Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

He is an 8 mo. old Nova Scotian Duck Tolling Retriever. We have given him various flea treatments (drops between shoulder blades, flea shampoo) and are pretty sure fleas are not the problem (our other dog and cat show no signs of fleas). In some areas he has small reddish welts (not sure if these are from him biting himself or whether he has an allergy). We have started adding Omega oils to his food and given him some other vitamens and he still persists with the scratching and biting. Help? He's driving us nuts with constant scratching and hes biting off the hair on his butt.......

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

The causes of self-mutilation can stem from relatively common medical problems or psychological conditions.

Allergies are a common reason dogs scratch and bite. Your dog could be allergic to food, fleas, or some element in his environment such as molds, dust, or grasses.

Treating allergies can be a complex process and you should consult with your vet for specific advice. In general with allergies, you attempt to either avoid the allergen or manage the symptoms.

If the dog has a food allergy and you can isolate the ingredient that causes the problem, you can switch to a food that doesn't contain the ingredient. However, if your dog is allergic to dust or pollen, avoiding it can be difficult. In that case, your vet may recommend soothing shampoos, allergy shots, or other treatment to help manage the symptoms.

Your vet may suggest an e-collar in the short term, prescribe anti-depressant medication, or enlist the help of a behaviorist.

No matter what the cause, if your dog is licking, biting, or chewing himself, there's a problem. So talk to your vet about possible solutions.

Jason Homan

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

take him to the vet. before he drives you and himself crazy. poor thing,

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

I believe I know the answer to this. The problem is your dog has either fleas, rash or a tick under his fur and its probably best to go to yours Vets immediately to sort it out before it gets any worse. Most likely hes caught it off some other animal or he has a allergy to something.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

maybe he has lice?

take him to see a vet before it's too late.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

Itching this bad needs help from the vet. It's probably an allergic reaction to something, possibly fleas even though you haven't seen any. Dogs with a severe flea allergy will go absolutely bonkers from a single flea bite, and often lose hair over their hips. The reaction can last for weeks. As far as the topical flea products go, Frontline-Plus is absolutely the best product out there. You have to wait at least 48 hours after a bath before you apply it because it spreads itself out through the oily coating on the skin. Most common mistake with this product is putting it on a wet dog right after a bath, it won't work well that way. And the drops you get at the supermarket are nowhere close to the real thing-they're pretty much worthless in fact, and can be dangerous to use on cats. You can give Benadryl at 1 mg/lb (dogs need a much higher dose of this than humans do) , but for itching this bad it might not be strong enough, you might need some steroids and you have to see the vet for that.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

I agree with Cathy. Get the poor critter to a vet. Sounds like a skin problem to me, possibly some sort of ticks which is a greater possibility if he has spent much time in water lately.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

Take him to the Vet. He may have some kind of skin condition that has been aggravated by the flea treatments.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

you cat is most likely brain damaged. probably bitten by another kat with some sort of virus. or it could be simply be genetically fouled up. or his environment doesn't suffice. the surroundings, allergies etc. could trigger this, too. the cat just might be allergic to you. don't use cologne or perfumes or household air "fresheners." if you cannot solve it get him a new home and get yourself a goldfish.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

Your dog could have an allergy to certain grasses. Also lice can burrow into skin ( mange). Can you imagine the burning and itching it causes. Take your dog to a vet . They can do a skin scraping and look at it under a microscope to help determine why the dog is so uncomfortable. don't spend more time trying to figure it out yourself. The dog is suffering.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

It sounds like your dog has a contact dermatitis or a food allergy. You can try changing his diet and see if that helps.He may be allergic to carpet or some other substance he comes in contact with.You can take him to the vet for an allergy sensitity test,but that is not always conclusive.He may need a prednisone shot to give him some rest.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

It sounds to me that he has a skin problem. Many dogs have skin problems believe it or not. I have a Bulldog that has it. Take him to your vet and see what he says. If thats the case, then it will requie a special diet, and meds.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

Well, if he is an indoor dog it maybe the dry air in the house. I would rub some 100% aloe vera on his skin.

If it is an alergy give him 1 Benadril pill a day for three days and feed him very basic food-like chicken and rice for a few days and see if this makes a difference. Some dog foods have too much protien if your dog isn't active.

I have had these problems with my dogs at one time...and I am sure this will help.

