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Dr. Alleyne
Dr. Alleyne, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 883
Experience:  Veterinary Associate at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic
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My golden retriever winces and seems to have involuntary leg

Customer Question

My golden retriever winces and seems to have involuntary leg twitches when I touch his back. He also scratches and chews his back, pulling out the hair. He's on a hydrolyzed soy protein diet because he is allergic to animal protein. Seems like the sensitivity started with this new diet. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet today. I just have a few questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? Have you noticed any fleas? Is he on a flea preventative? Has he been on any oral meds for the allergies?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sam does not have any fleas. He is not on a flea preventative because it seems to irritate his skin. He had been on meds for his allergy (a steroid to calm the inflammation and an anti-itch med) but he has been off these meds for about a month.
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. Sounds like he has some serious allergies. Dogs can be allergic to food, things in the environment such as pollen, molds, leaves or grass, or a combination of both. Did the steroids help a lot?

Since he is so itchy he probably needs to be on medication long term. He may need to be on steroids long term to help control the itching if it worked in the past. Usually dogs are started on a high dose which is then tapered to a low dose as possible to keep the itch to a minimum. Another option for an oral medication is a newer drug called Apoquel. It works just as well as steroids but does not have as many side effects. A suggestion that I have for flea prevention is that since he seems sensitive to a topical product, I would recommend an oral product instead such as Bravecto or Nexgard. Even though you don't see fleas you still want to keep him protected because he will likely be severely allergic to their bites. There is also a possibility that he may have developed a skin infection if he has been constantly biting himself so your veterinarian may need to determine if he needs to be put on antibiotics