My dog licks and bites at his paws

Allergy is often the cause, a food allergy or atopy. Your dog has had cortisone for this problem. When cortisone gives improvement, the itch is likely to be caused by atopy. If there is (almost) no improvement it is likely to be caused by food allergy.

Food allergy can be the cause of itching

Food allergy can occur from all ingredients in the food. Your dog probably has had the same food for several years. What dogs are mostly sensitive to is; beef, chicken, milk, egg, maize and wheat. And this is present in a lot of commercial food. You can change to food with proteins to which your dog has not been in contact with before, like rabbit or duck, combined with tapioca or potato. Or transfer to food with hydrolysed proteins, these proteins are clipped in very small pieces which your dog’s body will not recognize as protein. Give this food at least 8 to 10 weeks. You must give nothing else, so no dog biscuits, dog bone, crust of bread or anything else, otherwise this hypoallergenic food has no use and your dog will continue to itch. The transfer to other food needs to be gradually, over about a week.

Atopy as the cause of itching

When your dog responds well on cortisone it may be atopy. This is an allergy for substances like house dust mite, pollen of trees or plants, or wheat mite. Normally the first signs of itching occur at in dogs younger than three years of age. Itching often starts to show on paws or head.

Flea allergy can also play a part

It is possible that your dog is also allergic to fleas. Often several allergies can occur side by side. So allergy for food, atopy and fleas can appear at the same time. That is why it is important to treat your dog for fleas monthly with a quick flea killing medicine.

How to take care of this problem

  • You can transfer to a hypo allergenic dog food to exclude food allergy.
  • Treat your dog monthly against fleas with a good flea killing product.
  • Use Hokamix Forte in combination with Hokamix Skin & Shine to reduce allergy symptoms and promote healthy skin.

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