HELP!! SUDDEN scratching, fur-biting and fur loss!

topic posted Thu, August 24, 2006 - 7:08 AM by  Devi das
Hello All,

I just moved into a house from Queens, NYC to Brooklyn, NYC, about a month ago. My dogs (one red male Jindo, 7), and one lab mix (6) have never had fleas or any notable problems with mites or parasites, or skin disorders or fur loss of any kind.

Within two or three weeks after moving into the house, my dogs started scratching themselves excessively and my Lab/Shep mix, Charlie, started biting his butt and tail area to the point where there was, within two weeks, not only redness but bleeding and large scab formations. My Jindo soon started the self-biting as well.

I at first thought it was excessive irritation from mosquito bites, but eventually started to suspect mites. However, is it really possible for a mite infestation to happen so suddenly?

In any case, I bathed each of them with a pyrethrin solution, then over the course of a few days sprayed them with some medicated and anesthetic sprays to stop the scratching and biting. Finally, I gave them each their first dose of Frontline Plus on August 12 (with two more doses to go in September and October for each of them).

Well, my Lab's scratching has dramatically reduced, his fur-biting has virtually stopped and his scabs and sore areas have healed significantly. In fact, he now looks perfectly normal and his coat looks fine.

My Jindo, however, much to my dismay, has continuing biting off sections of his fur and scratching obsessively. I am horrified. He has gone from a gorgeous perfect coat quickly to visible bald patches and it isn't stopping (although the fur-biting and scratching DID seem to die down a bit after the pyrethrin and Frontline applications).

What do I do? I am still wanting to use topical treatments (like neem shampoo or garlic) while I give the two additional Frontline applications and wait for them to fully work. Or should I go to the vet immediately? What will the vet recommend? Ivermectin? I don't want to start that horrible lime dip process yet.

Please help!

Chris Z.
posted by:
Devi das
New York City
  • Unsu...
    Jindo can have hot spots where he had started to scratch and bite from fleas or whatever it was. My suggestion would be to cone him (put that cone shaped thing on his head) to prevent him from getting to the area. At the same time, if he has areas that are hot spots, you can get some medicated balm from a vet to put on it. If it's really bad, the vet may put him on antibiotics.

    But you definitely should do something about this. He must be in misery! Poor baby!
  • The sucky thing is the more they chew the more they itch. their saliva can exacerbate hotspots. Putting a cone on him will be good. Also, try giving him a Benedryl (perfectly safe for dogs). It sounds like he's allergic to something in your new place.
    • My dog had a similar situation, and the vet said it was allergies- he'd had nine dogs with the same thing that morning alone. She got a steroid shot and it cleared up right away; didn't have a bad recurrence for another nine months or so. There have been a couple mild incidents, and I've used topical cortisone and tea tree ani-itch sprays on the afected areas, plus either Benadryl or Chlor-trimeton with decent results.
      • food has A LOT to do with allergies too. My parent's dog, Milo, would get really bad allergies every late spring. He was fine other times of the year. He'd rub all of the fur off of his face. Poor guy looked awful. The Benedryl stopped working and their vet had them put him on Claritin. At the time they were feeding him just Pedigree and Purina One. I talked them into switching to a better food a little over a year ago. I think they switched to Avoderm kibble with Natural Balance canned. This year Milo had *Zero* allergies.
  • Unsu...
    sounds like a tough issue and i wish you luck, i doubt some simple stuff like salmon oil in the kibble will work for this problem. i will say that i a have a 1/4 jindo and in the last few weeks he started shedding again (hasn't since many months ago) and he is a little extra itchy but i started changing his diet with more oil and that seemed to help a little.
  • its allergies, when they chew their feet or tail its alergies. Could be food but if you haven't changed the food and the only thing different is place of living then it has to be something in the house. You can take them to an allergist, they will shave a square on the back and do the necessary testing, they will then have you either remove what the allergy is or they can be given shots, one every ten days with small doses building up to a full dose. Sometimes finding what they are allergic to can be tricky, could be so many things,

    good luck
    • It's most likely something in the apartment, but food can exacerbate it. See my post above about my parent's dog with hay fever and food. Also, if a dog is fed the same food for a long period it can still develop an allergy to it. Esp. if it contains grains (except oatmeal). My parent's dog was fed the same diet every day for 6 years before the hay fever even appeared.
      • I feed biljac, all organ mean and oatmeal, beautiful glossy coats, no scratching, works for me. My old gal gets biljac senior, has oatmeal for fiber, keeps her regular, my younger has biljac light, tubby needs to loose 15 pounds. Only problem with biljac is dogs love it so much they tend to pack on the pounds.

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