Omega 3's are not good for dogs over the long haul, they can create other problems. An egg in their diet is better for their coat.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

In addition to allergies, there are other diseases which can cause your dog to scratch, lick, or pull on his hair. A short description of these conditions such as mange, cancer, behavioral problems, and infections, along with their diagnosis and treatment, are included in the table below. Many of the more uncommon conditions are listed as well. This large number of conditions helps you understand why a quick diagnosis may be difficult to make and various diagnostic tests may need to be performed. The most common conditions causing licking and scratching are color-coded gray in the table (some may be more common in certain geographical areas).






Acanthosis nigricans

Inherited form seen in Dachshunds; secondary form caused by friction, hormonal abnormalities, or hypersensitivities

Darkening of the skin; in secondary form see scratching and hair loss

History, physical exam; in secondary form, testing to determine underlying cause

Primary: No treatment; Secondary: Treat underlying disease; in some cases, steroids and Vitamin E supplementation

Acral lick dermatitis (neurodermatitis)

Self-licking in dogs results in self-trauma; possible causes include anxiety, boredom, stress (e.g., new member in household); licking can develop into an obsessive behavior

Red, hairless, well-circumscribed, sometimes raised lesion usually on the leg; if chronic, will drain

Exclude other causes; history important

Relieve underlying cause e.g., anxiety; restrict licking, e.g., Elizabethan collar

behavior modifying medication may be necessary

Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis

An allergic reaction following exposure to antibiotics applied to the skin; metals such as nickel; materials such as rubber, wool, and plastic; and chemicals such as dyes and carpet deodorizers; or inflammation caused by irritating substances such as poison ivy. Generally requires multiple exposures.

Red skin and small bumps or blisters on the areas of skin that are sparsely haired and directly exposed to the offending substance; itching; hair loss in chronic conditions

Patch test, exclusion trials

Restrict exposure to the allergen or contact irritant in the dog's environment; steroids, antihistamines

Atopy (allergic inhalant dermatitis)

Allergic reaction to something airborne, such as pollen, house dust mites, and mold

Licking of feet, inflamed ears, itching, redness, and hair loss; sometimes development of infection or hot spots

Intradermal or serologic (blood) testing for allergies

Reduce exposure to allergen (what the dog is allergic to); steroids, fatty acid supplements, biotin, antihistamines, shampoos, or immunotherapy

Bacterial infection (pyoderma)

See Folliculitis, Staph hypersensitivity

Often occurs as a result of another condition such as a parasite, allergic, or hormonal condition

Bee, wasp, hornet stings

Skin reactions can vary dramatically in severity

Immediately after the bite, see swelling, redness, pain, possibly itching; subsequently may develop extensive ulcers with draining; may develop hives or anaphylaxis

History, physical exam

Antihistamines, steroids; wet dressings, if ulcerated; protect the area from self-inflicted trauma

Calcinosis cutis

Mineralization of the skin usually due to an excess of corticosteroids; also rarely occurs in kidney failure, or in granulomas and tumorsHard nodules and papules usually on the back, groin, or axilla ulcerate, drain, and develop crustssevere itching; may become infected; often see other signs of Cushing's disease

Skin scrapings, biopsy, history, and other clinical signs, adrenal gland function tests

If due to glandular tumors, selegiline, o,p-DDD (Mitotane), or surgical removal of tumor; if due to high steroid doses, withdraw use of steroids slowly

Cheyletiella (rabbit fur mite) mange

Infection with the Cheyletiella mite

Itching, scalinesssome hair loss, if severe

Skin scraping and microscopic examination - the mite is often very difficult to find

Pyrethrin, Permethrin (Do NOT use permethrin on cats.)

Chiggers (harvest mites)

Seasonal disease caused by larvae of the chigger

Itching, bumps usually on feet, abdomen, folds at base of ears

Visualization of mite larvae or microscopic examination of skin scraping

Pyrethrin, Permethrin (Do NOT use permethrin on cats.)

