Help! My dog is scratching...

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7September 15, 2006

I took my jack russell to the vet this morning because she has been scraching something terrible the last couple days. Licking paws, and biting too. I figured she had allergies and he said she did but he did not do an allergy test. I truly respect him as a vet btw. We've been going to him for 6 years.

Anyway, he gave her an allergy shot (cortisone? I don't remember) and said it would take effect today. This was 11:00 this morning. Anyway, she is still scratching!! How long does the stuff take to work??

Otherwise, she seems happy, and healthy. We all did a long walk this evening with our other dog and they played and ran and had a good time. She is eating fine. Bathroom business is normal.

It has been 40 days since her last frontline plus but I always go that long with her. She had heartguard last week. On schedule, right at about 32 days.

When she first started scrathcing I thought maybe fire ants as we have lots of them in the yard.

I 'd put frontline on her right now if I didn't think it might interfere with the shot. I don't know what to do!

I'll call the vet tomorrow, but any advice right now? We had a miserable night last night and she was tormented.

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My cat went through something much like that. Turned out he was hyper sensitive to flea bites. Vet gave him a cortizone shot and it worked within a few hours. Maybe it wasn't enough cortizone? maybe she's allergic to cortizone too? If possible, I would try soaking in an oatmeal bath since that shouldn't hurt her if she ingests it. Definately check back with your vet ASAP.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 10:47PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thanks tinkerbell. She doesn't have fleas...I've never seen a flea in 5 years. So I don't think that's it...

What is an oatmeal bath?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 11:08PM
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Definitely worth another call to the vet tomorrow. Poor thing, she must be miserable. An oatmeal bath is usually with Oatmeal shampoo, but here is a site that tells you how to make your own.

I don't think using more frontline will make a difference if she doesn't have fleas. Yes, she could be reacting to a bite, but for the itching she'd probably get more relief from some benadryl.

Below is more infor on treating itchy dogs.

Here is a link that might be useful: itching

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 1:21AM
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Very few vets have the capability to do an allergy test in house, unless they have a particular interest in dermatology. And they'd almost certainly have to order the intradermal test kit in advance because they expire very rapidly.

Anyway, that's moot now because with the steroid shot your dog can't be tested for 3 months, until the shot wears off. The steroid will suppress the reaction we're looking for in the test, so she'll come up negative for everything. Dogs have to be off all medications (steroids, immunotherapy drugs, antihistamines) for several weeks to get valid test results.

As far as the itching goes, hopefully since I'm posting more than 24 hours later it's resolved.

If not, you can add benadryl as annz said; get the dose from your vet. Also if you buy OTC allergy meds be sure they are ONLY antihistamines and no decongestants because you'll have one super-wired dog otherwise. The worse side effect of benadryl is sedation, unless you're like me and you get wired. Most get sedated, which may help her sleep better.
You can give the Frontline if it is due, but not if you've given her a bath. Wait 2 days if you've bathed her. Frontline needs the oil in the skin to spread properly.
Fall is a pretty common time to get seasonal allergies. My Aleksander was worse in fall too. I started him on antihistamines in late August and kept him on them until end of October. He responded best to chlorpheniramine, not benadryl (diphenhydramine). My Lab prefers the diphenhydramine.

If there's been a change in food or treats she could be reacting to that. Max (the Lab) gets VERY itchy if he eats lamb or lays on wool. He also has seasonal allergies, poor guy. I have to bathe him every 2 weeks to remove the allergens (pollens, molds) from his coat this time of year. We use fragrance-free detergents and fabric softeners because Aleksander had reactions to the scented types (they all have doggie beds).

The link annz provided has some really good information.
I hope your girl is feeling better by now!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 7:56PM
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You might make a closer examination for fleas. I just came back from the vet today with my itchy dog. She has been allergy tested but nothing that should make it as bad as it is. We just had some blood tests taken today.

But with regard to the fleas, I complained to the vet that the FrontLine plus was losing effect in less than three weeks after I applied. We have two dogs and do walk them a lot but STILL...if it can only work for two weeks, that is pretty ineffective in my opinion.

The vet tech told me that fleas are very very bad this year. At least in our area. I live in Houston. She said that dogs that NEVER have fleas are getting them. She said her own do g which hadn't had a flea in years has had a few this summer. Just a thought. You probably know already, but in case you don't, there are flea comb with tiny teeth that are good for ferreting (sp?) out those little creatures if your dog has them.

But also, if your dog is like mine and she has multiple allergies: inhalant and flea but not enough to warrant her reactions so vet is assuming she has food allergies too (can't be tested for food allergies as well as the other kind, at least according to my vet), it happened fairly suddenly. Not sure how that works but we have taken her off all food with corn, soy, and peanuts. We also put her on Benedryl and there has been improvement but not enough.

I'm trying to convert our dogs to raw but Ginger with allergies has teeth problems (had some removed) so I'm looking at having to feed her hamburger which I think is the least safest way to go with raw feeding. Still looking at this.

But if your dog can take it, you might consider a trial on raw food. I've heard it doesn't take long before you know if the raw food is helping them.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 8:20PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

OMG OMG I found a flea on her! I am such a bad mommie for waiting so long with the frontline's all my fault!
I immediately put frontline plus on her...and the last package in the house. Our other dog will have to wait until Monday.

She had a relativly ok night last night but I didn't find the flea unitl about 7:30 tonight. I startled my husband. She hadn't had a bath in two weeks so she was ok having it applied.

Thank you all for your replies. I sincerely hope this can be stopped right now. I am mildly freaking out thinking about Bud's flea problem....

Anyway, I hope this is it and she doesn't have allergies.

I am not going to go more than 30 days max in warm weather again.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:05PM
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you are NOT a bad mommy. fleas are HORRIBLE this year. we live in Ohio and we are currently dealing with the little buggers, and my hubby works in pest control. LOL. I guess it's like a mechanic working on their own vehicles. an oatmeal bath is just putting some oatmeal(they even sell packages of it in the bath soap area of the stores) you just add it to bath water and soak in it. should help with itching. they use it for chicken pox, measles, poison ivy, etc. I have very dry, sensitive skin myself is how I knew about it. did the frontline help? I bought an offbrand at WalMart and used it on my cats and I think it ATTRACTED the darn fleas. They are worse now. I'll just stick to spraying our house and giving them baths in baby shampoo. give the poor thing a hug from me:) and here's one for you too. :) (((((bumblebeez))))

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Fleas ARE horrible this year.
My problem is I can't count to 40 with any reliability, so I just Frontline the crew the first of every month. I can count to one LOL!
You found the problem and the solution- great job Mom! Did a better than the vet who just gave her a steroid shot (don't get me started...)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:24PM
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I have 3 pugs, two of them have no problem with the itching and one (the male) does. I have spent so much money on all kinds of products out there you wouldn't believe, not to mention vet bills. Finally I said to the vet, "what more can we do I'm at my wits end with this already". Pugsley (my pug) will chewing himself so bad and scratches his skin until he's bleeding. Did you know that a dog that is allergic to fleas can only have 1 flea on them to have the itching reaction. My pug has seasonal allergies and flea allergies. The vet finally put him on pregazone and he is doing great!!! I only give him a 1/4 of a pill every 2 or 3 days. I also found that washing your dog with baby shampoo really helps keep the fleas off of them and is really gentle for there skin.
I found that this is working get for me anyways

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:26PM
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rlwilliston ~

Prednisone has been around for decades and can be a real godsend. I'm pleased that Puglsey is feeling better and that you know how to handle his allergies.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 12:42AM
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