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My vet says my golden retriever has allergies - food and grass.  Have tried various pet food for sensitive skin, some very expensive, and also using Malaseb shampoo weekly.  Don't see fleas - ever.  She's inside alot but takes lots of walk and plays in the back yard.  She chews her paws, scratches everywhere.  Have used Benadryl but I hate to think she will have to live on that.  Nothing really seems to help.  What to do?  Have heard fish oil, Vit 3, Omega 3's, help.  What do you think.  Have tried at least 6 different foods - Science Diet, Hills, Nutro, Purina (which she was raised on for at least 6 months before this intense itching), Wolf---something.  Have tried eliminating beef and chicken.  No relief.  On Nutro - salmon and potato ?  Help!  My pooch is itchy, and while I trust my vet, I think he is out of ideas.
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Avatar universal
Hello,  I had the same problem with an English Bulldog. Like you I tried everything, finally my vet had to use a low dose of steriods. I hated to go that route, but the poor dog would scratch until he would bleed. He didn't have to take the steriods until the summer months. Then as I said a low dose. He live a normal life, no other problems, live until he was 9 yrs. old. You might see what your vet thinks about steriods. The Benadryl may be better than steriod use. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Hi I came across you post, I used to work for a vet dermatologist. I know how expensive allergies can be to control. Some pointers for you to think about. Diet could be a cheaper answer in the grand scheme of things but to do a true elimination diet you have to try a food that has a limited protein source and make sure that there are no hidden ingredients that could be causing the diet to not be a true elimination. Try a food like Natures Recipe Vegetarian or Venison formula and don't give ANY treats except maybe raw carrots, canned pumpkin, banana or marshmallow. A test trial can take up to 10 weeks to be sure it's going to help. Maintaining allergies is frustrating on the vet and owner. Benadryl is ok but sometimes other antihistamines work better. Think about people sometimes one works for one person and one for another. Ask about Chlorpheniramine, Clemastine, hydroxyzine or doxepin. The last 2 are used as antidepressants in humans but for dogs they are antihistamines. To keep costs down find out the dosing and price shop pharmacy's as these are all human drugs too so any pharmacy will carry them. Coscto.com has really great prices and you don't need a membership for the pharmacy. Other things that can help is wiping paws down every time their outside. Shampooing twice weekly with Malaseb is great. Again shop the web for cheaper bottles of it. Long term effect of steroids can kill the liver/kidneys so avoid that at all costs. If you have a vet dermatologist in your area you'd be better spending the money for a consult with them and get things treated right the 1st time.You can always have your vet call the derm. for a phone consult for free.  
Avatar universal
One more thing, did your vet say she's chewing paws because of secondary infections? Yeast or bacteria? If so these need to be addressed. Skin scrapings from between the toes should be done and looked at under the microscope to see which it is or both. Systemic (oral) antifungals and antibiotics work better than just shampoo. Fluconazole for yeast is cheapest and can also be price shopped at pharmacy's. If diet doesn't help after at least 10 weeks then think about allergy testing. It is costly in the beginning but once they get to a maintenance dose with the shots it's cheaper then adding up a lifetime of medications and vet visits. They should be able to teach you have to give the injection and do it at home, if your willing to learn. It's a simple under the skin shot, no veins and doesn't hurt the dog. I used to train owners all the time how to do it. Allergy shots can take up to a year to truly help because the dogs immune systems takes time to desensitize to the allergens. I've seen many dogs have success with it, mine is one of them :) Any questions feel free to contact me at dawn dot deiman at yahoo dot com
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