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Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1129
Experience:  DVM
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Hi, I have a 13 year old Aussie Terrier, 6.5kgs, who is suffering

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Hi, I have a 13 year old Aussie Terrier, 6.5kgs, who is suffering from Cushings Disease. She is on 35mg Trilostane every day. Her problem is the constant itching, leading to skin infections. What can I do?

Dr. J. :

This is a great question considering that Scrappy has Cushings. Itching in dogs has several possible causes. The best way to get the itching stopped is to figure out the underlying cause. The top three most common causes of itching in dogs are food allergy (which is very common), inhalant allergy and flea bite sensitivity (which can be caused by 1 flea). Your vet with some investigation should be able to figure out which of those causes is most likely. The only way to rule out food allergy is with a food trial using a prescription hypoallergenic diet such as science diet DD or Purina HA. The food must be fed for 12 consecutive weeks without any other food or treats been given during that time. Also the type of heartworm prevention being given if it is oral must be hypoallergenic. Food allergy should be ruled out first unless the pattern of itching and or irritation suggests flea bite hypersensitivity. Inhalant allergy can be treated with antihistamines/fish oil and or some level of steroids which would have to be used judiciously in your pet. As far as what can you do right now safely. You can give her benedryl safely. Dosing would be as follows for example if she weighs 45 pound she could get 50mg maximum of benedryl every 12 hours. Also bathing in just cool water will help itching alot. If she actually has a skin infection, that will have to be treated as that can also cause itching.But your vet can look for the underlying cause (because there is always a reason) and should be able to stop this vicious cycle. How much does Scrappy weigh?

Customer:

She is about 6.5 kg. I bath her in Malaseb, which the vet recommended.

Customer:

Is benedryl in a tablet form?

Dr. J. :

It usually comes in a capsule, typically 25 mg size. How much does Scrappy weigh?

Customer:

6.5kg

Dr. J. :

Ok, so Scrappy would only need about 15 mg of benedryl twice daily. I would get the 25 mg capsule and pour the powder out onto a plate and give him about 1/2 of the powder twice daily. And the cool baths will help alot also. Do you have any other questions or concerns that I can answer for you today?

Customer:

The vet did think she may have an allergy to fleas, but I have been treating her and haven't seen any. Also the last time she was looked at by the vet (when she had dental problems) they gave her an antibiotic injection. It cleared up but has come back again.

Customer:

I feed her dry food (Purina Beneful) but some dog roll etc to wrap her tablet in each day, to entice her to take it.

Customer:

I presume benedryl would come from the chemist? not the vet?

Dr. J. :

That is exactly what happens when the skin infection is treated but it comes back because the underlying cause has not been addressed properly. If she has a flea allergy, then monthly topicals like frontline are absolutely necessary for her entire life because only 1 flea can make her miserable and then she will start to itch and then comes the infection. For food you may want to try wellness simple solutions duck and oatmeal . For giving her pills bananas are usually safe as far as not causing food allergy. Benedryl comes from pharmacist. It is over the counter in the US.

Dr. J. :

Have I answered all your concerns, or do you have other questions?

Customer:

No, I think that has covered it - I guess I have considered all that before, but the benedryl is a new idea... thanks

Dr. J. :

You are more than welcome and if you need anything else, don't hesitate to contact me.Cheers, DrJ

Dr B and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
How is Scrappy doing ?Less itchy I hope! Let me know if I can be of further help to you or Miss Scrappy .
Sincerely,
DrJ