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Doctor W
Doctor W, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 855
Experience:  30 years practicing small animal medicine and surgery
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Would hormones cause intense itchiness in my female dog? Allergies

Resolved Question:

Would hormones cause intense itchiness in my female dog? Allergies have pretty much been ruled out.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doctor W replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for submitting your question to Just Answer

No, hormonal problems generally do not cause signs of itching in dogs. As a matter of fact, skin problems and hair loss with a lack of itching are the flags for considering hormonal problems in dogs. Also, 14 months would be an exceptionally young age to develop any hormone related illnesses.

If you haven't treated your dog for sarcoptic mange, that would be a good first thing to do since even rigorous examination of the parasite very frequently fails to make a diagnosis of mange. Treatment is safe and relatively inexpensive.

Blood testing for inhalant allergies actually has been shown to be as effective as intradermal skin testing. The problem is that using allergen injections to treat the allergy has a significant failure rate.

Finally, food allergies should be considered. I believe that the best food to feed to test for food allergies is Hills z/d ultra. It contains hydrolyzed proteins that should not stimulate the dog's immune system. This needs to fed exclusively (not so much as one snack) for a minimum of 4 - 6 weeks.



<font face="Verdana, sans-serif"Customer

No doctor patient relationship is formed by this communication. This advice is no substitute for a complete physical examination and appropriate diagnostics provided by a licensed veterinarian.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She has been tested for mange and fleas ( negative, treated with an oral flea prevenative ). She has been on Hills ZD ultra. She seemed to be better, but then coming into heat, she began chewing on herself, intense scratching again. The first episode started with her first heat. There was a period of about 4 weeks before her second heat when she was pretty good. There is much snow on the groud now and it is cold so I doubt it is outside allergens and the ones in the house should have remained constant so I don't think it is environmnetal allergies.

 

Is it possible she is allergic to cat poop? We did find her eating that a couple days ago, right before the itching began again.

 

My frustration lies in inconsistancy of vet advice. Just earlier this morning on this web site, I was told hormones were most probably the cause and to spay her. ( which I will do anyway when I'm sure she doesn't need those hormones.) I just don't want to spay her and find out she's worse because she needed those hormones.

Expert:  Doctor W replied 7 years ago.
O.K.

I would treat for mange even though she has been tested. Only about 55% of dogs with active sarcoptic mange infections will have positive skin scrapes. Pfizer's Revolution is very effective against mange.

It is unlikely that she is allergic to cat feces, but if she has a food allergy, some of the same food allergens could pass through the cat's intestinal tract to stimulate a food allergy in your dog. I would persist with the HIlls z/d and make sure that she doesn't get anything by mouth except the z/d for one month.

The most common inhalant allergens are dust mites, virtually impossible to eliminate.

It is strange that she had two heat periods only one month apart!

Spaying should not cause any problem, since dogs ovaries are essentially dormant between heats, not producing very much estrogen or progesterone.

Hope this helps

<font face="Verdana, sans-serif"Customer

No doctor patient relationship is formed by this communication. This advice is no substitute for a complete physical examination and appropriate diagnostics provided by a licensed veterinarian.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, I'm not explaining myself well. She was treated with Revolution (sorry, I thought that was for fleas) Her heat cycles were 5 months a part (second was one month early) She started the intense scrathing 2/3 through her first heat cycle. It continued for the next 3 1/2 months. After all the vet visits, allergy testing, etc. she seemed better for about a month before the second heat cycle. 2/3 through the second heat cycle, intense itching again.
Expert:  Doctor W replied 7 years ago.
O.K.

One of my favorite sayings is that non of my patients ever read a medical textbook. By that I mean, doctors don't always know what they think they know. In medicine, there is an exception to every rule, and rarities do exist.

Since the itching seems to coincide with her heat cycles, spaying her will prevent future heat cycles and if the hormone changes that occur at that time are truly the cause of her itching, then spaying her should be the cure.

Certainly, spaying will not aggravate any other cause of her itching.

Be prepared though, that it may just have been coincidental with the onset of itching and her heats (although, l have to agree with you that two times could make one draw the same conclusion as you).

Spay her then wait and see would be my best recommendation.

<font face="Verdana, sans-serif"Customer

No doctor patient relationship is formed by this communication. This advice is no substitute for a complete physical examination and appropriate diagnostics provided by a licensed veterinarian.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I like your answer, but would like to know if there is a way I can save these answers. Can I print it out or something?
Expert:  Doctor W replied 7 years ago.
I'm not sure what browser you are using, but you should be able to click on File at the top of your browser window and then hit Print from the drop down menu.

You could also minimize the browser window, open a new word file or text document file, then return to the browser window, select the text you want to save by holding the mouse button down while passing the cursor over the text. Then press Ctrl-C, go back to your new text document, put the cursor in the new document then press Ctrl-V. This should work for any Windows based computer. If you're using a Mac, you may need to go a help file and find out how to copy and paste texts.

Good luck
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