This is another UPDATE on Cooper. He is doing exceptionally well! He is eating heartily, begging for food, playing with his toys well into the night and sleeping well. He is excited with the approved treats and he is enthusiastically participating in learning new things. I am beyond thrilled by all of this but it highlights unmistakably that prior to this he was really not feeling well. I mistakenly thought he was growing into a couch potato, he was sleeping a good part of the day and food had no real interest for him. I could eat my dinner and he showed no real interest. Now he may lay around but he has one eye open, ready to hop to attention with every move I make and have his nose near any food preparation in case something falls. Just like a happy healthy dog should. It makes me feel sad and guilty that he was not thriving on my watch.
So on to his itch. I got Nature Made fish oil, the little ones 324mg and started him on one every other day successfully, then everyday and now he gets two. BM has stayed perfect. Also, I didn't feel like the Claritin was doing anything so I made a switch to Zyrtec. Vet said "20-30mg once or twice a day" which I am questioning. He is getting 20mg in the morning right now. It's too soon to know if there is any change. And I am watching him closely. Right now he doesn't scratch a ton and stops when I correct him. He sleeps all night in my bed so it doesn't interrupt his (our?) sleep. I contacted a derm and don't need a referral and talked to my vet and she knows him and says he is good so I am prepared if I should need it. He was just under one year last spring when it got out of control so the plan is to keep a close eye on it this spring. I have many more tools than I did last year.