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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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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Both of my dogs (female/4.5 yrs old and male/3.5 yrs old)

Customer Question

Hello, both of my dogs (female/4.5 yrs old and male/3.5 yrs old) have been scratching and rubbibg incessantly on their head and muzzle for a couple weeks now. I did some research and thought it might be a food allergy so I changed their diet to a simple protein and grain free feed but nothing has changed. The female will also feverishly rub her muzzle and snout on carpet and furniture and then will often sit and lick her paws and legs for a while. What is going on??? Please help, I feel so bad for them. I took them to my vet after the first few days of symptoms and they prescribed chlorephramine a medicated shampoo but neither helped either. I'm losing hope, I just want my pups to feel better!!
Submitted: 1 year ago via Dog-Health-Guide.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The areas that my female is scratching and licking/chewing are also becoming red and inflamed, she has scratched sores around her jowls and neck and is losing some hair in these areas as well. She is so miserable, more so than my male. It breaks my heart to see them so miserable. Any suggestions (preferably homeopathic, since the vet I use doesn't seem to have a clue what to do!)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've just tried to attach some photos as well, let me know if you don't receive them.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, I would note that suspicion of a food allergy is reasonable when these signs, but wouldn't be our top concern when 2 unrelated dogs are showing signs at the same time. Instead, to have them both showing these signs, we'd be more concerned of infectious agents (mites, lice, etc) and contact allergies (ie plants they are running through, something in the home that they have contact with like laundry soaps or carpet powders, etc).

Now holistic options will be limited as their effects tend to be quite mild. Therefore, while you could use Omega 3 fish oils and Turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties, I would suggest having the local vet practice dispense a multi-parasite treatment (ie Revolution, Stronghold, Vectra 3-d, Advantage Multi, Ivermectin, etc). This way we can rule out mites and lice for them.

Otherwise, if this didn't respond to the Chlorphenamine, we may need a stronger option to counter this irritation. You could try OTCBenadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ to see if it works better for them. A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if they have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first. Otherwise, we'd need to consider having them put onto a short course of a strong anti-inflammatory (ie Apoquel, Atopica, steroid) to just counter the inflammation and drive to itch this area, as we try to remove the trigger.

Finally, since contact allergies are a concern here, you will also want to review their home and any places they have access to. New house products should be removed and any plants they have contact with may need to be avoided. And that way we can hopefully break the cycle of the two main concerns for 2 dogs with these signs.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Atlas And Jackie. How is everything going?