Demodectic mange(red mange, puppy mange)

Infection with the Demodex mite - occurs when the immune system is deficient

Hair loss, scaliness redness, pustules ulcers, sometimes itching, darkening of the skin

Skin scraping and microscopic examination

NO Steroids

Amitraz (Mitaban) dips

Drug or injection reaction

Rare skin reaction to a drug which is inhaled, given orally, or applied topically more common with penicillins, sulfonamides, and cephalosporins; usually occurs within 2 weeks of giving the drug

Can vary widely and may include itching, hair loss, redness, swelling, papules crusts ulcers and draining wounds

History of being treated with a drug, symptoms, biopsy

Discontinue offending drug; treat symptomatically

Ear mites

Infection with Otodectes

Intense itching of ears, redness, dark crumbly discharge in ears

Direct visual or microscopic examination of ear discharge

Clean ears and apply medication containing pyrethrin (Ear Miticide)

Epitheliotropic lymphoma (mycosis fungoides)

Rare cancer T lymphocytes seen in older dogs

Can take multiple forms: redness with itching and scale ulcers and loss of pigment; one or more nodules; oral ulcers

Needle or other biopsy

Poor response to treatments, which include chemotherapy, surgical removal, retinoids, fatty acids

Flea allergy dermatitis (flea bite hypersensitivity)

Severe reaction by the animal to the saliva of the flea

Intense itching, redness, hair loss, papules crustsscales sometimes development of infection or hot spots

Presence of fleas; reaction to intradermal testing

Flea control in the environment and on the dog; steroids and antihistamines for the itching


Infection of the hair follicles often with staph bacteria; symptoms usually appear on skin with less hair, such as the abdomen (belly)

Pustules form in follicles and break open to form 'bull's-eye,' 'annular,' and 'target lesions,' which have crusty centers and red or darkening on the periphery, and 'epidermal collarettes,' which appear as rings of scaly skin; itching may occur; short-coated breeds may develop small tufts of hair which are lost; breeds with long coats may have seborrhea

Skin scraping; culture; biopsy

Antibiotics for at least 4 weeks - continue antibiotics 10 days beyond the apparent cure; if recurs, look for underlying problem such as allergy or hormonal imbalance

Food Allergies

Allergic reaction to something in the diet

Licking of feet, inflamed ears, itching, redness, and hair loss; sometimes development of infection or hot spots

Food elimination trials

Change in diet


Infection with the larvae (immature forms) of hookworms

Red bumps, usually on feet, rough foot pads, abnormal nail growth, itching

Physical exam, history of poor sanitation

Treat for intestinal infection; move dog to different environment

Hot spots (acute moist dermatitis)

Result from allergies, flea bites, mange, anal gland disease, poor grooming, ear infections, plant awns or burrs, arthritis

Hair loss; red, moist, oozing skin; constant licking or scratching

Physical exam and history

Treat underlying condition; clean area; apply Domeboro solution; topicaland /or oral antibiotics and steroids


Infection with several species of lice

Variable; itching, hair loss, crusts rough hair coat

Finding lice or nits on skin or hair

Pyrethrin, ivermectin (off-label use*), Permethrin (Do NOT use permethrin on cats.)


Common cancer in dogs; can involve the skin

Itching, ulcers nodules, redness


Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation; lymphoma of the skin does not usually respond to treatment as well as other lymphomas


Usually follows some other underlying disease

Itching, redness, hair loss, greasy scales if chronic, develop hyperpigmentation

Skin scraping/smear and microscopic examination, culture

Treat underlying disease; oral ketoconazole; miconazole shampoos

Pelodera dermatitis

Accidental infection with larvae from a non-parasitic worm that lives in straw and other organic material

Affects areas of skin touching ground; intense itching, redness, hair loss, papules crusts scales

Skin scraping and microscopic examination

Remove bedding; mild antibacterial shampoo; steroids if necessary to control itching

Pemphigus foliaceus

The most common form of pemphigus in the dog; an autoimmune disease; some breeds are at increased risk

Often affects feet and head; starts with pustules and progresses to severe crusting depigmentation of the nose is common; itching may occur; if footpads and nails affected often see lameness; symptoms wax and wane; severely affected animals may have fever and loss of appetite

History, physical exam, skin scraping and biopsy

Corticosteroids, other immunosuppressive therapy, gold injections


See Folliculitis, Staph hypersensitivity


Infection with several types of fungus

Hair loss, scaliness crusty pustules vesicles some itching; can develop a draining nodule called a 'kerion'


Miconazole, lime sulfur dips; oral griseofulvin or itraconazole

Sarcoptic mange

Infection with the Sarcoptes mite

Intense itching and self-trauma, hair loss, papules crusts scales

Skin scraping and microscopic examination - the mite is often very difficult to find

Amitraz (Mitaban) dips (off-label use*); ivermectin (off-label use*)

