Lately Dax has been scratching a lot. I've checked and checked for fleas and found nothing, and I'm pretty sure he's allergic to them because last time he had a flea, his whole belly turned red and scabbed (it was pretty gross), so I think I would be able to tell if there was a flea on him that maybe I just couldn't find. He chews on himself, it seems as if he's trying to chew his tail...or somewhere thereabouts. I've never gotten his glands expressed, so maybe that's bothering him? Sometimes he'll put his WHOLE foot into his ear and just move it around so slow it looks like he's trying to get his foot as far into his ear as possible to scratch. I've thought of ear mites, but I've looked in his ears and they're perfectly clean. If it was ear mites, wouldn't there be some gunk in his ears or something? After he does this he'll lick or chew on his paw and then put it right back into his ear. He licks his paws a LOT lately, and I usually make him stop when I see him doing it because I don't want them to get infected, but sometimes when I'm not paying attention, he'll jump up on the couch with me and his front paws will be soaked. I think he's doing this because they itch...? His eyes water sometimes...well it's mostly just one eye, the other one is normal. I've been thinking it's just allergies, irritation from shedding so much, etc. I just noticed him pawing at his mouth...?! Like his lip itches or something? Now that I'm putting this all in writing it seems like a lot. I'm wondering if I should take him in to the vet. He's still acting normal, he doesn't act like it's really bothering him, I just don't want him to be miserable. Any suggestions?

EDIT: The reason I'm thinking this is allergies is because it all just started around the time spring started...

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Unfortunately, it sounds like a trip to the vet is in order. Sparty progressed in his scratching to breaking the skin around his neck and face. Turns out he is highly allergic to many things. 8 years later he is fine with monthly allergy shots and a change in flea meds. Good luck!
Do dogs get seasonal pollen allergies?
Perhaps it's a flea allergy (flea season) masquerading as a pollen allergy?
Food allergy? Our first corgi chewed sores in her skin near her butt until my wife took her off wheat-containing kibble and put her on a raw-meat-only diet. The itching disappeared promptly. We still do some kibble with our dogs now, but it's whitefish-and-sweet-potato, no grains.
Are there safe, convenient and cheap antihistamines that can be administered to dogs? Might not be a permanent solution, but if antihistamines brought relief, that might help diagnosis.

Allergy and itching is an enormously complicated subject. Yet another candidate for a FAQ with input from experts?
We had Sparty tested at Mich. State University vet school. He has seasonal allergies as well as daily ones. He gets an allergy shot once a month and twice a year (spring and fall) he has to take predisone for a couple of weeks. Food allergies are the most common but he tested very allergic to all kinds of things(grass,dust,thistle,fleas, dandelions,and much more). He has been on this for many years and fortunately he is doing very well. I know there are Vets on Mycorgi.com. Maybe one will comment.
Eddy did this too, shoving his whole leg down his throat, in his ear, and nibbling at his tail base. He did end up having fleas, and the vet said he's only seen 1 dog his entire career with ear mites. Our vet didn't do an allergy test, but said he's probably allergic to all the pollen in the Portland area in springtime. So we got him on flea med, and I flea-comb him and check him regularly.
BUT he still itches ALL the time, nibbling at places suddenly, shoving his toes in his ear! Then the vet said it's due to him getting his new coat.
Did you ever try eliminating grains from his diet? We THINK that's what worked for Siri. Hard to prove.
Yes we did
This would not be due to him getting a new coat. Try John's advice re eliminating grains to start.
What kind of food are you feeding him? The #1 food allergy reactive ingredient is corn, followed by wheat. Some dogs are sensitive to other grains also-dogs are not grain eaters!! It's a cheap filler that has no nutrient value for dogs-try Dax on a good grain-free diet such as Fromm's Surf & Turf, Wellness Core, Evo or Orijen-read your ingredient label
I have him on Blue Buffalo fish and sweet potato. I know it's not grain-free (it says "whole grains" on the front of the bag). I switched him from Wellness because he wouldn't eat, but he LOVES Blue Buffalo, do they have a grain free formula? I'd like to stick with BB because he really didn't like Wellness, but I'll find something else if I have to. I was going to try switching foods at the end of this bag, I'm just not quite sure what I'm going to switch to yet.
We used to feed Stanley Wellness and he liked it but he started itching a lot plus he was getting loose stools. We recently switched to Natural Balance Potato & Duck. He loves it and the itching has gone down significantly! Plus, his poop is much improved. So far, we are VERY happy with Natural Balance.

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