How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Stacy Your Own Question

Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1556
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
21779527
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Stacy is online now

My labrador wont stop scratching. She hasnt got fleas (I

Resolved Question:

My labrador won't stop scratching. She hasn't got fleas (I have a pug also). I walk them everyday through fields and round a reservoir and the labrador swims in the reservoir. Is she allergic to something? If so, is there anything I can give her to help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 12 years.
There are really just two main reasons that dogs become as itchy as you are describing. The first is skin infections, and the second (and much, much more common) is allergies, and sometimes is a combination of both. When they are really itchy and they have that coarse, sometimes thinning coat, with crusting I tend to suspect both. It sounds like Beluga is just itchy right?
Flea allergy is the most common allergy in dogs. The most severe flea allergic dogs often have no fleas on them because they are biting and chewing so much that the fleas are removed (and often swallowed). The way that flea allergy works is that a dog can be exposed to just a flea or two, develop an allergic reaction to the flea and then the itching persists for weeks after the flea is gone. If other dogs in the house are not flea allergic the occasional flea will not bother them enough to start itching. Flea allergy produces primarily back half of the dog itching... usually right at the base of the tail. Sometimes the arm pits are affected too... Is that were he is itching?
Food and environmental allergies (pollen, mold, grass, house dust mites) are difficult to differentiate without some trial and error.
Food allergies can produce itching everywhere, but ears and feet seem to be the worst.
Environmental allergies, "atopy" is the more common. It can come on suddenly and tends to be worse seasonally (fall and spring are worse) They can seem to itch everywhere... they tend to rub their face and scratch their belly. Environmental allergies are challenging because you can't avoid your environment.
If your dog's itching pattern sounds at all like flea allergy, then you have to be incredibly strict about flea controlI recommend Advantage or Comfortis EVERY 3 WEEKS on every pet in the household.
If this is not flea allergy, then the next step is a diet trial with a hypoallergenic diets. If that doesn't work, then this may be seasonal allergies which are more difficult to treat. There are a lot of anti itch treatments on the market, but most don't work great. Things that you can try that are somewhat helpful are: fatty acids/fish oil, oatmeal baths, and bendadryl. But to get real itch relief you need prescription medications. Steroids work best and fast, but do have side effects. There is a new mediation called apoquel which is great for reducing itching without so many side effects.
Start with the oatmeal baths, fish oils, and Benadryl.. two tablets twice day for a labrador sized dog. If that doesn't help, consider seeing a veterinarian for a prescription.
I hope that helps, but if you have more questions or need clarification, let me know.
Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1556
Experience: 10 years of experience in general practice.
Dr. Stacy and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rebecca

    Rebecca

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    297
    Veterinarian for more than 30 years
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/tomasicvet/2011-3-15_20483_RTI.64x64.jpg Rebecca's Avatar

    Rebecca

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    297
    Veterinarian for more than 30 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/msb13sm/2011-3-7_52612_Dr.B.64x64.JPG Dr. Matt's Avatar

    Dr. Matt

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2355
    DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr. Gene/2012-6-29_2247_20120223174645649.64x64.jpg Dr. Gene's Avatar

    Dr. Gene

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1049
    DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/Vet help/2012-11-3_20182_Avatar2.64x64.png Vet help's Avatar

    Vet help

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    963
    12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KR/kritrdr/2014-3-26_152042_Dr.Gray1.64x64.jpg Dr. Dan's Avatar

    Dr. Dan

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2143
    12 years of experience with domestic and exotic dogs, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DJ/djan2000/djan2000_avatar.64x64.jpg Dr. Dave's Avatar

    Dr. Dave

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2053
    21 years small animal general and emergency practice
 
 
 

Related Dog Questions