fleas or mental issues?

United States
June 4, 2008 8:19am CST
I need help ! I have an 11 month old white shepard. I got her in the beginning of December (when it was cold) and she had a beautiful coat of fur and only scratched occasionally. Since the weather has gotten warmer and the fleas are in full swing, she is not only losing her hair (I know this is from the scratching), but scratching herself intil she bleeds ! I have put Advantage on her and i bathe her every two weeks and i cant find any fleas. She is a very skittish dog and was abused by her former owners (I got her from the dog pound). She is afraid of everyone and everything except me. She will let peope pet her but only if I keep my hand on her. Im beginning to think that the dog has some type of mental issues and I dont know what to do. Please, if anyone has any suggestions or has had, or has, a dog like this let me know. Im at my wits end !
4 people like this
9 responses
@horsesrule (1962)
• United States
4 Jun 08
I agree with the other posts, it probably is not mental problems but is skin allergies, dry skin or something like that. We had that problem with one of my pomeranians and my mother had that problem with her papillion. I hope you can find the problem so she won't be miserable! :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jun 08
Thank you and so do i !
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
4 Jun 08
I could very well be an allergy. The vet can give her shots to counteract the itching. It is important that she get medical attention so that she doesn't permanently destroy her skin and hair. Besides, it must drive her batty! Or it might be as simple as dry skin. But I'd think that would be more likely in the winter than the summer. Brushing her frequently is important. But do check with the vet.
• United States
5 Jun 08
Thank you for your comment. Dutchess and I are going to have to make a visit to the vet.
• United States
4 Jun 08
Poor baby, I feel bad for her. Here's my story: I got my Peke when he was 8 weeks old. It was winter time so he was fine until the summer hit. I thought he was getting fleas because he would scratch until he bled and gave himself bald spots. I felt so bad for the little guy. I bought stuff for hotspots and anything else I thought would help. The vet kept telling me it was fleas, but I was putting Advantage on him. The following year I was talking to a friend and she told me her dog had sensitive skin so she bathed her with Head and Shoulders human shampoo. So, I decided what the heck and tried it. Low and behold, he got a little better. So I decided the heck with the vet and stopped putting the Advantage on him. He is perfect now. My Peke is pure white except his face and I keep his fur trimmed short in the summer and I have never seen a flea on him. He has to be bathed regularly because he has oily fur, but I think he has dry skin problems. I also think the Advantage aggravated it. Since I started with the Head and Shoulders and stopped the Advantage he has no problems. I still have to treat my other dog, but I avoid Advantage. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jun 08
Hmmmm after reading this I am beginning to wonder if maybe she is allergic to the dog shampoo that I have been using. I didnt start giving her baths every 2 weeks until it started getting warmer in March and that is about the time that she started this constant scratching. Im still going to take her to the vet, but Im also going to try the Head and Shoulders. Thank you for the advice, I hope it works for her :-)
2 people like this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
4 Jun 08
I used to have a Maltese that did the same thing. You could be right about the mental issue, some dogs are neurotic that way. But she could also be allergic to flea bites, believe it or not. Dogs also can get a sort of eczema that causes them to chew off their fur right down to bleeding skin. Your best bet is to take her to a vet and have them run tests to determine the cause of her itch. If there is no physiological cause, then the neurosis is the probable answer. But it is odd that this didn't manifest until warm weather, which makes me think there is something else going on. Good luck with your pup.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jun 08
Thank you for your input. After reading the posts here I think that my best bet would be to take her to the vet and let them tell me what they think.
@Valenas (1510)
• United States
5 Jun 08
It could be some mental issue, but the best bet is to check with the local veterinarian. I do hope that you are able to figure out the problem and fix it, because your dog sounds like she is putting herself into a terrible condition.
1 person likes this
@shooie (4989)
• United States
16 Jun 08
My dog use to scratch a lot and I took her to the vet and he said what was causing it was dry skin. They have stuff for this anywhere you can buy dog shampoo's and things. and like in some of the other post she may be allergic to the shampoo you currently are using or even her flea stuff you are using on her.
