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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16896
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 2yr old shitzu female. The problem i have is that

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I have a 2yr old shitzu female. The problem i have is that she smells wheaty and under her front legs her skin is a bit red. Can u help me please. Thnx
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your girl Pearl has slightly reddened skin under her front legs and a wheaty smell to her body.
I suspect that your girl has allergies of some type, possible inhaled allergies to pollens or mold in the air, or food allergies. Dogs react to allergens by developing red, itchy skin, especially in the allergy reactive areas which are in the creases between the body and the legs, the belly, and under their neck as well as the the face and ears and sometimes the perianal area. They will lick and scratch these areas which increase moisture and damaging the protective skin, allowing yeast and bacteria to thrive and secondary infections to occur.
We can help them by decreasing the itchy feeling with antihistamines and omega 3 fatty acids, soothing the skin with medicated bathing which also can decrease the bacteria and yeast population to manageable levels on the skin, and avoiding food allergens if food allergies are playing a part.
You can try:
1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants and acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 2mg to 4mg per kilogram of body weight or one 25mg capsule per 7 to 12 kilograms of body weight orally every 8 hours.
OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 10 kilograms of body weight once or twice daily.
OR 3)Hydroxyzine at 2mg per kilogram of body weight orally every 8 hours.
OR 4) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily.
Some dogs do better on one antihistamine rather than another. Give the one you pick a week trial and if it isn't working try another. Be aware that antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.
Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight. I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give her 20mg to 40mg of EPA per kilogram of body weight per day. For example an 8 kilogram dog could take 160mg to 320mg of EPA per day.
Cool water baths with chlorhexiderm shampoo (which is antibacterial and antifungal) or malaseb shampoo and a conditioner with an antihistamine may help. The water rinses off allergens and the cool temperature soothes itchy skin. Between baths you can use antifungal skin wipes (for example Mal-A-Ket wipes) daily on the areas under her front legs that appear red to control yeast.
If these measures aren't enough she may benefit from a true hypoallergenic diet like Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA. No treats, flavored medication or bones while on the diet and it must be used for a least 12 to 16 weeks to see the full effects.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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