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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 714
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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Llhasa is constantly chewing inside of rear legs, scratching

Customer Question

Llhasa is constantly chewing inside of rear legs, scratching behind front legs. He gets bathed with hypoallergenic shampoo's, is on grain free fish, has good skin, no fleas, is taking zyrtec, hydrochondrite and brewers yeast. He also has a cooling bed he sleeps on, as he tends to get hot, although he is regularly groomed. Im out of ideas... Help?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Hello this is Dr. Holloway but you can call me Dr. H for short. I am sorry to hear about Snuffaluffagus's constant skin problems. It also sounds like you have tried all types of things to help him with his itching. I can only imagine how frustrating this is for you as a pet owner to watch him scratch daily to no avail. : ( However there are proven treatments that work for allergies. I would like to first start by asking you some additional questions if you don't mind. 1) Has he had allergies issues since he was an adult dog? (around 2-3 years of age?)2) Has he by chance ever had an allergy skin test? 3) Do you have a picture of his skin to show me? (this would help me visualize how badly his skin has been affected by all the itching) You can easily attach pictures by uploading them to your computer and using the "Add files" button or it may be a diagonal paperclip in the toolbar just above the chat box. Let me know if you need any help with this. Thank you. - Dr. H
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He is a rescue and I adopted him around 6 years of age. Skin is not inflamed, and he does have some yeast issues on his belly, which the shampoo prescribed has taken care of. I don't think he has had a skin test, good idea. I can easly contact my vet in regards ***** ***** of those. I just want him comfortable, I am afraid he will be bloody by the time I get home from all of the scratching. I will do what I can as far as a photo, I only have the cute head shots. :)
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Yes most owners have tons of cute head photos of their pets. But another photo of the body will be helpful : ) He most likely has had allergies all this life. I have found that using a multi-treatment approach with skin allergy dogs is better than just using 1 treatment. However it is good that the skin is not inflamed YET. As you mentioned that could be a different story once you get home. Yeast in particular can be EXTREMELY itchy. And I will tell you from experience. I have never been able to clear a pets yeast with just a topical. The reason why? Because yeast embed deep in the skin and are very hardy! If more than 20-25% of the body is affected by yeast then it is always a good idea to get an oral medication on board to knock them out! The pills are fast and more effective. But even then most pets I have to keep on the anti-fungal pills anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on how badly they were infected to start.
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Oh yes the skin test is probably your best option for him! They will let us know exactly what environmental allergens he is allergic to. Now I will mention this. I saw you have him on a grain free food. Don't fall into the trap of thinking he may have a grain allergy. It just isn't true for most pets. Most pets actually are ok with grains, it is the chicken, beef, and turkey proteins that actually cause most pet allergies. Avoiding these is the best approach. Have you ever heard of a food trial in pets? - Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
So a food allergy trial is where you (the owner) feed your pet an approved diet to start your pet on to rule out a potential food allergy. This is typically done before your standard skin allergy tests. Because some dogs can actually have both a food and environmental allergy it is always better to do the food trial first because no allergy shot is going to protect your pet from food allergies. You just have to avoid the foods he is allergic to. Now here is a website link that discusses how the food trial is done and some Rx food options. Now typically a food trial lasts 3 months in duration and no other food sources can be given to Snuffaluffagus. Which includes treats and heartworm or flea preventatives. And like I said earlier, because the common allergens are chicken, beef and turkey, these proteins are consistently avoided during the food trial. Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
**I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )- Dr. H