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Vet Tech Amy
Vet Tech Amy, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Veterinary Technician 5 years, pet owner, 10 years in the animal field
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My Shih Tzu is twitching and biting at his hind quarters.

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My Shih Tzu is twitching and biting at his hind quarters. He has just had a checkup at my vet. amd is free of fleas/ What is wrong? Thanks
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Vet Tech Amy replied 7 years ago.
How old is your dog?

When did this start?

Can you describe the "twitching"? Is it all over, limited to the hind end, skin twitching or jerking body?

When was the last time he was bathed? What shampoo was used?

What flea protection is used? Last application?

Has he been around other animals lately?

Does he scoot or rub his hind end on the floor?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
his body twitches, it starting 3 days ago   the irritations seems to be on his hind quarters he was groomed at the vet, i shampooed him last Fri' he has not been around other animals the shampoo is a mild, aloe type for sensitive skin He does not scoot on the floor    His appitite is good. He is 1 1/2 yrs. old
Expert:  Vet Tech Amy replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.

It could be possible that there was soap residue left from the shampoo which could be irritating if left. Also even sensitive shampoos can dry the skin. Changes in weather type or temperature can also add to dry or itchy skin. As long as you do not think the twitches are involuntary (body jerks like seizure activity), you can try a few things at home to see if you can offer him relief. A skin itch twitch is more like the skin itself is moving. A seizure twitch or jerk is more of a whole body jerk or jump. If you believe that this is not a normal itching twitch or if it becomes worse at any time I would have him seen by a vet asap.

First I would rewash him in a puppy shampoo- nothing made by Hartz or other brands that make flea and tick shampoos- they can be overdrying. Wash him in a plain- tearless shampoo for puppies. Make sure to rise him extremely well. A good rule is to start from the top to bottom and repeat at least three times. This shampoo can be used his entire life. There is no need for a dog to have to use regular shampoo- puppy works great and is very mild.

If he isn't on them already, a fatty acid supplement will also be beneficial. This will help with the coat and skin health as well as assist the other parts of the body. DermCaps or 3Vcaps are very good products and can be purchased online or at a vet.

I would get a cotton ball or soft piece of gauze and gently rub his rectum. If he reacts as if it is itching him, I would have him seen for his anal glands to be checked. You can attempt to express them yourself at home if you feel comfortable doing so. This is a common issue with small dogs. They usually will scoot on the floor or act as if something is biting them despite their "flea free" status. I have included a website that will explain how to express the glands at home. Do this BEFORE you bathe him and in an area easy to clean. The fluid from these glands smells awful and lingers. You may want to get some help to hold him still so you can do it properly. There are 2 methods- internal and external- you should only attempt the external and it should not be difficult to do. If he cries or if you feel full glands but cannot express them, have him seen for internal expression by the vet.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/anal_sacs.html


Make sure to inspect the skin near his hindquarters very well. If it is red, bumpy, or have any evidence of scabs or sores of any kind, I would have him seen as secondary infections can set in from any irritation. If he is scratching, itching, or biting a lot you can offer him children's Benadryl at 1 mg per pound every 8-12 hours. Children's strength is 12.5 mg per tablet or per teaspoon. If you are unsure how to calculate for his weight please let me know and I will assist with the dosage.

After the bath and Benadryl you should see improvement within 24 hours. If you do not, if the skin is broken or severely irritated, if there is hair loss, or if the twitching becomes worse, I would have him seen. Due to your description and the timing, I believe it may be a minor irritation but if you are unsure on how quickly he responds, it is better to be safe than sorry and have him examined.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need additional information.

Best wishes,
Amy
Vet Tech Amy, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 813
Experience: Veterinary Technician 5 years, pet owner, 10 years in the animal field
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Vet Tech Amy's Post: I cannot get any action when clicking on the new reply message from Vet Tech Amy. Can u help?
Expert:  Vet Tech Amy replied 7 years ago.
The answer is just above your comment.

Let me know if you need additional information.

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