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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20611
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 pit mix 8 year old dog who has been scratching himself

Customer Question

I have a pit mix 8 year old dog who has been scratching himself to the point of losing his hair and bleeding. I took him to the vet, and $1000 later, I still have no solution to the incessant scratching. The vet said he does not have fleas or parasites. He just has allergies. She put him on prednisone on a tapering dose which didn't help at all. She changed his food to a hypoallergenic food, still to no avail.
I feel so bad for him. The scratching is mostly limited to his butt right before his tail on his back. He has had his glands checked as well.
Would it be safe to apply a topical cream such as cortisone to ease his suffering?
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 today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
I am very sorry to hear that your lad is still so irritated with his skin. In regards ***** ***** question, it is safe to use a topical hydrocortisone cream or even spray to soothe this region. That said, we need to make sure he doesn't lick this off (since that would reduce its effectiveness). Therefore, when doing so, you may need to consider putting an e-collar on him. Alternatively and a good option as a general protection for this area, you can put boxer shorts on him. Of course, turn them backwards to give him a place for his tail to pop out. But this could just limit his access to the area to avoid him licking any cream as well as protect his skin from self-trauma.
Finally, I would suggest that if he is struggling to settle on the steroids and his results have ruled out parasites and fleas, then you could speak to his vet about other treatments that could be used. First, you could consider a trial on antihistamines like Benadryl (More Info/Dose @ and these could be used with his steroids. Otherwise, you may want to discuss safer long term options like Atopica or Apoquel. Both are immune modulating drugs and can help soothe the overzealous allergy reaction that is driving him to be so itchy. And these can be good alternatives when we have dogs that have allergic skin disease but we cannot pinpoint the trigger. So,these would be another option to consider with his vet to ensure we can get him comfortable and as itch free as possible.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

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