The dreaded itchies!

Health topics and issues with Chow Chows.

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Ellie
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The dreaded itchies!

Postby Ellie » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:05 pm

Hi everyone!

Khan's growing up big and strong - he's at 15.2kg at 15 weeks, which seems about right. Unfortunately, he's recently started itching and scratching, itching and scratching *sigh* Pulling at his fur and damaging his skin :cry:

So I've read up heaps on the forum - gone back over 5 years of Kiwani's posts on the topic :D I've been feeding him kibble for breakfast and supper, and dinner of kibble and a mix of brown rice, minced beef, pumpkin, celery and parsley. I have to admit that the kibble was not the best I could get - we don't have Nutro or Solid Gold in Australia, and from researching it up, it seemed the best I could get was Innova. But it costs AU$69 for 3kg (about US$55 for 6.6 pounds)!!! :shock: And it didn't seem to be doing too much good - he was still gnawing at his paws.

So we switched to a supermarket brand, and I fear it may have made him worse - he's developed raw spots under his tail on his back, around his groin, and in his armpits. Other factors may be that it's getting hot here - up to about 32 degree (89 F) days, and he's blowing his coat for the first time - he's losing handfuls! But it's undercoat only, not top coat, which's a good sign I read. Also, our lawn is full of burrs which stick in his coat and drive me mad. I de-burr him 3-4 times a day, but I can imagine that they may be causing skin irritations.

There's been no changes to any chemicals in the house, and we use a steam cleaner on the wooden floorboards.

We use Advocate for fleas and ticks every month. The vet nurse said that it only kills the fleas once they bite his skin... Can he be allergic to them in his coat without them biting? And I suppose they still have to bite to die, so could he be allergic to that first bite? Everyone on here seems to use either Advantage or Frontline (apart from those going the natural route), but apparently that works the same way....? We got some free Frontline in a promotion, and I used that on him a week or so ago... Has it been known to cause itchies?

He did puppy preschool (and won best behaved dog at the end of it :shock: /:) ) and my partner showed the vet nurse there the raw spots, and she said Khan should be bathed more when he's shedding his coat, as dead skin and hair can build up more easily at that time and cause skin problems (even though I give him a 1/2hr brush every day). I was a bit shocked as everything I've read has said that regular baths are bad? But the vet (who's owned Chows) confirmed it the next day when I asked him.... We've only bathed him twice in his life, and the last time was over a month ago.

Sooooo, my plan is to get him hydrobathed in a few days, and see if that makes a difference, although I'm skeptical. Also, no more airdrying (it's been so hot I thought it was OK) - he'll be dried with a hairdryer on cool.

But I'm also changing his diet, as I think this's a big factor. NO MORE KIBBLE!!! :D There's just nothing in Aus that's well-priced (I'm willing to pay the $69, but I want more than 3kg worth :roll: ) or that doesn't have corn in it. I got him some human-grade salmon oil tablets yesterday, and he's getting two of them a day (he eats them whole :D ). I also bought some spirulina tablets, but I want to hold off and see what the fish oil tablets do first.

Then, for food, I'm thinking various combinations of brown rice, good vitamised veggies (carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, parsley, celery, etc), lean mince, salmon (packed in water, not oil, and unsalted), sardines, boiled eggs, raw chicken necks, liver, and yoghurt - twice a day.

Does this sound OK? Is there anything I'm missing? I know that organic would be best.... Organic veggies probably won't be too hard to find, but living in the middle of nowhere as we do, organic meat is not really an option. Hmmm, am I now overreacting? :D
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Ellie
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Ellie » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:00 am

Another thing:

I started Khan on the salmon oil tablets yesterday, and he's taking one in the morning and one at dinner time. Yesterday he ate the tablets whole, and vomited his dinner up almost as soon as he had swallowed it. There's no bile or froth or anything, it's just his chewed-up dinner....

Today I pricked the tablet and squeezed the oil onto his dinner, and he's vomited up his dinner again. :(

He seems to be OK, and still begs for human dinner, and looks longingly at the cats' food.

Two things have changed - the fish oil tablets, and the lack of kibble... Could he be reacting to the tablets? Or is he bolting his food down too fast now without the chewy kibbloe to slow him down? Also, it's been one of our hottest days today so far this year, but he's been inside in the air-con, so that really shouldn't have been the problem.
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Sirchow » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:48 am

Hi, I had a quick look to see if I could find out what was available in Oz. These were some sites and foods I found but not sure if they are available in your area or mail order. I feed Bramble Orijen mixed with some burns food as I feel the protein is a little on the high side. You could try mixing it with you home made just to get some more vits and minerals in. Fish oil as a pose to salmon oil is very good for its anit inflamatory properties. I give bramble hers in her food as a whole capsule and she has never brought it up but you could start out with less and build up her tollerance. If you go with completely home made foods just make sure that you get a good ballance nutritionwise.

Orijen
http://www.caninecountry.com.au/

Artemis Fresh Mix
http://www.naturalpetstore.com.au/index.php

This is a really good guide to all aspects of making your own foods
http://www.dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html#Balance
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Ellie
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Ellie » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:45 am

Thankyou my dear for coming to my rescue once again! [:D]

Although I couldn't find the Orijen on the link you posted, I was very interested in the food that was on the site though, especially as the distributors are only 20mins away. I'm a bit embarrassed that I'm a local but it took someone from overseas to find it for me :oops: :D

I like the six different options, although I'm a little concerned that they don't have a puppy option... Do you think that anything would have to be added to the ingredients to make it more puppy-friendly?

