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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1141
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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My dog, a mini aussie/Sheppard border collie cross scratches

Customer Question

My dog, a mini aussie/Sheppard border collie cross scratches a lot. She has been on cortisone a couple of times to give her a break but I don't want to keep her on it. She eats Medical Hypoallergenic food, I give her omega 3 capsules. I don't know what else to try. I feel so bad for her. Help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I am sorry for your concerns about your scratching dog. It seems that at this time of year, every other call concerns an itchy dog.

I definitely understand your concerns about using steroids to keep your dog comfortable. It is a very good, very powerful medication, but it does have its side effects.

First thing is to make sure your friend is well protected from fleas. Even if you are not seeing fleas on her, you must use a flea product regularly. This includes the topicals, as well as the new oral products that work for a month, or up to 3 months at a time.

Then to help the scratching, you can use an oatmeal based shampoos containing 1% hydrocortisone, or pramoxine. If this does not work, or you still need something stronger, then the next step is to use another immunosuppressive agent like Atopica that contains cyclosporin, or everyone's newest favorite, Apoquel, that contains oclacitinib.

No medication is without some concerns, so we always try to find the lowest therapeutic dose to keep our pets comfortable. To help, I always recommend the omega 3 capsules to be given non-stop, all year round, even if the pet stops itching in the colder months.

Then there is always allergy testing to find out what she may actually be allergic to, then administering the right combination of allergens to decrease sensitivity to them.

So there are other options to try. Having your pet seen by a board certified Veterinary Dermatologist might expedite relief for your pet, but any veterinarian can help you further with any of the above suggestions.

I hope this makes sense & you find the information helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can i buy the oatmeal shampoo with cortisone at a pet store or is from a vet only? I have pet oatmeal/aloe shampoo for her but it doesn't have hydrocortisone in it.
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

You should be able to find the shampoo at the bigger pet outlets, or on line. The pramoxine shampoo is the same. Neither requires a prescription.