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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4690
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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I have a 7 year old female pit and she has been itching

Customer Question

I have a 7 year old female pit and she has been itching lately. She is on flea and tick meds(nexgard) so I dont think its fleas. She has small hairlike dark splinter looking things in her skin and they cant be pulled out. I have cancer of the bone marrow and the meds are so expensive its going to take me a few weeks to get the money up to visit my vet. Any ideas of what this could be?? Thanks!!
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 7 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

I may need a bit more information to be able to help you in determining what you can do to keep her comfortable until you can have her seen.

First, a picture would be very useful (you can attach using the paperclip icon) because I am not sure what you are describing by the things in her skin.

Second, how long has she been itchy? Where are the primary areas she is irritating?

Thank you for giving me a bit more information.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hard to get a really good pic. but here is a few pics.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
These are scattered out all over her.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 7 months ago.

I am sorry I had a tough time making out what we were looking at, but my concern based on these pictures is that she is itching secondary to an underlying infection which could be bacterial, yeast or mites (demodex or sarcoptes). I am sorry I cannot narrow down the problem based on what you report and the pictures. This really would need an examination and some further testing. Ideally, you need to have her seen by her veterinarian and then have a skin scraping to determine what is going on. Then, prescription medication is going to clear this faster than anything over-the-counter. There is no silver bullet over the counter nor prescription if this is allergies but you can discuss strategies for controlling this with your vet as we do have many options. It is likely to be recurrent with periodic flare ups, if this is allergies.

Until you can get her seen, I can give you a few hints for treatments you have not yet tried. What might I recommend if she was my patient and you were unable to get her in to be seen for a few days?

1)Give an antihistamine to help reduce itching such as (choose one): Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 25mg at 1 mg per 10 pounds every 12 hours OR Claritin OTC (about 1 tablet every 12 hours)

2)Bathe in a good antibacterial shampoo such as Selsun Blue original) every 7 days. When you bathe, lather and let stand in contact with skin for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly; be careful not to get into her eyes or mouth and do not let her eat this. This helps with bacterial infection.

3)Start on an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (e.g., fish oil supplement)- this is anti-inflammatory over about 4-6 weeks

4) Topical itch relief is very tough as there are not any great non-prescription products that work well; sounds like you tried hydrocortisone which is fine and pramoxine based spray which is also fine.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 7 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey