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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
I have very limited experience with dogs (especially Goldens) and have been scouring these forums for weeks, trying every tidbit of info and nothing seems to be working. Ultimately, I know I need to take my GR into the vet for evaluation, but I have less than no money. I bought my beautiful golden with my (soon to be ex) wife about 2 years ago. It was her idea to get a dog, as I'm normally more of a cat person (I know, I know haha). Anyway, about 5 months ago wife had a psychotic breakdown, filed for divorce, and abandoned me with Luna, massive amounts of debt, and emptied our savings (not saying I didnt make mistakes, as I did). I'm not going to go into that mess, as this isn't the place or time. Around the time she left I noticed Luna began having moderate anxiety that has been getting continually worse. She consistently paces back and forth and is ALWAYS wanting to play. She's also become noticably more aggressive in the way she plays. Around 3 months ago my parents (who watch her when I'm at work and notice the same behavior) she began itching like crazy around once every 3-5 minutes if she is not occupied. Several days later they found a mass on the back of her neck. I watched it for a few days and then realized it was growing so took her into the vet. It ended up being a cancerous mast cell tumor. They removed it and said there were no S/S of metastasization. That nearly bankrupted my already bankrupt self. Fast forward to present day and the itching has only intensified. With the advice of the vet I have had her on 75mg TID (225mg/day) of Benadryl. No improvement. I have tried switching from the cheap shampoo I was using to hypoallergenic oatmeal shampoo. No improvement. I have tried brushing her more regularly. No improvement. I doubled her dose of fish oil (which was the dose the vet gave me to try...double that). No improvement. I have tried changing to 3 different foods (from the original Purina Large Breed she was on to now being on Natural Choice Grain-free Salmon and Sweet Potato)- did nothing. I have tried coconut oil and just about every oil and treat possible without any noticeable changes.

She has no new masses, has been eating normal/normal bathroom usage, she has normal energy (just more anxious). She has become quite disobedient and chooses to never listen anymore when she is given a command, despite being the perfect dog before.

Could all of this be from stress? Obviously the divorce had a profound effect on her, but could it cause the itching? I'm not sure if the anxiety is just because she is always so itchy?
Is there any lotions I could try using?
I know she needs to go to the vet, but I am already so far in the hole from paying for a divorce lawyer and her surgery and a car (totaled old one when a semi tire blew in front of me), that I physically CANNOT afford to take her right now. I am hoping within the next month that I will be able to afford it with how much OT I've been working.
I've given it a thought about possibly giving her up for adoption, but feel like even though I'm not a dog person that I would be abandoning a child. I wasn't ok with my wife doing that and dont want to be that person.

Any and all info is greatly appreciated! Thanks

EDIT:
Also, there is no chance that she has fleas as she gets monthly inspections and medication.
 

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Sounds like allergies. That's about the age they generally show up.
Sadly, you really need to pursue it further with the vet.
 

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It could be environmental allergies, but I would also have her thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism is very common in Goldens. Even a low normal level can warrant the need for supplementation. Either way, it's definitely time to see a vet, and sooner rather than later, especially with her history of MCT. In the meantime, if the itching gets really bad, you can give her 50 mg of plain Benadryl. We have a Golden with mast cell and he is on several all natural supplements and has been doing very well for the past year and a half since being diagnosed. Also, be very careful with grain-free food as it has recently been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs due to taurine deficiency. Pro Plan is the food we use with great success for many years. It also sounds like you could use the help of a professional trainer. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your suggestions everyone! They're greatly appreciated! I was able to pick up a little more overtime last week and work on Thanksgiving for holiday pay (triple time!!) so I should be able to afford to take her to the vet this week. Thank you, again, for your help and being non-judgemental!
 

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I'm sure a lot has changed for both of you, and you are probably feeling stress as well, which she picks up on. Stress can definitely be contributing to her behavior change, anxiety, and itching can be anxiety related, but I agree with others that she apparently has allergies.

There is a medication the vet can give you called Apoquel that was a wonder drug for my dogs itching, but you need to talk to the vet about that because it is an immune suppressant and may be counter to the mast cell cancer issue.

Until you can get her to the vet, you could try giving her Zyrtek rather than Benadryl. Ask the vet about dosage. Zyrtek is a stronger antihistamine so hopefully it will help.

Go back to basics on training. Have a couple of 10-20 minute sessions a day working on basic commands that she does know, 1. to reinforce, 2. so she is successful in performing them, that will boost her confidence. Make it very positive and upbeat.
 

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Logan & Lacey in R hearts
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Sorry to hear about the problems. Not much to add other than to try something other than Benadryl as suggested above. We found it did not help one of our dogs. Just made them sleepy. We then switched to Loratadin - which is the generic ingredient for Claratin. You can get it at Walmart, etc. It did not make him sleepy and we could use less and had better results for him. Sometimes you have to try different types before you find the one that makes a difference. Talk it over with your Vet when you are able to get in to see them. Good luck!
 

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My Luna has itchy spots which we notice is worse after she goes outside & lays on the grass.

I received an organic eczema balm as a sample, read that its safe for use for animals. I tried it on her elbow where some fur was missing obviously from chewing & notice the scratching is less.

Perhaps trying an organic balm on spots may help
 
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