Dog Health Questions? Ask a Dog Vet for Answers ASAP
I am sorry to hear about this concern.
First, any licking in that area, you must always consider flea allergy dermatitis, even if you don't see fleas.
My primary concern is for a persistent underlying allergy that has not been addressed.
So, I suppose it would be the best, XXXXX XXXXX most successful treatment to simply get your pet over to a veterinary dermatologist so they can identify the problem and treat in accordingly.
Otherwise, here's a ton of information about food and enviornmental allergies, as well as, treatment options.
Ideally, getting a second opinion, preferrably by a specialist, would yield you the best success.
So, to rule-out food allergies you need to do a diet trial. Summary: The primary protein in most dog foods is lamb, chicken, or beef. The primary carbohydrate is rice or corn. So, we need to change both. The most popular alternative diets are Venison and Potato, Duck and Potato, or Fish and Potato. It is available in prescription formulas (i.e. Science Diet D/D) or you can find some similar foods at the big pet stores like PetSmart or PetCo. Keep in mind, holistic or all-natural foods are not necessarily any better when trying to remove a food allergy. Chicken is chicken, and rice is rice. When you perform a diet trial, you must stick with the food for 2-3 months to see if there is any benefit. No other treats or human food can be given during this time period.
Also, definitely read about ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES (atopy). Some pets, suffer from both environmental and food allergies:
If you want to actual diagnose what in the environment may be causing the allergy, you can do an allergy test. Now, you don't have to shave half the body and do the old grid test on the skin. There is now a rather good blood test that looks for allergies to weeds, trees, grasses!, molds, even house dust mites. You can read more about it here:
Secondary yeast or bacterial infections (very common)
Frequently, the skin will be inflamed, have an odor, and/or oily component.
TREATMENT OPTIONS (A small representative list)
Steroids. Veterinarians will either give an injection that can last from hours to weeks, or send home oral steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone.
Antihistamines. A prescription of hydroxyzine is common. Sometimes, over-the-counter Benadryl will help.
Benadryl can be given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight. Keep in mind, Benadryl tablets and liquids come in different sizes. So, an approximately 25 pound dog can get a full 25mg tablet or a half of a 50mg tablet. I usually avoid the liquid Benadryl in larger dogs (you would have to give too much of it). You can give Benadryl every 8-12 hours.
Essential fatty acid supplements. Definitely, if you plan to give an antihistamine long-term,
combine it with an EFA supplement. I prefer the veterinary products dosed for pets. Your vet
should carry a product on their shelf, or over-the-internet you can look for Aller G3, 3V caps,
EFA-z, or Derm caps.
Some vets use a product called Temaril-P. It's an antihistamine with a low-dose steroid built into
the same tablet.
Atopica. Neat stuff. Can take a few weeks to be of benefit. Not the most cost-effective, but can
be incredible for allergies when the above does not work. Read the link below for more
Your vet may also carry some special sprays or shampoos for the skin. Some contain topical
steroids with antibiotics.
That's about the most info i can offer at this point.