I've been having a problem lately with Samwise, my youngest corgi, relating to sensitive skin... I think. He's constantly itchy. I took him to the vet and she thought it was a food allergy, so I changed his food to another food in the same brand, but with a different main ingredient (Blue Buffalo Basic salmon flavor). It helped stiffen his stool and got rid of the hot spots, but he's still itchy.

I then thought maybe it was the detergent I use to clean his bedding once in a while, so I've just been using hot water to sanitize them. I don't think that was it either. I called the vet and she suggested it was all in his head; maybe he's suffering from anxiety. I know my dog and that definitely wasn't it either. Sam is the most laid back dog I've ever known. On top of that, he scratches all night long. While it's definitely a great alarm clock at 5AM, I feel like he's uncomfortable and that bothers me.

I don't even know :(. The Dr's. Foster &Smith Itch Stop shampoo I use on him gives him temporary relief because it has lidocaine and hydrocortisone, which dulls the itching, but it wears off fast. I noticed that his fur gets oily very quickly, if that helps. Any ideas on what's causing this?

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Have you tried grain free dog food. Orijen cost a lot but it has worked wonders for my babies. Instead of grains like corn, rice etc it has things like sweet potatoes and greens.


I don't think I've ever seen Orijen in the big pet food stores, but I've heard of it. It can't be much more expensive than their current food.

I can''t buy it hear so I go on line. Go to  Mr.Chewy.com  they carry every type of Orijen and many others. I pick a brand then check out their web site before I buy one. Shipping is free over $49. This saves me gas money and gives me greater choices. Hope you can find one that helps.

There is a world full of things he could be allergic to--literally. If your vet suggested it could be in his head, then frankly I'd be looking for a new vet who is willing to help you find out the cause. That's not the kind of attitude a vet should have!

Yea, I was kind of offended by the comment that it's all in his head. I like my veterinary clinic because it's brand new and they have everything under the sun, but I dislike the fact that you can't make an appointment. So, my dogs have seen just about every vet there, but none of them know my dogs well.

It is probably not the dog food. It is WAY more common for them to have environmental allergies. Often dogs with food allergies will also have allergies to grass, pollen, dust, etc. I totally agree with Chris that if your vet tried 1 thing and then said its all in his head I would DEFINITELY be looking for a new vet.

As for the food, to do a true food trial you need to put your dog on a completely different protein and carb source, all of Blue Buffalo Basics include potato so if that is the allergen then switching just proteins won't help. Also, food trials  need to be a minimum of 10 weeks with NO other food given during that entire time. If the dog is on a restricted kibble and then you give other treats or an occassional table scrap the whole food trial goes out the window.

My guess, and most obvious and common cause, is he has environmental allergies. A short course of Temaril-P or just straight prednisone and then follow up with daily benadryl should take care of that until allergy season is over.

Hi Nicole, how often do you bath Samwise?

About every 4-6 weeks with daily brushing in between baths. I usually bathe them myself because I feel that it increases their bond to me.

Hi Nicole, you can decrease to 3-4 baths with shampoo a year, add a tea spoon of oil to his food and turn on the humidifier at home.

As far as environmental allergies go, keep a wet towel near your front door, wipe down his coat / paws upon every entry.

If the vet suggested a food allergy and then a behavioral thing, I'd ask if there is anyone you can see at your clinic with more experience with allergies.  Or switch clinics, or ask for a referral to a specialist in animal dermatology.  Since allergies take time to diagnose (and Melissa is right - food allergies are far less common than environmental) it's important to be able to see the same person through the process of diagnosis.  

Mishka's first allergy season was pretty mild and the symptoms looked like a simple yeast infection.  This year we skipped the mild symptoms and went straight to the nonstop scratching and chewing his feet to bleeding.  It was SO GREAT to call up the dermatologist we already knew, get an appointment the next day, and get his symptoms under control (Temaril-P followed by an antihistamine) before he developed a secondary infection.

Another thing we were instructed to do with Mishka (environmental allergies, March through November - yay California!) was bathe him every other week.  Not necessarily a good thing for every dog, but it does seem to help him.  We use a very mild shampoo, pre-diluted in a squeeze bottle, to help get as much pollen, etc. out of his coat as possible and we rinse until there are no bubbles and then rinse for another 3 minutes, just to be sure.  While the consensus is that most corgis don't need bathing very often, sometimes more frequent bathing might be suggested by your vet as an additional therapy - depending on the allergy diagnosis.

My Chrissy started the same thing.  She was scratching like crazy.  I changed her food and that took care of it.

 How long do you think it would take after you switched food to see a difference? 2 or 3 days?


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