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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17964
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience
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My terrier is scratching a lot, her skin looks red and inflamed

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My terrier is scratching a lot, her skin looks red and inflamed and she has some hair loss on her back by her tail and on the inside of the back legs and on her rear. i have been using a flea comb and can find nothing. She has weekly walks in the countryside. Is it likely that she has caught mange? If so what treatment should I use?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question about Lupin. I'm sorry to hear about the skin and itching that is going on with her. Is she on any monthly flea prevention? When you combed her, did you find black, pepper like speckles in the comb? If you look closely at the skin in these areas do you see these black, paper like speckles. Look on her groin to for them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No I don't use any flea prevention. I rely on combing with a flea comb and that is usually sufficient to prevent flea infestation.

When I comb my dogs I do sometimes find black bits in the comb - I have assumed they are dried blood from where she has been bitten by something.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that information Jo. I'm going to be honest here and say that all this sounds like a flea problem. When a dog is having itching in that area - the tail head and the back of the legs with thinning of fur here, fleas are the number one suspicion. The back bits in the comb sound exactly like flea dirt. Fleas feeding on blood digest it and pass it in their stools to make this black, dark, pepper like debris. If you were to rub it on a wet, white piece of napkin, it will leave a rust like streak.
In the past the flea combs may have been enough to keep any problem at bay, but now it would seem that it isn't enough. I would again in this situation be most suspect of a flea problem rather than mange. Sometimes some dogs can be more sensitive to fleas if they are actually allergic to them. In these cases, one or two fleas biting can cause the same problem as for other dogs that need dozens and dozens of them to cause a problem.
My best recommendation would be to start up one of the many topical or oral monthly flea preventatives. Here is a good link on them.
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1575
Your vet would be a great source for ones that are very effective and trusted.
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17964
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience
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