Thank you for your patience. There are a few things that could be going on here with Hunter and we need to consider a number of possible causes for this itching including a flea, food or contact allergy and I will run through some of these possibilities with you now.
Firstly - you need to make sure that Hunter is definitely up to date with flea control. Make sure you are using a flea product appropriate for his weight. Even if you cannot see any fleas on him doesn't mean there are one or two lurking and oftentimes this is all it takes for a dog with flea allergy dermatitis. In your boy's case it does sounds like he may have an underlying allergy of some sort with secondary infection.
Basically dogs are allergic to four main things - food, fleas, grasses/plants (contact allergy) or environmental allergens (canine atopy - the dog version of ezcema). I always like to ensure I have talked through each of these with my clients here in New Zealand. Flea allergies are avoided by strict flea control - every 4 weeks with Advantage or Advantage Multi, or every 5 - 6 weeks with Frontline. You must also ensure any other cats or dogs in the household are treated at the same time. Keep up with the topical flea treatments you have been giving Hunter and make sure it is a reliable product from your Vet clinic. I would also suggest spraying the house with an appropriate product that kills all flea larvae and house mites. You can get this sort of product from your local Vet or pet store.
For a food allergy, you need to undertake a food trial with a 'novel protein' diet such as Royal Canin Anallergenic and needs to be fed SOLELY for 8 - 10 weeks. After the 8 - 10 weeks with Anallergenic, you can slowly introduce different foods week by week with the guidance of your Veterinarian. Contact allergies are best treated by avoidance of the plants that are to blame, but identifying the exact cause of a contact allergy can be very hard. A referral to a canine skin specialist may be the way to go in Hunter's case for either a skin patch test or a blood allergen test.
It is also possible that Hunter may even have skin mites or lice. These could be either Demodex (less itchy) or Sarcoptes mites (VERY itchy) and you should ensure a full Veterinary check up so that he or she can carry out a physical examination and possibly a skin scrape to check for mites and lice, as well as signs of fleas.
The next step would be to double check for fungal disease (such as ringworm) and there are several tests for this including a UV light and a fungal culture. Again a full Vet check will be able to confirm or deny this. If after these tests there is no diagnosis, the next step would be to carry out a food trial as above.
You should also purchase a medicated shampoo that will deal with both yeast and bacteria, and the product Malaseb is the most ideally suited for this. This requires you to make a lather and leave this lather on for 10 minutes before washing off! For many clients this is easier said that done, but it is SO important. In the mean time with Hunter, you could try some Benadryl - the dose generally used is 1mg per pound of body weight twice daily.
I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!
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