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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12317
Experience:  19 years working as a full time veterinarian
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My dog smells awful and itches all the time for about the last

Customer Question

My dog smells awful and itches all the time for about the last 2 months. Baths don't help. What do I do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 6 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for asking your question on just answer. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

I need a little more information please.


1. Does she itch all over or just certain spots?


2. Is there any hairloss or redness on the skin?


3. What do you use for flea control? When did you last apply it?


4. What is the type, and name, of food that you feed her?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She seems to itch all over. Hair has thinned on tips of ears an base of tail. She does not have fleas (I'm in Washington state and we have limited problems out here). I had always fed her beneful, then switched to a cheaper brand. When itching started I switched back. The current food is Pedigree. Note: she did have a period of eating very little and did lose about 5 pounds.
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 6 years ago.

Thank you.


I would try treating her for allergies first. She most likely has food allergies or "atopy" which is environmental allergies.


How much does she weigh now?


I will give you some things to try.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She now weighs about 35 lbs. Also, the issue started when my son dug a 2 foot hole in the ground (is that tmi). She is a sweetheart, we got her from a foster home, and she has been incredibly healthy since we got her (3 years ago).
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 6 years ago.

Ok so if she has food allergies, she will be allergic to regular dog food ingredients like chicken, beef, lamb, corn, wheat or barley. She may be allergic to more than one ingredient or just one. Cheap dog foods use corn as a filler which is highly allergenic. I know beneful and pedigres have a lot fo corn in them as well as meat bi-products which are left over parts and not real meat.

So, you can try an over the counter diet, from the pet store, that says "for sensitive skin" on the label. I use "proplan sensitive skin and nutros sensitive skin for my dogs." They have fish as the protein and oatmeal as the carbohydrate. They also make treats for sensitive skin.

"Wellness" make limited ingredient diets which only have 2 ingredients. You can get all of the brands I have mentioned at PetSmart pet store.

Your vet can prescribe a prescription completely hypoallergenic diet for a 6 week diet trial. There is also a blood test that can be done to see what she is allergic to.

She could also be allergic to something in the environment such as grass, dust mites, or pollen. The blood test also tests for environmental allergies.

If she were tested for allergies, allergy "shots" could be prescribed to desensitize her to the allergens.

To help with the itching, you can try 35 mg of benadryl every 8 hours.

You can also try 1/2 of a 10 mg zyrtec tablet once a day.

Both of these are antihistamines and can be purchased at any drug store.

You can spray hydrocortisone spray on the affected areas 3 times a day.

If you rub her ears, and her hind foot starts going, she may have mange. The ear rub is a crude test. A vet would have to do a skin scrape, of an affected area, to determine if she has mange. If she does, she can be given an oral medication to kill it.

Once she stops itching so much, the smell should resolve. more itch relief remedies