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My Maltese is scratching himself so bad and I have tried many OTC items and changed food.
Pets / 9:17 AM - Thursday March 18, 2010

My Maltese is scratching himself so bad and I have tried many OTC items and changed food.

We just adopted Levi and he has had all of his shots and has been neutered. But he is now scratching himself so bad I am worrying about what to do next. Could this be allergies or skin condition? I have tried many different shampoos and applied ointment on the area he is scratching but nothing is working. Any thoughts? He is a Maltese and has white hair and underneath skin is pink so I am sure he is very sensitive.

- Asked by A Stay-at-Home Mom, Female, 46-55, Home Maker

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My Dad's dog was half terrier and half poodle....she had such a bad skin allergy that he had to give her Rx meds, wash her in baby shampoo, and rub glycerin into her skin every day.

I was much younger then, and she suffered horribly. It was said by the vet that she was possibly allergic like humans are, to something in her surroundings or in her food.

She did get slightly better eventually, and lived to be about 16. Her allergies never went away though.

- Response by iowaczechartist, Female, 46-55

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Sounds like mange. Take her to the vet.

- Response by catscratch, Female, 46-55, Executive

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You need to take the dog to a vet not try to guess a situation that may get worse. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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My best suggestion is to flip the bag of dog food over and make sure there is no "Soy Grits" in the ingredients. I only feed Iams Dog food, but Nutra Max is very good too. I don't feed science diet, which is toted by vets, and I don't feed purina.
Dogs are carnivores, and they have short intestine tracts. They do not digest vegetable protein very well, and soy sits in the gut and rots, this causes red itchy skin and usually gas.
If you do switch to Iams dog food, do so with 2/3 thirds of the old food and 1/3 of the new dog food. Sudden changes are very bad for dogs. Good luck! I would like to know how this works for you.

- Response by sandshoes, An Environmentalist, Female, 56-65, Student

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My dog has chronic allergies and does the same exact thing. It will only get worse if not treated with antiobiotics and steroids or cortizon. You definitely need to take him to the vet.

- Response by msgg, Female, 36-45, Managerial

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has taking him to vet even crossed your mind?? hello!
you could be making the situation worse by using all of that crap on him.

- Response by beanielou, Female, 29-35, Who Cares?

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I have a dog who has seasonal allergies. Every fall and spring she scratches and scratches. I add fish body oils or olive oil to her food. It helps somewhat but for the most part it has to run its course. There are also anti-allergy tabs you can get from the vet.

Another thing to think about: I got this same dog, years ago, from an animal shelter. She had a gorgeous coat but a few days after I brought her home, it turned out she had sarcoptic mange (the kind you can get rid of). I had a friend who's adopted dog came from the same place and he had this as well. Anyhow, I had to treat this differently as its not an allergy. The digging was much worse and clumps of her hair would fall out. But if your dog didn't come from a Puppy Mill or shelter, I'd think it was allergies.

- Response by annandfam, Female, 46-55

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My first suggestion would be to check thoroughly for fleas which Levi might have brought with him from the place where he was adopted. They are tiny hard-shelled, dark brown insects that can be seen crawling through the dog's haircoat close to the skin. They can also jump high in the air. Also check the fur for little dark comma-shaped bits of dirt. These are flea droppings, and when you put a drop of water on one, it will turn the water brownish-red. It is your dog's blood which the flea has digested and evacuated from its digestive system (flea poop). A few fleas can cause sensitive dogs to develop a flea bite allergy which makes them itch all over as a reaction to only a few bites.

Fleas reproduce rapidly, so you don't want to let them get a foothold in your house. They like to bite people too. Getting rid of them involves a flea bath for your dog, followed by a topical flea-control product like Frontline. Follow all directions on these products carefully.

You will probably have to treat your house too, because fleas lay hundreds of eggs which fall off the dog and get into your carpet and furniture, where they will soon hatch out. Treating the house involves frequent, thorough vacuuming of your carpet and upholstered furniture, followed by the use of a flea-control premise spray which contains an insect growth regulator to keep the flea eggs from hatching and the larvae from developing. If Levi sleeps in your bed, don't forget to launder all bedding in hot water.

There are, of course, other possible causes for Levi's itching. Check for fleas first. If you don't find them, have your vet give Levi a thorough skin examination to determine if he has some other kind of skin parasites such a mange mites or perhaps an allergy to something in his diet or environment. Good luck.

- Response by A Budget-minded, Female, 66 or older, Medical / Dental

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i have alot of pets gf and i do mean a lot lol like 4 dogs 15 chickens 1 parott lol i did have 18 dogs at one point so i know where u r coming from on this believe it or not pets are like people gf only differance is they can not talk and tell us what is wrong ok. but here are a few things to look for ok one he might be alergic to fleas ok you might be albe to see it this went on with a few friends of mine they dog had fleas and not knowing what to do for the pet they took it to the vet to see whqaqt they can do for them that is one thing you can do is take him to the vet to see if he has any fleas or bites from fleas unknowingly you pet might have it ok he might also have bad nervers unforunitly he can't talk so it just might be nervers check it out one or the other has to give gf gl. i bet you anything it is one or the other. gl.

- Response by twoshort2000, Female, 46-55, Retired

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Sorry, it sounds like a trip to the Vet. to be sure. He could have very sensitive skin or he could have a paracite.

- Response by helencookssometimes, A Single Gal, Female, 56-65, Baltimore, Executive

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I just got over the same problem with my pug/minpin mix. She had been scratching constantly and was always in agony because of it. The only way she would stop scratching and gnawing at herself is if I put her sweater on her. She eventually got little pimple like bumps on her and her skin looked a little lumpy in some spots. When we finally took her to the vet, it was allergies. Dogs have a bacteria in them but she is allergic to it. My vet put her on antibiotics (simptec or something like that) for a little over a month, and she is back to normal. Also, I was giving her omega 3 supplement daily and he said that Omega 3 is a great way to help with skin problems so I would suggest giving your dog that even when he stops scratching, it's great for their skin and coat just like humans, and it's not that expensive. I would def. take him to the vet though when you get a chance, my guess is it's allergies. Hope he feels better soon.

- Response by bethanylee22, A Budget-minded, Female, 26-28, Student

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