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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14580
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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He has a problem with allergies and right now his ears and

Customer Question

He has a problem with allergies and right now his ears and head are very hot and he is rubbing his head on blankets
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Gunny and he is 8 yrs old. He is a puggle.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Gunny?
Customer: He weighs 28 lbs
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about poor Gunny's hot, red ears and itchy ears and head.The most common cause of these symptoms is an allergic reaction.Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benadryl and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.Is his breathing and activity level normal?Any vomiting or diarrhea?Any difficulty breathing?You can use a combination of antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to help with allergies. In combination fatty acids and antihistamines work synergistically, much better than either one alone. If his symptoms worsen seasonally I would think that inhaled allergens are a part of his problem. Tonight you can give him Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur.Dogs take a really high dose of antihistamines compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more than we do. This may make him a little sleepy.If Benadryl isn't working for him other antihistamines you can try include:1)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 25 pounds of body weight once or twice daily. OR 32)Hydroxyzine at 1mg per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours. OR3) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily.OR4) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at 1/2 mg per pound of body weight orally every 24 hours. That would be one 10mg tablet per 20 pounds of body weight. Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because dogs cannot tolerate decongestants.Some dogs do better on one antihistamine rather than another. Give the one you pick a week trial and if it isn't working try another. Be aware antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight. I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound dog could take 160mg of EPA per day. Cool water baths with an oatmeal shampoo or chlorhexiderm shampoo (which is antibacterial and antifungal) and a conditioner with an antihistamine may help. The water rinses off allergens and the cool temperature soothes itchy skin. Or you can also apply a cool compress to the worst areas. The cool water will close skin capillaries and reduce inflammation and oatmeal reduces inflammation. Lather gently, let it sit for several minutes and then rinse with cool water.And then you'll need to watch him closely for any progression of symptoms. That includes difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.The swelling/redness should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours with continued antihistamine use, if not he should see his veterinarian.In extreme allergic reactions they can get shocky and collapse but you should see difficulty breathing and vomiting/diarrhea first. Those types of severe reactions are very rare.Most reactions are managed just fine with antihistamines alone.If you notice progression of his symptoms such that he is having difficulty breathing don't wait, have him checked on an emergency basis.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 months ago.
Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thanks, ***** *****