Pug allergies- Pug scratching his ears a lot, shaking his head, licking his paws, and rubbing face on carpet.

I would like some fellow pug owner's input on what they think this could be. Has anyone else been experiencing these issues with their pugs? I feel so bad for the little guy. I don't think it is food allergies because all he eats is a very reputable fish dog food and carrots for a treat.  He has been on the 6 Fish Orijen for about 8 months now. He was having these allergy symptoms long before we put him on the Orijen. I have been following what the vet dermatologist has told me to do. We even put him on antihistamines to stop the itching. We thought maybe it was environmental because he seems to only really itch like crazy when he's home. We have a lot of grass, plants and trees in our backyard. It doesn't matter if he's inside or outside.  Nothing has helped. I keep my home very clean.  I use a hypoallergenic laundry detergent. I don't use any  air freshners or perfumes in my home. It can't be stress because this dog gets more love and attention than anyone.  I'm home pretty much all day with him. We go on walks, trips to the park, and have lots of play time.  I'm completely lost. All I want to do is help my little guy. =( If anyone could recommend an excellent pet insurance, that would be helpful as well!   Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, fellow pug owners!



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Hi Chelsea,

Thank you for responding to my inquiry. Yes, that is my thoughts too. I think it is environmental as well. Our next step is the have the dermatologist run allergy tests on him. I thought maybe I could do a little bit more detective work for the time being. I've consulted my landlord in regards to finding out what plants and grass are out in our backyard. Hopefully he has some answers for me.  He doesn't have any kind of rash or redness, although he does get red rashes in the summer when it's really hot outside. He hasn't had one since last summer though. He just scratches his ears and licks his feet more than usual.  His ears only get red when he scratches them for a long time. They don't appear to be infected. I put the doggy cone around his neck when he pursues the itching.  The current antihistamines are working, but I don't want to keep him medicated forever. I always feel like the meds could hurt him if taken long term. 

Gina, do what I did and take him off dry foods, put him onto raw meat for a few weeks and see how he does. I had Hektor on dry food from the time he was weaned until he was three, by the time he was three he was contracting yeast infection in his ears, conjunctivitis, skin allergies and a skin infection. I tried him on a salmon and potato dry food, the conjunctivitis got worse with it returning within two weeks. He was put on optimmune drops with an antibiotic which cleared it up and I was told that the optimmune drops would have to continue for life, but they were not working. I took him off all dry foods three months ago, and he was mostly fine, I tried him on rice, but he has developed a problem with that. He is now on minced chicken or chunks of Turkey with Quinoa and sometimes minced beef. He is fine. He used to smell like baking, yeasty, he no longer smells like that.

Try it, what have you to lose.

I would doubt that it is anything to do with air fresheners, I stopped using mine for a bit, but since changing his diet have put it on again, no problems.

Hello Wee Woman,

Thank you for responding to my message. I have actually thought about putting him on a raw food diet before. The thought of not cooking his food kind of grosses me out though. LOL. I'm not sure if I can stomach it.  We used to home cook his meals.  First he had boiled chicken, rice and broccoli for months, then we switched him to chicken, potato, and broccoli. After that, it was fish, broccoli and potato. Nothing has worked. He was still all itchy and uncomfortable. I don't think this is a food allergy.  He isn't itchy when we leave our house. He is fine when we go to the park, beach,  friend's houses and my mother-in-laws home. He runs outside in the grass without stopping to lick or scratch himself. I am almost positive that it is environmental. There is some evil plant or weed culprit outside. LOL.  Our next step is to have allergy tests done by the the dermatologist. Hopefully, we can figure out what is causing his itchiness and eliminate it once and for all. =)

Potato can actually be a big time allergy, bizarre to think. Something about the starch can be bad. Guinness was allergic to starch (potato, but not sweet potato, or yam) and corn. Once that was cut from his diet hes been fantastic. Hes a 100% raw fed dog now, with raw veggies mixed into his food. He gets a raw marrow bone everyday also.

You may be very surprised how noticible the change from dry to raw will be.

Hi Gina!

