Dog Veterinary

Ask a dog vet and get answers to your dog health questions

Ask a Dog Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

My 3 year old Italian greyhound mix will not stop

Customer Question
My 3 year old...

My 3 year old Italian greyhound mix will not stop scratching. She does not have fleas or dry skin. I have washed her with medicated shampoos and conditioners and given her benadryl. Nothing seems to help

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the Italian Greyhound's name and age?

Zoey, and she is 3

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/24/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,792
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Zoey. I'm going to post my entire synopsis of the pruritic (itchy) dog for you. There's quite a bit of information so please take your time perusing it and then return to our conversation with additional questions and concerns...

Pruritic dogs are suffering from an allergic dermatitis in the great majority of cases. Allergies to flea saliva (apparently ruled out), environmental allergens (atopic dermatitis) such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, and foods should be considered. (Paw and extremity licking indicates both atopy and a food intolerance and so it behooves vets to distinguish one from another.) In many instances, a concomitant pyoderma (bacterial skin infection), yeast infection (Malassezia), or mange mite (Demodex or Sarcoptes) might be contributory.

Zoey's vet can check a sample of her skin surface microscopically (a “cytology”) for abnormal numbers of bacteria and yeast and skin scrapings can be taken in an attempt to find mites. Sarcoptes is the most pruritic of the mites. Pyoderma is treated with a minimum of 3-4 weeks of an antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin (Keflex) and yeast is addressed with ketoconazole for at least a month. Mites are addressed topically, orally, and by injection.

Our dermatologists tell us to apply an over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage/Advocate, a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or, preferably, one of the newer prescription products available from Zoey's vet to which fleas are less likely to have become resistant even if fleas aren’t seen. Dogs can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Dogs who remain primarily indoors can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. As the weather warms or you turn on heaters at this time of year, egg hatches are common. If the area between the edge of Roxie's rib cage and tail (the “saddle” area) is particularly excoriated, a flea saliva allergy should be the most important differential diagnosis. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription glucocorticoid (steroid) such as prednisone will work wonders for dogs allergic to the saliva of the flea. If you have other pets they may have fleas too but may not be allergic to the flea’s saliva.

Environmental allergies (atopy) are usually initially addressed with prednisone as well. In some dogs an over the counter antihistamine such as clemastine (Tavist) at a dose of 0.025 - 0.75mg/lb twice daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily (maximum dose of 50 mg at any one time) may be effective. Antihistamines, however, aren’t reliably effective. Adding fish oil to the diet at a dose of 20mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil might synergize with antihistamines to provide better anti-pruritic action. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are antiinflammatory but may take 8-12 weeks to kick in. The new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) is likely to revolutionize how we address atopic dogs and should be discussed with Zoey's vet. Oclacitinib works as well as a steroid without a steroid's adverse effects. The new injectable immunomodulary drug IL-31 (Cytopoint) should also be considered. Please note that atopy, at least initially, should have a seasonality to it while a food intolerance should cause pruritis regardless of the season. Chronically atopic dogs may be pruritic year round.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Zoey's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. (I prefer the hydrolyzed protein diets because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein.) A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

We need to consider seborrhea in such a patient as well. This is skin disorder of keratinization and maturation. It's a diagnosis of exclusion of the above mentioned skin disorders and can be suggested by skin biopsy.

You also have the option of having a specialist veterinary dermatologist (please see here: www.acvd.org) attend to Zoey. You can expect some combination of skin scrapings, cytology, bacterial culture and sensitivity, fungal culture, skin biopsy, intradermal or blood allergy testing, or presumptive hypoallergenic diet trials to be performed.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

You're quite welcome. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a dog veterinarianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,792
34,792 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie

