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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11471
Experience:  DVM for 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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my dog has recently started to really enjoy being scratched

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my dog has recently started to really enjoy being scratched on his back. we constantly have to ask him to stop chewing/licking himself and notice wet spots from doing just that. we have not modified anything in his diet, or bathing procedures (every month). i am concerned that he may have an allergy or skin issue? i did notice before when he was licking his back there were bumps but i do not notice them now. anything i can do to make him not so itchy? thank you!

Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

Is the affected are more on his lower back? Do you use anything for flea control?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

more towards his spine to lower back, he does not use flea control, and we have not noticed any fleas in our home.

Ok great thanks.

The reason I asked about flea control is that the fleas favorite place to bite is over the lower back.

The kind of fleas, that go on dogs, feed and then jump off.

So, people always think that fleas are not the cause because they do not catch a flea on the dog.

If he is allergic to flea saliva, one flea bite will cause him to have an allergic reaction.

So, to start I would apply a good flea preventative such as "frontline" or "advantage" drops. Both are over the counter and you can buy them at pet stores or online.

You can give him human Benadryl for itching. The dose is 1 mg of Benadryl, per pound of dog, every 12 hours.

In addition, you can apply over the counter hydrocortisone cream, or spray, to the affected area every few hours until the inflammation, and itching, have resolved.

If it is not flea saliva allergy, then it could be environmental allergies or food allergies. Beef, chicken, lamb, corn, wheat, and soy are the most common food allergens. Food allergies develop over months to years.
To determine if he has food allergies, he would need to be put on a
completely hypo-allergenic diet for 6 weeks. The name of the
hypo-allergenic diet is "hills z/d." It is a prescription diet and you
have to get it from a veterinarian. There are no over the counter
completely hypo-allergenic diets. It is only about $10-$15 more a month
so it is not that bad if it fixes the skin issue. If his skin improves, then you know it is food allergies.
He could also have environmental allergies. This is called "atopy" or "atopic dermatitis."
The dog's skin comes in contact with the allergens and then they are
absorbed into the skin causing an allergic reaction. Your vet can do a
blood allergy test to see what he is allergic to. Then he could
receive allergy shots to desensitize him to the allergens. The allergy
shots are 50-75% effective. We also treat atopy symptomatically with
antihistamines, shampoos, topical creams and sprays, cortisone, and
immune suppressing medications.

You had asked about a good shampoo. epi-soothe shampoo is good

This is a great leave in conditioner for itching resicort

I hope this helps.

If you have additional questions, please reply again.

Thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i will try a flea shampoo, we recently had new landscaping on the property where they applied beauty bark. he has never had fleas before in 6 years, so i am tentative to say that we have seen any fleas at all in the house.

Do not use flea shampoo. All that does is wash off any fleas that are on him at the time. As soon as he gets out of the tub, the fleas can go back on him again.

The flea shampoos are also very harsh and can cause a itchy skin reaction.

You will need to buy some frontline or advantage drops. You put them on the back of the neck. Those last for 30 days.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Now if the solution is not fleas can it be something else? I will use the drops.

If it is not flea saliva allergy, then it could be environmental allergies or food allergies. Beef, chicken, lamb, corn, wheat, and soy are the most common food allergens. Food allergies develop over months to years.
To determine if he has food allergies, he would need to be put on a
completely hypo-allergenic diet for 6 weeks. The name of the
hypo-allergenic diet is "hills z/d." It is a prescription diet and you
have to get it from a veterinarian. There are no over the counter
completely hypo-allergenic diets. It is only about $10-$15 more a month
so it is not that bad if it fixes the skin issue. If his skin improves, then you know it is food allergies.
He could also have environmental allergies. This is called "atopy" or "atopic dermatitis."
The dog's skin comes in contact with the allergens and then they are
absorbed into the skin causing an allergic reaction. Your vet can do a
blood allergy test to see what he is allergic to. Then he could
receive allergy shots to desensitize him to the allergens. The allergy
shots are 50-75% effective. We also treat atopy symptomatically with
antihistamines, shampoos, topical creams and sprays, cortisone, and
immune suppressing medications.

Sometimes dogs become hypothyroid which means the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroid dogs have chronic skin issues. Your vet can do a blood test to see if his levels are low. If his levels are low, he can take a daily supplement to bring them back to normal.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i ask because we have a cat and he is not affected by fleas. he has eaten people food his whole life.

Most likely, your dog is allergic to flea saliva and your cat is not.

Or your dog has food allergies or environmental allergies.

Just because one pet has a skin issue, or allergies, does not mean another pet will.

 

Dr. Gabby and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Mike,

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

Dr. Gabby