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Dogs/Lhasp Apso itching and chewing


My 12 year Lhasa apso has had medical issues in the past but lately he has been doing ok. My dog does have Lyme disease and has been treated for it. My concern now is the he is chewing on his back/hind quarters until he has the hair out and he opens wounds. The vet has told us he is flea free since we use Advantix. This is not from his Lyme issues either. Is it possible the he is having a yeast problem? He is also licking his paw a lot! Any info would help. He is on a salmon/potato dry and wet food. Thanks!

Hi Tamera,

Dogs can suffer from various allergic reactions and each one typically causes the symptoms you are describing. They can range from fleas, contact, airborne, chemicals to food allergies.

About 90+% of the ones I see that come into our store for help with this type of issue is from the diet and causing a food allergy.

If it is a yeast issue, you would be able to smell a very distinctive odor similar to corn chips.

Most say they are on some commercial brand of food that is high in grains and has one or more of the highest allergy causing ingredients. These are wheat, corn, soy, by-products, chemical preservatives and artificial coloring. There are more but these are the main ones.

I wish you would have told me the brand name of the salmon/potato so I could look up the ingredients. But you can check for yourself if it has any of these allergy causing ingredients.

If it is a premium food you are on that does not contain any of these ingredients, then he is possibly having a reaction to the protein or potato, I've seen both happen. Especially with the salmon formulas.

If he smells like corn chips, it is likely a yeast infection. Carbs and sugar products feed the yeast so you have to eliminate as much of the carbs and sugar products out of his diet that you can.

Grains are high carb and sugar comes from many sources. Even the high potato based food you are feeding.

You will need to switch food to a grain free formula that's high in protein and preferably feed no dry, only wet foods. Dry foods, even grain free ones are typically higher in carbs.

Secondly, and most importantly, make sure you are supplementing with a good enzyme and probiotic formula. No matter what you are feeding, this is the most important thing you can do for a healthy dog and especially one that is suffering from ANY allergy or other conditions.

A good one we use and sell a lot of is from Animal Essentials. They make a powder formula that contains both the enzymes and probiotics. You just sprinkle a little on each meal. It is very critical that you do this. You can find it on Amazon or through their website.

The enzymes help break down the foods far enough so that most of the nutrients can pass through the intestinal system and into the blood stream. The probiotics will help fight yeast (if it is a yeast issue) and fight other bad types of bacteria that he will come across. This helps build his immune system. Most of his immune system is in his digestive system.

Most people don't realize that canned and bagged foods are not complete for dogs. They lack the missing co-factors that come with a dogs natural raw food diet. The two most important ones are the enzymes and probiotics. These are destroyed when you cook foods thus rendering any cooked food for dogs incomplete.

If he don't smell like corn chips, then it's highly likely that he is having a reaction from the protein or potato or both.

Just follow the same basic protical as above. Get him on a good grain free canned food. That's the good thing about smaller dogs is that it is easier to afford keeping them on all wet foods. If you don't have to feed dry, then don't. Even the best dry food is still the worst diet for a dog. Dry food are just dry and void of moisture. Dogs that are on a dry food only diet will suffer from a mild state of dehydration. This effects their internal organs and their skin and coat.

Get him on the enzymes and probiotics. You also want to have some good omega's in his diet as well. These are from salmon oil, cod liver oil, or one of the best is from canned sardines. Just get the ones in water from the store and give some to him a couple times a week. These contain the full range of omega 3's and 6's and they love them. This will help heal his coat.

Good grain free food, supplements of enzymes and probiotics and omegas heals many dogs issues, I've seen it over and over.

Dogs just don't need the grains in their diet. Especially older dogs. They need a higher and better quality protein as they age. Grains feed cancers as well. Just eliminate them.

Of course the best diet in the world for any dog is the raw food diet. This is their natural diet that contains the high moisture needs as well as the "live" co-factors missing from cooked foods. If this kind of diet interest you, you can write back and we can discuss it further.

If it isn't a food related issue, it's possible that he is having a contact or airborne allergic reaction. These are much more rare but I have seen them. Make sure you are not using any new detergent or anything to wash his bedding. That kind of chemical thing can cause a reaction. Airborne is even more rare but I do see this in our area which is the Pacific NW where there is a high pollen count.

If you can eliminate any contact allergic reactions, then any other condition will be helped by building up his immune system. And following the above methods will do just that.

There are some spot treatments you can do for him to help relieve the itching until you get this under control.

There are some good products at the pet store you can use temporarily. Or you can use things like turmeric. Just sprinkle on his skin, this will help with inflammation and reduce the itching and helps to heal the skin.

You can also get some organic apple cider vinegar and mix one part of this with one part water. Get him wet like you are going to give him a bath. Pour this mixture all over his coat and allow to sit for 5 minutes then rinse. It will help balance the PH of his skin and thus give him a lot of relief.

I also would not continue using any flea products on him unless you are seeing fleas. These products weaken the immune system and cause other issues. Use natural products found in pet natural pet stores. If you have a bad flea problem, the best product we've found is Comfortis. You have to get it from your vet but its far better than the chemical ones. It comes in a pill form.

I know this has been a lot of info. If you have any problems or questions about any of this or if you want to share more about what's going on with him, just write back to this same question. I'll be happy to help if I can. If yo do, let me know the brand names of the foods yo are currently on so I can look up their ingredients.

By the way, my wife and I did write a short eBook about dog foods and supplements. It's on Amazon in a kindle format. It covers a lot of the basics if you need that kind of information. You can see it at:

Let me know if you have anything further,



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

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