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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9963
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My 4 year old 12 lb shitzu mix is scratching and biting

Customer Question

My 4 year old 12 lb shitzu mix is scratching and biting herself until she is almost raw. Can I give her Benadrl?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Her name is***** doesn't have fleas. We check her all the time
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Maddy?
Customer: No
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: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Maddy is so uncomfortable; she must be miserable with all the scratching and biting that she's doing.

Benadryl (as well as other antihistamines) can be given to dogs when they're itchy but if the itch level is really high, then it may not be quite strong enough to be effective. But, it's certainly worth a try. The dose I'd use for a dog this size would be 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet twice a day.

Sedation can often be a side effect for many dogs.

I'd also consider giving her a soothing oatmeal shampoo bath; let the shampoo sit on her body for 10 minutes or so before washing it off.

Fish oil supplements may help for the long term since they have anti-inflammatory effects; unfortunately, they often take several weeks to be effective so wouldn't provide immediate relief but might down the road a bit.

Allergy season has been pretty rough for a lot of dogs this year so it's possible that this is what's triggering her behavior. Many patients will require stronger drugs than anti-histamines but it may help to provide at least some relief.

I hope this helps. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb