no relief for pets itchy skin

United States
October 3, 2007 6:56pm CST
I have tried everything that I can possibly think of to give my dog relief from his itchy skin. He scratches so much that he has sores on his back and his skin near the top of his tail is bright pink (working really hard on being red). I have taken him to the vet and they gave him antihistimines for the itching, they have given him pills to get rid of fleas, I have given him baths with flea and tick shampoos, I have given him oatmeal baths, I have put flea sprays and powders on the carpets and furniture and I have even cut his hair so short that the fleas don't have anywhere to hide and he is still scratching. Does anybody have any ideas as to what I can do for my poor dog. He is in such misery that he is loosing sleep because he is scratching so much. He is a purebreed Shih-Tzu and is 18 months old. I just don't know what else to do for him and it breaks my heart. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
1 person likes this
10 responses
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Ok, there is a shampoo that we use for our dogs called Malaseb. We use it for our labs. The key is not let it sit on the dogs for about 10 minutes. Do this at first 2 -3 times a week. Then go down to once a week. Now we are at every 2 weeks. Our guys also took Ketoconazole for a short period of time. They went over a year scraching so bad they had little hair. Now they look wonderful. They also took an antibiotic for a short period of time but I can't remember the name. I hope this helps, we went for years with benadryl and prednisone and nothing worked.
• United States
4 Oct 07
Where do you get Malaseb and Ketoconazole? and what is Ketoconazole used for? I have never heard of these products. To be honest with you I think that an antibiotic might be a good idea where he has open sores on his back. Everybody had given me some great ideas on what to do or what to change. I really appreciate all the help everyone has given me. I just want to cry everytime he starts scratching because he whines and sometimes he even barks at his rear end like he is so frustrated, it is really sad.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Ketoconazole is an antifungal. Can be used for athlete's foot (itching), The Malaseb you can get at the vet. Our vet also gave them a low dosage of soloxin, this is thyroid, a low dosage can aid the healing process. And if your dog has sores, the antibiotic would probably help? Does your dog smell yeasty? That is the sign of a yeast infection.
• United States
4 Oct 07
He did have a yeast infection in one of his ears but believe it or not he wasn't scratching his ear. The vet gave me some drops to put in his ear and it cleared up within a matter of days. But he doesn't smell like yeast.
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Well, you've gotten a lot of great advice!!! But, I'm going to add a couple things, just in case they might help. Our dog was licking and scratching all the time. It was annoying to us, and painful for her. We'd take her to the vet and after about $300 for the visit, medication for the yeast infection, and special diet food, she'd be back to the same misery in a month. We finally asked our vet about a raw diet and she said that even though they were sure she had food allergies, that probably wouldn't help. Well, it did! We swicthed to a raw diet in May or so and she's been fine ever since! Her coat is beautiful, she doesn't itch all the time, she doesn't scratch or drag her behind on the carpet. We've also changed her shampoo to a brand that has no toxins and harmful chemicals in it. For the fleas, all of the stuff on the market irritates her skin so we can't use it. The same company has a great product that we use for various things and it's great for the flea/tick control. And it's got natural ingredients in it so not painful on her skin. Best of luck to you!!!
• United States
4 Oct 07
You all have been wonderful in giving me some ideas. I never thought that there would be so many more things that I have yet to try. This is great. Today I went and got him a different kind of food, I am going to try that for a little while and see if that helps him. I am going to try to find a different shampoo for him as well. Hopefully all of the advice and ideas I have gotten here will help him.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Try to get the most "natural" food you can. I think we used Nutro (somehing-or-other) for a while and it helped. One thing our doctor also said was that if it's being caused by food allergies, you might want to try something other than the normal beef, lamb and chicken. Try venison or rabbit if your dog hasn't had that before. There is also turtle, but I don't know where to find it.
@HighReed1 (1127)
• United States
4 Oct 07
The only 2 things I can think of would be toa add oily foods to his diet...like canned tuna in oil or just adding some to his food. Or there is also just oiling the patches of dry skin. Our cat had the same problem, but it was from fleas. Before the vet gave us the ointment to help her heal, I used to oil her patches with cooking oil. I used cooking oil as it is edible. Just use a cotton ball or swab to apply it. Hope this helps. :)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Thank you I will try that. I believe that part of his problem is from fleas and the other is just dry skin. I read somewhere that dry skin is common in Shih-Tzu's (especially in purebreeds) The vet told me that part of his problem could be that he is allergic to fleas (UMM,,, aren't all animals allergic to fleas,, hence the reason they scratch? Just my opinion)
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
4 Oct 07
My dog is allergic to fleas also. Most animals scratch at the fleas because they are being bitten by them.
• Australia
6 Oct 07
Hi, The only other thing that I can suggest if all these ideas don't work and this is speaking from experience with a dog who scratched all his hair out and then got a very bad skin infection and went into second degree heart block. To prevent him from ever doing this again my vet has put him on a small dose of Prednisalone, the problem with this is that he must take these tablets for the rest of his life.Does stop him scratching though.
