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My Little Bichon Scratching All the Time Is Driving Me Crazy

Does anyone know what I can do for my bichon to keep him from scratching all the time. We take him out for walks, bring him back in and rinse his feet off. He all most has the hair scratched off his feet and spots on the the rest of his body that he has scratched so much he has made himself bleed. I took him to the vet and she gave him some pills for a yeast infection on his feet. He has been on them now for 10 days. I give him 25mg of benedryl in the AM and the PM, but that is not doing anything. I am at my wits end.

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I use DINOVITE, a nutritional supplement, to keep my dog from scratching and having those hot spots. I heard about it on WBAP talk radio. It is working great for my dog.

http://www.dinovite.com/

I had a Bichon that was doing the same thing. Their skin gets dry and they chew their paws and scratch a lot. My vet gave us some cortizone cream and pills too. Be careful with all the scratching though because mine always ended up with hot spots on him that had to be shaved off by the vet and they sometimes got worse.

My Brussels Griffon is highly allergic and chews his feet and scratches when he is reacting. If the scratching has gone on long enough, there may be a bacterial infection on top of the yeast infection. This is what we dealt with most recently. He was on an extensive treatment of anti-fungal pills for the yeast infection and also given antibiotics (through a shot then pills) for the bacterial infection. Stay away from steroid shots as this is not healthy for a dog but will break the itch cycle.

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My 30 pound sheltie does the same thing. He is just allergic to grass, so the summer is hard. We had a bumper crop of fleas this year as well. My vet gave me a series of shampoo with a spray and a gell and that seemed to slow it down. The cooler weather helped as well, it slowed down the fleas. Try an all natural dog food. That worked for Hobie and another of my shelties that is now deceased. I don't know how big bichons are, but my vet tells me to give home 2 benedryls in the Am and PM.

Hope I have helped.

Take Care!

1 mom found this helpful

just an idea, what type of bowl are you feeding him out of? is it plastic? my sister has a pomerainian and she was the same way the vet told her to swtich out all of the food and water bowls to metal and her itching would stop. and it did. might think about this.

Bless your and your little dogs heart, constant itching, scrathcing, licking and the like is horrible and so annoying at times. I have a westie, and this poor thing has gone through so many different meds and foods till we finally found something to help his allergies. he would chew and scratch to the point that from the middle of his back to the end of his tail was hairless, black and elephant like skin. poor baby was miserable!!! i suggest def. talking to your vet, find out what your options are. so many have given a great deal of help/suggestions/experiences and i do hope it all helps.
also you might check for hot spots, my corgie/pointer mix has hot spots for which we have to administer cordizone to just to keep her om chewing.
another thing you might use that is completly safe, is a product called YUCK, apply this to the area (its a spray) and it will deture your dog from chewing so much b/c it taste horrible, (trust me i've accidently got some in mouth...GAG!!) this will help a bit until the allergies are under control.
I wish you much luck, this can be a time comsuming matter that seems like it will never end, but it will...just dont give up!!!
God Bless you both!!

I feel bad for you and know the feeling. I have a beautiful five year old Bichon and he is well groomed and on a helathy no grain diet and spoiled rotten. Every year around this time Baxter gets a horrible hot spot. I don't like drugs, so I keep the infected area clean and dry with tar shampoo. I also use a topical with cortizone which you can get fro your Vet. I don't like drugs due to the fact that it will effect the immune system in your beloved pet and the hot spots will be more frequent. Every dog is different like people and I think Baxter's is weather related. Good luck and hope this helps a little. I also give filtered water for his tear staining which is none. I love dogs and I have five more but he is the only Bichon that I deal with. I have a little girl Bichon and she can eat anything and nothing bothers her and never had a hot spot! Baxter my male, is so sensitive. I also think it is genetic and they were all from puppy mills.
They all take fish oil and vitamins as well. They cost me a fortune but well worth it.
E.