Schnauzer comedo syndrome

Uncommon; only seen in Miniature Schnauzers

Comedones (black heads) on back, mild itching; may see secondary infection thinning of hair; small crusts may develop

Clinical signs, breed, skin biopsy

Long-term antiseborrheic shampoos; sometimes antibiotics and retinoids

Sebaceous adenitis

Sebaceous glands are destroyed, cause unknown; certain breeds more susceptible

Short-haired breeds: circular areas of hair loss with fine scale long-haired breeds: more widespread hair loss and scale, hair mats easily; may see itching in all breeds

Clinical signs, breed, skin biopsy

Antiseborrheic shampoos, fatty acid supplements; in more severe cases, steroids, retinoids


Can be primary (inherited) or secondary (resulting from other disease processes such as allergies, hypothyroidism)

Scales; depending upon the type, may have a dry or oily coat; odor; some scratching; may see hair loss

Blood tests, skin scraping, etc., to find underlying cause

Treat underlying cause if present; antiseborrheic shampoos; fatty acid supplements

Skin cancer

See Lymphoma

Skin fold pyoderma (intertrigo)

Inflammation of skin that contacts other skin, e.g., lips, facial folds (on Bulldogs, for instance), vulva, tail, toes, and bodies of obese dogs

Red, oozing area; crusts often becomes infected and may develop odor

Clinical signs; skin scraping and tape impression smears

Clip and cleanse area; keep area clean; medicated shampoos; topical antibiotics; treat underlying condition, e.g., increased tears from eye disease, obesity, allergy

Staph hypersensitivity

Rare disease in dogs caused by an allergic reaction to the bacteria Staphylococcus; often occurs in the presence of other skin diseases

Red skin, pustules vesicles severe itching, and sometimes crusts

Culture, biopsy, intradermal allergy test

Treat any underlying disease; antibiotics

Superficial necrolytic dermatitis of Miniature Schnauzers

Skin reaction to shampoos (usually insecticidal or medicated)

Papules ulcers with drainage; develop 2-3 days after exposure to the shampoo; may also see fever and depression

Breed, history of exposure, clinical signs

Treat symptomatically

Tail dock neuroma

Nerve regrowth after tail docking causes symptoms

Nodule at site of docking, itching with self-mutilation, hair loss, and hyperpigmentationHistory and symptoms

Surgical removal

Tick bites

Ticks cause a local inflammation in the skin, even when the entire tick is removed

Nodule and redness at site of the bite; may itch and develop crusts may last several months


Remove the tick; use a tick preventive; allow nodule to resolve on its own

Urticaria (hives)

Reaction, often allergic, to insect bite, drug, vaccine, sunlight, etc.

Multiple swellings, with hair standing up over swellings; may itch

History, physical exam

Often resolves on its own; in the case of allergic reactions, antihistamines, epinephrine, or corticosteroids depending upon severity

* off-label use: medication used to treat a condition for which it was not developed (or licensed). A large number of medications fall under this category. Research has almost always been performed to determine the effectiveness and safety of the product, but the manufacturer has not undertaken the lengthy process required for licensure.

References and Further Reading

Birchard, SJ; Sherding RG (eds.) Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1994.

Greene, CE (ed.) Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1998.

Griffin, C; Kwochka, K; Macdonald, J. Current Veterinary Dermatology. Mosby Publications. Linn, MO; 1993.

McKeever, PJ; Harvey, RG. Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat. Iowa State University Press. Ames, Iowa; 1998.

Paterson, S. Skin Diseases of the Cat. Blackwell Science Ltd. London, England; 2000.

Paterson, S. Skin Diseases of the Dog. Blackwell Science Ltd. London, England; 1998.

Scott, D; Miller, W; Griffin, C. Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1995.

Why does my dog rub its face, lick its feet, or chew at its body?

Itching is the primary sign of allergies in dogs. And it is the licking, scratching and biting that causes most of the irritation seen on their skin. Allergies are often complicated by secondary skin infections that can affect the skin anywhere on the body, but is usually worse on the face (eyes and muzzle), ears, feet and belly. There may be some sneezing and tearing of the eyes but the respiratory symptoms often associated with human allergies are uncommon in animals.

The most common allergy in our area is to fleas. Typically, this is worse on the area around your dog閳ユ獨 tail base. It is important to realize that dogs allergic to fleas don閳ユ獩 have to have an entire flea infestation or even a live flea to cause the skin reaction. Contact with just a small piece of a dead flea can set off the allergy. With current flea products, fleas can be fairly effectively controlled.

