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Hey there doodle pals--hope you are all enjoying the summer days--we sure are! Once again, I have a question for the community. Gracie has begun to scratch fairly frequently. No changes in diet (grain free) or environment or exposure to water (bathing, swimming, etc.), no fleas, no hot spots, no redness or dry patches. She is not biting her feet or anywhere else, which would make me suspect an allergic reaction, mostly she is using her back feet to scratch up along her ribcage. So . . . I am thinking about adding fish oil to her diet. She is 60 lbs. and it seems that the dosage is about 300mg omega-3 per 20 lbs. I am thinking of starting with just one capsule per day, which would be only 300 mg. omega-3. Anyone have any experience with giving fish oil as a supplement? Thanks so much for your input!

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Comment by DonMarie & Picco on August 10, 2015 at 11:17am

CJ, sorry if you've already know or have tried this!  I do my own grooming but last year I took Picco into the groomers and they gave him a good shampooing and conditioner soak for treating itchy skin.  Not all offer this service but they were highly recommended and after talking with them I thought it was worth the try and it did help.  Sometimes it's just hard to do that stuff at home!

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on August 9, 2015 at 11:10pm

So, I got very distracted with the very mighty Quinn, and so haven't posted a follow-up on Gracie's scratching. After over a week of the different kibble, I'd have to say there is not much of a change. No better--no worse. I am planning to give her a bath with the oatmeal soap tomorrow and I am also planning on doing an Epsom salt rinse at the end. I've read that she should soak in it for 10 minutes...we'll do our best ;p  On a positive note however, her wound has completely healed! 

Comment by katherine ricevuto on August 3, 2015 at 11:50pm

I give my Toby liquid Omega 3 and fish oil - 1 tsp once a day- it helps alot with his allergies

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on July 30, 2015 at 8:18am

Yes, DonMarie, soooo much fun! To compound things a bit, Gracie apparently jabbed her leg with a stick or some such thing and now has a shallow puncture wound on her upper back leg. It was a bit swollen and inflamed when I discovered it, but I've been using betadine and bacitracin and it's on the mend. I was afraid she would keep licking and biting at it, but she's been pretty good and I think we will be able to avoid a trip to the vet and/or an e-collar. As for the general scratching and biting, I think (fingers crossed) it's a bit better. At the moment, I am sticking with the change to the lamb & lentil Fromm kibble and a teaspoon of olive oil once a day. If the scratching does indeed subside, I will start to reintroduce the Missing Link glucosamine supplement and then the sprinkle of cheese she gets with her breakfast :) We were also in the habit of adding a tablespoon or so of wet to her dinner, but I think we may just stop that. She doesn't seem to mind not having it and I don't think it's necessary diet-wise.

I decided I liked the olive oil over the fish oil because of 1) the possible vitamin E conflict and 2) it's awfully stinky and almost impossible to not get on my fingers! yuk!

Kris, the honey idea is very appealing to me, and I will try it if the scratching continues. Thanks!

Lorie, I tried to message you but couldn't because we are not "friends" :) I compared the Earthborn to the Fromm that I am now feeding and they are very close in protein, fat, and carbs. Earthborn GPF is 34 carbs, and the lamb & lentil is 35 carbs. Many of the ingredients are similar too. Thanks for the incentive to look more closely at those values.

I really want to thank you guys for all the time you have given me. I don't participate in this group as much as I would like, but you are always my go-to when I need some help, advice, support, opinions. I will post a follow-up in a day or two. Fingers and paws crossed!!!

Comment by Harrison, Brodie & Kris on July 28, 2015 at 11:44pm

Honey un blanched from a hive within 50 miles of where you live. 1 tsp in the morning and night.. OMG this is amazing! We have been giving it to both Brodie and Harrison and not only do they love, we have noticed no more allergies.. No runny eyes, no scratching, no more hot spot, no runny nose or eyes. We have not had to change food which has been nice.. Give it a try!

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on July 28, 2015 at 8:16pm

So much fun huh?   I've had Picco for almost 4 years now....I've been working on this itching/licking problem for....um...almost 4 years now!   Everything you try is trial & error!  You try many things at once and if something changes we don't know which it is!