Updated

I feel bad for you and know the feeling. I have a beautiful five year old Bichon and he is well groomed and on a helathy no grain diet and spoiled rotten. Every year around this time Baxter gets a horrible hot spot. I don't like drugs, so I keep the infected area clean and dry with tar shampoo. I also use a topical with cortizone which you can get fro your Vet. I don't like drugs due to the fact that it will effect the immune system in your beloved pet and the hot spots will be more frequent. Every dog is different like people and I think Baxter's is weather related. Good luck and hope this helps a little. I also give filtered water for his tear staining which is none. I love dogs and I have five more but he is the only Bichon that I deal with. I have a little girl Bichon and she can eat anything and nothing bothers her and never had a hot spot! Baxter my male, is so sensitive. I also think it is genetic and they were all from puppy mills.
They all take fish oil and vitamins as well. They cost me a fortune but well worth it.
E.

Hi, D.. My sister's dog had the same problem. She gives her alfalfa tablets and no more scratching! You can go to the health food store, or use Shaklee. I am an Independent Distributor and would be happy to help you order my product. The link is below. Good luck! S.

http://www.shaklee.net/health_revolution/product/Alfalfa

Hi D.,

A woman I know is having a workshop in a couple of weeks about pet nutrition. She helped me a lot with my dog. Maybe you are interested in attending.

Good Food, Good Communication: A Workshop for Dog Moms and Dads
Presented by Marti Miller, MA
Saturday, October 25, 1:00 - 3:00pm
Learn how to provide the best nutrition for your dog. The benefits are healthier pets, fewer trips to the vet, fewer problems with fleas and ticks, and more. The second half of the workshop focuses on pet communication. Discover your inner Dog Whisperer! Workshop is $60. Private session with Marti is $30.
Workshop held at Studio 909 Creating Wellness
909 West Magnolia Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Reservations can be made at ###-###-####

D.,
My dog was scratching alot too, and I could find no fleas, etc. My vet said she might need some skin conditioner (we're in a terrible dry spell here in the OK Panhandle) and I rub a bit in every 4 - 5 days. She loves the attention, and her scratching has reduced considerably. (I used Arbonne Skin Conditioning Oil.)
A. Evans

Did your vet do a skin test for Demodectic Mange? (caused by tiny mites.) It is not contagious like the other type of mange (sarcoptic?), but it causes an itch that a dog will scratch until bleeding.

Usually vets will "dip" a dog with mange in a toxic brew. I heard that some little dogs died after this treatment. (Could be a rumor.) There is a holistic line of dog ointments out of Australia that you could google.

The women who suggested a corn food allergy/ or grass allergy might be right. I, myself, am going to try out the food suggested: Natures Variety. I just visited that website (www.naturesvariety.com) and found out that the Bark N'Lounge on Keller Parkway carries it.

D., my husband is a Vet. and lots of dogs have allergeries this time of year. I would take her back and get more medication for her. She has to be miserable scratching all time. Best of luck.

We adopted a miniature schnauzer from the humane society, and though he had allergies. Turns out he had sarcoptic mites. He also itched constantly. Their vet missed it, so maybe you could ask if yours has done the test for it. Also, it might be the food that you are giving to him. A duck & potato blend might be the answer.

I would have suggested benedryl but it looks like that's not working. I know what you mean though, my poodle licks constantly, yuck! You might try putting some goldbond powder on his feet. I put that on my dogs' faces after I groom them and it keeps them from scratching.

I am a registered veterinary technician, and a former sales rep for an all natural pet food company(called Wellness)Veterinarians are unfortunately way too quick to prescribe pills. They are generally given very limited education in animal nutrition during vet school, and then it is swayed towards recommending Purina or Science Diet because these companies sponsor their lectures. It sounds to me like a food allergy. Food allergies often manifest in skin/feet. You really need to stay away from grocery store foods and others that contain corn,wheat, soy, and by-products. They are more expensive than grocery brands, but so is going to the vet. Really read your pet food ingredient panels. I would stick with a food with a single protein source like Chicken or duck. Beef is highly allergic and lamb can be as well. I would almost bet that's what your dogs problem is. Bichon's are one of those breeds that are predisposed to allergies. An all natural food will also clear up ear infections, hot spots, and eye tearing. I'm not saying that she doesn't have any enviromental allergies, but I'd start with a food change.

I know that you have gotten a lot of responses already, but I didn't see that anyone noticed that corn might be the food allergy. We switched our Lhasa to lamb and rice food (Nutro- available at a lot of places), and it seemed to help. She also takes an allergy pill every day. I believe it is hydroxyzine. You might also try a probiotic to prevent future yeast infections. Hope that helps!

