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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16211
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog keeps biting and scratching mself the past 48 hours

Customer Question

Hi my dog keeps biting and scratching himself the past 48 hours he has bad dry skin and a rash beside his private
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Besides the dry skin, are you seeing any pimples,pustules, scabs, sores, ulcers, redness, dander, or crusting?

What brand of flea treatment did you just use?

Has he had any diet change in the 4-6 weeks before this started?

Since it is by his penis, can you tell me if he has any urine leakage ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi I can see some redness but I'm not sure if that's to do with the scratching and biting and the dry skin does look crusty at parts no urine leakage
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that there are no pimples/pustules present as that does make bacterial pyoderma less likely here. As well, since the dander looks scant, ringworm would also be less likely here. Therefore, in this case, we can try some supportive care to soothe this skin irritation for Nas.

To start, you were right to treat for parasites. You didn't note the brand, but hopefully it was a good quality one that potentially would cover for mites/lice as well. Otherwise, since infectious causes are less likely, we will want to rule out allergic triggers for itching. To do so, we can try him with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Piriton (Chlorphenamine). A low dose (ie. 4-8 mg every 8-12 hours) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if he has any ongoing health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Further to this, since he is biting/scratching the area, we will need to protect it from self trauma. To do so, you can put a pair of boxer shorts on him (reversed so there is a hole for the tail) or use an e-collar to at least prevent him from chewing. If we do that so he cannot lick, you can even apply a thin coating of OTC hydrocortisone cream to reduce that itchiness for him.

Finally, since we have dry skin, I would note that esential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation would be of benefit here. EFAs are the fats that help maintain coat/skin health. To supplement these, you can use a fish oil supplement (Omega 3 & 6; which we'd usually give a dose equal to 20mg per pound of their body weight). Or there are OTC veterinary alternatives like Viacutin or Yumega. So, that could just aid with his general skin health to reduce that dry skin for him. As well, it can help to use an emollient shampoo (ie Episoothe, oatmeal based ones) to soothe the skin as well.

Overall, Nas's sign signs do not look like an infectious agent is triggering them. Therefore, we'd want to use the above at this stage to see if we can soothe his skin. Of course, if he is severely itchy or you see more crusting/dander, then we'd want to have a check with his vet to make sure there is nothing more present here that we'd need to treat for as well.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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