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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3028
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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We have a Great Pyrenees puppy approximately 19 weeks old.

Customer Question

We have a Great Pyrenees puppy approximately 19 weeks old. She has been fighting severe itching for a while now. It will come and go. She was on a round of Temeril-P for about 5 days when she was about 14 weeks. There has been no visible sign of why she would be itching until yesterday. We gave her a bath on Saturday with GNC Antibacterial/antifungal shampoo. Prior to the bath, there was some itching, but nothing severe. After the bath, she would not stop scratching/chewing/biting/licking. She would focus on her groin, paws and lower legs. She would also shake her head and stratch around her ears and arm pits. I looked at her ears yesterday, and there was an odor coming from them, not terrible, but difference than usual. We have another Great Pyrenees, and she has light itching and no odor from her ears. These are the only signs we have to go on to try and figure out what might be causing the itching. I am wondering if it might be a yeast infection. I have started soaking her paws in a white vinegar/peroxide/water solution, and also using this to clean her ears using cotton balls. I also take a washcloth, dip it in the solution and clean her arm pits, belly, chest, legs and groin. Any thoughts as to what else we might do? She is on a zero grain dog food. Rachel Ray's Zero Grain Turkey and Potato dog food. Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today. I am very sorry for your concerns about Sadie's itching. Did your veterinarian do any skin scrapes, or examine her skin in any other manner? Intense itching in such a young dog is almost always a skin parasite, either caused by the Demodex or Sarcoptic mange mite. Demodex is usually pretty easy to find under a microscope while the Sarcoptic mite can be a challenge to find. All itching pups should be treated for the Sarcoptic mange mite, regardless of whether a mite is found on the skin or not. If your other GP has just recently started itching, this makes Sarcoptic mange a real possibility since it is easily transmitted to other pets, & even to family members. Your veterinarian can provide you with the proper treatment for Sarcoptic mange. It is not difficult, nor very expensive to at least try this & remove the possibility of mange being the source of Sadie's itching. I hope this makes sense & has helped with your question. Please let me know if I have addressed your concerns. If not, I will be happy to continue until you are completely satisfied. thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They did a scrape for Sadie back in the beginning of June, and nothing was found. They also mentioned, that if she had mites, she should have gotten worse with the Tameril-P. She had almost immediate improvement from this. Charlotte, our other GP was getting worse. I tool both in on 6-29-15 and nothing was found. No evidence of anything. We got another round of steroid on 7-3-15 for both puppies and used it till Wednesday 7-8-15. The itching has increased slightly until I gave Sadie a bath on Saturday. Huge flair up. Would there be any outside visible sign of the Sarcoptic mange?
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
Not until the problem gets really bad will you see skin lesions. Some dogs will only have minimal skin lesions, mostly erythema (redness) & mild to moderate itching. Steroids can makes things worse, but Temaril-P is a combination of an anti-histamine & low dose predisone. You just have to remove the possibility of Sarcoptic mange in order to move forward. The most common way to diagnose scabies in any dog with clinical signs suggestive of Sarcoptic mange is to treat for it. So, I would talk to your vet for their recommended treatment, whether you use a topical like Revolution, oral or injectable ivermectin, or a dip. I will be away from the computer for about 40 minutes, and I will answer any further questions when I return. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will ask them. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
I am back, & you are welcome. Let me know what they say. We can continue here for the next week without any further charge to you, once you have rated my help & assistance. Take care.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Saw our vet last night and he prescribed oral Ivermectin for both puppies. 4 weekly dosages for each. However, he did mention the potential issue with the blood brain barrier. That has me significantly concerned about giving this to the puppies. I know they are not of the hearding dogs that this is primarily seen in and he said that in his 6 years of practice and 15 year combined experience he has never seen a reaction, but it still concerns me. I have not given them the first dose yet. I wanted to get your thoughts and experiences regarding adverse reactions to ivermectin.
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
I am glad that your veterinarian has agreed to treat your babies in case this is Sarcoptic mange. I would not hesitate to use the ivermectin in this breed. Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine published a list of breeds that may have the MRD1 gene that makes using this medication ( & about a dozen more ) a possible problem. In addition, they calculated the percentage of any one breed having the defective gene. For example, collies may have a 70% chance of having the gene defect & thus having problems with some drugs, including ivermectin. Great Pyrenees are not even on the list. If this still does not ease your mind, administer the ivermectin in the morning on a day you can be home to watch them for most day. If no abnormal symptoms occur ( such as ataxia & seizures ) during the day, then you will have no problems administering the subsequent doses. In over 20 years, I have never seen a reaction, but in any mixed breed dog that I suspect may have some collie/herding breed in them, I will go through a couple of very low test doses first, building up to the final effective dose. I would not do this with a GP since the gene mutation does not occur. I hope this allays your concerns. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your input. These puppies we found on our property and don't know the exact line. At the vet yesterday, Charlotte was 53 pounds and Sadie was 47. I don't think there is much mixed breeding in them if any, but we don't know. They do have the double dew claws on the rear feet, so I think we are safe as far as this is concerned, but it still causes me to pause before I give them the medication. I was planning on giving them the dosage on Saturday morning since I will be home all day and the vet is open till 4 in case there was some sort of reaction. Should I give them the full dose in the morning, or give a bit throughout the morning?
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
I am sure it will be safe to give the entire dose, especially since you will be there to watch all day Saturday. Since they are not a breed associated with the problem, your careful observation will suffice. Thank you.