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NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
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Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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licking , scratching & chewing

Customer Question

My 1 1/2 yr. old Terripoo is licking and scratching and chewing his tail to the point I had the groomer trim most of the hair off. He is eating Science Diet for hair and skin. How do I know if this is an allergery or perhaps pin worms? Every time I see the vet he wants to give him a shot or medicine, this has become very expensive without solving the problem. Also, how do I find a really good vet in my area? Thanks Char & Toby
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  carol milam replied 11 years ago.

First of all, I can assure you that this is NOT pin worms. Worms of any kind, would not be the cause of this excessive scratching. The shot that your vet is probably wanting to give, is a steroid shot. This shot does not "fix" the problem. Instead, what it does, is "mask" or suppress the symptoms temporarily.


Does the possibility exist, that your dog might have one or two fleas? Fleabite allergy is extremely common. It could very well be the cuase of the excessive scratching. One flea bite could trigger this behavior.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to carol milam's Post: I see no fleas and he is on Frontline, but it is time to apply again, perhaps it doesn't last as long as advertised.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Your dog may have a food allergy. Science diet foods including their skin and coat food is corn based and dogs are often allergic to corn.
Sensitive Skin Adult food from Hills has these ingredients
Brewers rice, corn meal, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, dried egg product, vegetable oil, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed, chicXXXXX XXXXXver flavor, DL-methionine, L-lysine, L-tryptophan, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, minerals (potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, beta-carotene, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).
Many dogs are allergic to corn and to eggs! and for some the mixed tocopherols used as a preservative can cause a problem.
You might do better to swap your dog to Evo or California Natural or Wellness Fish and Potato to see if that resolves the problem for you.
If its a food allergy it can take some time for a food change to show relief and you have to not give the dog 'treats' unless its the same formula as the food you are trying.
Hope this helps you!
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: 30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
NancyH and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX considered it might be a food allergy.I will try changing his food to one you have suggested. It will be hard to forgo snacks, but would cheese and chicken strips cause a problem? He also gets "greenies" almost every evening, I will check the label on those too.
:) Char
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
If the diet you choose is chicken based then chicken would be a safe treat.
If not then I'd stick to low allergen treats such as rice cakes, fresh veggies, or the treats made of the alternate food sources. Many dogs love sweet potato for example and that is the potato part of the Wellness food. Lots of fish based cat treats out there that dogs may also like just make sure they don't have any possible irritating ingredients too.
If it keeps him from itching it will be worth it to you both to be firm!

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