• United States
16 Jun 08
I bathed her in head and shoulders yesterday instead of her dog shampoo, she doesnt seem to be scratching as much, but we're still going to go to the vet and see what they say. Thanks :-)
@kaysue4 (951)
• United States
16 Jun 08
It could be she is lossing her winter fur. There is also a product out there that you get from the pet store called Hot Spot. It comes in a shampoo and a spray. But first I would take her to the vet and make sure it is nothing else causing the problems. She could be allergic to the flea products too. Also too much bathing can make the skin dry and cause scratching issues. It could even be the shampoo or not getting it rinsed all the way out. How do I know all of this you may ask? I am going through the same thing with my one dogs. She could also be allegic to the fleas themselves, just them jumping on her can cause a reaction. Now, if you live on a busy street and you have opened the windows, it could be from the noise also bringing back bad memories also. The best thing to do is take her to the vets to get the right dx on her. By the way, that pic is SO cute also. Good luck to the both of you.
• United States
16 Jun 08
At this point I think shes lost her winter coat and her spring coat and summer coat etc... lol Shes not that bad yet, but getting close. We are taking her to the vet on Friday to see what they say. Hopefully, it will be something that can be treated and not something that she is just going to have to live with. Thank you for your help :-)
• United States
15 Jun 08
My girl cat EB, would do the same thing. She had fleas so bad and skin irritations, that she would scratch and bite herself until huge chunks of hair came out. She went bald in spots on her coat. I don't think it's psychological. Your baby dog is probably really in pain. Those flea bites can hurt and sting for days afterwards. Maybe your vet could recommend a topical pain reliever for bug bites, much like the ones humans use to take the sting out. That way she can feel relief for her bites. Or use aloe vera. Not sure if that is safe for dogs. Be sure to check with your vet. Eventually I used a cat topical wash that had astringent properties. you might try hydrogen peroxide. I don't know if that is safe. My cat wash had iodine in it. And did not have to be washed off. Just dab over inflamed area. Rinse as needed. They might have something similar for dogs. As I said before, just run it by your vet. She would know more about dogs. Also be sure to vacuum the pet bed area daily and discard the bag or the fleas will crawl back out Wash all pet bedding and your dog weekly or more, if she will allow it. Maybe let her sleep in the guest bedroom off the floor. Sometimes the carpets get infested with fleas and they bother the pets even when they don't bother us. If she looks like she is scratching an area, check her coat to see if there is a flea. Then add a dab of vaseline to the flea to kill it. It's humane. I've used that on my cats for spot treatment of fleas. It's not dangerous. It causes cats to get rid of hair when they digest it. It might help your dog. I feel for you and your dog. I had a beautiful German Shepherd mix dog awhile back and dogs are the best! So friendly and intelligent. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that you can find a solution for your pup's pain I'm adding some links to useful info on natural flea treatments you might be able to use. http://www.findoutaboutdogs.com/Natural_Remedies_for_Fleas.html Here is another one I found: Feed 1/2 A teaspoon of minced garlic and 1-2 teaspoons of brewer's yeast year round to dog or cat. Now, I've heard that garlic can have a bad effect on dogs. So check with your vet before feeding her that. Best of luck to you and your dog baby! Be well.
• United States
16 Jun 08
Thank you for your advice. We have an appt with the vet at the end of the week sooooo, we will see if there is anything that i can do to help her. have a great day :-)
@22angel22 (451)
• United States
4 Jun 08
I agree with the others, about going to the vet, but I also suggest that your dog may be getting bored. Sometimes dogs, if they get bored, will find an itch and scratch and scrath until they bleed because they have nothing else better to do, or they are depressed. Try giving him some new toys, taking him on walks, and as always KONG! Or some peanut butter. I also think finding a new shampoo would help. Try going to your local pet store and ask questions about what would be best for your dog. Some dogs develope allergies in what seems like a single day.
• United States
5 Jun 08
I hadnt thought about boredom as far as the scratching goes. I know she digs out of boredom so she gets plenty of attention and playtime. I spend a very large part of my day playing with her seems and it does seem that she scratches the sore spots during the night or while Im at work. That is another reason I wonder about the "issues" part. I dont know, I think I just need to take her to the vet and see what they say. Thank you for your help :-)
1 person likes this