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Denise Colgrove
Denise Colgrove, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7128
Experience:  Internship and residency at UCD, 47 years experience.
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My Maltese dog itches all the time. Licks her paws constantly.

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My Maltese dog itches all the time. Licks her paws constantly. Rubs her butt on carpet all the time to itch it. Her belly has a rash on it. She rubs her face, ears and whole body on carpet, against furniture and walls to itch. She is pretty miserable. What can I put on her or give her by mouth to stop itching. For the last two months I have prepared all her meals, mostly cooked ground beef and organic brown rice, and vegetables. The itching has gotten worse ver the past several months. Help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Denise Colgrove replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

What you are describing sounds like Atopic Dermatitis or Canine Inhalation Dermatitis. There are things she is breathing in a pollen dust or mold that caues this. The best thing I have found for this is Atopica a cyclosporin that is given orally and has less side effects than the other medication that works well, Prednisone. Unfortunately these are prescription drugs and you will need to take Layla to your veterinarian. The Atopica is expensive but after a month you often can go to every other day therapy and sometimes just twice a week will take care of the itching.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Before using a cyclosporin, do you recommend anything else? I'm always reluctant for my dogs to go on strong meds. She also has high liver enzymes, 257 ASL, so would not want anything that could damage her liver.

She is an obsessive licker, she licks the air! She has licked since she was born. Even licks the floor, furniture, clothing. And, of course her paws (all four). She has been itchy all over for awhile, (about a year) as she scoots her bitt across the floor and now I notice that her belly near her hine legs has a spotty rash. Could be from licking or rubbing her body on carpet. She use to sneeze a lot, but not so much anymore.

Any other meds that you wold suggest other than cyclosporin?
Expert:  Denise Colgrove replied 4 years ago.
She has a severe case of Atopy. Antihistamines help in 7% of the cases and coupled with the essential faty acids sometimes help. the fatty acids formulated for pets are Derm Caps or AllerG3 caps available from your veterinarian or a pet store. There are probably other trade names as well. Anti histamines you can try are Tavist I/2 tablet twice a day or Chlortrimeton 1 tablet twice a day of the 4 mg. Cetirazine which is Zirtac try 1/2 tablet daily etc. Try each for a few days and if no luck go to another. Like I say this is a small percentage of dogs that this helps I would sure hate to itch all the time and maybe better to have a strong medicine. You usually can reduce the dosage of Atopica down every month so she may hold on 1 or 2 capsules a week. I have not seen objectionable side effects except when first starting the meds they sometimes vomit it right after administration.
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