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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I'm new to the forums. We have a 9 month old Golden and every time we take him swimming he scratches incessantly for 4-5 days afterward. We've been bathing him as soon as he gets home with medicated shampoos and it only helps a little. Our vet gave us some prednisone and Benadryl to help with the scratching but I'd really like to know the cause of this. As I said, it usually clears up after a few days but after swimming over the weekend, he's in rough shape - scratching, biting, very sensitive to the touch. I'm not sure what to do other than keep him out of the water.

Thanks
 

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I miss my Buddy
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Good for you for trying to determine the cause of your boys itching. If he is swimming in ponds, where the water is basically sitting, no real water flow and not real cold - he could be contacting 'duck lice'. These are tiny mites (not visible to the eye) that live on ducks/birds but do not survive long on another host. Once they contact the (non)host, they soon burrow into the skin and die, causing itching and irritation ('swimmer's itch in humans). The only prevention is to not let him swim in that water. You may also want to consider whether that water is actually clean -would you drink it?
Cold water exposure in lakes and rivers can cause the skin to dry out, and cause itching, especially if your dog is swimming for any length of time on a regular basis, or remains wet for a period of time following swimming. Adding some supplements like fish oil to condition his skin may help.
 
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Shoregold
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I would try to swim in another source of water. Change the shampoo if it is the same one you use every time he itches. I would also get a dog blow dryer and try to dry him out a bit after he is bathed. I wouldn't let him stay wet or damp for long periods as it may be irritating. Some goldens can take a very long time to dry out their undercoat and this could cause them to itch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. The water he swims in is pretty clean but it could have duck itch.

What has me concerned is that he is now biting his feet and chewing between his toes and someone told me that this is probably food allergies. So I don't know if the water is just a catalyst which triggers an allergy or the water itself. He eats a grain-free dog food (Blue Buffalo). I've also noticed at one point he had exceptionally dry skin a lot of flaking skin & dandruff.

Anyway, thanks again for the info. This is tough one to track down.
 
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