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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11247
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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What makes a dog scratch all his hair off and lick on his

Customer Question

What makes a dog scratch all his hair off and lick on his paws?
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: MAXX a little over eight years
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: MAXX
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about MAXX?
Customer: He sees Dr Clark at Animal Hospital on 30th Ave and is overweight by 5 and half lbs. He has trouble with his dry eyes and had an infection. He s finishing up his medication.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 11 months 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 on his body is he scratching?

Are you using a good flea preventative from your vet every month?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
All the hair on his chest is gone and now he is going up his neck on both sides. He is on Confortis and he is a Shih Tzu and an indoor dog.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the information. He is on a good flea preventative, and it doesn't sound like a flea problem. It sounds more like he has developed a skin allergy of some sort. I cannot rule out a skin mite infection, but that doesn't seem to fit with his symptoms. It is worth your vet checking a skin scraping to look for mites, though. This is most likely an allergy to something in the environment that he has developed. It can also be a food allergy as well, though. At any time, dog can develop an allergy to an ingredient in a diet he has eaten for years. It is possible he has a skin infection as well. I am not sure what your vet has prescribed, but I would try him on a course of prednisone (steroid) to see if that resolves the issue and a course of antibiotics if his skin looks infected. If it responds very well to prednisone, it it most likely an environmental allergies. While food allergies can respond, they usually do not respond as well. If that is the case, and he is negative for mites, you might want to finish a 3-4 week course of prednisone and antibiotics and see if the symptoms come back. If they do, then he may do better with Apoquel or Atopica, which you can give long term. If this is a seasonal issue, then it is an environmental allergy. If it is a year long issue, then it can be environmental or food related. Frequent bathing (twice weekly) with an oatmeal based, cortisone based or antimicrobial (if needed) shampoo can help. You just need to leave it on for 10 minutes to have maximum effect. Putting him on a doggie fish oil supplement may help as well as adjunct for allergies. 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 11 months ago.

Hello. I was following up to see how Maxx is doing and to see if you have any further questions.