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27 May 2010 @ 09:22 am
ok guys i need your advice

lately marty has been really itchy, like reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllllly itchy and i can tell he hasn't been sleeping well at night because i hear him scratching in his crate and it wakes me up periodically. he doesn't have fleas, he's on flea medicine and the vet checked him over just a week ago and said he didn't have any fleas. the spots that are the worst are right above his tail and his back legs. i bought this for him at petsmart and it's helped the itching but while i was there some nutritionist lady saw what i was buying and said that the itchiness could be caused by a food allergy and recommended that i switch his food. he was on science diet and she told me i should try nutro max puppy formula, the lamb and rice. i figured i'd try it since i read that science diet wasn't very good for him anyway. so i slowly started mixing it into his old food and each time i'd increase it he seemed fine, ate all of it as usual. yesterday was the first day he was finally on a full portion of just the nutro and now he won't eat at all! he isn't usually a picky eater so i thought maybe his tummy hurt from changing the food even though i changed it as gradually as the lady said. then of course at work i had to be paranoid and start googling stuff about the nutro and people were saying how it was recalled and their dogs started shying away from it and when they kept up on them trying to eat it eventually they got sick.

SO NOW I'M AT A TOTAL LOSS! if he's just being picky i'll keep trying to get him to eat it, especially if it really is better for him and helps with the itchiness. but, if it's going to make him sick i don't want to keep pushing it on him.

what would you guys do? sorry this is so long, here is a picture of the little evilness so it's not text only:
Alanalook_its_alana on May 27th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
Our 'puppy' is just about to turn 1 y/o and we've been fighting allergy problems from the beginning with her. Besides constant itching, her hair falls out to the point it looks like someone shot her with buckshot.

We switched her food to Avoderm and that seemed to help a lot. We determined she has a food allergy to corn or wheat, something in that nature.

We also discovered she has severe allergies to some kind of summer allergen, like a plant pollen. She's fine all through fall, winter, and spring, but once it gets really hot, she looses allllll her hair again. She's pretty much naked on her belly and backs of her legs with missing patches. We've brought her to the vet multiple times and they only confirmed she has a bad allergy reaction. We can't let her outside in the grass very long (just long enough to go potty.) She's on benadryl twice a day, claratin once a day, and a penicillin pill if she gets hives or another type of rash. She's doing better that before, but we have to be so careful with her or she looses even more hair. At this point we don't know if her hair is growing back because it hasn't been long enough.
actually my name's marinaseverus on May 27th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
that is awful! i don't even know if his IS a food allergy because i started using the spray and changed his food at the same time. he's four months old and this only started about two weeks ago. ugh i just don't want to keep him on that food if it's going to hurt him. he hates eating it :(
Alanalook_its_alana on May 27th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
Has it gotten warmer the past 2 weeks? It may be a seasonal allergy reaction. I'm in FL and it literally went from constant 70s to in the 90s in just a couple days. That's when she started really losing her hair.

We also bathe her every few days with extra gentle oatmeal baby shampoo (recommended by the vet of course) to help wash an allergens she may pick up.
actually my name's marinaseverus on May 27th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
yes i also live in florida so that could possibly be it! like i said though, the itching has gotten much better and i'm thinking it's the spray and a gentle shampoo. i've also tried using a cold damp towel on the itchy spots and that has soothed it a lot. right now i'm just worried about him not eating. i don't want to keep him on that food if it's going to make him sick.
miserable, arrogant old bat: jimcottonmanifesto on May 27th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
i would switch to innova evo red meat or canidae.
actually my name's marinaseverus on May 27th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
ok thanks
thought_bubbls: Pickles & Lola!thought_bubbls on May 27th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
Okay, this is very weird because about two weeks ago my four month old Boston came down with a horrible itchy rash too!

We took him to the vet and they gave us a wash and a spray and recommended a child sized dose of benadryl twice a day. He was doing great and the rash went away but just yesterday it started to come back!
I'm wondering now if it's his food or something outside. We just changed his food to Purina One puppy formula but the rash is only on his tummy. That's why I think it might be something outside like the grass...but we don't use any chemicals on our lawn.
It's frustrating!
lafriperielafriperie on May 27th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
oh man he is SO CUTE!

my elly is 10 months old and it's been a huge struggle finding the right food for her - i'm not sure she has allergies, but definitely a sensitive stomach. there are SO MANY good options out there, though, so i would say that if he doesn't like the nutro, try something else. i would also recommend trying something with "limited ingredients" - i know natural balance has a line of them - so that if it is an allergy you'll be able to narrow it down. i've heard that grain-free food helps a lot of dogs with allergies (though i've found some of them to be too rich for elly).

basically, in terms of food: endless trial and error :).
Joannamiss_upsetter on May 27th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
how timely, I took bella to the vet yesterday due to itching her ears. She had itched them to the point that they were leathery and she officially has an ear infection!

The vet asked several questions about her food since he thought it was an allergy (and she has really dry skin, too!). After the 20 questions session, he determined that she was probably finding cat poop in the yard (which explains the itching, the dry skin, leathery ears, etc). Now she's on a medication regimen for her ears, he also told us to start giving her flax or fish oil (half of a gel cap a day).

