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Q. My dog itchs all the time a codozon shot helps but don't cure it after a bath she turns red and still itchs I changed dog food that didn't help no fle

Answered By
DR. JENNIFER LADD, DVM

A. Do you live in a region where fleas are prevalent. Where I live the fleas are truly horrible, and I see many animals developing a flea allergy. This usually presents as relentless itching especially at the base of the tail, although it can be all over the body. Often on exam I won't find a single flea, just red bumps, hair loss and itching. In response, I will start animals on an oral steroid such as prednisone (I think your doctor has administered an injectable steroid), while at the same time bathing the animal and starting on an oral flea preventative such as Comforts which I then re dose at 3 weeks instead of 4. Additionally, the environment needs to be decontaminated- flea bombing the house, vacuuming often and washing bedding on hot. The flea life cycle is short, however, so this needs to be one frequently as they will just continue to hatch in your home. Most importantly, I tell my clients, that any steroid (oral or injectable) does not fix the problem, but rather suppress your dogs reaction to it thereby making them more comfortable. Just the steroid alone changes nothing except giving them a brief break from their symptoms.

Now that I have spoken in depth about flea allergy, there is a potential that it is something else. Food allergies are slow to develop, and slow to change. If you wanted to eliminate a potential food allergy I would switch to a novel protein, limited ingredient diet. For example, lamb as the protein source if your previous food was always chicken or beef, and in a formula with very limited ingredients such as lamb, rice and veggies. A pet store should be able to help you with this. While on this diet they cannot have any additional treats for 1 month, to see if you have eliminated the allergy. From an Eastern Medical perspective, I also recommend novel proteins that are "cool", such as fish, lamb, or duck while avoiding "warm" foods such as beef, chicken, pork.

Finally, all animals with allergies should be on an Omega 3 supplement. Given regularly, this can help reduce overall inflammation in the body both in the skin, joints, and other tissues. Good for allergies, arthritis and overall health. My dogs are on fish oils, but one of my dogs who is allergic to fish gets flax oil instead. I would be happy to consult with you further, but I hope this helps to some degree.


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