Hello and welcome to Just Answer.. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian and will be happy to help you today..
What can I do to help my Shih Tzu stop scratching and heal her skin?
For the itchiness have you ever tried Benadryl to help reduce the clinical signs.. ?
You could easily give 12 to 15 mg of Benadryl twice a day to start ot help with the itchiness.
BUT we now need to figure out why she is so itchy? What part of the USA do you live in ?
Is she on a flea control product once a month ?
Frontline ? Fiproguard? Vectra?
not at the moment.
I live in San Francisco and I don't have an issue with fleas at all
The first things I would tell you to do is keep the diet the same for awhile.. Add in Benadryl twice daily, alos add in a good source of omega 3 /fish oils twice daily also, and start a product like Frontline once a month for the next three months.. If this does not improve her quality of life I would recommend discussiing with your veterinarian a food trial with a prescription grade hypoallergenic diet for 8 weeks..
How does the frontline help her if she doesnt have fleas?
Nice part is the diets have 100% gurantee - so if she does not like it they can refund the full amount paid for the bag and find you something else.. Allergy testing may be down the road - It takes a blood draw to test her for both environmental allergies and food allergies and can cost $250-350 for full testing..
SO if she doesnt get better with all these things that you recommend then i should get her tested for allergies?
I know you don't see fleas but some dogs can be SO allergic to fleas that one bite can send them into a frenzy even though they are not covered in fleas.. It is more part of the basic allergy trial that we use to eliminate simple causes.. If she responds well to the inital steps then we can start to take one treatment out at a time until we determine what the cause is without testing.
Yes .. I would go in order.. The prescription food I would recommend to try if you get to that point is Hills Z/D ultra, Purina's HA , or Royal Canin Veterinary Diets - Hypoallergenic..
WHat about when I wash her? SHould I be avoiding anything iin particular? I know shih tzus are very sensitive dogs but im not exact;y sure if i should be avoiding anything in her soaps
I like Oatmeal based shampoos - they are collidal and soothing to the skin..
How often do you bather her ?
at least every week because of her skin problems she tends to smell a lot.
I tried oatmeal shampoos and honestly they just make her scratch even more
I like the Malaseb shampoo for these dogs.. http://www.1800petmeds.com/product.jsp?id=prod10667&sku=10667&MID=1616&CID=12059
Do i need a prescription for that?
It takes care of bacterial and yeast infections that are common culprits for smelly, flaky, skin in chronic allergy dogs..
No it is sold over the counter .. Here is a link to find it on Amazon.. http://www.amazon.com/Malaseb-Medicated-Shampoo/dp/B000O5FYWK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1331187554&sr=8-4
Ok. (:Thanks so much I hope all this works on her.
I hope this helps.. Please do not hesitate to ask any other questions before hitting the green accept button.. Otherwise I appreciate your positive feedback and wish you the best.. Dr. Chad