhood.

      Where does the dog go to the bathroom?

    • shibashake says

      Should one use brown rice or white rice when doing chicken and rice as per your suggestion regarding allergies?

      More recently, I have just gone with a fully boiled chicken diet.

      In the past, I have used regular white rice when they had digestive issues. Brown rice has more fiber so I didn’t want to introduce that into their diet during the allergy test.

      In general when properly used, fiber can actually improve digestion but only when introduced gradually and with an increase of water intake. I didn’t want to introduce a new variable into their diet – so I went with plain white rice.

      Don’t make the rice too sticky so that it doesn’t stick on the teeth and cause tartar.

    • shibashake says

      Where does the dog go to the bathroom?

      I still took my dog out, but only on-leash and did not let him explore bushes or pounce for lizards. I also looked up the list of poisonous plants so that I would recognize them during future walks.

      Some dogs are allergic to grass – so if everything else is exhausted, and you want to test for grass allergy, it is possible to prepare a potty area made up of wood chips that is grass free. It is also possible to use dog shoes. Still, I don’t think this is too common.

      Grass allergy usually affects the paws most causing dogs to bite on their paws. In this way it may also affect the head area.

      When my Shiba had food allergy, it was itchiness on his entire body, accompanied with diarrhea.

    • Debbie says

      Did you ever do lab tests (blood) to determine allergies? Bond is gnawing at paws, licking, gnawing at thigh area. Our vet thinks it is airborne and not food. We had him on Temaril P I believe, which gave him relief, but not a cure. The vet also suggested Benadryl, but he just gets loopy and like deer in the headlights.

    • Debbie says

      I also forgot to mention with Bond he is continually scratching nose, and inside his mouth (gums)?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Debbie,
      Yeah that actually sounds a lot like grass allergy. I wonder if it is more common with the Shiba breed compared to other breeds.

      Here are some things that may help -
      http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-personality-good-bad-traits/comment-page-3#comment-2436

      I also visited a Shiba breeder who had a grass allergic long-haired Shiba. She kept him mostly on a concrete run, and only walked him on the concrete sidewalks around her house.

      Did you ever do lab tests (blood) to determine allergies?

      Luckily we didn’t have to. With Sephy it was a food thing so I just did the ingredient elimination thing. With Shania it was mites, which the vet was able to identify right away with a skin scraping.

      Bond is gnawing at paws, licking, gnawing at thigh area. Our vet thinks it is airborne and not food.

      Sephy is also allergic to some airborne stuff, usually during a change in seasons, when there are different pollens in the air. During such times he would sneeze a lot.

      We have given him some Benadryl during these times but it usually goes away after a few days once the pollen density decreases.

      Hope this helps. Please let me know what works out best.

    • Debbie says

      When you did boiled chicken and rice, how long did you do it for and what amount? We feed Bond 1/2 cup food twice per day now. He is ten years old and mostly on leash walks and jogs.

    • shibashake says

      I did the total bland diet for about 4-5 days – until the diarrhea totally went away. Then I slowly introduced his new kibble back into his diet 1/4 at a time.

      1/4 kibble, 3/4 chicken-rice for about 3-4 days. If everything was ok, then I did 1/2 and 1/2 for another 3-4 days, and so on.

      As for the amount, unfortunately I don’t remember exactly how much I used. I think I just filled a few of his toys, and fed him smaller but more frequent meals. He would always let me know when he got hungry – but I think the digestive allergies made him less hungry in general.

      How are things going with Bond?

    • Debbie says

      Thanks for asking. I tried the chicken with rice for the past 5 days, no changes in the itching and licking. Thinking maybe airborn allergies gave him Benadryl for several days, no changes in itching and licking. Going to vet today. Mites? Yeast? Stool speciment? Bond had been on Temaril P in the past with some relief, but just do not want to keep on that ongoing. Want to try to get to source of problem. May do some limited allergy testing (blood test) to rule out source of allergy.

      I am a little embarassed to mention that Bond has not had a bath in the past 3 years, as he goes wild. Over the past year he had ACL injury and we did conserative rehab versus surgery. He did well with the rehab, but cannot be crated as we now know from our rehab over the past year. He had not been crated since puppyhood. He got his teeth caught on the wires from trying to get out and lost several teeth.

      So, the thought of bathing, crating, and nail cutting become a nightmare. If he were to get a bath, he could not be crated after “to dry”. I am afraid he will reinjure his ACL during the whole process.

      So….we will see what the Vet says today.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Debbie,

      How did the vet visit go yesterday?

      Bond had been on Temaril P in the past with some relief, but just do not want to keep on that ongoing. Want to try to get to source of problem.

      Yeah finding the source of the allergy can sometimes be difficult but I totally agree with you that it is the much better way to go.

      Thinking maybe airborn allergies …

      Does he only get itchy from walks? or is he still itchy from just roaming in the house?

      Hugs to Bond.

    • Debbie says

      Vet visit, thanks for asking. I 100% trust my vet, does not go overboard, but is very pragmatic. He said Bond’s ACL Conserative Rehab has gone great. He did several skin scrapings to r/o mites, mange, etc. and they were negative, however positive for yeast and bacteria. He put him on Simplicef and Nizoral for 10 days. Wants me to call him in ten days to determine if Bond is better or worse.

      I told him about the chicken and rice for the past 5 days, no relief from itching, Vet does not think it is food allergies.

      He does not want to just begin allergy testing and other testing just yet. The Vet first wants to see if the itching subsides and move forward to determine cause of bacteria/yeast.

      In addition Bond has a Medicated bath scheduled tommorow with a groomer my Vet recommended. I am very nervous how Bond will respond to the bath, but talked to groomer at length. She knows his whole history and is willing to give it a go.

