Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and beginning April 20th, 2021 (Eastern Time) the Yahoo Answers website will be in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.

Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

My dog scratches and chews himself alot.What should we do?

We give him Frontline and wash him with a special flea shampoo. it still doesnt help him much. What should I do?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This sounds like allergies to me. Talk to your vet about an injection called Depo. This will help, but will not resolve it. You to find out what she is allergic too.

    This is my clinics sheet on Allergies..hope it helps.

    Dogs, like humans, can also suffer from allergies. Itching of the skin is the most common symptom of a dog allergy. The respiratory tract can be affected causing coughing, sneezing, and/or wheezing. At times, the eyes and nose may develop a discharge. Also, the digestive system may be affected causing vomiting or diarrhea.

    About 20 percent of the dogs in the United States suffers from some type of allergy, whether it be atopic dermatitis, flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant allergy, contact allergy, or bacterial allergy.

    Atopic Dermatitis

    An allergic skin disease of dogs, known as canine atopic dermatitis, is caused by the dog's immune system hypersensitivity to common substances in the environment, such as dust mites or molds.

    The signs of atopic dermatitis usually appear within the first two years of a dog's life. If the dog begins to groom excessively, with licking or chewing of the paws, abdomen, and hind quarters, then it may suffer from atopic dermatitis. Also, check to see if the ears are reddened and hot to the touch.

    A hidden sign that a dog is atopic is in the armpits, groin, or between the toes of the paws. Check to see if there is saliva staining. In light colored dogs, it appears as a red-brown staining. In chronic cases the skin, mostly in the abdomen, may change color from a pinkish, to angry red, to black mottling.

    Flea allergy, food allergy, and parasitic infestations may mimic the symptoms of atopic dermatitis making it difficult to diagnose. Once fleas, foods, and parasitic infestations are eliminated as being the offending culprits, then allergy skin testing for dust mites, pollens, and molds may be done to determine what causes the dog's atopic dermatitis.

    Flea Allergy

    The most common form of canine allergy is flea allergy dermatitis. The flea itself is not the culprit in canine flea allergies. It is their saliva that causes the allergic reaction.

    A skin allergy test can be preformed to determine if a dog is allergic to flea saliva. If it is, then a strict flea control regimen is required to reduce symptoms. Caution must be used however to make sure the chemicals in the flea preparations are not harmful to the dog.

    Inhalant Allergy

    Just like humans, canine inhalant allergies are caused by pollens (tree, grass, and weed), dust mites, molds, and chemicals.

    Although any pure bred or mutt can acquire inhalant allergies, the most common breeds that are affected include terriers (especially the West Highland white terrier, Skye terrier, Scottish terrier and Boston terrier), golden retrievers, poodles, dalmatians, German shepherds, Chinese Shar-peis, shih tzus, lhasa apsos, pugs, Irish setters, and miniature schnauzers.

    The symptoms of an inhalant allergy include scratching, biting, chewing at feet and constant licking. The itching may be most severe on feet, flanks, groin, and armpits.

    Inhalant allergies are often the reason for recurrent ear infections in your dog.

    Food Allergy

    Dogs can become allergic to a food they have eaten for years which causes many people to over look the possibility of a food allergy.

    Food allergies only account for 10 percent of allergy problems in dogs. Dogs often can not tolerate soy products, wheat, corn, beef, pork, chicken, milk, whey, eggs, fish, chemical preservatives, or artificial sugars in their food.

    Determining the food allergen can be time consuming. First, eliminate all the possible allergens from the diet, by using a home made diet consisting of a protein and a starch the dog has not eaten before. Gradually add back, one at a time for a week, the ingredients of the dog food. If symptoms return, then the offending food allergen should be easily determined. Commercial dog foods can be found that do not contain the offending allergen.

    Food sensitivities in a dog may manifest as itchy skin, scratching at ears, shaking of the head, licking and biting at the hind quarters or feet, rubbing faces on carpeting, ear inflammations, coughing, and rarely vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, sneezing, asthma like symptoms, behavioral changes, seizures, gagging, and vomiting.

    Food May Be the Cause of Your Dog's Skin Problems

    Food allergies or sensitivities are usually the last suspect in detecting the cause of a dog's skin problems. Most dogs are fed the same type of dog food for years, so the food is rarely suspected. Dogs, like humans, can develop a sensitivity to any food or additive at any time.

