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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29745
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My name is ***** *****, and my dog acts like s got bugs

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****, and my dog acts like his got bugs crawling on him. But there's nothing there. His back a Hello my name is ***** *****, and my dog acts like hes got fleas crawling on him, but there's no fleas on him,. He runs in circles trying to get away. When I pet him or comb his rear end, he starts flea bitting me. What's going on with him?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He acts like there's something crawling on him
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

When the saddle area - the area between the edge of the ribcage and tail is affected in the manner in which you've described a flea saliva allergy is likely. This is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction and so the intense pruritis (itchiness) associated with this allergy can arise days after your dog was bitten. Our dermatologists tell us to apply an effective over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage, a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or one of the newer prescription products available from your dog's vet even if fleas aren’t seen. Dogs can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Dogs who remain primarily indoors can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. As the weather warms or you turn on heaters at this time of year, egg hatches are common. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone will work wonders for dogs allergic to the saliva of the flea. If you have other pets they may have fleas too but may not be allergic to the flea’s saliva.

Atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) may be contributory but such an allergy usually manifests as pruritis on the extremities, face, ventrum (underneath him), and anus. A food intolerance is another consideration but, once again, usually affects the same areas as does atopy.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No flea infestation. He is on flea control. Ive tried to find what the allergy to food might be, ive cut out any chicken or chicken biproducts, ive stopped any cheese intake. But its not there any perisite that could be inside his body? He doesnt have any worms either
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

He may harbor gastrointestinal or tick-borne parasites but none are expected to cause such pruritis. Please note that not feeding chicken or cheese isn't sufficient to test for a food intolerance. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that his immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it eliminates the possibility that my patient is intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

Consider occult sarcoptic mange as well. This mite is intensely pruritic. It initially causes pruritis at the lateral ear margins and elbows but will generalize to the rest of the body in time. Skin scrapings may be falsely negative and so presumptive treatment is commonly performed under the direction of his vet. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ive had on the special s isnce dxiets from the vzt for allergies, but after a month there was no change in his behavior. The bag was expensive. So i havent gone back. I dont have a lot of money, and i dont qualify for the pet care program. Ive tried. But my dog is going crazy. He licks his dew claws like hes insane. This whole thing is making him so nerratic [ nit sure if i spelled that correct or not. ] i would like to upload a video of his behavior so you can tell his mind is altering due to this craziness.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Happy easter
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'd be pleased to take a look at a video. You'll need to upload it to an external site like YouTube and then give me the link to it. Remember not to mark it as "private".