Look on 1800petmeds.com they have stuff you can order for itching. Good luck.

we have a dachsund that is the same way. She goes outside to do her buisness and then will try to eat her feet off. She just chews until they are raw. She gets a steriod shot from the vet about every 6 weeks in the summer and then maybe one in the fall and winter months. Ask your vet for a steroid shot and see if this doesnt stop the itching. Our dog appears to be allergic to grass. Our neighbors have a little dog as well that takes steroid pills every day. I like the shot it is faster and you don't have to convince them to eat it every day. Hope that helps.

You should consider seeing a Veterinary Dermatologist. There are several in the area. Look on the website www.dermvets.com. Kristen

My yorkie does this and the vet says that it dry skin and he gave me some 3V caps and it helps a ton. Also make sure that you keep flea medicine on them my dog will pull all of his hair out over one little flea.

Hi. I am interested in youur printing broker business. I have a new puppy that is doing the same thing so I am going to read all the advice everyone is giving you. Please private email me.I have a big print job I do once a year that I always look for quotes. I can email you the specifications,
Thanks
C.

Have you tried ACV (Apple Cider Vineger by Braggs)? It must be braggs you can get it at Market Street. Braggs contain live enzymes. I am not sure it will work for dogs, but my little girl gets rashes all the time and can't stop itching. I give her an ACV bath and it goes away like magic.

It works for chicken pox, shingles, poison ivy poison oak, minor cuts and abrasions. stops pain and itching from mosquito and othe insect bites, bee stings. Use straigt ACV on affected areas or diluted ACV. If needed can apply a paste of ACV and cornstartch to affected area. The ACV paste mixture draws out the itching as it drys.

I would definetly dilute if the paws have open wounds.

I hope this helps.

try the topical benadryl if thats ok with the vet- b/c he may like it off- but try peanut oil in his food-

My sister has been educating me on the problems with the way we feed our pets. Most vets are not trained in nutrition, they go to medical school, just like our doctors. Dogs are not meant to eat kibble, primarily grain food. Even if it says that meat is primary, it is only because they break up the grain (see rice meal, rice flour, etc.) You put that all back together and rice is the primary ingredient. Raw food is the most natural form of nutrition, with freedom from allergies, help with weight loss, teeth and improved skin and coat. Go to www.naturesvariety.com to find a store near you that sells their frozen raw patties. I guarantee you will see a huge change in your dog.

Sounds like a possible food algery... if you are feeding a food with corn or a corn product as one of the first 5 ingreadients then switch to another food. Another allergen is gluten and wheat.

Chewing feet and scratching seems to be very common in little dogs and the Bichon's seem to do it a lot. If the benadryl 25 mg 2x per day is a lot... (I have been told the standard dose is 1mg per pound of dog per day) so if your dose is not doing a thing then it may be behavioral. like OCD lots of little dogs get that. HTH

A. J

HI D.,

Sorry about Your problem, I know Your little Dog is suffering...

Ck for Fleas, put it on a white towel and rub thru his fur , if You see black droppings , those are flea droppings ,take it to You Vet and get a once a month flea Treatment pack .

If You see no sign of Fleas, then it is seasonal allergies and You need to get to a Vet that will give some medication to relieve the allergic reaction and the itching, either a injection or in pill form.... ask them about the treatment for itching when You call for an appointment.Benadryl will help with the itching, but does not address the problem... Pray for an early Frost, usually that put a stop to the problem until next Spring.

Good luck,
V.Still

Bath less frequently and give him some fish oil everyday. That worked well for my neice's dog.

Try a holistic vet. There is one one in plano named Dr. Shawn ?
I cannot remember his last name. Google Holistic vet in Plano Texas.
L.

hi D.

i think they just have allergies sometimes

what are you feeding him?

try a really top quality food, like pro plan for sensitive stomachs, made from salmon, or avoderm, they have that at petsmart, sometimes they are food allergies,

sometimes i think it's a nervous habit to chew on themselves

try an oatmeal bath, or get some spray to put on the red spots, also called "hot spots", i can't think of what the spray is called now, but i can look it up if you want

i had a litter of bichon's about a year and a half ago, going on 2 years, and i just recently took one of them back because the people were getting a divorce and could not keep her, so i'm trying to find a good home for her, she's akc, but i have never sent the papers in because she was living with my friend, i would sell her for a very small amount of money, just want to find someone that loves her, she loves to sit close by and be petted, she's not hyper like some can be, she loves people and is really sweet

let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested

is your male neutered already?

oh, not sure what part of town you are in or what vet you use, but i can recommend a fantastic vet if you are possibly interested in a second opinion? i really don't think it's yeast on the feet!

good luck with your dog!

