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D2008-09

Dear Daisy Dog

Heidi, my Jack Russell terrier, scratches herself throughout the fall and winter. The heat is set at 66 to 68 degrees, and I use a humidifier. How can I ease her itching?

Daisy Responds

It depends on what’s causing Heidi to scratch.

If you feel it’s just dry air, try oatmeal baths and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement given orally. If those don’t relieve her scratching, make an appointment with your veterinarian to find out what’s triggering her itchiness.

One of my golden retriever brothers scratched every fall and winter, too.

It wasn’t the dry air, though, but allergies that made him itchy.

He was allergic to molds and pollen from trees, weeds and grasses that were active during those seasons.

Mom relieved his itching with an antihistamine and acupuncture.

I started scratching last fall, too. Mom spotted a single flea running across my backside and quickly applied a topical medication, which she repeated every month until the persistent cold weather killed the fleas.

Those of us who are allergic to flea saliva scratch madly for prolonged periods after a single flea bite. We need topical medication like Frontline, Advantage or Revolution to prevent the fleas from biting us.

As you can see, there are many causes of seasonal itchiness, and each is treated differently.

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