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Thursday, December 3, 2020

What is causing my dog to scratch and itch?

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Q.I have a four-year-old beagle mix that won’t stop scratching. It’s basically located around her neck, where her collar is. She is now gnawing and licking her paws. I’ve tried rimadyl, steroids from the doctor, and nothing helps. I also tried many creams, ointments, and human Benadryl, along with children’s Claritin, and she still itches. I also tried changing her collar, and bathing her in aloe and oatmeal. Nothing seems to help. I keep an air cleaner on, and vacuum three times a week. She is the only dog in the house. I feed her mostly organic, or make her chicken with rice.

 

A.Given the paw licking, your beagle’s condition sounds more like a systemic allergy problem rather than just local irritation from the collar. I am concerned that she has shown no response to medications as strong as steroids, Benadryl and Claritin. Despite routine skin scrapings coming out negative, I have seen cases like this wind up being the itch mange named sarcops.

Although this condition is treated with harsh medications, I have seen non-toxic selenium sulfide lotion shampoo show success. This is a medication needing a veterinarian’s prescription. Homeopathics I have used include Allergy by BHI or Skin Aid by Complementary Health Formulas.

The herbal Spring Tonic by Animals Apawthecary or Zaocys by Seven Forests, and the anti-inflammatory supplement Betathyme by Best for Pets along with a good fish oil could also help. However, I remain leery about their success when stronger medications aren’t bringing even temporary relief. You may have to seek out a good integrative veterinarian.