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She licks and licks at her stomach crotch area. Also bites

She licks and licks at...
She licks and licks at her stomach crotch area. Also bites and bites base of tail. Her anal glands were done a few weeks ago and were not bad. Vet has never found a reason. I see no fleas, use nexgard flea pill etc. And she pants like she is in pain. She has bad arthritis in hips etc. She is 9 year old airedale
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?
Customer: Oklie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Oklie?
Customer: I give her a pill from vet for arthritis pain qod. Can't think of name common one She pants and pants like she is in pain or something just lying in house.
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
9/15/2017
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience: Veterinarian
Verified

I am so sorry that Oklie is going through this, how uncomfortable. I will try to work through this with you.

Obviously, I have not examined Oklie, so this always makes it a little more difficult, but from your description, she sounds like she it itchy. The most common reason that a pet will excessively lick and chew is itchiness or allergies. The 3 most common reasons that pets are itchy 1. fleas 2. Environmental allergies 3. Food.

I will definitely say that fleas are the #1 reason why pets get frantically itchy. Environmental allergies or a contact allergy/dermatitis will also cause them to lick and chew, but not so excessively.

It doesn't always matter if you see a flea or not. For certain pets, 1 flea bite alone will cause them to go crazy and lick excessively.

In practice, I have learned that there are 3 main components to treating suspected flea allergies.

1. Treat the potential fleas- which you have already done.

2. Treat the allergic reaction

3. Treat secondary infection.

I have found that if you just put these pets on a flea treatment and don't treat the itchy part with an antihistamine, allergy pill or steroid, they will often keep licking and chewing.

Now, I will say that I think that its good that you tried to address pain, however, if you saw minimal improvement then we are probably not dealing with a pain issue. Plus, she probably would have been gradually showing you evidence of arthritis etc.

Few questions:

Did you change her diet at all?

Is she passing stool normally?

Is she currently on any medication?

What is her weight?

My suggestion at this time would be to try to treat her with an antihistamine. Obviously, I want to give you something stronger, but I am limited in this type of setting.

There are 3 antihistamines that you can try (one at a time) to see if it alleviates her discomfort. If you provide me with her weight I can calculate the dose for her.

Also, sometimes more frequent bathing with a calming shampoo can be helpful. You may have to bathe 1-3 times/week.

I understand that your vet looked for fleas and there is nothing obvious on the physical exam, but from your description it sounds like we are still dealing with some type of allergy. So my approach would be to try to alleviate itchiness. If the antihistamines do not work, then you may have to try a different medication. I am a big fan of Apoquel. If she truly has an allergy, most dogs will respond well to this medication as it is quite safe.

Hope to hear from you soon.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask. I will be checking my messages regularly. I will be driving between 7 am-8 am pst, but will be back to help you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nicole

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I would like to try antihistamine. She has taken Benadryl before when she had bad pain from an allergy. I think she weighs 95 lb. She is a big boned Airedale really not fat. Another thing I have noticed lately is she is always looking for food like her stomach is bothering her or something She was not usually this assertive about looking for food. She gets two cups dry BID and a little bit of canned like 1/3 c because our bichon eats that too. Anyway would Benadryl be ok to try and what dose?

Thank you for that information. There are 3 different antihistamines that you can try. It is very difficult to determine which will work best for her but you can try one at a time. Here are the recommended doses for antihistamines that you can try:

1. Benadryl 25 mg- Give 3-4 tablets by mouth every 8-12 hours OR
2. Zyrtec 20 mg ONCE daily.

3. Claritin 20 mg ONCE daily.

DO NOT GIVE ZYRTEC OR CLARITIN D- THIS HAS A DECONGESTANT IN IT.

Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. The eating aspect might just be related to her anxious behavior with her licking/chewing.

If I have answered all of your questions and your are satisfied with my assistance, a 5 star rating is always appreciated as it is how we as experts are recognized and compensated. We can continue the conversation even after the rating. Please keep me posted on how things are going.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nicole

Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience: Veterinarian
Verified
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Hi,

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

Dr. Nicole
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Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 266
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