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Dr. Brian M.
Dr. Brian M., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 642
Experience:  17 years of veterinary experience in companion animal and exotic medicine and surgery
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My dog is licking, biting and scratching himself raw, especially

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My dog is licking, biting and scratching himself raw, especially around his haunch and back. What could be the problem, and what should I do to treat it?
Hello. I am Dr Brian. This sounds typical of flea allergy dermatitis. I would apply a monthly flea product like Frontline, advantage, revolution, or advantix each month. I would treat the house as well. With this type of allergy it only requires a single flea to bite to trigger the intense bite chew itch reaction, so you may not even be aware of the fleas. I generally use prednisone temporally to stop the itch cycle and often the dog needs antibiotics for skin infections.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I treat my dog monthly with Frontline, and there is no evidence of fleas anywhere on him or in the house. Could it be something else?
Atopy is another possibility, but if the itching, scratching, chewing fur off is the lumbar area ( area of back right in front of the tail) and inside and backs of legs this is almost always flea allergy dermatitis. Are these the areas affected or is it affecting some other area?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No- he IS chewing on the part of his back near the tail, but also the center of his back and on the outside of his haunch. He's not going after the back of his legs or inside of his legs.
Ok. Other possibilities could be atopy (allergy to pollens), food allergy, bacterial skin infection, or mites. Food allergy is ruled out with a food trial, mites are diagnosed with a skin scrape, and infection is treated with antibiotics. You can try Benadryl at 1 mg per pound of body weight every 8 to 12 hours. Many of these very itchy dogs will require steroids to stop the itch.
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