Nasty Itch!!!

Health topics and issues with Chow Chows.

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Chico
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Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:48 pm

Hi All,

Just wandering if you can help in any way.

My beautiful little girl has an itch that wont seem to go away. She's 8 and a half months old and has been itching in the same spots for I would say at least 2 months now. Her itchy spots are at the base of her tail on her back and her front 2 paws. We have taken her to the vet a few times, and he's a great vet, we've tried 3 different medications, the first 2 stopped her from itching and the 3rd is doing nothing (its an anti inflam) which indicated that this isn't allergy based which is what we originally thought.

The poor pup's itching so much at times she doesn't sleep well so we're having to sedate her sometimes at night just so she can rest, she also wakes us up at night because she's crying because she's so itchy - its so heart breaking to see!!

We've been told by dog trainers that we know too much about chows for our own good, but seeing as how neither my husband and I nor out vet can work out what it is thought I would come to the experts. She has no redness on her body, no flea dirt, we're fleeing her one a fortnight now just to be sure, I've changed her food, gotten her special skin shampoo....nothing is working.

I was reading a post and I noticed that someone mentioned that she needs to be raked. This is a new term for my husband and I as we had no ide. We brush her every 2nd day, but she's never been raked - don't worry, getting it done in 2 days and im counting down - could this be the reason for her itch?? the fact that her old coat needs to be removed?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. We love our girl and hate seeing her in discomfort

Thanks,
A concerned mummy!!

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Rory's Dad » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:14 pm

It certainly wont hurt to have her raked, but i doubt that is the cause of her itching. Raking will deal with the base of the tail area, but not the paws.

Raking is simply a grooming procedure. Using a 'rake' brush, it thins the undercoat and removes loose fur. If her fur is particularly thick (as many a chow is back there), it could help aerate the skin a bit. It could also stimulate the skin in that area. Perhaps some of her fur is 'tickling' her, but again if the discomfort is a regular thing, probably not.

I would wonder why if the 1st two meds helped alleviate her itching, why not just revert to one of those?

If the area is clear, with exposed skin, try a moisterizing type of wipe. This will make sure the area is clean, with no bacteria or skin irritants. Just to run through the basics, i would assume she has been worm tested. The vet should also be checking for a blocked adrenal gland.

The paws may be more of a standard self-grooming issue or even a case of boredom behavior. If it was all 4 paws and the tail area, i might think a grass allergy, but not if its only the front paws.

Chico
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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Thanks for getting back to me, we've been told to use a soothing gel but her hair is that thick it wouldn't work, we struggle to get down to her skin as it is. I don't think she's been worm tested, she's wormed regularly so maybe will discuss this with the vet, and i'll definately mention the blocked adrenal gland.

the vet wanted to try a new medication as the initial meds stopped the itch but only while she was on it. once she stopped taking it the itching returned.

now that you mention it, its only the front paws so this may very well just be her grooming, im hoping that the itch on the back is just her tail causing her to itch. will check in once she's been raked and let you know. its infuriating and quite costly so I hope we have a solution shortly.

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Constantina » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:49 am

Could it be demodex mange? or atopy? My Chestnut was misdiagnosed and first vet just claimed hot spot. It got so bad hair around her eyes and muzzle started falling out and she was scratching herself raw. Turns out her immune system is still unstable (she is only 8.5 months now) so the mites multiplied like crazy-- so yes it is demodex mange. At the height of it she had bloody bald spots lost 8 pounds in three weeks and had out of control secondary bacterial infection that smelled like puss. Her skin has also turned black. She is on Doramectin shots weekly and has a mange bath right before that. They had to give her a buzz cut so we could wash her skin twice a week,

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby maikinda » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:29 pm

If you still have problems with itching you could try a rinse with organic apple cider vinegar w/mother. Mix half water and half vinegar and work into dogs coat making sure you don't get into eyes. Leave on 5 minutes and then rinse. Don't use if you have open sores.

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Chico
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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi Guys,

Thanks so much for getting back to me!