Sounds like he just has allergies. As a lot of us do too. G. W

go to a different vet
your dog has mites (microscopic)
like a baby that goes to a day care
and gets scabies
the medicine for the mites puts a stop to it all almost instantly however
you have to change everything he's been sleeping on etc
GOOD LUCK and remember that
He's more miserable than you are!!!!!

My Brussels Griffon is highly allergic and chews his feet and scratches when he is reacting. If the scratching has gone on long enough, there may be a bacterial infection on top of the yeast infection. This is what we dealt with most recently. He was on an extensive treatment of anti-fungal pills for the yeast infection and also given antibiotics (through a shot then pills) for the bacterial infection. Stay away from steroid shots as this is not healthy for a dog but will break the itch cycle.

My Mom has a bichon and had a similar problem. He has super sensitive skin and is allergic to corn. It helped a ton when she put him on corn free food. She also found if he gets one bite from a flea, mosquito etc, he gets a bald patch that bleeds on him from the irritation adn chewing on it where he got bitten. She has to keep him on flea meds all the time. there is something she treats the spots with when he gets them, but I can't remember what it is. If you haven't checked with your vet yet, they might have a suggestion to keep him from chewing on the patches.

When bathing your dog rinse him (leaving it on a few seconds making sure it gets to his skin & then final rinse w/water) or when you bring him in from outside, take a cotton ball dipped in anticeptic mouthwash and dab it on the feet...it heals dry skin on dogs & cats.

Don't know if the condition is specific to Bichons, but it sure sounds like allergies. Try a different vet if you're not satisfied. Animal Care Ctre, Ohio Dr., Frisco...wonderful staff, attentive veterinarians, reasonable pricing!

Hi D.,

This might sound crazy at first but it makes a WORLD of difference. We switched our Lab & our American Working Collie/Lab to an all-raw diet. Before that, combined, they had shedding, itching, smell, vomiting, seizure, tumor and eliminative troubles.

After about a week of detox (sores on skin & lethargy--nothing too bad), their hair began to grow in thicker & shinier, they stopped scratching, my lab's seizures went from 3X a day down to about once a month or less, her tumor disappeared as well as their other collective problems. We also don't have trouble with tick or flea infestations anymore. Their breath is clean & teeth went from dingy & stained to white & clean (crunching raw bones to a dog is like brushing teeth to a human) Lab has been on this diet about 4 years & Collie 2 (because she's only that old). Sound too good to be true? That's what I thought at first. I read the book Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze, CCN, AHI (I think the title has changed slightly now--bought it at The Sunflower Shoppe in FW). I also did some research on the internet. One of the more helpful websites was this one: http://www.barfworld.com/

I also second the ACV recommendation. We have used it for years for various things for our whole family. Before we switched one of the dogs to raw, I used it, diluted with water, to cure an ear mite infection for one of them. Works great.

Lastly, I'll add that though we follow the basic principles of a raw-meat & bones diet for our dogs, it does not have to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming. We literally buy raw chicken leg quarters (or another inexpensive cut) in big packs and various beef/chicken bones in bulk (store them in freezer) and once in a while they get some raw eggs. We only supplement that occasionally with a whole food source of Vitamin C (such as acerola cherry powder), quality cod liver oil (measure carefully, especially for a little dog) and a green food mixed with coconut oil. Again, we don't do that every day, just very occasionally.

Most weekdays, my husband simply hands each 2-3 whole leg quarters (big dogs can handle big bites & bones easily). They eat once a day and fast once a week & that's it. It's no more expensive for us than when we fed Iam's dry food. In fact, if you factor in the lack of extra vet care, it's cheaper.

Our dogs never get sick & we haven't had to see the vet for any illness since we switched them. They LOVE LOVE LOVE mealtime. Our eight-year-old lab leaps 2 feet in the air by the back door until we let her out to eat. She whines & crys like she's starving (which she's absolutely not). It's hilarious. This is a very different reaction from the way they responded to dry food. They were so bored with it.

