Flea Bite Allergy/Hot Spots, low energy

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    My Aussie Joxer is 13 years old. For the last 11 years he has been on a raw diet with minimal veggies, no grain. For at least the second half of his life, he has been prone to weeping huge hot spots on his rump. They seem to come up every few months. Benedryl won’t touch it. Joxer also has many lipomas.

    Jox also has laryngeal paralysis which he had a unilateral tieback surgery for last summer, and that has worked tremendously, no aspiration pneumonia. However, he has become weak/wobbly and has poor energy. Though he oxygenates well, he doesn ‘t want to run much and when we stop on our walks, he wants to lie down.

    I am taking him to a holistic vet for acupuncture and chiropractic, along with herbs. His low back is very tight and she feels he has sciatica, if you will. She gave him herbs for Hind End Weakness (not sure specifically what they are). I had Dr. Dodds’ Homeopet do his thyroid panel – it was done over a year ago and was normal but by IDEXX. The Homeopet tests showed he was normal, but his T3/free T3 are at the very low normal end. I have ordered Standard Process Thyrotropin PNG in hopes it will help, but in the meantime my vet gave me Wei Qi Booster for his energy problem.

    In the last few weeks he has been severely bothered by flea bite allergy – no true moist hot spots, but he’s mutilating himself and despite baths, DE on all the beds, herbal sprays, etc., it continues. My vet doesn’t have anything herbal to offer us to make him more comfortable other than to give him quercetin, and to use calendula cream on the itchy spots/wounds.

    I am feeding him the cooling meats (turkey, beef, duck) and staying away from lamb and chicken. He gets lots of fish oil, his herbs, the quercetin, Glycoflex III, vit/min chewables by VetriScience, duck eggs a few days a week, yogurt a few days a week, and I’m adding a bit of garlic again.

    My other two Aussies itch occasionally when there are fleas but don’t mutilate themselves. I feel there is some imbalance in Jox that hasn’t been addressed, yet. Is there anything else to try? He has never had ear infections or chewing/licking of feet.

    Thank you!


    Skin is one of the most difficult things to treat. I often joke that it is harder to treat then cancer and more frustrating. The other thing I have found is that it can take a long time and a lot of ups and downs in the difficult cases. If it is a long term issue I find it will often take a year of careful herbal adjustments to make things better.

    If there is a severe flea allergy I turn to the western drugs such as Advantage. I just have found that the natural stuff doesn’t cut it in the dogs where one flea bite sends them over the edge.

    Some things to talk to your vet about if you haven’t tried them yet.

    -raw diets can sometimes help more than a cooked or canned meal

    -Nettles at high dosages of alcohol based tincture can help both long term and in many dogs have an immediate reduction of itch. I dose my dogs on nettles at 0.4ml per 10lb per dose given four times a day, this is much higher than many vets use.

    -There is a neat little formula called Qing Ying Tang that I almost always start with for dogs that are severely itchy. It has to fit the case so this would be something to ask your vet about. Usually there is a lot of heat in the pulse/tongue and the dogs that need this formula can not go more than a minute or less without itching.

    -If these guys are severely itchy I often will put them on a low dose steroid while we are working with natural therapies and then wean them off as they become less itchy. There is not anything strong enough herbally to stop the itch and some of these guys really need that relief.

    Jox sounds like he is a chronic damp heat dog with blood deficiency which has become more pronounced as he has aged, but hard to judge that from a distance.


    Thank you, Lena. My vet did say Advantage, not Frontline if I am going to use one of them. He is on a grain-free/very low carb raw diet – I can only imagine how he’d be on a commercial kibble diet. If he keeps at it I will contact my vet about getting steroids – I hate having to cave and do it but he needs the relief. I will ask her about the Nettle tincture as well.

    Betsy and Joxer

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