Allergies in dogs blooming

Pet allergies bloom with spring

It’s spring and Cody, a 6-year-old Shiba Inu, incessantly licks his hind paws.

“He eats his paws raw,” said owner Mary Dolce, a Lombard resident. “It’s definitely seasonal,” she said. “There is just something outside that he is allergic to.”


Dolce says that she wipes Cody’s paws whenever he comes in from playing outside. When Cody’s allergies get bad enough, she gives him non-prescription Benedryl and applies Genesis, a prescribed topical spray to control itching.

I’ve never given Tierce Benadryl because I was not sure how it would interact with the Atopica.  If things got bad and I didn’t have any Atopica with me, I’d consider it, but so far the Atopica seems to be controlling his symptoms.


  1. Zuko had allergies pretty bad his first year. At one point it was so bad he had to be put on Prednisone – he had rubbed his muzzle raw. He would frequently chew his feet and obsessively lick his paws.

    So far this year has been better. Allergy season in San Francisco starts about Feb and continues until the rain stops, usually around May. Then again in August/September things can get bad due to everything drying out and there just being so much “stuff” in the air. There was one night a couple months ago where he kept scratching at one of his ears and shaking his head so I gave him some Benadryl before bed. It cleared up whatever was going on and he was fine after that. The problem with Benadryl is it makes him pretty sleepy (just like us humans) so if I have to give it to him, I only give it at night. I also buy the “dye-free” pills. Why add pink dye into the allergy mix?

    • How much Benadryl do you give him at a time? And I’m totally with you on the pink dye issue – that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while; putting dye in an anti-allergy pill.

  2. Zuko weighs 27lbs (he’s a big Shiba!!) and I only give him 1/2 a pill. My aunt is a vet tech and she said I could give him up to a full pill (adult dosage) but it knocks him out so much that I feel horrible doing it. If he was in full allergy melt-down, I’d give him a whole one. If it is just a mild attack, I go with the half pill. Recommendations are about 1mg per pound of body weight. An adult pill is usually 25mg. When I asked my aunt about this, she said bigger dogs can handle bigger doses than even a human – something about how they process it.

  3. My shiba had the same thing too, paw chewing/licking, red/brown scab spots around his body, always itching. It got so bad that he had patches of bald areas near the lower part of his body. It took 6-8 months for it to heal. Turns out he had horrible flea allergies and allergic to certain trees and grass. We took him to the vet and the vet sorta went through their checklist of treatments cause they didn’t know what was wrong. So we did a food trial, skin tests, and allergy test. Throughout everything though he was on antibiotics and different kinds of medicated shampoo to treat his skin. Turns out the shampoo was a double edge sword. SHiba DON’T NEED to bathe but ONCE OR TWICE a year. They keep pretty clean and if you wash them they loose their nature skin protection and makes them more vulnerable to allergies. So after he got better he’s on two kinds of flea med. Topical and ingestible alternating twice a month so every two weeks he gets dose even though each one is to be taken once a month. Mine is on a venison and potato diet too. But i don’t think he has food allergies but he likes it. Hope this helps!

    Oh and if you’re wondering how I know about the skin barriar thing. It’s because recently I gave him his first annual bath since getting better and he started to itch and scratch again and started to loose patches of hair again but i up the flea meds to once a week for a month just incase and used Dermal soothe anti-itch spray on the spots. It really helps and you can get it from your vet.

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