Q. My dogs ears nose and eyes get really red.He scratches so bad it breaks the skin.What could cause this? We have other pets that don't have this issue.
A. This can be a common sign of allergies. Allergies can be frustrating to diagnose since they can have multiple causes (inhaled, food, contact, flea bites, etc). Place an e-collar (cone) on her to protect her ears and eyes from further trauma. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Since the scratching has broken the skin, she is at risk for a skin infection and requires antibiotics. Your vet can also 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 healthy 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 and allergy testing with your vet.