Q. My dog has an itch that I can't seem to cure, he has had it for years, the vet gives him a steriod that kind of helps, but I have to keep him on pills

Answered By

A. Chronic pruritis (itching) can be a common sign of allergies. Allergies can be frustrating to diagnose since they can have multiple causes (inhaled, food, contact). Since it has been so long, you may want to schedule a consult with a veterinary dermatologist. Infection (yeast or bacterial) as well as skin parasites should be ruled out if they haven't been. Steroids break the itch cycle but can have negative side effects if used long term. Your vet can dispense or recommend an antihistamine to prevent the itchiness from returning after a steroid injection. 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 his diet to promote healthy skin. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements. If your vet or dermatologist diagnoses allergies, your task is to try to determine what he is allergic to and decrease or eliminate it. Discuss food elimination trials and allergy testing with either doctor.

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.