My puppy keeps scratching his ear and biting his legs
I just got an 8 week old westie yesterday and he was fine most of the day but now he keeps scratching his ear and biting his hind legs and tail. I don't want him to hurt himself but when I try to stop him he just tries to bite me and runs and jumps around like crazy.
Could he have fleas? Or some kind of allergy? I'm feeding him the same meals that the breeder gave him and have been giving him apple slices as treats.
I've also been giving him chicken and rabbit training treats. Could it be he's allergic to these? I checked and they are gluten, wheat and GM free, but I can't think of anything else that could be wrong with him. I can't see any fleas either.
What should I do?
It does sound as though your puppy may be suffering from allergies of some sort. The chewing and licking at his legs and tail area, plus the ear irritation are classic symptoms of canine allergies
If you don't see any fleas on him and he's being treated with an effective topical flea preventative, this is probably not the problem.
You're feeding the same food the breeder gave him, but the treats and tid-bits are different. I would try doing a little 'detective work' yourself. Try removing one item from his diet at a time, starting with one of the treats or 'extras', give it at least a week to 10 days to see if there's any improvement. If so, you have your culprit, if not, try removing a different item.
This process of elimination should isolate the allergy trigger if it's food related. I would also suggest looking at the materials his bed is made from, any detergent you use to wash his clothes, towels etc., or even what any dog clothes he may wear are made of.
Dogs are like people in the way that they can react to all kinds of different things.
If after some work, you still can't find out what's causing his itching, I would recommend seeing your vet. He can do some allergy tests on your dog and will likely have advice and treatment options for you.
Meantime you can make your pup more comfortable by using one of the many products on the market for canine skin irritations/allergies. Products that contain hydrocortisone are usually effective.
My Canine Skin Allergies page has suggestions and recommendations on this.
Best of luck with your puppy.
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