    According to Jeff Wayman, DVM, it is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of all allergic skin diseases in dogs and cats is caused by food allergy.

    Common Ingredients

    Dog food is made up of a combination of ingredients. The most common ingredients that can cause problems in a dog include:













    Symptoms of Canine Food Allergies

    Itchy skin is the primary symptom a dog suffers from food sensitivities.

    Other symptoms may include:

    •Anal Itching

    •Ear Inflammations

    •Hair Loss

    •Licking Front Paws

    •Loss Of Appetite

    •Face Rubbing

    •Head Shaking

    These following symptoms may manifest but are rare:

    •Asthma Like Symptoms

    •Behavioral Changes






    Steps of Prevention

    After you have discussed your dog's condition with the veterinarian and have concluded diet may be the underlying cause, then begin an elimination diet. Be sure to eliminate all the foods in the dog's diet that match the list above, and feed your dog a commericial or homemade diet consisting of ingredients the dog has never eaten before.

    The homemade diet should consist of two parts starch and one part protein. Although duck, salmon, soy, venison, and rabbit are suggested for the protein; and rice and potatoes for the starch; soy and rice are not always safe substitutes. The Mar Vista Animal Medical Center generally recommends duck and potato based foods for dogs.

    You may be able to select a special commercial dog food blend that suits your dog's needs. If not, the homemade diet can be used for a limited time period. Since it is not nutritionally complete, a homemade diet should last no more than 8 weeks.

    Whatever diet you choose for your dog, it should be the only food the dog ingests during the elimination period. This means no table scraps, dog biscuits, dog bones, rawhide chews, vitamins, minerals or chewable heartworm pills.

    Eliminating Food Items

    If symptoms begin to improve during the elimination period, you can then reintroduce each of the eliminated food items one at a time. Each food should be tested for a week before another is introduced. This will allow you to pinpoint which foods may be causing problems if symptoms resurface.

    Once the offensive food is discovered, then reading dog food labels should help you pinpoint a food that meets the needs of your dog. Although there are many hypoallergenic dog foods on the market, be sure to read the labels carefully.

    Contact Allergy

    Contact allergy is the least common of all the types of dog allergies. Some of the common contact allergens include flea collars, wood bedding, grass, plants, and sometimes chemicals.

    Bacterial Allergy

    Several species of Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria live on normal dog skin. Normally Staph does not cause a problem with its host, but some dogs develop an allergy to it.

    With this type of allergy the dog develops areas of hair loss that look much like ring worm. These areas become infected and need to be treated with antibiotics. The Staph allergic dog usually has recurrent Staph infections.

    Ask your vet about allergy testing to narrow done the allergy.

  • 5 years ago


    Source(s): #1 Dog Training Tutor :
  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Stop Losing Hairs
  • 1 decade ago

    A dog can scratch and chew themselves for alot of reasons but if you have treated him fleas you can probally rule that out. Alot of times the scratching and chewing can be allergies. it could be food or envrionmental allergies. He could have dry skin or mites. Your best bet is to take him the vet to find out what is really going on and then you can treat it. My one dog has allergies and I hated the vet treatments which did not work so I switched to holistic care and it works amazingly without side effects. But if you want an anti itch spray that works go to an all natural petstore and buy Richard's Organics Incredible Skin Spray. This stuff is amazing and is natural. It also contains a natural antibiotic that prevents infection. I tried everything and this stuff is the only stuff that works.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Annie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A lot of dogs itch because of allergies-- to their food, to dust mites, trees, pollen, etc. First, make sure he is on a good diet, like Purina One, ProPlan, Nutro, etc. A lot of the popular diets like Iams, Science Diet and Pedigree have a lot of corn and byproducts in them, which can cause itching. BTW, Beneful, for all its healthful claims, is one of the worst diets on the market today. The ingredients are listed on dog foods, so it's easy to check. You might want to try Purina One for Sensitive Systems-- it helps a lot of itchy dogs. There are fish oil supplements you can put in his diet to help with any dry skin issues caused by winter heating. You can also give him benadryl at 1 mg per pound-- that helps some dogs. If none of that helps, you may need to see your vet for help. Good Luck!!

    PS: you didn't say what kind of dog he is. Terrier breeds are very prone to allergic skin problems, and white dogs are too. Little white terriers are almost guaranteed to be itchy more often than not.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Take your pet to the vet!

