Ask Dr Fiona

My dog is constantly itching/licking all over his back end and paws. He has been de-flea’d 2 weeks ago and bathed with sensitive dog shampoo.

There are plenty of things that can cause your dog to itch but one of the most common causes is fleas. Flea bites can set off an allergic reaction leading to itching over the back, around the flanks and base of the tail. Remember you don’t need to see a flea on your pet to confirm flea allergy dermatitis as fleas can still bite your pet and then jump off!

There are plenty of flea products on the market, and some a better than others. Some products don’t kill the adult fleas so these fleas can lay eggs that hatch again in anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks! There may also be residual eggs the environment so you need to consider this as being a factor if your dog has had repeated flea issues. Washing all of your pet’s bedding on a hot wash, as well as a thorough vacuum should get rid of the majority of the eggs.

It’s a good idea to try a sensitive shampoo to see if this can help settle your dog’s itchy skin. The oatmeal shampoos are excellent and are specifically pH formulated for your dog’s skin.

If your dog is still itching following these recommendations, a visit to a veterinarian may be required. In some cases, dogs may need a course of antibiotics to help treat any secondary skin infection caused by the itch as well as some medication to help break the itch cycle.

It’s worth noting that there are other potential causes of an itchy dog such as allergies to grasses, dust mites, insects and foods. Your veterinarian will be able to help rule out any of these issues.

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Chat soon,
Dr Fi

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