Environmental allergens, however, are much more difficult to control as they can be inhaled as well as contacted directly. Common allergens for dogs include hose dust, various molds, grasses, trees and pollens. These allergens are in the air, so it is virtually impossible to avoid contact with them. Allergies may be seasonal, coinciding with the pollination of grasses, trees, and weeks. For individual dogs, their 閳ユ笩eason閳?often lengthens every year.

What can I do to help my dog閳ユ獨 itching? I have heard that steroids can be dangerous, but it seems like that is all that really works.

Steroids give very good relief; however, allergies must be managed long-term and are usually not cured. Steroids used only as needed and as directed by your veterinarian can be safe, but should only be used in addition to other approaches that are continued regularly. Other treatment options include:

璺?Medicated shampoos / baths: Be it oatmeal or tar based, or other combinations, medicated shampoos relieve itching for several days in most pets. If infection is present, the pet may need a combination antibacterial and anti-itch shampoo. Use cool water and pat dry.

璺?Antihistamines: Benadryl, Chlorpheniramine or Tavist may be prescribed to relive itching in many dogs. There are relatively few side effects to antihistamines and they are much safer to use long term than steroids.

璺?Omega Fatty Acids: These very safe food supplements should be a part of any healthy skin regimen and should be given year-round. Fatty acids help make a dog閳ユ獨 skin more healthy and resistant to allergens and infections, and may take a minimum of two months to show effectiveness.

New Treatments:

璺?Newer topical steroids like Genesis spray can be extremely effective in controlling allergy itches and have minimal systemic absorption and thus minimal long-term health risks.

璺?Cyclosporine is a systemic immune modulator that can very effectively control allergy symptoms with less side-effects than long-term steroid use.

Do I need to treat my dog year-round?

Some dogs require year-round treatment to prevent serious problems. Frequent contact with your veterinarian will help identify signs to watch for to determine if your dog閳ユ獨 allergies are seasonal or year-round.

My dog has chronic ear problems that never seem to go away. Is there anything I can do?

Once an ear infection is cleared up, it is important to prevent the infection from reoccurring. Weeky prophylactic ear cleansing is extremely important for allergic dogs as allergies make the ear canals red, itchy and prone to secondary infections.

What about allergy testing?

Blood or skin allergy testing with subsequent hypo-sensitization injections are recommended in refractory cases when a dog閳ユ獨 symptoms cannot be controlled with the medications described above.



1. Fleas

2. Airborne Allergens Like Pollens, etc.

3. Parasites such as Sarcoptic Mange, Cheytellia (Walking Dandruff Mite), ear mites, etc.

4. Bacterial Skin Infections

5. Ticks %26amp; Lice

6. Food Allergies

7. Fungal Infections (Including Yeasts)

8. Seborrhea (Dry Scaly Skin)

9. Contact Allergies

10. Systemic Illnesses such as Immune Problems and some Cancers

Why does it lick its lower joints?

What is Acral lick dermatitis?

Acral lick dermatitis is a condition similar to bed sores in people that occurs most commonly on pressure points and on the lower joints of the legs of dogs and occasionally cats. Unlike bedsores, however, the cause of acral lesions is constant licking. Unless a dog is exceptionally high strung and obsessive, this problem usually does not occur until the pets are five or six years old. In my experience, it affects both sexes equally. Phlegmatic, couch potato pets seem more disposed to this disease and I see it most commonly in Doberman pinchers and golden retrievers.


This is a fairly common problem in older, sedentary dogs. Many of them are overweight as well. As pets age and arthritis and obesity make them less mobile, they spend more and more time grooming themselves 閳?an activity that requires less energy. Sometimes the lesion begins as a scrape or pustule; but often there is no apparent defect at the site where licking begins. It is very uncommon for a dog to have more than one or two of these areas on his or her body. As they continuously lick these areas, hair is lost, the area becomes firm and raised and superficial staphylococcal infections often set in. With time the skin of the area thickens and either gains or looses pigment. The resulting wound is called a granuloma. The center of these lesions is often ulcerated. These wounds are often unsightly but never life-threatening. Scabs rarely form because of incessant licking.


