Tips for helping dog with itchy skin?
September 7, 2021 4:06 AM   Subscribe

My dog has seasonal allergies, causing skin itching. The vet treats this with Apoquel, which certainly helps. But the scratching resumes before the next dose is able to be administered. Do you have any suggestions for ameliorating the itchiness?
posted by mortaddams to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ask your vet, you should be able to give your dog a daily over the counter Claritin (dose depends on weight.)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:28 AM on September 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

My dog used* to have an itchy skin allergy and we got a medicated lotion from our vet. Turned him into a little greaseball and I had to put towels down everywhere, but it did give him some relief.

I don't remember what was in it or what it was called, I'm guessing it had cortisone in it but I'm not sure. Definitely ask your vet though.

I also did some benadryl on really bad days, which helped but made him stoned.

*(We moved a year ago and his reaction went away completely, so I think he must have been allergic to something in or around my apartment. All his belly hair has grown back!!)
posted by phunniemee at 5:34 AM on September 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Our vet was treating our itchy dog with Atopica and it worked a charm!
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:43 AM on September 7, 2021

Our hairless cat with autoimmune problems (he's allergic to cats! oh no!) also gets Atopica as needed and it really helps.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:11 AM on September 7, 2021

Our vet recommended a low dose of cetirizine (Zyrtec) and frequent baths with Bayer Relief Shampoo, which is not smelly or greasy.

It seemed to help but leaving the lather on a tiny shivering soggy chihuahua for 10 minutes was surprisingly hard on the humans. :P
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 8:23 AM on September 7, 2021

This is a subject with which I have (too much) experience, as my Westie gets both scaly spots and hyperpigmentation during allergy season. Chlorhexidine shampoo once or twice a week is the baseline treatment. There is no magic to the particular brand I linked, as long as it has the same active ingredients (2% chlorhexidine gluconate and 1% ketoconazole) it will work fine. Between baths, you can apply a spray with the same ingredients to the affected spots; I use this one. You can also find it in wipes. It is a long, slow slog to treat the skin allergies. Patience definitely helps.

My prior vet used to use Cytopoint and I know people who swear by its effectiveness, but it didn't seem to help my dog very much.

As to antihistamines, my vet and the breeder's vet say that dogs metabolize them so differently from humans that there is no need to adjust the dosing by weight. I currently give my dog two Zyrtec daily, supplemented by Benadryl at night when necessary. Claritin and Allegra are also fine. Just avoid the "D" formula of any of these OTC antihistamines; decongestants are not good for dogs.
posted by DrGail at 8:50 AM on September 7, 2021

My dog is the same and now we give him apoquel twice a day. He’ll still get itchy if a dose is late. I might look into Claritin or Zyrtec - my vet didn’t suggest that and apoquel is so expensive. My kids have a ton of allergies so we got a hypoallergenic dog…with tons of allergies, apparently.
posted by artychoke at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2021

Y (dog's) MMV, but my dog's grass allergy was totally cleared up with Cytopoint. OTC antihistamines never seemed to do much tho.
posted by ananci at 11:04 AM on September 7, 2021

Have you taken him to a dermatologist for testing to see exactly what he's allergic to? If you do that you can administer desensitizing injections at home. Specifically, intradermal skin testing which is usually much more accurate than blood tests.
posted by SinAesthetic at 12:12 PM on September 7, 2021

+1 for Cytopoint which cleared up my dog’s dermatitis after years and years of trying Apoquel and Atopica and allergy shots with varying degrees of unsuccessfulness.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 12:43 PM on September 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

+1 for cetirizine. Our dog had seasonal allergies that made him itchy, and this helped more than the other, more expensive drugs that our vet tried.
posted by dazedandconfused at 9:18 AM on September 15, 2021

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