Comment by Lorie & Piper on July 28, 2015 at 2:41pm

finding the right food is trial & error...ugh ):  i saw a comment on this site (think it was Marie/Picco), she mentioned Earthborn Holistic...i researched it, decided on the Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast flavor, grain free & potato free dry food...very low carb, what i was looking for...too many carbs equals yeast overgrowth, which is the cause of so many of the issues that our dogs suffer from. since i & my daughter made the switch, Piper has made huge improvements...her eye no longer tears, and she doesn't chew at her butt or paws anymore.  since my daughter's dog made the switch (about 1 month ago), her eyes aren't tearing as much, and her skin is starting to turn back to a pink color...her skin had turned a greyish black color when she was eating a different brand of food that was about 50% carbs.  changes don't happen overnight, it takes time to purge the overgrowth of yeast.  we order this food from chewy.com...no tax & free shipping...big bag costs about $50...5 star rating on dogfoodadvisor.com (:  to give Piper instant relief from itches, i used Malaseb shampoo that contains miconazole nitrate (ordered this online also)...worked instantly!!!  i also cut hair between her paw pads & applied miconazole nitrate women's yeast infection cream between paw pads...there is also liquid spray miconazole nitrate for human's althlete foot...that works great too.  If yeast overgrowth is Gracie's problem, this shampoo & cream will calm her itches quickly.  i still use this shampoo on Piper every couple months, just to keep the topical yeast in check.  veterinarians can test for yeast, but it's not accurate.  yeast overgrowth was Piper's and my daughter's dog problem...i'm not saying it's every dog's problem, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to treat a dog for yeast overgrowth.  dog's systems are not equipped for carbs...some dogs can handle them better than others...so, it makes sense that yeast is going to be an issue for many.  message me if you would like more info...i have bored everyone on this site to tears, with piper's issues & all of my research (;

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on July 28, 2015 at 8:08am

The more I read/research, the more confused I become. Shortly after deciding to try something, I read a reason why I should not. Sigh. Sunday, I added olive oil; yesterday, I added fish oil AND changed the kibble. I was feeding Fromm grain free, game bird and now I have started the switch to Fromm, grain free, lamb and lentil. There are small differences, but one that goes along with what Lorie mentioned is that the lamb has no potato. I'm going to stick with the new kibble and add a teaspoon of olive oil to one feeding each day. I read some really good things about fish oil, BUT I also read quite a bit about it depleting vitamin E, which is a negative. Olive oil doesn't seem to have any negative effects except possibly stool softening, but I think with just a teaspoon, we should be okay; I can watch for that.

Since I first posted this topic, Gracie has progressed to chewing her legs and feet, which now makes me lean more toward allergy than dry skin. My husband pointed out to me that with the summer days, I have been working in the yard almost all day every day, and of course Gracie is right with me. She rolls in the grass, lays in the dirt, crawls under bushes...We have a lot of gnats and mosquitoes, so he suggested that she could be getting bitten. There are just SOOOO many factors--it makes it hard to find a fix! One thing I don't want to do is go to the vet and start a prescription, so hopefully we can get a handle on this and soon give this poor girl some relief.

NEW QUESTION - Does anyone have a home recipe for a soothing body rinse? I read a bit about using Epsom salts . . .

Thanks for all the input, and thanks for the compliment Lorie, Piper is also a doll; love those soulful eyes!

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on July 27, 2015 at 7:25pm

Interesting topic for me too because Pedro does that scratching of his ribcage with the back legs fairly often. Still dealing with the hot spot though so working on that which means he is coned at night and during the day while we're not watching him. It was healing nicely but I let him off the cone and he chewed it and made it all bloody again... Plus he decided that after 2 weeks of being in love with it, he no longer likes honey. I suspect that he had a tummy issue... As for the Fish Oil, Debbie's suggestion sounds easy enough but I am not familiar with the logic behind fish oil for this issue. I will follow this blog with interest. Thanks everyone and loving paws!

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on July 26, 2015 at 8:16pm

Trixie also does that scratching thing...can't tell if it's her rib cage or the backs of her front legs, and also under her chin.  We were just at the vet this week for a different issue and when I mentioned the scratching he suggested trying fish oil...he said to just take one of our human fish oil supplements and poke a hole in it.  Drizzle over each of her two meals each day.  It hasn't been long enough yet to see what effect there might be, but I haven't noticed anything negative, and she loves it! :)

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