On 10/11/13, I emailed Dr. Gabby about our 12 year old Papillion's constant scratching, especially around the tail area. He is allergic (to some degree) to grass, so we rinse him regularly. We add an oil supplement to his food and brush him. We us flea drops. We tried Benadryl, which doesn't seem to work, and then the other antihistamines recommended by Dr. Gabby, which also didn't seem to work. After observation and more thought, we're wondering if this is more of a behavioral problem than a physical one. We're sure he is itchy at times, which would seem normal for an active dog, but in the last 2 months it's been just way out of line. We're wondering about it being at least partially behavioral because he calms down and doesn't scratch when he's being held...and he wants to be held all the time now. When he's not being held, he seems to obsess about scratching and biting himself on his back by his tail. He also stops scratching (for a while) if the behavior is interrupted by squirting him with water. So we're wondering what to do to help him get over this, and would appreciate any help you can give. This is driving us (and him, I'm sure) nuts.
It's been over an hour. Is anyone there?
thank you. In the 2 hours since I sent the original message (more about that below), we bathed Reg with a mild shampoo, which has greatly improved the situation. He's much calmer and much less itchy. We've been hesitant to bathe him too often because we don't want to dry out his skin, which of course will just exacerbate the problem. But we bathed him one week ago with the same results, which seems to indicate we need to be bathing him more often than we have been. Reg is very active, as is my husband (and Reg is Daddy's boy!). They go out on walks several times a day, with stick-fetching and running mixed in. This means Reg is out in the grass and fauna, getting pollens and other stuff on his fur. So it appears we might need to be more diligent about bathing him...?
Now for the hour plus wait. When I sent my message, I was focused on my issue and not paying much attention to the format of the message. It wasn't until I went into "edit" that I found out the 'subject' was too long. If the system had 'told' me that when I sent the message, I wouldn't have been waiting for over an hour to get a response. It's simply not good service to make the customer 'edit' their response in order to find out the message wasn't even delivered.
your response was cut off at "'Dogma' -- no pun intended -- is that"
Thank you. We will try bathing him twice a week rather than once a week. Given that he's out in the elements every day, it makes sense to get those elements off him. He's an active little guy and has to be out there running and fetching or he gets cabin fever...even in wet western Washington. So it looks like we need to compensate for that by more frequent bathing.
We use a mild puppy shampoo but I think we're going to try an antimicrobial product in addition to that. This seems to be a good solution for us - thank you!
Will do. Is Malaseb a prescription shampoo or can we get it at a pet store such as Petco?
Thank you again. This has been a most helpful conversation - more helpful than others.
We weren't able to find Malaseb at Petco but I ordered it online, so we'll be trying it out soon. I did find a spray with .05% of one of the Malaseb ingredients at Petco, so bought it and have used it. It seems to have a minor affect on his itching, which is to be expected given the very diluted amount of ingredient. However, I think it's helping a bit so we're using it until we get the full dosage shampoo. Every little "improvement" is good for all of us!
I really appreciate the advice you've given us. Our vet passed away and we haven't found a new one. I admit we're not actively seeking one because just going to the vet's office caused our little guy so much trauma it was hard to take - shaking and trembling and climbing up on our shoulders for comfort. If we can get good advice without putting him through that, we're more than happy to put off finding a local person as long as we can.