She's getting a check up in a week, and after that we may look into changing her food. Now it's keeping cats out of the yard!
la_bellisima33: I'm oreola_bellisima33 on May 27th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
We’ve struggled with allergies with Oreo forever too. If it’s a food allergy my vet recommended getting a type of food that is totally different from normal stuff with something like venison or duck as the first ingredient and very limited other ingredients. I’m not much help with getting him to like it, but we’ve got through LOTS of different brands before finding on Oreo will eat. Turns out she didn’t have a food allergy, but we were trying to rule it out.

Oreo also seems to get really itchy in late summer and breaks out in really bad hives too. We give her benadryl (check with your vet first about this!) and have had to bring her in for an injectable allergy medicine too.

Good luck!!
madison maykeepclose on May 27th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
For as long as I can remember, Bam has had hair loss on his back end. He suffers from FAD (flea allergy dermatitis) which is a lot of the problem but I have also switched him to a complete raw diet and it has does wonders for him. It might be something to look into!

a s h l e yashley_robin on May 27th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
It may not be food...
My boston has allergies to stuff outside. I believe it is grass or pollen. Every year around this time she starts losing hair and scratching her back on anything nailed down. She gets better in the winter. I've taken her to the vet, and they have given me cortisone lotion for her skin and doggie benedryl. I also wipe her down with baby wipes after she plays outside to get any residual allergens off of her skin.
Wanda Richelieu of Re Duh, O Ran Gie, and Yelloshortdariwanda on May 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Bostons are notorious for having extremely sensitive skin when it comes to basically existing! A lot of the time it is the food that affects them severely. Tito was on Iams when I first adopted him from the shelter and he was fat and had extremely greasy skin/coat. I changed him to Solid Gold but none of my dogs were extremely fond of the taste. I eventually changed him to Orijen, after a lot of experimentation with different brands.

I personally think Nutro Max is not the most ideal brand for a Boston. If you were to stick with the Nutro brand, it would be better to upgrade to at least Natural choice (they have chicken and oatmeal for puppies), if not then Nutro Ultra. Nutro as a company, did do a lot of recalls, and I believe were a part of that massive recall a couple years back with the whole contaminated meat from China scare. If you wanted to buy food from Petsmart, the brands I'd stick with is the Castor and Pollux brand, By Nature, Avoderm, or Blue Buffalo. I have some reservations about Blue Buffalo because a lot of people have had some bad experiences and I'm not a big fan of their "life source bits" which make the dogs pick around it.

I've read a lot about how Natural Balance is not the greatest food out there (compared to Orijen, Fromm, Evo, which by the way has been bought out by P&G, along with Cali Natural and everything else by the Natura company!!), but it is pretty darn good because of the LID concept. Wellness also has something to that concept called Simple Solutions and Blue Buffalo. I think as long as you feed your dog grain-free, you don't need to buy food that promotes LID.

I don't know over how many days you took to introduce the food. But if it was because of indigestion, you'd see it in the stool. He's probably just really picky.

I guess it also depends on how much you are willing to spend on food as well. Raw food is also very good for dogs. I'm just really lazy about partitioning it out per day because I have three dogs, and my dogs have a tendency to grab the meat from the bowl and walk around the carpet with it. Not very sanitary. My friend feeds her Boston raw meat, and his coat has been the very best it's ever been. I get the same result with Orijen and my dogs love the flavor, so I'm willing to pay a little extra for convenience! :D

Besides food, it could also be a flea allergy. But if he's on the flea meds, it probably isn't it. It could also be the summer allergens as well. Tito does scratch a little extra during the summer as opposed to other seasons. But it's never to the extreme that he started to lose hair or anything. That reaction was with a bad brand of food. I used to dose him with a little bit with children's clear benadryl to help him cope with his allergies. Used to, because now that he's on Orijen, I don't need to anymore!

From my three dogs, I think I've spent more on my Bostons than my other two mutt! :D
Wanda Richelieu of Re Duh, O Ran Gie, and Yelloshortdariwanda on May 28th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
Btw I live in Florida too so I share ya pain! :D
(Anonymous) on May 28th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty new to the world of Boston's, but I just adopted my dog from a rescue and was asked to feed him Natural Balance LID. The lady who runs the rescue said that she had a Boston with a food allergy (like mine) and the veterinarian had told her to switch to the Natural Balance and it worked wonderfully for hers. Our dog has been on it for about two weeks now and I'm already starting to know a difference.

He's adorable! :)
jjyynnxx on May 28th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
If you shop at petsmart then I highly recommend you don't talk to the food reps that come in, yes they have a lot of information but they are basically telling you a bunch of stuff to get you to buy their food. I would first talk to your vet and see what they recommend.

If you live in Canada, I would look to see if you can find any local retailers of go natural dog food, it's pretty awesome stuff. Blue Buffallo is also carried by Petsmart and it's pretty good also, their puppy formulas have oatmeal which helps sensitive stomachs.