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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24465
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 2-year-old male pug. He seems to be allergic

Customer Question

Hello,
I have a 2-year-old male pug. He seems to be allergic to flea bites, which I have been told is common to this breed. I have just given him a shampoo in a mild flea shampoo, and I combed his fur with a flea comb. All I found was one flea. But his skin is red and raw in places and he is scratching constantly.
My question is: Can I use Benadryl topical ointment on my pug? Or should I wait and see his vet in the morning?
Thanks,
Sallie
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Sallie, you can use both a diphenhydramine (Benadryl) ointment and systemic diphenhydramine at a dose of 1-2 mg/lb every 8-12 hours. Unfortunately, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine are poorly effective when addressing a flea saliva allergy; less than 10% of patients respond favorably although the sedation provided does cut down on their excoriating their skin.
His vet is likely to prescribe a corticosteroid such as prednisone which should work wonders for your Pug. You'll also find that an over the counter spot-on such as Advantage or Frontline will work better than flea shampoos and his vet carries newer prescription products as well. Don't forget to treat your premises with a premise spray such as the over the counter Siphotrol which contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) - a hormone that doesn't allow flea eggs and larvae to develop into adult fleas, thus breaking up the life cycle of the flea.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Dr. Salkin! I am going to apply some of the Benadryl ointment to provide some relief tonight, but I will take him to his local veterinarian in the morning. Your answer made perfect sense to me, and I appreciate your taking the time with me (and my pug).

Thanks,

Sallie

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
It's my pleasure. I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.