Some vets & breeders know this diet very well, others do not. With the vets it's usually b/c so much of their continuing education is strongly influenced by the commercial pet industry. If you decide to try this, don't let yourself be discouraged by an ill-informed vet. There were enough DVM's out there singing raw-food diet's praises to the sky to convince me to try it.

Wanted to add this in, just so there's no misunderstanding. DO NOT feed COOKED chicken or other animal bones to your dog. Raw bones & cooked bones break/splinter & digest differently. A cooked chicken bone can cause very serious injury to your pet. Raw chicken bones do not.

Hope that helps,
B.

I used to have a Sheltie that scratched so much she was bald from the middle of her body back. I took her to the vet, and they told me she had major allergies. They put her on prednisone, we gave her the medicine until the itching stopped, and then a maintenence dose like every three days and we never had that problem again. All her hair grew back and she never had trouble again. Doesnt sound like mange mites to me, yes, they itch too, but the hair will fall out on its own with mange, and they don't have to scratch it. But have your vet check it out to be sure.

We use Dr. Garfield as well. He is wonderful, but it is expensive.

Our dog suffers from extreme allergies: four different grasses, three different trees, dust, cats and some other things. We are in a constant battle for her comfort. She gets an allergy shot once a week, but that doesn't always do it. Here are few other suggestions that seem to help

-fish oil helps condition the skin
-baths at least once a week with an oatmeal shampoo
-dilute one part vinegar to 3 parts cool water and pour it on your pet after each bath ( we use a spray bottle). This helps balance the ph and helps prevent yeast infections. You'll want to do it outside because the dog will smell like pickle until it dries (after it dries, you won't notice it - Our hundred pound lab is still allowed on the furniture :)
-benedryl, make sure the dog is getting the right dosage. We thought it did nothing for her either until we discovered we were under medicating her.
-Gentamincin spray will sometimes help with those extra itchy spots. Your vet will have to prescribe it, but it is not terribly expensive. It also has some antiseptic to help cuts and scratches heal more quickly.

Good luck!

My friend in Galvez, LA has a dog with an itch problem and was taken to the vets. He gave the dog a pack to take of prednisone with a larger dosage in the beginning and then tapers off. He also said it could be a food allergy, as dog started getting tablefoods more about six months ago and cooincidentally that is when the itching really started being a problem. Dog is now strictly on dog food and after her meds finished now is doing much better and no longer gets anything else but dog food. I know yours had a yeast infection, but could also be something else and trying to correct or restrict food diet may help.

I use DINOVITE, a nutritional supplement, to keep my dog from scratching and having those hot spots. I heard about it on WBAP talk radio. It is working great for my dog.

http://www.dinovite.com/

You should ask your vet about a cortizone shot or predinsone for your furry baby.

Sounds like you need to make a visit to Dr. Reid Garfield. He is a dermatological vet. His office is on Trinity Mills at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center.

Oh I know how it goes! Have you tried the food for allergies? It's usually fish based, we have a Scotty and my parents have a Bichon, both have allergies and we've both had success with either the Eukanuba - I've been buying at Petsmart- or Science Diet prescription. The prescription one comes from our vet and is expensive but we usually only need 2 5 lb bags to get us through the season. The other thing is you can give him fish oil, it helps with the itchies but might give him stinky skin-it does to our Scotty. I give him Benadryl only if he's really bad. Also, if he likes to hang out in the backyard like our dog does, don't let him camp out in the grass. There's also a spray that works really well, again prescription I think it's called gEntamycin (or something like that) and you spray it on his paws. Good luck, I know it's enough to drive you crazy with all the scratching and the licking!

Among some of the other recommnedations, I also suggest bathing your dog in Aloe and Oatmeal shampoo. I work for a vet, and we have a lot of bichons with skin allergies. It is part of the breed, unfortunately. Your vet should also prescribe an anti-itching medication called Temaril-P. It really helps.

I had a Bichon that was doing the same thing. Their skin gets dry and they chew their paws and scratch a lot. My vet gave us some cortizone cream and pills too. Be careful with all the scratching though because mine always ended up with hot spots on him that had to be shaved off by the vet and they sometimes got worse.

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