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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21418
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a miniature pinscher, she is 4 yrs old, I live in an

Customer Question

I have a miniature pinscher, she is 4 yrs old, I live in an appt in Huntsville Texas. She has a chronic problem w/ dry, flaky, ITCHING skin ( worse on hips - backside but also at times in her stomach and under arms. But she continuously bites and shortly there after has more bald spots than I do. Several x's I have taken her to the Vets and end up w/ $150+ bill for cortisone injections and antibiotics - also I have spent $$$$ on online products that are sure to work. Please, any suggestions at all. Beth
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Poor Suse!
Chronic itchy skin disease in the dog can be very challenging for dogs, their owners, and their vets. Now it sounds like this has been a long term ongoing issue for your poor lass. And if she does respond steroids, I'd be suspicious that an allergy is underlying and triggering her signs. Furthermore, if she has dry/flaky skin, that is going to make her even itchier. And as she chews and introduces infection into her skin, she will become even more irritated.
Therefore, in this cause, I would note that you could consider discussing allergy testing with her vet or the potential use of an oral immune modulating treatment (ie Atopica, Appquel) with her vet. These would be the next step for Suse if we wanted to pinpoint what was causing her signs and considering long term treatment to soothe that itch.
Otherwise, there are some supportive care measures you can try to soothe her skin. First, we commonly use antihistamines with our allergy dogs. Specifically, you could try her with Benadryl/Diphenhydramine at a low dose (ie. 0.5 –2 mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) can just be enough to break that itchiness cycle, and give his skin the chance in needs to settle. We like to keep the dose low in dogs, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet.
Next, since her signs sound diffuse and you noted antibiotics being used (which suggests that she may be prone to bacterial infection of the skin as well), I do want to mention that we can find regular bathing soothing for dogs. For itchy dogs, we often use emollient shampoos (ie Episoothe, oatmeal based). Otherwise if she is prone to bacterial infection, then we can consider use of the very good antibacterial/anti-yeast shampoo called Malaseb. The high strength version can be dispensed by your local vet; otherwise there is a milder version available OTC (even on amazon).
Finally, I would note that Suse may benefit from being treated with essential fatty acids (EFA). EFA’s are the fats that are part of skin cells composition and play a role in their health and coat growth. They are often used therapeutically in the management of a number of irritative skin disorders.As well, they are great for dander/flaky skin. So, this is something to consider with her as well. And you can offer these by supplementing her diet with oily fish (ie salmon; a common EFA source). Or there are OTC oral EFA supplements like Viacutin or Yumega that could help deal with the flakiness, her coat/skin health, and reduce that part of her skin issue for her.
Overall, skin disease can be frustrating for everyone involved. Still, I would advise implementing the above supportive care for her at this stage. As well, it may be worth discussing allergy testing +/- immune modulating drug with her vet as possible options to get to the root of her signs and settle this for her.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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