      I will keep you posted.

      I feel like group therapy here, but it is really helping Bond and me get through this.

      Thanks for asking

    • shibashake says

      Hi Debbie,

      Hope the medicated bath went well.

      I feel like group therapy here, but it is really helping Bond and me get through this.

      Actually, all this information is very helpful. Now if any of my dogs show these symptoms, I will have a better idea of what it could be, and what are some of the things that need to be done.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Sounds like your vet has diagnosed the issue, so Bond should be back to his old self soon.

      Shania sends lots of licks to everyone. Shiba Sephy is too cool to lick, but he offers his Shiba ‘stare’ :D

    • Debbie says

      Bond & I survived his medicated bath with muzzle and lots of Shiba Screams. The groomer was great. First time I met her. She told me Bond was a Drama King and any family that put up with him for 10 years, without giving him away deserves an award. She gave Bond his bath free, even after trying to bite me while muzzling him. She was great with Bond and I will return there as needed. Bond continues on his medications and I will keep you posted.

    • shibashake says

      Bond & I survived his medicated bath with muzzle and lots of Shiba Screams.

      LOL – Gotta love Shibas. Sephy is exactly the same way. Going to the vet is always a big challenge.

      But we still love them anyway. Lucky for Shibas they are so good looking ;)

    • Debbie says

      Sorry to report after medicated bath, 10 days of antibiotics and medication for yeast, Bond continues to lick and scratch. We will be returning to our Vet tommorow :(

    • shibashake says

      Sorry to hear that Debbie. What did the vet say?

      One thing you could try is to just keep Bond inside the house as much as possible and only take him out to potty on wood chips. This way he stays away from most organic materials and this may help determine if it is a plant/pollen allergy thing.

      Is Bond having diarrhea or any other symptoms in addition to the itching?

    • Debbie says

      Bond just got back from Vet Visit. He is now on Atarax for the itching/licking with 30% relief. To be continued.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Debbie,
      My Siberian is on Atarax as well. She had some bad allergic reaction this morning, and her whole face swelled up. The vet said it could be from her vaccine shots, or from an insect bite.

      Hopefully it was a vaccine thing, because there are always going to be spiders and bees about.

      How is the Atarax working out for Bond?

  43. christopher eades says

    my 11 month old huskies nose sides of mouth and eyes keep swelling , have taken to vet they said its an allergy and gave us piriton tablets . we keep eye on her in garden to make sure not going by anything as vet doesnt know what alergy is , but still keeps swelling up and cant keep affording vets bills just to keep being told the same any help greatly appreciated

    • shibashake says

      I would try keeping her in the house for a few days to see if the swelling subsides. I know my Sibe likes sticking her nose into all kinds of holes and such in my backyard, so who knows what she gets on her muzzle.

      Allergies are usually difficult because you have to slowly rule out where the allergy could be coming from, based on all the places your dog goes to. To start you want to temporarily cut down the number of places she visits to a minimum, so that you can get the allergy under control. Then slowly start introducing her to new places again one by one, and always keep her under close supervision when you introduce her to a new place. In this way, you can identify which plants, etc. that she comes into contact with so that if the allergy flares up again, you will know which plant(s) caused it.

      There are also many common garden plants that are poisonous to dogs.
      http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/plants_poisonous_to_pets.html

      I would also check to make sure that she doesn’t come into contact with these plants.

    • christopher eades says

      thanks very much for the advice and having checked her food found that it contains wheat bought a better quality one without wheat and shes been fine so far touch wood will keep informed if things change

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kellie,
      Hair-loss can be due to a variety of reasons.

      My Siberian had hair loss around the eyes last year and it turned out to be demodectic mange. It started out around her mouth, probably from her playing with other puppies in daycare. This led to scratching around the mouth, which got the mange onto her paw, and that got onto her eye area when she scratched her face.

      The best thing to do is to take your dog to the vet. They can take skin scrapings and tell you for sure what is the cause of the hair loss.

      Let us know how it goes.

  44. Bonnie says

    Thank you for your Dog Itching, Scratching, Allergy article. My Shiba is constantly itching. I found out his food was not as advertised and am trying a new one. He continues to itch. Your articles give me some structure to follow to determine “what” is causing this problem for him. Thank you

    • spiff says

      It really kills me that so many of the mass-marketed kibbles that trumpet their “healthy diet” are LOADED with wheat and/or corn (prime example: Beneful), which are not easily digestible by dogs, and to which many, many dogs (including both of mine) are allergic.

      Nice selection of healthy kibbles in your adds ^^ We tried many grain-free brands, and settled on Innova.

      –spiff

    • shibashake says

      Thanks for dropping by Bonnie. Yeah, it took me a while to identify that the source of my Shiba’s itching was wheat. My Siberian has an even more sensitive stomach :) I use Innova EVO kibble with the both of them and it has worked out very well for us.

      Let me know if I can help you with anything.

  45. junetan7 says

    Nice article.

    Just to add on – other reasons which are contributing factors are

    environmental (atopy) and annual vaccination leading to vaccinosis.

    Environmental includes the type of water drank by the dog, the level of humidity and dust mites etc.

    • shibashake says

      Hi June,

      Thanks for the great additions. That is really interesting about the water. I didn’t know about that. I will definitely have to add your environmental factors to the article. Thanks! :)

  46. Nancy's Niche says

    Hi Shebashake, Another great article and isn’t it interesting that animals suffer the same health issues as humans…

    • shibashake says

      Thanks for dropping by Nancy. What is say is very true. Animals are a lot more tolerant and brave about it than humans though :) I’m absolutely terrible when I get sick!

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