    They can give your dog a flea dip . it always works.

    I've known 12 dogs who were taken in and it works,

    ask your vet about killing flea eggs in your house before bringing him back home.

    don't delay , take him today !

    poor thing it must be driving him crazy.

    a person above suggested Iams .. don't feed Iams because of the following facts on

    I am one of the crew that put Iams cruelty on the internet and the site I work for.

    I've seen the place where they keep the animals they test on.

    If you knew what I saw you'd never buy thier products again .

    I have 3 of the cats they abused .

    Source(s): I rescue cats & kittens off the streets everyday and nurse them back to health, and take care of cats for the humane society when they are ill or if the shelter gets full I foster them till they find a home . I am a certified cat specialist .
  • 1 decade ago

    Your dog most likely has dry skin. Ours has the same problem.

    Try giving the yolks of eggs, Oils collected from meat during cooking, and other fatty like things, it helps the oils in their skins, to become more normal.

    And if none of that works, you can always get BitterApple from a local petstore, spray it in your hand, and rub it on the parts he is constantly biting. It has a nasty taste, that will train him not too.

    Dry skin is ok for dogs, as long as they're not rubbing/scratching themselve to the point of pain, or breaking the skin.

    Source(s): Personal Experience
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Take him to the vet. He could have a skin allergy or be allergic to his food. Best food to have your dog on is Natures Recipe its all natural. You wanna stay away from the corn and wheat. Could be making him very itchy. Also remember no more then one bath per month will dry out the skin.

  • Sky
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    He might have skin dermatitis or another skin condition. Also, the cold weather & use of heat makes for some dry skin, even with dogs. I would have the vet check his skin, if he had fleas it might just take a few days until it stops itching.

    Source(s): my dog
  • 1 decade ago

    my dog had similar problems w/horrible scratching until she bled!! and i tried everything!! Changing her food to vitamin/fish oil supplements, shampoos, creams and nothing worked....Until I found the home remedy on the net. THIS REALLY WORKS!!! Buy a box of 20 Mule Team borax ---{ it is in the laundry detergent isle at Walmart for 4 bucks} buy a big bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide-- {depending on the size of your dog} **since hydrogen peroxide is 3% you need to dilute it w/ 2 parts water to make it 1% strength.

    Ok, heres the recipe..,, get a large cup like a super-size burger king cup {or a picther if the dog is large-- you can double the recipe} and gather the above ingredients. I use a measuring cup for accuracy and i measure 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and put it in the cup then i add at least 2 or 3 cups of the borax to the peroxide and stir, then i add 2 cups of very warm water to the cup and stir and stir until it somewhat dissloves.{ there will be some settleing so be sure to stir when you get ready to apply.] ok the mixture is ready i put it on the sink and the dog in the tub and give her a bath with my hair shampoo and rinse well, very well!! then i re-stir my mixture and put it all over her body taking special attention to her "bad" areas, make sure to get the entire dog! I dab her face and chin with a clean washcloth soaked in the mixture. LEAVE THE MIXTURE ON FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES while the dog sits in the tub.This mixture is gritty and messy, but it doesnt sting the eyes or burn the skin. depending on the condition of the dog you can rinse her or leave in on her. I myself have found it works better ir you leave in on, do not rinse or towel dry. let the dog in her area to dry and allow the mixture to get all over where she sleeps and hangs out, it is messy so keep her out of you bed and off the furniture until she is dry. i did this every 3 days for a month and she looks AWESOME now! Apple Cider Vinegar from the health store works great too,{ in place of the 3% peroxide in the mixture} for itching, but it burns if the dog has open sores. I spray her with ACV {apple cider vinegar} daily and it makes her so SILKY and it also helps with any scratching, you wouldnt believe it!!! but she smells like a salad 4 awhile. I am seriously telling you from experience---IT WORKS like nothing else Ive tried!!!!!

    Source(s): also check out the apple cider vinegar section
  • Chetco
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you believe him to be free of fleas, this is a symptom of canine Atopy.. This is a good site to help you understand and deal with this condition..

    At this season, it is likely to be pollen related or mold/mildew..But household cleaners often aggravate the condition..chemicals such as Swiffer Wet jet, Carpet cleaners, air fresheners, etc..

    It may be of help to feed a food that doesn't contain corn or wheat.

    Source(s): dog breeder since 1968
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.