My pugga Dexter has been doing similar things, chewing and llicking his paws A LOT, dry scaly, smelly, itchy ears, dandruff. I took him to the vet this week who tested the browninsh discarge and crust from his ears and diagnosed a yeast overgrowth. He showed me the webbing between his toes and it was also a yeast overgrowth. Hence I'm now treating his ears with an antifungal eardrop twice a day and bathing his feet in a shampoo containing chlorhexidine and an antifungal. His ears have improved in only 4 days, feet havent changed yet.

Hope that helps!

Hey Gina - My pug, Mous, also had yeast issues. I clean his ears with Epi-Otic from the vet, which really helps that brown crap in there. Also, his vet has given me Mometamax for when the ears get really irritated. Our vet assumes it is yeast combined with seasonal allergies, which pugs are commonly affected by. Also, I second Wee Woman. I feed Mous raw food. I know it sounds gross, but his ears are much better, his teeth look really good and he no longer gets those itchy rashy things on his belly or elbows that a lot of pugs get. You can find a lot of it prepackaged at some pet stores. I use Nature's Variety. My mom feeds her lab Bravo, which a lot of pet stores will order for you. It seems gross but I notice Mous is much less bothered by allergies and that yeast problem.
I was actually able to stop the crazy itching by switching to nutrisca dry food. Its done wonders but she is allergic to a certain grass and her feet get red sometimes in spring/summer.

Hello Kristin,

Thank you for your response to my inquiry. Where can I buy nutrisca dry dog food, and what do you do about the allergies to grass? =)

Hi gina,
I buy nutrisca by dogswell at petco. It is free of tons of allergens. When the itching is bad I put a "dress" on her (her dresses are just various cotton dog clothes) and she stops scratching. She used to be so bad she scratched holes in her clothes! Also a childrens chewable benadryl is good especially at bedtime. In the event of sores just clean it and doctor it with bacitricin. Also wipe the paws and face/body with wet cloth to remove stuff collected outside. I haven't managed to stop the grass from bothering her but its much more manageable. Good luck and feel free to ask about stuff in the future! I'm no expert but I have tried just about everything!
Hi. I came on this Forum not that long ago to ask about the exact same issues with my baby named Lucy. Since then i've had to become my own vet, as every time i went to a Vet, he told me the exact same things. You can pay big bucks to get  him/her desensitized, but when i heard that only works 60% of the time, i lost interest. For Lucy, I believe it is a wide variety of things... Food is directly related to her immune system... so the food you are feeding if great. I feed Raw now, and i feel that its the best for her. Lucy is definately related to allergens in the air and outside. I tried the Antihistamines, but to really help my poor girl, i had to start giving her the dreaded prednisone. In order to avoid bath health side effects, i go minimal. So Lucy gets 2.5mg of prednisone every second morning, and every monirng she gets 2.5 mg of antihistimine. This keeps the itching at bay big time, and really helps her have a happy normal life. I was told at this dose that bad health side effects would be extremely rare, and after 1 year, she has no weight gain, or any other sideeffects mentioned. No becuase Prednisone surpresses the immune system, the food you are giving is great.. all those yummy fish oils and nutrients will be a good boost for your pugs immune system, and to be sure you could also give extra oils on the food. I give Evening primrose oil, and fish oils on top of Lucy's food every time. Also... VERY IMPORTANT... Lucy gets a bath every 3-4 days.. Because i dont want to dry out the skin.. but want to wash off outdoor and indoor allergens I use just a tiny tiny amount of soap...and i put TEA TREE OIL in the water.. THis is honestly amazing stuff! Only thing.. make sure you dry her off very very very well. And do not let her even sniff the outside until she is 100% dry. Listen, i know this seems like alot to do.. but all of this is guarenteed to work. I spent over a year of sleepless nights crying because i felt so sad for my little girl/ i was going crazy from the scratching. As we speak she is sleeping soundly right beside me, not even thinkin abou her itchy paws and belly. Believe me i have tried everything.... spend alot of money... and this is the best results i have ever gotten. hope this helps. Abby
My vet said I could rinse my pugs off about once a week.  No need for soap.  They carry allergens inside on their coat.  That might help a little.
Dyane you are right about rinsing but no soap. My girls get a bath with hypoallergenic shampoo every 2-4 weeks but you can rinse only as often as needed. water won't hurt them but soaping too often actually dries them out and makes itching worse.


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