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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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My dog has has been scratching herself and chewing her skin

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My dog has has been scratching herself and chewing her skin and hair. Its on and off. I've changed her diet with no luck, given her tick/flea baths, and she is still doing it. Now there is some redness around her mouth. Any ideas?
Hello there. My name isXXXXX and I am very sorry to hear about Sadie and her itchy skin. It sounds like she most likely has allergies caused by dust/pollen/mold in the air that she is breathing in and coming in contact with. Since you have treated for fleas and ticks and given her baths and changed her diet the next step would be an over the counter anti histamine. You can try benadryl at a dose of 1 mg per pound every 8 hours. This works very well for some dogs and not as great for others. The other I found that works very well is Cetirizine (zyrtec) (NOT zyrtec-d) the dose for this medication is 10 mg per 20 lbs of body weight once daily. I have had good success with this medication providing relief. The redness around her mouth may be irritation from itching and licking. I would clean the area around her mouth and if she will let you apply a thin coating of triple anti biotic twice daily. After you apply distract her for a little while so it absorbs and has time to work before she licks it off. I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit for my time. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I will give it a try. I haven't seen one single flea. So I've guessed its been allergies. She scratches her face where its red a lot. But she has been chewing her hair on her hind legs to the point where its thinning out pretty significantly. Do you still suppose a reaction?

I suspect that the thinning hair is still related to allergies. It could be flea bite allergies even with just one flea but the antihistamines should definitely help and give her some relief. The redness on her face again is most likely irritation due to allergies. keep an eye out though if she starts getting red crusty spots on her belly or skin you can see that usually is an indicator that a secondary infection has occurred. At that point she will need oral antibiotics to treat in addition to the anti histamines.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. Last thing before all perfect surveys. Are there any other possibilities or things to look out for?

You are welcome. The main thing to look for that cause this kind of itching are allergies and fleas. Especially at this time of year. Just monitor for any sores developing on the skin like i mentioned that could indicate a secondary infection that will require treatment. Also make sure she is not itching or chewing so much in one spot that she is damaging her own skin. If that is occurring use bitter sprays on those areas such as Bitter Apple to discourage her from licking.
Dr. Whitehead and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Ryan,

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

Dr. Whitehead