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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30035
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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my american bulldog has itchy skin she keeps licking and causing

Customer Question

my american bulldog has itchy skin she keeps licking and causing very painfull sores she has had 2 lots of antibiotics and 2 steriod injections this is all aimed at the back end and tail plus getting tiny lumps all over her body,she has been wearing a big white collar now for 4 weeks as my vet told me to leave it on untill completely healed i take it off when im in but as soon as its off she starts it off all over again she is getting very depressed at having to wear the collar and her itching she is on bakers complete sensitive food which she has been on since she was 8 weeks old i have also been applying fushiderm cream what the vet gave me the vet also emptied her anal glads but this has made no differance i am getting very upset at seeing her suffering the collar is now also causing sore areas please help she can not go on like this
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 7 years ago.


I am sorry to hear about this concern.

First, any licking in that area, you must always consider flea allergy dermatitis, even if you don't see fleas.


My primary concern is for a persistent underlying allergy that has not been addressed.

So, I suppose it would be the best, XXXXX XXXXX most successful treatment to simply get your pet over to a veterinary dermatologist so they can identify the problem and treat in accordingly.


Otherwise, here's a ton of information about food and enviornmental allergies, as well as, treatment options.

Ideally, getting a second opinion, preferrably by a specialist, would yield you the best success.



So, to rule-out food allergies you need to do a diet trial.
Summary: The primary protein in most dog foods is lamb, chicken, or beef. The primary carbohydrate is rice or corn. So, we need to change both. The most popular alternative diets are Venison and Potato, Duck and Potato, or Fish and Potato. It is available in prescription formulas (i.e. Science Diet D/D) or you can find some similar foods at the big pet stores like PetSmart or PetCo. Keep in mind, holistic or all-natural foods are not necessarily any better when trying to remove a food allergy. Chicken is chicken, and rice is rice. When you perform a diet trial, you must stick with the food for 2-3 months to see if there is any benefit. No other treats or human food can be given during this time period.


Also, definitely read about ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES (atopy). Some pets, suffer from both environmental and food allergies:


If you want to actual diagnose what in the environment may be causing the allergy, you can do an allergy test. Now, you don't have to shave half the body and do the old grid test on the skin. There is now a rather good blood test that looks for allergies to weeds, trees, grasses!, molds, even house dust mites. You can read more about it here:


Secondary yeast or bacterial infections (very common)

Frequently, the skin will be inflamed, have an odor, and/or oily component.



TREATMENT OPTIONS (A small representative list)

Steroids. Veterinarians will either give an injection that can last from hours to weeks, or send home oral steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone.

Antihistamines. A prescription of hydroxyzine is common. Sometimes, over-the-counter Benadryl will help.


Benadryl can be given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight. Keep in mind, Benadryl tablets and liquids come in different sizes. So, an approximately 25 pound dog can get a full 25mg tablet or a half of a 50mg tablet. I usually avoid the liquid Benadryl in larger dogs (you would have to give too much of it). You can give Benadryl every 8-12 hours.


Essential fatty acid supplements. Definitely, if you plan to give an antihistamine long-term,

combine it with an EFA supplement. I prefer the veterinary products dosed for pets. Your vet

should carry a product on their shelf, or over-the-internet you can look for Aller G3, 3V caps,

EFA-z, or Derm caps.

Some vets use a product called Temaril-P. It's an antihistamine with a low-dose steroid built into

the same tablet.

Atopica. Neat stuff. Can take a few weeks to be of benefit. Not the most cost-effective, but can

be incredible for allergies when the above does not work. Read the link below for more


Your vet may also carry some special sprays or shampoos for the skin. Some contain topical

steroids with antibiotics.


That's about the most info i can offer at this point.

Good Luck

Dr. Andy