Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. In order to give an informative and concise answer, it may take a few minutes before I respond back to you, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear back immediately if you have responded back to me within 10 minutes of my response. I do have a couple more questions, though, to see if I can better assess your situation.
Where exactly is he itching, biting and licking on his skin?
Any hair loss, redness or sores on the skin?
Thanks for the information. While you cannot rule out fleas just based on not seeing them (common misconception and a diagnostic blunder), I would be concerned that he may be starting to develop environmental or food allergies. I tend to start with environmental first because it is far more common. If there are any issues around the rear end, especially around the base of the tail, I would move fleas to the top of the list. First and foremost, make sure he is on a good flea preventative every month. If you want to get the itching under control, he will most likely need a prescription of oral steroids from your vet. A short course with a tapered dosage can be very helpful and is usually the only thing that will quickly get severe itching under control (short of using Apoquel which is far more expensive and usually not a first line drug). I will say that irritation around the anus with no anal gland issues should raise a concern for food allergies, but I would still treat for environmental allergies first. If you haven't gotten him into your vet yet, I would start there. Fish oils, topical hydrocortisone and shampoos can help, but they are usually used as secondary therapy to oral steroids to get the itching under control. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
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