We had her raked yesterday and the groomer actually told us exactly which type of rake to buy for her which is awesome. While they were drying her we found heaps of prickles in her paws which we imagine is whats causing the itch there and we havnt noticed her scratching her back at all!!! nor did she come into our bed crying for us to do it. Fingers crossed solution has been achieved. We got a really good look at her skin to make sure there was nothing there and there was a bit of redness but that was from the raking.....I think we finally have an outcome. Should it flare up again i'll be sure to review your responses and take that to my vet instead of waiting for him to try something new.

Thanks again and merry Christmas :)

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby gluesticks » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:20 pm

I just wanted to let you know that I am experiencing the same problem.

Louie keeps biting at the base of his tail because it is itchy. He'll chase his tail, or drop and sit suddenly to chew at it (cuz scratching at it is not optional). There doesn't seem to be anything in the area, but of course redness/irritation because of the chewing, and hair loss because of the chewing. Seems to have started randomly about 3 weeks ago. Not sure what to do either. So far I've just cleaned the area, brushed and dried it out, and put DermaPaw on the area.

A few months ago, it was his front left paw (same itchiness and redness, and chewing). The dermapaw helped/stopped that. So here's hoping it will stop the tail itching!

Best of luck! (to the both of us!)

-Glue

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby DrewBear » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:05 pm

Chico wrote:...and the groomer actually told us exactly which type of rake to buy for her which is awesome...we found heaps of prickles in her paws which we imagine is whats causing the itch there...

Please share the type/brand of rake. Thanks in advance. Do you mean prickles as part of her skin (like a rash) or some type of plant matter like foxtails?
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Chico
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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:44 pm

Hi Guys,

The name of the rake is Vista TEFLON COATED UNDERCOAT SHEDDING RAKE (DOUBLE ROW) and I got it from the below site for $21.95 AUD

http://clipperworld.com.au/grooming-pro ... -p381.html

They ship internationally, I ordered mine 2 days ago and they said I should have it in the next few days.

I can confidently say that our Chico has stopped scratching her back which is such a relief.

Drewbear - the prickles I was referring to were like foxtails. we take her camping quite often so when she's out exploring sometimes prickles get stuck in her. We though we got them all out but clearly not. Will need to make sure we're more throrough or ensure that we get her groomed when we get back with the industrial dryer.

My husband is paranoid everytime she itches now, I just need to convince him that she's a dog and she will do that.

Good luck all!!!

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Rory's Dad » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:36 pm

Let us know how that rake works out. I use all Furminator products at the moment. Not the actual fur stripper that they focus on, but other grooming products. Really happy with everything but the pin brush. It doesnt seem to get through the thicker fur like it should. I think the pin placement is too close together. Particularly tough with Amber who still has thick puppy fur. Just doesnt seem to get the job done...

As for the itching and occasional chewing, yes as dogs they will do that. Sometimes boredom. Sometimes it can become a habit just to do so. Other times they can actually learn that doing so will gather attention. I have (believe it or not) gotten Rory to the point where i can tell him he is not itchy and he will stop. That from a dog who injured a knee at an early age and i am 90% certain he hammed it up after a bit for attention...same thing, i would tell him to knock it off and his limp would stop.

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby JammyJoy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:45 pm

My husband is paranoid everytime she itches now, I just need to convince him that she's a dog and she will do that.


Convince him more on that. He's funny. Anyways,it's good to know that you've achieved the solution on your problem. I'll check the rake product you've shared too! :)

Chico
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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:51 pm

we seem to be having a bit of bad luck!! the itch is gone but she came home from work yesterday with quite a noticeable limp....we felt all up her leg, inbetween her toes and nothing, cant feel anything wrong and she certainly wasn't looking like she was in pain....i'll keep an eye on it for a few days, however even if she has done something to it the vets just going to xray and then tell me to keep her rested, I imagine she's just jumped off something a bit too high....and im starting to think it's becoming a bit of a behavioural issue...grrr!!!!

oh and the rakes came in yesterday :) so pretty quick turn around time which is also great

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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Laura » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:43 am

I'm not trying to scare you but a limp can be serious. ACL tears and hip dysplasia are extremely common so don't ignore the issue if it continues or reappears. Hope everything is fine.
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Chico
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Re: Nasty Itch!!!

Postby Chico » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks, it seems to have died down. we've had our vet have a look before and he seems to think that she's jumped off something a bit too high. We'll watch it for a few days and if it doesn't get better we'll take her back.....its getting better each day though so that's a good thing :)


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