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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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My dog started scratching under her front legs ( armpits) and

Customer Question

My dog started scratching under her front legs ( armpits) and on the shoulder blades. There is no skin left under her front legs and it is bleeding. I don’t see anything unusual. I used antihistamine, cortisone tab 5mg, curatex ointment, calamine lotion ( the stuff you put on chicken pocks ) and phisan paste (when a baby has a burning bottom). Nothing has helped. She also started vomiting but that can possibly be of all the lotions she licked off. I took her to the vet and he injected cortisone right under the the places were she ithces. It was a big dosage of cortisone. That did not stop the itching. He suggested that it might be a behavioral problem.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  MeadowDVM replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for your question. How long has this been going on? Were you using oral antihistamines? Which ones / what dose? How much does she weigh?


Did your vet do a skin scraping or biopsy on the tissue in the area? Do you use flea preventative? Any food changes / what does she eat?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

1) about a week\

2) oral antihistamines - alergex 1 tab dont have the grams with me now.

3) she weighs about 15 - 20 kg

4) no scraping or biopsy

5) not treated against fleas for a while - no fleas

6) no food change - diet chicken

Expert:  MeadowDVM replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for that info. My first impression is that this could be a bacterial infection, such as staph. To diagnose this your vet will need to do a scraping or biopsy to confirm. This will require antibiotics to clear up; possibly a long term treatment.


Food allergy is always a possibility - it can happen without a food change and the antihistamines won't touch this problem. I would try a hypoallergenic food with a "unique" protein - something she has never had before, like duck or venison. It is imperative that you do not give table scraps or treats, just the unique food, in order for it to work. Allergy testing can be done by a dermatologist to find out exactly what your dog is allergic to.


I know you may not see fleas, but dogs can become hypersensitive to fleas, and just the presence of one flea for a short period of time can cause a huge reaction. My own dog is extremely susceptible and he will lose all his hair on his back if even one flea gets on him. It's called flea allergy dermatitis. For this reason I would treat with a flea product monthly to eliminate this possibility.


You may want to try a different antihistamine, such as Benedryl, given at 1 mg per 1 pound of body weight every 12 hours. Different antihistamines have different modes of action, so it's worth trying a different one and seeing how it works.


I really think you need to consider the possibility of a bacterial infection and a course of antibiotics. Discuss this with your vet. Ask him about Simplicef, which is a fantastic antibiotic for skin infections. You want a long term course of this antibiotic, at least 3 weeks. Also ask your vet about Temeril - P, which is a combination of a steroid and antihistamines that is very useful with skin problems.


So I tried to give you some info on all the possibilities, but strongly consider talking to your vet about pursuing treatment for a bacterial infection. I think this is a very likely cause.


Good luck!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi M

Thanks for your answer but this is the situation. If you ask Terri Riba she will tell you what a useless bunch these vets in South Africa are. Many hours in front of the computer she diagnosed my cat with hipatic lipidosis. The vet here diagnosed her with FeL and wanted to euthanase her. This diagnosis was made by him, in one afternoon looking in her eyes, and god knows were, found signs of joundice. I whent to another vet and asked for blood tests. All came back negative. Terri had to give me the "ingredience" of medication so that I could go look for it at a pharmacy.The cat is now doing fine. I can't order it at, they don't courier to South Africa. You get the picture?

I have Frontline so I will start with that but I need to know what tipe of antibiotic and antihistamine to ask the pharmasist for.

Expert:  MeadowDVM replied 7 years ago.



As I stated above, the meds I would talk to your vet about are Simplicef (antibiotic) and Temeril - P (antihistamine/steroid mix). There are others that will also work but I've had good luck with this combination. They are both prescription so you will need to get the Rx from a veterinarian.


Benedryl (diphenhydramine) is an over the counter medication.


It also wouldn't hurt to start her on a fatty acid supplement such as Fish Oil capsules. These can be bought in any grocery store or drug store.


I hope this helps!


Good luck!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi M

Simplicef & Temeril is not available in South Africa. It is marketed under a different name. That is why I need it's composition. Diphenhydramine I have. It is called allergex (human use). How many mg per day?

I can ask my GP for the Rx
Expert:  MeadowDVM replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for your reply. I am sorry but I can only suggest medications for you to discuss with your veterinarian. If you mention these to your vet, I'm sure they can write you a prescription for the comparable meds that are available in South Africa. Your vet can look up the generic forms (if there is any) and suggest the proper dose. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to give you exact doses over the internet.


I am going to opt out so another expert can help you.


Good luck!

Expert:  Terri Riba replied 7 years ago.

Hi Heidi,

Can I help you with your dog?