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EmergencyVets
EmergencyVets, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 712
Experience:  Small Animal Emergency Veterinarian 10 years experience..
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My Shihtzu has been scratching and itching her skin a lot lately.

Customer Question

My Shihtzu has been scratching and itching her skin a lot lately. Her skin gets a bright pink whenever i wash her and after i come home from work shes scratched a lot of her skin and creates red spots. Not only that but there are flakes coming off of her skin. I switched her diet recently to a natural dry food that contains no corn or by products yet her skin seems to stay the same. What should i do to make her skin better?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.

EmergencyVets :

Hello and welcome to Just Answer.. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian and will be happy to help you today..

Customer:

What can I do to help my Shih Tzu stop scratching and heal her skin?

EmergencyVets :

For the itchiness have you ever tried Benadryl to help reduce the clinical signs.. ?

Customer:

No

EmergencyVets :

You could easily give 12 to 15 mg of Benadryl twice a day to start ot help with the itchiness.

EmergencyVets :

BUT we now need to figure out why she is so itchy? What part of the USA do you live in ?

Customer:

California

EmergencyVets :

Is she on a flea control product once a month ?

EmergencyVets :

Frontline ? Fiproguard? Vectra?

Customer:

not at the moment.

Customer:

I live in San Francisco and I don't have an issue with fleas at all

EmergencyVets :

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..

Customer:

How does the frontline help her if she doesnt have fleas?

EmergencyVets :

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..

Customer:

SO if she doesnt get better with all these things that you recommend then i should get her tested for allergies?

EmergencyVets :

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.

EmergencyVets :

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..

Customer:

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

EmergencyVets :

I like Oatmeal based shampoos - they are collidal and soothing to the skin..

EmergencyVets :

How often do you bather her ?

EmergencyVets :

bathe

Customer:

at least every week because of her skin problems she tends to smell a lot.

Customer:

I tried oatmeal shampoos and honestly they just make her scratch even more

EmergencyVets :

I like the Malaseb shampoo for these dogs.. http://www.1800petmeds.com/product.jsp?id=prod10667&sku=10667&MID=1616&CID=12059

Customer:

Do i need a prescription for that?

EmergencyVets :

It takes care of bacterial and yeast infections that are common culprits for smelly, flaky, skin in chronic allergy dogs..

EmergencyVets :

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

Customer:

Ok. (:
Thanks so much I hope all this works on her.

EmergencyVets :

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

Customer:

Thanks. (:

EmergencyVets, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 712
Experience: Small Animal Emergency Veterinarian 10 years experience..
EmergencyVets and 4 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear EmergencyVets,
Please follow up with my 3/8/2012 6:22:03 AM UTC accepted question.
Original Question URL:
http://www.justanswer.com/dog-health/6csyn-shihtzu-scratching-itching-skin-lot-lately.html
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.
Hi it is Dr Chad again. How are things ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Honestly she's still the same
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.
What have u done since we last talked ? Is she on a prescription diet? A topical flea preventative ? How does the skin look overall ? Have u talked to your vet about allergy testing through a blood draw?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've done everything we said and still nothing.
Her skin has turned red and it's flaking a lot.
I feel like its not allergies.
I talked to a few people I know and they said their dogs did the same for a while and that they got steroids for their dogs and that after a while it cleared up.
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.
Steroids clear up allergies . Cortisone injections can be given but need to be given periodically.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would need to go to a vet to give those to her?
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.
Yes ! You would need to go to a vet to change to the zd diet I mentioned also . So I take it you did not try the prescription diet ??
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I haven't tried the prescription diet.
I gave her Natural Balance. It's supposed to be all good for the dog. But I have not tried any of the foods ou told me about.
Expert:  EmergencyVets replied 2 years ago.
Natural balance is no where near ZD. There are still a lot of things needed in this case. First a good vet exam , skin scraping, allergy testing, food trial with zD , steroid trial if u want . But honestly exam first to see the skin, the areas she is scratching , microscopic exam of what is growing in and on her skin . I am heading into church and am going to opt out and let other experts guide you ! Happy Easter !

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EmergencyVets
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Small Animal Emergency Veterinarian 10 years experience..