We do not know with certainty what causes acral lick granulomas. Some possible causes of the licking behavior include, trauma, itching, peripheral nerve irritation, boredom, allergies, skin infection, arthritis or other joint problems. Boredom, confinement, loneliness and separation anxiety have also been implicated. It is often very difficult to determine if a physical or psychological problem os causing the dog閳ユ獨 obsessive licking and grooming of the area.


We diagnose acral lick granuloma through a careful examination of the lesion, the pet閳ユ獨 history, age and a thorough physical exam. Occasionally I will send a skin biopsy to a pathologist to rule out cancer. I may x-ray the area to be sure no bone spurs, arthritis or periostitis (inflammation of the covering of the bone) are the cause. I may try the pet on a hypoallergenic diet for sixty days to rule out allergies. Occasionally I will run a bacterial culture of the area. Acral lick granuloma is the diagnosis when all these tests come back negative.


The most effective way to eliminate this problem is to bandage the area with a light dressing. Bitters sprays and ointments almost never work. I am most successful when we begin treating these lesions early. After years of licking few treatments are successful. Some times I will place small ringlets of stainless steel wire (body pierces) in the area with sharp ends that discourage licking. Other times I tranquilize these dogs with acepromazine to discourage licking. Elizabethan (restrictive) collars sometimes cure the condition but it often reoccurs when the collars are removed. Encouraging exercise through weight reduction or a second, younger pet sometimes cures the problem. If I think the problem is psychological (obsessive/compulsive behavior), I often place these dogs on chlomipramine hydrochloride, an anti-obsessional drug that belongs to the dibenzazepine class of tricyclic antidepressants. Frequent, small feedings also help to relieve boredom. Occasionally, Phenobarbital also is helpful. If I think arthritis may be the underlying problem, I put the dogs on anti-arthritic drugs such as Etogesic (etodolac) or Rimadyl.( carprofen) If a significant bacterial secondary infection exists, I place the dog on a good antibiotic. Sometimes I combine these antibiotics with a long acting anti-inflammatory agent such as methylprednisolone acetate. Sometimes, ear preparations such as Tresaderm or Panalog massaged into the areas help. If these lesions are surgically removed, they often reoccur in the same area. No mater what the cause, I often put them in a restrictive collar muzzle or bandage to give the lesion a chance to heal.

There is one theory that licking these lesions releases 閳ユ竾eel good閳?endorphins (brain chemicals), which cause the cycle to continue. I do not know of any medication that would break such a cycle. Perhaps providing a lot more 閳ユ竾eel good閳?activities is the answer since boredom seems to be one of the major causes of this disease.

Outlook or Prognosis:

The good news is that this condition is generally no more than an unsightly blemish. The bad news is that veterinarians rarely cure it once it becomes a well-established habit. Again, the earlier it is recognized and treated the more hope there is for a permanent cure.

Transmission: There is no evidence that this is a transmissible disease. In any case, it is always wise to wash your hands after touching these lesions. There is also always the possibility of producing 閳ユ笩uper resistant閳?bacteria that can spread to other family members if this problem is treated overzealously with antibiotics.

if that dont help then shoot the dog... only kidding

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

get him to the vet pronto.

Why is my dog constantly biting and scratching himself and what can we do about it?

My dog used to drive me crazy chewing on and licking himself, too, poor thing. As it turns out, he has both food allergies and environmental allergies (to dust and various grasses and trees). The allergies were diagnosed using a blood test. His allergies have also made his skin more suspectible to yeast and bacterial infections.

You really need to take your dog to the vet to find out what exactly the problem is. They'll be able to tell if he has fleas and also do a skin scraping to check for infections. If he does have a skin infection, it can be treated with creams and/or oral medications. The treatment for allergies is a little more complex. In our dog's case, he receives allergy injections for his inhalant allergies and is on a special rotating diet (right now, he eats Wellness Venison and Sweet Potato). Other treatments for allegies include antihistamines (but less than half of dogs, I believe, respond to these) and the more powerful oral steroids. With dogs that have skin problems, there can be many problems that contribute to the itching, and as you solve them one by one, the itching will subside.

By the way, the answer above regarding cheap flea products is correct. The pet store varieties really don't work as well as the ones from the vet. And, keep in mind that some dogs can have allergies to the flea products themselves.

Just work with your vet, and you will likely be able to greatly tone down your dog's itching. You and your dog will be much happier.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I think you made a very fine analysis of this situation. Thanks for sharing! I hope all your readers will vote for truth.