Help! - Beagle with atopic dermatitis

Hello everyone!

This is my first time posting in the forum, though I have been using and recommending this website for quite a while now!

Here’s a bit of background…

My 4 year old beagle Sookie has been quite itchy for a while now. We took her to the vets and they stated she has atopic dermatitis, which was initially treated with a cream on her paws. Since August this year, she has been a lot worse with the paws and general itching and scratching. Another visit to the vets meant an shot and a prescription of Apoquell for 14 days to ease her symptoms and hopefully get it out of her system. My concern is that nothing has changed during then and now, the food has been the same, same washing detergent, same activity levels and there aren’t any new plants in the garden.

She has been enjoying Millies Wolfheart countryside mix for the last 3 years now, and there have been no issues with her eating. The vet was happy to see that it is a hypoallergenic dog food and that this is unlikely to be the cause. We do give her a daily denta-stix, which the vet advised avoiding just in case this is going some way to causing any discomfort.

My dilemma is such:

I’m willing to explore other food options and treats that are hypoallergenic, within a reasonable price bracket. However, I’m concerned that she will not react to it positively and that I’m not addressing the right issue! I’m looking at purchasing anti-itch shampoos, different detergent for the dog’s bedding etc.

Does anyone have any experience with dermatitis and how to manage it? I’m open to all suggestions!!

Thank you all in advance!

Have you tried supplements such as Yumega Itchy Dog?
I found it made a tremendous difference to my dog who suffered terrible rashes and itching, it’s just an oil you add to their food so it may be worth trying before looking at switching food.


Hello and welcome to to the forum. As you say, it might be nothing to do with the food and even if there is an intolerance it can be hard to pinpoint. That is why the usual advice is to try an elimination diet using a single protein source. Wet foods tend to have much simpler recipes and might be worth thinking about. They also have higher fat content and I have read that this can be helpful for itchy skin. It might be a contributory factor in why some dogs seem to improve on a raw diet. Naturediet has some useful information on this on their website about food intolerance and elimination diets. We have a section on raw feeding if you are interested in trying this kind of diet. If you wish to try another food and require help using the Dog Food Directory, please ask.

Petmum Have you tried supplements such as Yumega Itchy Dog? I found it made a tremendous difference to my dog who suffered terrible rashes and itching, it’s just an oil you add to their food so it may be worth trying before looking at switching food.

I have just ordered some to arrive tomorrow ;D

I will update on how this works - the reviews seem to rave about it and there isn’t a huge amount needed


Hi Dottie!

What a wealth of wonderful advice!!

I have considered ointments etc before but never really taken it further, I will have another look into it though.

If this treatment plan does not work then I think it will be a case of look at a wet or raw diet, the link to Naturediet was very informative, thank you. I hope this Yumega also gives her a helping hand to recovery :slight_smile:


I swear by regular bathing of affected area using a dilution of tea tree oil in tepid boiled water… apply using cotton pads or a flannel.

Advice on use and dilution can vary. I treated my daughters dogs’ ear tips using 2 drops per teaspoon of water.

Be mindful that there is some strong advice online warning of toxicity to dogs using this product. Keep a close eye on dog for any adverse reactions & make sure you dilute properly !

The issue the treated dog had was progressively worsening crustations of the ear tips , (suspected by me as Seborrhea)…Our old vet didn’t sort it but I did & using diluted tea tree oil. No reoccurrences since.

It is important to look at cause as well as the condition & short term cure…diet here was changed soon after we had improvement.

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My dog has seasonal itchy paws which have been kept under control this year with bathing the paws after walks and if they do flare up, I add a capful of hibiscrub to the water and it seems to help. I am confident that it isn’t her food as it always happens in the summer months.

Dermatitis can be a symptom of an endless list of causes unfortunately… in my case was food intolerance, but it could really be anything.
If it’s a deficiency of some supplements, Yumega should help you fix it. If not, probably the next sensible step would be an elimination diet. As it’s already been pointed out, raw food is the only real option here as it will give you full control on ingredients.
Please don’t trust any food that says hypoallergenic: this is just advertising as the only thing they do is to use ingredients that aren’t so common for dog diets and then play with the statistics.

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I own a dog with food and environmental allergies… A single source protein grain free food is best at the beginning . I found Pooch & Mutt health and digestion dry kibble a good one that’s reasonably priced. But my dog is also allergic to storage mites so dry food isn’t recommended for him. After trying lots of different foods, we now use Forthglade grain free wet food. He loves the chicken flavour. It doesn’t upset his stomach and his anal gland issues have much improved. I buy it from Zooplus as they do fab deals, making it relatively cheap…I have to pay more than most people for dog food as he’s allergic to most foods and treats!!! He also has a teaspoon of Yumega itchy dog each day 2x itch-Ezee tablets (by Verm-X) and half an Apoquel tablet from the vet. I know it’s a lot to give him but if I remove one of these from his diet, his fur starts to fall out, he itches constantly and gets ear and anal gland infections. I have tried raw …whilst he loves it, he doesn’t produce sufficient waste to empty his anal glands properly as they are positioned slightly higher than most other dogs (so the vet tells me) and they then don’t empty properly and he gets sick. But, it all works out much cheaper than the vet bills when he gets sick so I guess it’s money well spent. . Fingers crossed you figure it out for your dog and find what works best for her…good luck!


Thank you very much for telling us what works for your dog. It may be helpful to pet owners who are struggling with this kind of problem. Interestingly, your findings re a raw diet and anal gland problems is the same as I had with one of my dogs. She had never had any issues until changing to raw food - the stools were just too small to compress the glands. Fortunately a change of diet solved the problem, in this case cold pressed food.

Hello Lewie0205 and welcome to the forum!

Having experienced dogs with various intolerances I can appreciate how difficult (and at times unsettling for both owner and dog ???) it is, not least discovering a suitable food, yet also to continue feeding a particular diet as an acceptably tolerated one by the dog!

I wonder, have you tried a semi-moist food for him? I’ve had reasonable success feeding sensitive dogs with a Platinum (Lamb), which is of single protein, a gluten free food, with oils which are cold pressed. Also Platinum foods are put into airtight packaging immediately after manufacturing.

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Hi. I’ve looked at platinum before but the only meats he can have are chicken, venison & rabbit and he can’t have maize either. He’s ok with fish …thankfully! I used to feed him Forthglade wet which he loved but he always ate lots of grass. He used to be on canagan but he ate lots of mud when having that. I’ve just started him on Tribal salmon and he’s doing ok…so far. He’s also tried the new Forthglade cold pressed grain free food and this seemed to agree with him as well.


Just my opinion but I would try adding more fat into the diet. I’d start by mixing a tin of sardines with the cold pressed a couple of times a week and instead of the denta-stix I would be giving a raw chicken wing.
Scrambled eggs (I do mine in butter for my dogs) allways go down well.


Thanks Anita…I’ll give that a try sometime but I am rather impressed with Tribal. He doesn’t eat mud or grass anymore and his poops are great. I need to give the food a good go, on month 2 now but I might just try the sardines or mackerel for a treat. He has chicken wings already along with Soopa chew sticks. He’s one pampered pooch!!!