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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 797
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My Jack Russell keeps licking her groin & they are very hot

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My Jack Russell keeps licking her groin & they are very hot sheet is scratching quite a lot & rolling on her back. I have looked for fleas but she does not seem to have them,
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Dog Jack Russell Bitch.
JA: Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Dotty & she is 11yrs old. I am just getting over a massive heart attack & cannot really afford vet fees. I have not used anything for fleas on her. She goes to K9 to have nails cut & shampoo & they have assured me they use a medicated shampoo.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dotty?
Customer: Don't think so.
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few moments as I type my response
I'm sorry to hear Dotty is having this issue.
Can I confirm that she has not had this problem in the past? Some dogs, for example, will have skin allergies but it would be rare for these to present for the first time at her age.
One possibility would be a reaction to something she has contacted e.g. a shampoo she reacted to, a chemical cleaner, nettles in the garden etc. It may help to bathe her in a mild shampoo to wash off anything that remains.
Can you think of anything that may have changed before the licking and scratching started? For example, a diet change, a new treat or a new carpet? Identifying a trigger can help determine the cause.
At this time of year, fleas are rampant. A dog with a flea allergy can be very itchy and uncomfortable and it is not always easy to see the fleas. It is sensible to treat all dogs monthly with a strong parasite prevention such as Advocate or Prinovox spot on. If unable to see the vet for this prescription product you could consider using a non prescription spot-on such as Frontline, but this is rarely as effective.
It is possible that she has a skin infection (pyoderma). You may notice some moist discharge, a foul smell or target lesions/pustules/scabs. If this is the case, she would need a course of antibiotics.
To reduce itchiness, prescription medications such as steroids or Apoquel are often needed to stop the itch scratch cycle. Again, they would require a vet visit. You could trial some non prescription anti-histamines from the chemist but these are only effective in about 1/3 of dogs. A dog of her size would need a 4mg Piriton tablet every 8 hours for 5 days.
Try to prevent licking or scratching by distracting her with e.g. interactive toys, food puzzles etc. We do not want her to break the skin. An Elizabethan cone and/or cotton tshirt can also be useful. However, we ideally want to address the issue rather than manage it.
In summary, there are many potential causes for this itching. Though there are things we can try at home, many times a vet visit would be needed for further diagnostics and to provide stronger medication.
You may qualify for charity vets such as the RSPCA or PDSA who provide more affordable vet care for those on medical disability.
I do hope that this answer has been helpful and please do not forget to rate the service by selecting the stars at the top of the screen so I may be compensated for my time. Even after rating we can continue the conversation. All the best, ***** *****
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank You for your advice Linda, so it sounds as though I will have to get her to the vets.i am 82yrs old & recently out of hospital after having a Massive Heart attack & Dotty started doing all this about 1 month ago but she has got worse recently. She goes for her nails & body wash at K9's & they reassured my partner that they were using a medicated shampoo on her but not convinced as she got worse since her last appointment with them, do you think that this could be the cause.? Any other causes would not have affected her as we do not have a garden or had any new additions to our home..Regards Joan
I'm very sorry to hear that and hope you are recovering well.
Some vets can offer house visits if that is helpful at all.
I do think bringing her to the vet will resolve the issue quickest as they can examine her in person, perform any necessary tests and dispense strong, prescription medication.
If you noticed things get worse after the grooming, it is always possible that she reacted to the shampoo, even if it was medicated or a sensitivity shampoo. However, it sounds as though there is an underlying issue here as she was itching even before this.
As you have not changed anything in the environment and she is an older girl, an allergy is less likely (though still possible).
It is also worth mentioning that older dogs with any health issues (e.g. liver disease or a hormonal disorder such as hypothyroidism or Cushings) can develop skin problems.
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