Dog Veterinarian

904 satisfied customers

Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

16,416 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dog Veterinarian

10,633 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

10,086 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

9,682 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

9,615 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Dog Veterinarian

8,719 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Veterinary Questions
Does dawn soap for fleas harm a 14 lb dog. Italian greyhound
two of them: pepper and chili are brothers, weigh 14 lbs and are 4 1/2 yrs … read more
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
9 satisfied customers
I have a problem with my pit mix's skin. She recently broke
Hello, I have a problem with my pit bull mix's skin. She recently broke out in hives (about 3 weeks ago) and no matter what they will not go away. She is mildly itchy and when I touch the skin where t… read more
Pearl Tjoa
Pearl Tjoa
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
41 satisfied customers
I have a cavalier dog (6 months old). She scratches a lot. I
I have a king charles cavalier dog (6 months old). She scratches a lot. I have thoroughly checked her for fleas and she doesn't have any fleas. I have given her flea meds, flea baths, comb her regular… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
My poodle mix (3 yrs. old) itches constantly despite monthly
My poodle mix (3 yrs. old) itches constantly despite monthly flea/tick medication. Can you please tell me how many mg of chlorpheniramine maleate I can give her? She weighs 24 lbs. Thanks much!… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
I have a 2 year old long haired Chihuahua, weight 3.5k. he
I have a 2 year old long haired Chihuahua, weight 3.5k. he has some sort of allergy and is scratching till his skin is raw, at times he gets really smelly, he does not have fleas. I have had him to th… read more
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter
Doctors Degree
14,327 satisfied customers
I have a small dog that has two large places on her chest that
I have a small dog that has two large places on her chest that cause her to scratch. The hair is gone and her skin looks like an elephant's skin. I took her to a vet and was given some medicated shamp… read more
Dr. Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer
Veterinarian and Practice Owner
DVM
63 satisfied customers
My 6yr old Female ***** ***** cannot stop spinning, scratching
My 6yr old Female ***** ***** cannot stop spinning, scratching and twitching. I found a few fleas 3 days ago and gave her a thorough bathing with flea & tick shampoo, then treated her with a topical f… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
picked up two puppies from a shelter. they had some red scaly
picked up two puppies from a shelter. they had some red scaly skin on them. The vet scraped some and said it was negative for mange. However it did look like it, so he put them on 2 different meds. I … read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
Pom: mix..scratching..bathed..therefore she has no Fleas
we recently adopted a Pom/chiwawa mix , she is constantly scratching...we have bathed her and so therefore she has no Fleas.. She seems to have itchy dry skin. What can we do to help her? Is there a t… read more
vetmom4
vetmom4
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
976 satisfied customers
terrier mix: 2 year old shitzu..treated..fleas and a skin infection
I own a 2 1/2 year old shitzu-terrier mix. This past summer he began to itch. We have treated him for flea's and a skin infection. He is still itching and it is November. I am trying an allergic food … read more
Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene
Veterinarian, Chief of Staff
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,975 satisfied customers
5 year old chocolate lab. Has severe dry skin and hair is
5 year old chocolate lab. Has severe dry skin and hair is very flat and coarse, there are small patches of hair loss beginning. There are also very small sores in some places not all. She scratches an… read more
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara
Doctoral Degree
5,412 satisfied customers
cocker: scratching..dry skin I have bathed her with medicated shampoo
my cocker has been scratching I do not see flees or dry skin I have bathed her with medicated shampoo & I havent change her food do you know what i can do iam have on money to pay for a vet for at les… read more
Dr. JD
Dr. JD
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
1,402 satisfied customers
good morning, we got a 8 week old puppy yesterday, and she
good morning, we got a 8 week old puppy yesterday, and she wines as she bites at her skin, I gave her a bath and there were no fleas, but she constanly bites and scratches, then this morning I found a… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
Our little rescue terrier has not stopped scratching since
Our little rescue terrier has not stopped scratching since we brought her home 8 months ago. We have tried vitimans, potato/fish dry food and vitimans. Nothing seems to work.… read more
Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene
Veterinarian, Chief of Staff
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,975 satisfied customers
lab/border collie mix: has been scratching..bathed..shampoo..treats
My dog a lab/border collie mix has been scratching alot here lately and now she has started licking-I bathed her in green tea based shampoo but didn't seem to help at all. Today I found 2 open sores o… read more
Dr. Jamie
Dr. Jamie
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
721 satisfied customers
I dont have the money to take my dog to the vet and hes having
I don't have the money to take my dog to the vet and he's having bad skin problems. I have not seen a single flea but he is constantly licking and scratching and losing hair.… read more
Karen Purcell
Karen Purcell
Relief Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
502 satisfied customers
Female Chihuahua 12yo. scratching herself to bald spots. Previously
Female Chihuahua 12yo. scratching herself to bald spots. Previously very healthy coat. Fell in Hot tub about two weeks ago. Could this (the chemicals) have dried her skin out? Wsa shampooed since. Can… read more
Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
3,587 satisfied customers
What can you do for a dogs itchy skin I have tried oatmeal
What can you do for a dogs itchy skin? I have tried oatmeal shampoo and conditioner Can I give him benedrayl everyday. I think it maybe allergies but he scratches so much. HELP!… read more
Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
2,225 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x