• United States
8 Oct 07
I think one person on here said that the prednisone works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. I guess it just depends on the dog. But I think I have found the problem,,,yes he still scratches from the fleas and I am still in the process of getting that under control. But he has been eating lamb and rice dog food (I got him Beneful lamb and rice flavor) and his scratching has decreased dramatically. He no longer whines and scratches all night. He has also stopped scratching his back on the bottom of the coffee table which is giving the sores on his back time to heal. I have also been putting Hydrocortisone for dogs on him and that seems to be helping as well. He is back to the playful little dog he was a couple months ago. I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for the ideas and advice you have given me. And my dog thanks you too.
@TerryZ (22146)
• United States
4 Oct 07
It sounds like your not getting rid of the fleas on him. I use to be a groomer and I saw this many of times. How often do give him a flea bath? Dont put any sprays on him. You first must get rid of fleas in your home. And you have to keep washing him every other day till the fleas are gone. You need to go to the pet shop and get very mild flea shampoo. You must leave the shampoo on him for awhile before rinsing him.
• United States
5 Oct 07
I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice on how I can give my dog relief from the itchy skin. I have gotten him a lamb and rice dog food (trying to see if he is allergic to beef and or chicken. I have also gotten him a first aid skin medication for scratching and I got him a soothing oatmeal shampoo. His appetite is not very good at this point so I'm not sure how the different dog food is affecting him as he takes a bite here and a bite there. I have yet to try the shampoo or the medication for the sores on his back. I will try it after he gets a bath in a little bit. Hopefully I have found something that will help him. Thank you again to all those that have given their opinion.
• United States
4 Oct 07
Are you sure it's fleas? Because if it is, they should be manageable. Invest in a flea comb (essentially the same comb they use to check for headlice). If you swipe it along your dog's spine or shoulders, if he has fleas there will either be dark black specks or actual fleas on the comb. It is really easy to spot. If you don't see fleas or "flea dirt", then it isn't fleas. Try twitching his food. Maybe he is allergic to it. Put a soft e-collar on him, you know, one of those crazy things they put on them after surgery to keep them from licking. That way he can't lick the sores and makes them worse.
• United States
4 Oct 07
I am positive that part of it is fleas. I can see them crawling on him. I never thought that he may be allergic to his food. We have 6 other dogs that eat the same food and none of them have the itching problem so that never crossed my mind. That is definately something that I will check into. and the collar isn't a bad idea either.
• Australia
4 Oct 07
Hi, Just wondering what you feed this little fella? Is his under belly red or pinkish? If he has a red under belly you may have to decrease hi protien levels in his diet. Try this and if you have any quires let me know. Let me know how you go anyway please.
• United States
4 Oct 07
I feed him Ol Roy dry dog food (I believe that it is beef flavor but not really sure. And yes his belly is red or a pinkish color. He looks like he has a rash all over his belly. I thought that maybe he got into some poison ivy when he got out of the house but if that is what was causing the itchy skin it should have been healed by now. I think changing his food may help.
@maybebaby (1231)
• Canada
4 Oct 07
My dog gets very itchy in the winter mnonths because her skin gets so dry. Shampooing makes it worse becasue it further drys out the skin. We bought a humidifier for the house to add extra moisture to the air and it worked wonders for her and us. No more itchy skin.
• United States
4 Oct 07
A humidifier is a good idea too. Not only will it help my children with their allergies but it could also help my dog. I read on some internet site that fleas don't like the smell of citrus so I got some dog shampoo with citrus in it and not only did it not get rid of the fleas but it made him stink. I could rub his back the day after shampooing with the citrus shampoo and the smell would 'stick' to my hands. I don't use that anymore.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6522)
• United States
4 Oct 07
Poor little guy! I am sorry to hear about his condition? Have you thought that maybe he has a nervous condition? My aunt's dog had bad nerves and he would just chew and scratch and bite at areas of his body and he had those dry itchy and inflamed patches. Also, I am thinking that my other friend had a dog that was allergic to the food he was eating and her hair started falling out and she had the same patches and stuff. But since you have taken them to the vet and they have given you a diagnosis, I don't know. Just a thought.
• United States
4 Oct 07
Well, the vet honestly didn't seem to interested in why Matrix was scratching. He just gave him some pills and said that if it didn't work then he didn't know what to do for him. (HUH?) Isn't it his job to find out why my little guy is in misery? I also never thought about nerves causing him to scratch like he does. That is also something that I will have to check into. The vet charged me $72 to pluck the hair out of his ears, clip his toe nails and give him some pills that don't work. Someone commented on here earlier about using cooking oil on the dry patches and/or adding oil to his diet. Well, I gave him a bath after practically shaving him and then I put cooking oil on a plate and rubbed my hands in it and then rubbed my hands all over his body. It seems to have calmed him down a bit. He seems to finally have a little peace.
@Lovett (465)
• India
4 Oct 07
hey, my pet also has the same prob. vet told methat I neec to wipe him completely dry whenever i gave him a bath, cause if its skin is wet, then it might lead to sores on skin, n fungal infections as well
• United States
4 Oct 07
My dog is just tall enough that when he walks under the coffee table his back scrapes against the boards that are on the side so I am thinking that that is where he is getting the sores on his back. One of the sores was so bad that after it healed he was left with a bald patch. I'm hoping that once it starts cooling off that he gets some relief. And can you put peroxide on dogs?