My dog's really, really itchy, and my vet hasn't been much help.
October 18, 2009 2:07 PM Subscribe
My dog's really, really itchy, and my vet hasn't been much help. She's got bumps, sores, and the occasional scab on her underside. Allergy treatments haven't been much help (barring prednisone which isn't really a long-term solution) nor have special skin-treatment foods. And she doesn't have parasites, either. I'm kind of at a loss.
(I'm asking this for a very frustrated friend of mine...)
She's a terrier mix. I adopted her from a shelter last January, and she was doing fine for the first couple of months. Then she started to develop sores. They're more noticeable on her underside where there's little to no hair, but if you feel around on her back you can tell that she's getting them there, too. Mostly they look like little red bumps, not entirely unlike chickenpox, but occasionally she'll appear to have a scab somewhere too. Lately it's gotten really bad, where she's actively trying to bite at herself. I go through her hair with a wire brush at least once a week, but lately almost every day - sometimes little flakes of dead skin come off in her hair. If I scratch her, sometimes I even end up pulling what looks like clumps of dandruff off of her.
I've just about run the gamut of tests with her. She's been on cephalexin and prednisone, which cleared up the bumps and the itchies. As soon as she was done with the cephalexin, however, the bumps came back, and as soon as she was taken off the prednisone the itchies came back too. She's gone on the cephalexin without the prendisone, and it has cleared up the bumps, but she remained itchy. And again, once she came off of the cephalexin, the itchies came back.
She's on a monthly Advantix treatment for flea and tick prevention. I took her off of it for a month or two just to see if she was having a reaction to it, but that hasn't helped. (She's back on it now.) Her vet has done skin scrapings and deep skin scrapings as well, and has not found any parasites. I switched her over to Royal Canin Skin Support for a couple of months; not only was it prohibitively expensive but it didn't do anything for her, either. (She currently eats Dave's Naturally Healthy.) I've tried giving her benadryl three times daily, but that hasn't done anything for her, either. I've even tried adding a little cod-liver oil to her food; all that did was make her breath stink.
Is she just allergic to *something* in my apartment? I keep the place fairly clean, trash goes out when it gets full, etc. There aren't any plants or any toxic substances or anything she might be getting into, either. She gets a bath once per month with a basic oatmeal shampoo, and resumes scratching a few hours after she's done. She goes for a ten minute walk every day, and a much longer one once every week or so, and there's plenty of room for her to bomb around in the main living area, so I don't think it's a psychosomatic response brought on by lack of exercise.
She has a great life otherwise, and it makes me sad to see her so uncomfortable. Can anybody offer any advice?