Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hello, Welcome to Just Answer! I would be happy to help you with your pet today.
When did Dakota first begin doing this?
last year at end of summer
Is it only areas on top of his back that he is doing this to?
Or are there other areas involved?
only his back my kids teased me one day because he had made a perfect line down the middle of his back so they said it looked like i gave him a reverse mohawk the vet also did a skin scraping
Is the skin in the affected areas normal looking, or is it red and irritated?
no it dont look bad except one day he scratched so bad it wasbleeding i try to keep shirts on now sohe cant do it so much but i cant find ones that cover all the way to tail
When your dog received a steroid injection...did this help at all? Did the symptoms subside for awhile, and then come back?
it was just last week and he is still doing it
Does he chew or lick at his front paws a lot?
no i dont notice it
Is he on a monthly flea preventative? If so, which one? When was it last applied?
yes pet armour next week he gets it again
Unfortunately, that product is not very effective.
Here are some possibilities for what is going on with your dog...
The most common reason that a dog is going to do this is fleas.
If your dog is not on an effective flea medication then this could be his issue. If he is allergic to flea saliva, then just one flea on him will drive him absolutely crazy.
When a less effective products is being used...there are often only one or two fleas on the dog...but they are still there.
If they are allergic to the flea saliva, then this is enough to keep the problem going.
So, I would talk to your vet about getting Dakota on a better product.
he dont have them i check daily
As I explained above...if he only had one flea on him at a time...you may not necessarily see them.
I am going to move on...to some other suggestions.
If he did not respond to the steroid injection, then this is not likely to be allergies of the atopic dermatitis variety.
his hair is very thin so you would be able to see
However, he still could be suffering from a food allergy.
This would not respond to steroid treatment.
Food allergy is diagnosed by placing the dog on a hypoallergenic diet made of hydrolyzed proteins. Ones that are used most often are Hill's z/d or Purina HA.
This diet is fed exclusively for 8 to 10 weeks. It will take some time for a dog with this problem to respond.
If there is no response by 10 weeks...then it is not food allergy.
Another possibility is that your dog has a type of mange mite called "sarcoptes".
This can sometimes be found on a skin scraping, but most often we do not see it...even when it is there causing the problem.
This is because this type of mite burrows down very deep in the skin.
Dogs with sarcoptic mange often will not respond to steroids either.
When we have an itchy dog that does not have fleas, and does not respond to steroids, we most often just treat them for suspected sarcoptic mange, even if we do not see the mite on a skin scraping.
The treatment is a topical product called Revolution. This is by prescription only.
If the dog responds within a few days of having this applied, then we know scabies was likely the cause.
So, based on what you have told me...the three most likely causes for your dog are fleas/flea allergy hypersensitiviy, food allergy, or sarcoptic mange.
Since this has now been going on since the summer with no true relief, it may be time to ask your vet for a referral to see a specialist in veterinary dermatology. Most specialists are located at referral centers or colleges of veterinary medicine. The benefit of seeing a specialist, is that you are more likely to get a quick and accurate diagnosis of your animal's problem, and thus a faster resolution of the symptoms. It is also more likely that a specialist has seen this problem before and treated it successfully. Another benefit to seeing the specialist is that you will stop wasting your time and money with "guesses" at what is wrong with your dog, and you will actually get a solid diagnosis and an effective treatment.
so i could call my vet and ask for this revolution
This product also kills fleas.
ok i think i will try this if it dont work i will seek a specialist thank you
You are very welcome.
I hope that this information was of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with Dakota!
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can i contact you if i have further questions?
Yes you can. Even after you click on the "accept" you can still contact me with any other questions that you have about this.