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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19661
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why does my dog scratch and ich all the time.

Resolved Question:

my dog scratch, bites and licks herself nearly all the time, there are no fleas.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.
Hi Donald,

Is your dog on flea preventative such as frontline or advantage?
Does she have any hair loss?
How old is your dog?
What breed is she?
Have you changed her food prior to this?
Has she had any new treats?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: Hello Jane,

Jasmine is a Giant Schnauzer, 7.5 years old. she is not on any flea preventative and she does not have fleas. We have a 8 year old lab and a cat, none of the animals have fleas. Jasmine is groomed monthly. There is no hair loss, her food has not changed and they both eat Milkbone Biscuits for treats. They get plenty of meat from table scraps. She was seen at the vet in December for shots and physical. The vet did not now why she might be biting, licking and scratching so much, he gave her a shot that made her incontinent for a short time while she being treated with Cephalexin, 1000mg twice a day. When she was "leaking" the vet gave her Proin 50 chewable tablets. He said the shot he gave her for itching made her incontinent and that the Proin would take care of that, it did. She is not on any medication now. She had chewed her tail into a bloody stump when she went in for physical and shots. She did this last year during the summer, the other vet treated her with antibiotics and I had to wash her tail with some blue stuff and then apply a white cream to her tail twice a day. She recovered just fine and there has not been anymore excessive chewing until last month. (when she went in for the tail and physical)The vet told me to give her 5 benydryl tablets to relieve her itching. There are no red areas or open sores, just a few little scabs from her biting the inside of her hind legs. She does not seem to do this at night when she sleeps with me in the bed, when I come home from work the couch cover is soaked from her biting and licking activities. I gave her some benydryl at dinner and she's been fine since 7:00PM - now is 10:00PM. Jasmine is healthy and active (aside from itching) and plays outside running after the ball every day when I come home. She does her normal business on walks, no lose stools. I hope this info helps, if you need anything else just ask. Thanks.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.
Hi Donald,

I'm not sure what your Vet has told you, so please excuse any information that you already are aware of. Just in case this is related to dry skin, you may want to supplement your dog's diet with Omega n3 fatty acids. You can do this using fish oil capsules.

Since the Benadryl relieves the itching, and based on other things you have mentioned, it seems your dog may have an allergy. You can read up on allergies here:
You can read up on allergies here:

The problem is trying to determine just what she may be allergic to. Since she was fine for 6 months, this signals a seasonal allergy. Of course, that means we are looking for something that is around in the summer and something that is around now, but wasn't present in between. For example, I had a client whose dog was allergic to an air freshener add on in the heating and cooling system, so the dog had flare ups of allergies during those times that the A/C was used or the heat was on, but not in the spring and fall when the windows were open. This is an example only.

So in one way, you will need to put your detective skills to work to see if you can remember any specific thing that may have been used during these times or fed during these times that is missing at other times. Think about things such as cleaners, things you may spray on areas that she lays on. With an allergy, one exposure can cause itching for awhile. With allergies, benadryl does help control the itching, so you will want to use is as recommended.

The problem with allergies is that a dog can develop secondary skin infections such as staph or yeast dermatitis which require antibiotics and/or shampoos or creams to help clear them up. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears but can affect the whole body. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis as can miconazole cream for areas such as the paws and armpits. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure just a relief.

You will want to have her examined by your vet and discuss this with him. You may also want to see a dermatologist to determine the exact cause for the allergy or use the elimination method described on the website I mentioned.

I hope this has proved helpful to you.
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