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Dr. Emily
Dr. Emily, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 735
Experience:  Associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic
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Now, my 11yo dog has been licking and scratching. She's not

Customer Question

For weeks now, my 11yo dog has been licking and scratching. She's not chewing off fur or making the skin raw though. She has also done a LOT of shedding over this summer, more than normal. NOW my other dog (9yo) has started scratching (not licking). I do not have fleas and I have not seen any ticks. (They both are on vet-prescribed tick remedies.) My older dog that started this does have allergies all her life but it's been food-focused so we've had her (for years) on Science Diet ZD and that's worked. I'm starting to suspect it's environmental now that my other dog has started scratching?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is***** Thank you for the question. The past 4-6 weeks have been VERY bad for dogs' allergies. Even dogs that have never had a problem are flaring up.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

If you have ruled out fleas as a cause, I also suspect environmental allergies. Since the skin is still in good shape (no scabs, hairloss, signs of infection), what is recommended is a medication to deter the itching so that damage to the skin isn't done.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

The initial therapy for allergy relief is 1)Topical -- bathing with a oatmeal or benedryl or cortisone shampoo. Some of over the counter and some are prescription. They work by directly contacting the skin and soaking medication at the site of the itch. This is something that needs to be done continually -- not just when the symptoms show up. Topical therapy is used to keep the skin healthy and avoid flare ups. Some people are able to bathe twice monthly, some need to bathe weekly to manage symptoms. Also, each dogs reacts to the shampoos differently. Some benefits from an anti histamine shampoo where as others benefit more from an antibacterial shampoo like Malaseb.

2) Oral antihistamines -- this can start with benedryl 1 mg / pound (human benedryl is 25 mg per tablet or capsule unless extra strength). There are also other anti histamines available as benedryl only works in 1/3 of dogs. The next antihistamine most commonly used is hydroxyzine. Along with topical therapy, hydroxyzine can be very helpful. 3) Steroid treatment -- prednisone or a medication called temaril p which combines an antihistamine with a steroid and is very effective. The benefit of this medication is that the dose can be decreased or spread out more and more to see what the lowest effective dose your individual dog can be maintained at. Some dogs are only on doses every three days. 4) There is a newer medication on the market called Apoquel -- works great with dogs with indoor and outdoor allergies. It is truly a miracle drug for some dogs.

I also HIGHLY recommend essential fatty acid supplements as this helps strength the skin barrier . Usually vets carry a product but there are many out there -- some even OTC at petsmart or on DrFosterSmith online

You just want to be sure it has both 3 and 6 omega fatty acids.

There is also a product line called Douxo that I love for allergy pets. Here is a link if you want to look at the options:

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Cassie And Hannah. How is everything going?
Dr. Emily