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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19291
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Dog is 3 yrs. old. Started crazy itching the base of his tail

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Dog is 3 yrs. old. Started crazy itching the base of his tail and rolling on his back, barking and crying 1 week ago. No hair loss or lessions but a few small bumps at the base of his tail. No diet/environment/medication changes. Please help my puppy!

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about Rocky's discomfort. You said you already tried flea / tick shampoo - what product was this? Is he on any other flea prevention?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I used Zodiac flea/tick conditioning shampoo. He is gets Frontline plus. He has no fleas, nothing about his diet or environment has changed since he was 8 weeks old.

That is good that he is on the Frontline plus. Overall that is a very good product for flea prevention. The one thing that is currently being looked at with flea products is the possibility that some resistance is being seen potentially. Some dogs can be extremely sensitive to fleas and have extreme itchiness when they have them on them. It is good that you feel that he has no fleas. But, this area of scratching at the tail head is very, very classic for flea issues. One consideration here would be to start utilizing another topical flea prevention like K9 Advantix or Comfortis from your vet. It would throw a new line of prevention at the possible fleas in your area.

If fleas aren't the issue, then could it be a simple dermatitis at that tail head region. Basically a bacterial skin infection that can get very, very irritating. What was the inciting cause may not be identified, but the resultant irritation there (bumps) may be the end result and are causing all this discomfort. A course of oral antibiotics from your vet is usually the best course of action to get this to resolve. So in saying that, getting him to your vet to have them look at the lesions and to then do a course of antibiotics may be needed.

One last possibility for such significant itching are skin mites - scabies. These can cause a lot of itching but usually have some loss of fur in the area affected. These usually don't first appear at the tail head though.

Please let me know what questions I've brought up with this. I want to help as much as possible Cindy!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you but I'm still at a loss. Spending 100.dollars just to walk in to the vets office let alone whatever meds. He may need, I'm trying to avoid. I'm poor! What about small dode of benydril?

Benadryl is used to help control minor itching. It is typically dosed at 1 mg per pound twice a day for this. Another option that I honestly feel is a very good one to try here is to walk into the vet's office and ask them for another flea preventative product to try on him. Just that location sounds so classic for fleas. They could sell a dose of it and you could use it on him to see if in a couple days it helped. The other thing that can help is to get an E-collar to physically provide a barrier so he can't chew the area for a few days to see if letting it "quiet" down will happen during that time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One more possibility, if its an emotional issue, stress, etc . Could that mock the physical symptoms of what he is experiencing?
I would not feel that an emotional issue or stress would show up with crazy itching of the base of the tail. Stress and emotional issues typically show as decreased appetite, altered socialization, inappropriate urination, etc.. Skin issues with itching shouldn't be tied into them.
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