Last time that we chatted, we talked about the two types of allergies that any pup, not just Diabetic dogs, can suffer from. Those two types are Food and Environmental. In our last post, we covered food allergies. Today, we cover environmental allergies.
In our group (CDSI), we see countless posts about allergies and questions about how to treat them. Did you notice this itchy behavior at a change of season? If so, it likely is an environmental issue. Not much that we can do about that but try to treat the condition and get our pup some relief. Figuring out what is causing the itch is the hard part. If the primary symptom is that your pup is licking or chewing their feet, smell their paws and see if they smell like corn chips. If so, it is likely yeast, which is a secondary infection that has resulted from them licking or chewing on their feet. There are several ways to treat yeast and depending on the severity of the “outbreak”, will depend on how you treat it.
Keep in mind that dogs (and cats too) sweat through the pads of their feet so when they go outside, the allergens will stick to their feet. That means that they will bring the allergens inside with them and they will be especially concentrated in your pup’s favorite spots; their dog bed, the favorite spot on the couch, your bed if they sleep there with you. So until this problem is under control, you will need to vacuum more often and also wash your pup’s favorite spots frequently with unscented detergent and no fabric softener. My solution to this was to put throw blankets (or towels) on the furniture as well as the dog beds and my bed so that I could wash them each day in the beginning until I could get a handle on the issue.
We can keep these environmental allergens from invading our space by wiping or rinsing our pups each time that they come inside. I used a paw plunger to dip each paw at the door when we would come in. Don’t forget to do the same for all of your pups, not just the one that is showing signs of allergies. Those other little feet are bringing the same allergens into the house too! You’ll want to do a foot soak daily to give your pup relief from the unbearable itching. Here is a video on how to do a proper foot soak:
When it is time for a bath, be sure to use an appropriate shampoo. If you suspect yeast, you can use Head and Shoulders (with zinc) (keep shampoo out of eyes) or Selsun Blue original formula. I know that many oatmeal shampoos are touted as being soothing, but oatmeal will feed the yeast, so please stay away from that. Follow the bath with a vinegar rinse that you can leave on, I used 1 part Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to 2 parts warm water.
Daily eye rinses can also help if your pup has itchy eyes. You’ll know that their eyes are itching if he/she is rubbing their face on the carpet, furniture or pawing at them. Do NOT use human medicated drops for your pup as the pH of their eyes is different than that of a human. There are eye drops that are made for your pup that are all natural and safe to use to rinse the goop out of their eyes. Some use Colloidal silver to disinfect their pups face and eye area.
There are all natural antihistamines that can be used to give relief from the itching also. Mercola Pets puts out a good one that has everything in it to treat the histamines naturally and is safe for our sugar babies. As with everything, you’ll need to test before and about an hour after to see if there is any effect on your pup’s BG (Blood Glucose).
Between doing your detective work to determine what the cause of the allergies are (food or environmental), balancing your pup’s gut (GI tract) and treating the symptoms with baths, foot soaks, repeated washing of all bedding and frequent vacuuming, you will be able to get your pup some relief and head the allergies off. You may also want to consider doing a detox for your pup twice a year. We will discuss this in an upcoming post.
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Until next time…