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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32468
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My 2 year old flatcoated retriever is constantly scratching

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My 2 year old flatcoated retriever is constantly scratching (the last 3 weeks). His coat looks in great condition and no sign of any fleas or mites or bites or sores on his skin, not even evidence of any dandruff/dander but if it is driving me nuts, it must be dreadful for him. He doesn't appear to be moulting any more than normal. I wondered about giving him some benedryl to see if that helps - is the human version safe? He does swim every day but the same river and lake he has always used without problem. Any clues?
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is the active ingredient in the benadryl you have diphenhydramine?
2- How much does he weigh?
3- How many milligrams is the benadryl?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No its Acrivastine 8mg. Phoenix is about 28kg.

Moira, Acrivastine is not an antihistamine used in dogs. There are others that you can buy over the counter in your local chemist like:
1- Diphenhydramine 25mg 2 tablets every 12 hours.
2- Chlorphenarimine 4-8mg every 8-12 hours.
3- Cetirizine (zyrtec) 10mg once a day.

I would also recommend you consider doing a food trial for 8 weeks with a hypoallergenic diet like Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different protein source then what he normally has had in the past. You see, a very common cause for itchy skin is an underlying food allergy. So, a good place to start is by doing a food trial to see if this is part of the problem.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much - I'll try changing his food, although this one claims to be gluten & wheat free. I'll also get some of the other over the counter medication to help ease the discomfort and see how we get on.

Remember to change the food with a protein source different than what he normally eats. So, if he is eating chicken or beef, then avoid using chicken or beef and go for something like duck, fish or rabbit.

You're welcome.

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good point, thank you - lamb & rice now off the menu!

You got it!

You're welcome.

Dr. Peter