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Jennifer Van Noy
Jennifer Van Noy,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 84
Experience:  Veterinarian at Riverside Animal Hospital
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Over the last 2 months our dog has been scratching mself

Customer Question

Over the last 2 months our dog has been scratching himself excessively, to the point that both his ears are continually bleeding and all the hair has fallen off, he has also started to scratch his legs and the side of his face.
He has been to the vet and given a course of antihistamine which didn't seem to do a thing.
We have been washing him in a anti bacterial dog wash which also doesn't seem to help him.
We recently lost his mother and don't know if it's just some sort of psychological disorder as he just isn't himself, we are trying to give him as much attention but as we both are working during the day he is left by himself a lot.
We are very distressed at seeing him like this and would appreciate any advice.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jennifer Van Noy replied 4 months ago.


I’m Dr. Jenn and I’m a licensed veterinarian with 18 years of experience. I’m here to help with your question about Wallace.

I’m so sorry you’re having this problem, but glad you’re looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you’re satisfied with the information I’ve provided. I’ll do my best to ear your good rating, because that’s the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.

In order to help me help you better, I’ll need a little more information. To start with, please tell me:

  • Did Wallace have any ear infection?
  • Is he only scratching at his ears?
  • Is he on anything for flea control? If yes, what?
  • Are you able to take a picture and upload for me to see?

I’ll be standing by and awaiting your reply. Thank you for using our website.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He's been to the vet and he checked his ear for any sign of infection and he said they were fine, it's the outside he's scratching and also scratching around ankles,shins,under belly and groin area.
We use frontline for flee treatment, and there is no sign of fleas.
I can send you a picture later today as I'm at work at mol
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He scratches until he is red raw and bleeding
Expert:  Jennifer Van Noy replied 4 months ago.

Poor guy! A picture when you get a chance would be great. I'll get an email notification and I'll answer when I check my email. It may be tomorrow morning, as I'm headed to bed pretty soon. Once I get the picture, I'll give you a more thorough answer.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hope this photo helps you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Here's another!
Expert:  Jennifer Van Noy replied 4 months ago.

That looks pretty uncomfortable. When I see a dog with skin disease like that, I always warn them it may take a bit to work through to figure out what it is and what works. That it can be frustrating for all involved. So many of the skin diseases can look the same and often, and likely in Wallace's case, they have a secondary skin bacterial infection from the scratching. The bacterial infection is itchy by itself, which compounds the whole issue. There are many different potential causes, I will discuss several of the most common, but it won't be an all inclusive list. A recheck with your vet is definitely warranted at this time. Antibiotics for the secondary infection are needed. My typical initial work up involves things like a skin/scrape pluck- to look for mites. I check for both demodex mites and sarcoptic mites. It isn't common to see demodex in a dog that old, but if I find them, there is likely an underlying immunosuppression issue ongoing. Sarcoptic mange can be spread from animal to animal and sometimes to us. I also look for topical yeast infections with an impression smear. Yeast infections are very itchy and treated with anti-fungal medications. After I've ruled those out, I start to think about environmental allergy. There is a newer drug out for allergies in dogs called Apoquel. It works very well. I'll often combine that with an antibiotic initially. Antihistamines often help in allergy dogs, but in many it isn't enough to use them by themselves. Like I said, there are other skin diseases that can look like this, I've hit on some of the more common things we see. I'd recommend doing a recheck exam with your vet to start to work through the different things it could be and get Wallace more comfortable. On occasion, we'll even need to do something like a skin biopsy to figure out what is going on. While it doesn't look like a classic flea issue, making sure he is covered with a flea product that kills the flea before it bites him is also important.

I hope this information was helpful to you.

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