Q. My unspayed 6 yr bitch.licking and scratching worse lately.on good quality food mostly.defleaed regularly.not wet sores.small pimples.dry.no dandruff
A. These can be common signs of allergies. Allergies can be frustrating to diagnose since they can have multiple causes (inhaled, food, contact). Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out allergies. Rule out thyroid function issues, external parasites or infection (yeast or bacterial) as well. Your vet may prescribe a short course of steroids to break the itch cycle then can dispense or recommend an antihistamine to prevent the itchiness from returning. Some antihistamines work better than others in different dogs, so you will need to find the one that works best. A pet approved colloidal oatmeal bath can soothe itchy skin. Consider adding an essential fatty acid supplement (usually a fish oil) to her diet to promote a healthy coat and skin. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements. If your vet diagnoses allergies, your task is to try to determine what she is allergic to and decrease or eliminate it. Discuss food elimination trials, hydrolyzed diets and allergy testing with your vet.