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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11031
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Itching, biting fur, licking, No fleas, ticks...dry skin.

Customer Question

Itching, biting fur, licking
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: No fleas, ticks...dry skin. Mix breed (Border/Beardie) 17 months
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Scottie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Scottie?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. In order to give an informative and concise answer, it may take a few minutes before I respond back to you, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear back immediately if you have responded back to me within 10 minutes of my response. I do have a couple more questions, though, to see if I can better assess your situation.

Where exactly is he itching, biting and licking on his skin?

Any hair loss, redness or sores on the skin?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Head, body...scooting, but anal glands ok. Fur balls after scratching. Just started him on fish oil (capsules). Had him on omega fatty acid no change in behavior. Using shampoo that addresses dry skin problems.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No noticeable sores or hot spots
Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the information. While you cannot rule out fleas just based on not seeing them (common misconception and a diagnostic blunder), I would be concerned that he may be starting to develop environmental or food allergies. I tend to start with environmental first because it is far more common. If there are any issues around the rear end, especially around the base of the tail, I would move fleas to the top of the list. First and foremost, make sure he is on a good flea preventative every month. If you want to get the itching under control, he will most likely need a prescription of oral steroids from your vet. A short course with a tapered dosage can be very helpful and is usually the only thing that will quickly get severe itching under control (short of using Apoquel which is far more expensive and usually not a first line drug). I will say that irritation around the anus with no anal gland issues should raise a concern for food allergies, but I would still treat for environmental allergies first. If you haven't gotten him into your vet yet, I would start there. Fish oils, topical hydrocortisone and shampoos can help, but they are usually used as secondary therapy to oral steroids to get the itching under control. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get credit for helping you. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. John