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D2006-03

Dear Daisy Dog

My 6-month-old Rottweiler scratches, licks and chews his foot pads and arm pits.

The veterinarian prescribed steroids, which worked well. But as soon as the medication is finished, the itching recurs.

My pup has seen the vet four times for this problem. What should I do next?


Daisy Responds

Even Mom, who thinks she’s a pretty good general practice veterinarian, sometimes takes us to specialists.

General practitioners like her rely on veterinarians with years of additional, specialized training to solve challenging cases like yours.

Ask your veterinarian for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist, who will do additional testing, determine the cause of the itching and recommend an effective treatment.

Causes of puppy itchiness range from allergies to mites.
Some itchy puppies are allergic to one or more ingredients in their food. If food allergy is the culprit, the dermatologist will recommend feeding a diet that contains ingredients your pup hasn’t eaten before.

On the other hand, if a skin scrape shows your puppy’s itching is due to mites, treatment specific to the type of mite will be started. An antihistamine may also help relieve the itchiness.

When I joined my current family last summer, Demodex mites made me scratch so much that my skin bled. When I wagged my tail, blood splattered on the walls.

My itching is under control now, and the walls are clean. I’m certain that after your pup sees a dermatologist, he will be comfortable, too.

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