Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jack Scratch Fever

I haven’t had much to blog about lately except for pet problems. It’s not Bug this time, it’s Jack. A little over a week ago, he started scratching like crazy, and constantly. We went to a pet store to see what remedies we could find. The manager told us that dogs tend to have corn allergies this time of year. And most dog food has corn in it. After he told me what most dog food was made of, I was more than ready to try something new. The manager also recommended a tea tree oil spray. So we bought both. We’re working the food in gradually: half old, half new. The spray provided relief for a bit, but otherwise didn’t do much good. We noticed Bug was scratching, too, but not as much and no hair loss. After we put the spray on Jack, we noticed he had a big chunk of hair missing.

I started looking up solutions on the internet. Then I considered flea allergies could be the problem. I treat the dogs for fleas in the warmer months with flea collars and topicals. But I thought fleas went away when it got colder. I was wrong. Pmo found a couple of Bug the other day and I also found one on Jack. Then I noticed Jack had some red, irritated spots on him that I now believe are flea bites. So I turned back to the flea shampoo I use in the summer and broke down and bathed Jack today, though he wasn‘t due for another two weeks. I'm told overbathing can irritate their skin, too. When Jack was dry again, I put a flea collar back on him and applied the topical.

I found some home remedies for dog allergies on the internet involving oatmeal and baking soda. I didn’t have any baking soda so I tried the oatmeal recipe. It said boil 2 quarts of water and a handful of oats for 10 minutes, drain the particles, and let cool. I had to stick the pot in the freezer so it wouldn’t scald Jack, but I got it down to a nice lukewarm temperature. I put the oatmeal on him after the flea bath and it felt good to me, silky smooth in fact. Surely that had to help even a little bit. I left the oatmeal on for about 5 minutes, then rinsed it off. I think next time I’ll only make half the batch though, unless I’m bathing Bug, too. It seemed a little excessive for one dog.

After I got Jack out of the tub, which he was so ready to do after shivering during most of the ordeal, he didn’t scratch for about 5 to 10 minutes. But I was also vacuuming so maybe he was just distracted. Nevertheless, he eventually started scratching again. So I gave him another dose of children’s Benadryl in the hopes it would ease his pain in the afternoon. That was also a recommendation from the pet store manager and I read about it in several articles on the internet. Except there‘s conflicting information on whether the liquid form or the pill form is better for dogs. I bought the liquid. I haven’t been able to tell if it helps because it’s either been at night when I get home and we soon go to sleep, or before I go to work and I’m not around to see if he’s still scratching. But he hasn’t thrown it up at all, and he has a sensitive stomach. So that's a good sign.

I hope some if not all of these remedies work. I think the flea treatment will do the trick, but the oatmeal and baking soda are good ideas, too. I guess I'll move onto Bug tomorrow.

1 comment:

Paperback Writer said...

Poor Jack
Give him a hug for me!