Ingredients
PRESERVATIVE FREE, NO ADDITIVES OR COLOURANTS.
Minced Chicken Meat & Bone
Minced Beef, Lamb & Fish
Fruit (apples, pears, seasonal fruits)
Vegetables (pumpkins, sweet potato, beans, leafy greens, seasonal vegetables)
Eggs
Yoghurt
Flaxseed Meal
Omega 3,6,9
Kelp
Garlic

I'm gonna go and check it out tomorrow! If it's no good, I think I'd go the Artemis, as I'm a bit wary of Orijen, as there was recently a scare here about it
http://www.bowhouse.com.au/p/670657/ori ... ralia.html

I had the option of either fish oil or salmon oil, but I went the salmon oil as it is "wild cold water salmon" and mercury and heavy metal tested (no AC/DC here \:D/ ). It's got 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA. Are you saying please that we'd have better anti-itchy results on the fish oil?

Thanks again!!!
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Swerve » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:02 am

Ellie,

Good to see another Aussie Chow on the forum.

Our Chow Breeder put us unto Eagle Pack Large Breed Puppy food. Goes for $115 for 15kg (equats to $23 for 3kg). This is cheaper then the Ekaunuba I was using for my Chow cross (12kg x $125). Remember Puppies need a high protein etc diet which the puppy food is designed for. If you feed your own diet it will be hard to simulate the required percentages.
http://www.petdeli.com.au/cms/DesktopDe ... temID=3695

I spoke to our vet about Salomn Oil and he said just use Sardine's ! remember Salomn is more common in the US. We just buy the cheap Sardines in Oil and give them 2 tins each twive or so a week.

Winston has had rash issues and we have also eliminated WOOL from the house. This has been agreat help as well. Also when his rash was bad wash three times daily with with a spray bottle with a teaspoon of Iodine. We then would cream his rash areas with Ilium Neocourt Cream. However since getting rid of teh wool he is basicly rash free. But every few days I will see small faint red dots in his groin region etc. But normally all OK.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14466&p=165360#p165360

In addition out yard was also infested with Wandering Due,
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14421&p=164567#p164567

Winston is now 5.5 Months old and 19.4kg. Your pup seems on target with Winstons growth.

Steve

PS- Eagle Pack in Brisbane for $109
http://www.petsupersavers.com.au/?page=139&list_cat=194
Last edited by Swerve on Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
RIP Duff, 01/12/1999- 24/10/2011
Winston, 15/04/2009 - current

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Sirchow
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Sirchow » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:35 am

Re: Fish oil or Salmon oil

Postby kiwani » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:56 pm
Excerpt:

EPA is the most critical of the omega 3 fatty acids. It is the only material that our bodies use to make the beneficial prostaglandins that help reduce inflammation

DHA is another omega 3 fatty acid. It is an integral part of eye and brain tissue. It is made by marine algae, plankton, fish and mammals from EPA. Fish accumulate DHA in their oily tissue, along with EPA


This was the answere I got from Kiwani when I asked about fish v salmon for inflamation.
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Sirchow » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:40 am

Just read about the irradiation requirement for Australia. Thats pretty rubbish. :( Thankfully it just applies to Australia. It had me worried for a minute as I have been feeding Bramble Orijen for four months.

I hope you find some answeres soon for poor Khan.
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Ellie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi!

Thanks for your help!

Hi Steve, nice to meet you! It's so good to see another Aussie on here - I was beginning to feel very isolated :D It's tricky when so many of the good options just aren't available to us. Hey, I am interested in the Eagle Pack food though - I see from the ingredients that it contains corn, brewer's yeast, and beet pulp. I've heard that these can cause the itching problems? You haven't had any issues with your Winston? I've also been looking at Artemis, but I have to get that posted up from Melbourne, so it'll be a bit expensive...

Didn't know about the wool or the plants- luckily we don't have any of those plants in our yard, but we do have a small 2x2 patch of wool carpet in our house.... I'll have to watch him closely and see if he lays on it. He's mainly sleeping on the tiles or wood floors as it's so hot!

Thanks also Siriol - sorry, I should have said straight up that it was just an Aussie issue with the Orijen :oops: As an experiement, we fed Khan his normal meal last night, but minus the salmon oil tablets, and he wasn't sick. I'll give one to him today, and see what happens. We also got some of the raw food yesterday from the link you sent me - it looks pretty good! It was $20 for 12 portions - about 2.5kg all up. We'll give it a go anyway, and the plan is to give it to him just at dinner time, with the kibble for brekkie.
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby Mia » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:26 am

How is little Khan?
I can't imagine what you are going through. I guess it takes a little time to tell, but keeping his food down is a good sign for sure.
I also learned from a breeder that air drying (as I was doing sometimes) isn't good. So even if you let them air dry for a while, make sure that after a little time, you dry them with a cool (or not too warm) dryer especially in the groin area, under the tail, under the chin and other areas that may retain dampness.
And, I use an all natural puppy shampoo, even though my guys aren't puppies anymore. Just to make sure that it is as gentle as can be.
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Re: The dreaded itchies!

Postby andyman » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:42 pm

My chow chow has had the itches for a while and I never figured it out till today. It wasn't really hot spots because its not red or is it bleeding. But just itchie. At first I thought she was dirty so I washed her and professionally air dried her with blower. But the itch spread up and on her back.

What I discovered after reading this forum is that she may have a bacterial or fungal infection. I shaved a small part of her back and I added a chemical called betadine on her skin. Same stuff used in surgury. Within 24 hrs she is cured. I just shaved the rest of her back and applied the medication (available over the counter and any drug store).


I was told it was food, alergies , etc.. In the end it was a simple cure. She lived with the itch for 5 years.. i feel so bad. I hope she enjoys itch free life from now on.


andy


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