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Hi

The first answer is pretty thorough but I would like to add a few points. 

First.. the type of food you are feeding your dog may be the key.  If you are using a food that is grain, rice or corn based in the first three ingredients, please change to a food that is meat or chicken based.  Many dogs are allergic to grain, rice, wheat and corn and these things are used as primary ingredients in many well known, name brand dog foods.  Secondly, all treats that have these ingredients should be cut out.  It takes weeks to months before a food change can show results so you must be patient.  Jumping from one food to another will be counter-productive. 

Some dogs are so allergic to flea or other insect bites that one or two bites can cause a severe reaction.  Once the itching/scratching cycle begins, it is hard to stop it.  Benadryl is good but I suggest liquid form.  You can get it inexpensively at one of the dollar stores.  The pills take time to break down in the digestive system so you get better and faster results with the liquid.One tsp= 5cc and most dogs of average size can tolerate that much and more if the dog is a larger breed.  

Allergy testing is very expensive and most dogs will test positive to some things.  That does not mean that the itching is coming from those things as many things in the environment can trigger positive test results.  Breaking the cycle of itching is primary and that can be done with prednisone ( short term and last resort after benadryl and bathing), allergy shots( same deal, last resort after easier methods).   This spring and summer have been particularly hard, weather-wise.

Good luck!

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Sorry for the delay in updates.  We had a HUGE major setback and kitty trauma.  Apparently, phone books are NOT optimal for raising up your cat's litterbox if said cat is enormous.  All the websites and literature recommend that you raise up the litterbox to the height of the toilet, and the preferred material is phonebooks.  Not for a nearly 20 lbs cat. Erik hopped in his newly jacked up litter box to do his duty and it promptly shot off the phone books causing mass hysteria and trauma.  TERROR!!  HORROR!!  Meowing in the streets!!

It took a whole week for him to finally being using the litter box AT ALL.  He's been holding it and refusing to go until he heads outside.  We had to take the litter box back down to the ground and start "over" but, he seems to be finally okay with the litter box.  My husband has built a more stable riser for the box to go on that I think we may install this weekend.  I'm going to start setting Erik on the actually toilet trainer starting tonight, and then give him treats, to see if he starts to get the idea.  So, what I have learned:  Indoor/outdoor cats are more difficult to toilet train, big fat giant kitties are too much for phone books alone.

Unfortunately for Erik, he also just got all of his annual shots and a nice checkup from the vet, which involved far more poking in his hind-end than he's comfortable with.  Good news, though!  He's down to 17 lbs. from 25 lbs.  Not that he's happy about it. All that, and the rump-poking seems to have given the litter box trauma a run for it's money.  He's momentarily forgotten that the litter box is fickle and not to be trusted. I guess the answer is that whenever he gets toilet trauma to haul him to the vet for an exam.

So, we continue on in our struggle for a toilet trained cat, but I think this adventure will take much longer than previously thought.  I think that snow on the ground will much improve our chances of success, since he'll be less likely to "hold it"  If I can just get him up on the seat, I think it will be relatively smooth sailing, but I think that the transition from litter will be a doozy, too!! 

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Frontline Plus is an over-the-counter product that does not require a prescription to dispense. When you buy medications for your pet, look for a pharmacy that is Vet-VIPPS

accredited and also look for their product guarantee.

 

~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

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