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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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Just noticed my mixed terrier whole belly area is dark red

Customer Question

Just noticed my mixed terrier whole belly area is dark red and she is scratching. Other than that she seems fine.
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 terrier's name and age?
Customer: Kiwi and she is 9 years old. I have been using Frontline Plus on her forever.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kiwi?
Customer: She's a very licky dog but she always has been
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Any changes to the skin (ie crusting, pimples, sores, scaling, etc)?

Since you have used Frontline Plus for a long time (and resistance would be a concern), can you see any fleas or black specks of flea dirt?

Has she had any contact with new foods, plants, new powders/sprays/etc. in your home?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No to all 3 questions
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that Kiwi doesn't have signs of skin infection here and just allergic dermatitis with a possible discoloration (hyperpigmentation) secondary to the inflammation/irritation of this condition. As well, its good to hear that she may not have treatment failure from the Frontline since we are see this more and more often.

Now with this all in mind, we'd want to address that itching. If it is severe, then a long acting steroid from her vet would be ideal. Otherwise, we can try an OTC antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) 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 your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Finally, if there are any areas that are being scratched raw, we can salt water bathe them to reduce infection risk. As well, an OTC hydrocortisone cream or spray could be applied to very irritated areas. And to just protect her skin, you may want to cover her belly using a tshirt +/- boxers (turned backwards so there is a hole for her tail) as a breatheable cover. Or an e-collar could be used as a short term means of keeping her from licking the area and causing secondary infection. And if you are keen to bathe her, I'd note that oatmeal based shampoos tend to be quite soothing.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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