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Dr. Gregg
Dr. Gregg, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  35 years experience in general veterinary medicine
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I have pug chihauhau (sp) mix and he is constantly chewing

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I have pug chihauhau (sp) mix and he is constantly chewing on himself on his back just above his tail. He does not have any fleas that I can find.

Dr. Gregg :

Hello and thanks for requesting me. Sorry tuffy is having issues. Chewing like tuffy is doing is usually due to an allergy. The area just over his tail (tailhead) is very common with flea allergy. Fleas are not the only cause but would be the first thing I would look for. These little critters can be hard to find, especially if there are only a few on him. It only takes 1 or 2 flea bites to cause a lot of itching, for quite a while, in a dog allergic to them. When the flea bites the dog it pumps some saliva into the skin that stops blood from clotting so it can get its blood meal, It is the saliva that causes the allergic reaction.

Dr. Gregg :

When looking for fleas I look for their droppings (poop) on the dog, usually on the tailhead area. It looks like black pepper and when brushed onto a wet kleenex will turn red (semidigested blood).

Dr. Gregg :

Wether or not you find evidence of fleas I would use a good flea control just to be safe.

Dr. Gregg :

If the allergy is nor fleas it may be a pollen allergy. Those can cause itching as well. Both flea and pollen allergies can be treated with an injection, or oral forms, of cortisone. There are some potential side effects but if used carefully they are not common. One thing you can try at home would be benedryl, an antihistamine available over the counter (otc). An itchy dog will benefit from a soaking in a warm bath and a washing with aloe or oatmeal shampoo.

Dr. Gregg :

If you let me know his weight I can tell you how much benedryl you can safely give tuffy.

Dr. Gregg :

As always, your best option is to have your vet check tuffy over and properly diagnose the cause of the itching. Before giving any cortisone they would want tuffys medical history, and an exam,to make sure he can have it safely.

Customer:

Tuffy weighs about 12 pounds

Dr. Gregg :

Thanks for that info. Benedryl comes as a 25 mg capsule or tablet. One half of one tablet would be his dose. It can be given every 6 - 8 hours if needed. Unlike people, benedry only works about 10% of the time in dogs, but it is worth a try. If no help then give your vet a call and see what they say.

Customer:

Thanks!

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Hi,

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

Dr. Gregg