Recently a client sent me this email….
“We saved a Norfolk terrier from the Pound. He is about one-year-old and was emaciated and sick when we received him.
His kennel cough developed into pneumonia, and after a four-day hospital stay, he recovered. He is now healthy, happy, and a wonderful part of our family.
There is, however, one behavior that has us stumped. He
scratches frequently. We purchased and applied Frontline flea
medicine but this has not helped.
He has a white coat and very pink skin. We think he may have dry and sensitive skin. Do you have any thoughts?
Fleas are just one of a hundred things that can cause a dog or cat to scratch. It is also important to know that it may not be “one thing” that causes itching but rather a multitude of things coming together, driving your dog crazy.
Frontline was a good anti-flea product but many fleas developed a resistance to it so fleas are not killed by it anymore. If your dog has fleas, use a product like Comfortis or Trifexis. It’s a pill that kills fleas.
You also need to remember that one fleabite can cause an allergic reaction that may last weeks even after the flea is dead. If this is the case, your dog may need a short-term course of an antihistamine or steroid.
Pollen allergies are common in the Central Valley. Dogs with these types of allergies may rub their face on the ground, lick their feet, and scratch at their ears and body. Your veterinarian can test your dog for specific allergies. Antigen desensitization and/or drugs may help.
The third main reason a dog may itch is a food allergy. You can test your dog for food allergies, but it may ultimately come down to trying a new food every 6 to 8 weeks. Drugs do not really help food allergies.
Of course there are many other things that can cause your dog to itch and scratch but the three main causes are: fleas, pollen, and food. I hope this helps.