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    itchy shitzu
    gardenwitch58 posted:
    I have a shitzu and have been told he has allergies to fleas. It used to be only a problem in spring and fall, but its now december, and his itching and chewing is out of control. He no longer has any fleas, that I can see, have had him groomed, flea bathed and use Advantax. Its 24/7 chewing on his hind quarters, legs and feet. Drives me crazy. Dont know what else to do. Have even tried different foods, thinking of other allergies. Cant afford to take him to animal dermatologist, which the vet suggested. Its so bad that his white fur is being discolored by his chewing. Can you help???? He was a rescue at about 10 months of age, and now just turned 4 yrs...
    Kathy_Snyder_DVM_DACVIM responded:
    Hi, I'm sorry to hear your dog is so uncomfortable! As you probably know, there are many other things in the environment and in foods that may contribute to allergy formation. So your dog may not JUST have flea allergies, but have other allergies as well. Other things that can cause itchy skin include infections with bacteria, yeast (Malassezia), or mites. Did your vet do skin scrapings and make slides of his skin to evaluate for these problems? Certainly seeing a dermatologist would be a good idea, as they would be able to more clearly define why your dog is itchy. But if that is financially not possible right now, I'm sure there are other things your veterinarian would be willing to do or prescribe. We'll often use antihistamines or steroids for itchiness. There are also a variety of shampoos or sprays that are made for allergies and would probably be much better than the flea shampoo (since you don't see any evidence of fleas anymore). If he has mites, bacteria, or yeast, there are also specific medications for those problems that might provide much-needed relief. I'd recommend calling your veterinarian and just be honest--let them know that you'd love to see the dermatologist but just can't do it right now. I bet they'd be willing to prescribe some of the medications/shampoos listed above, or may recommend further testing if it hasn't been performed in awhile. Hopefully one of those things will fix the problem, but if it doesn't, you can try to start saving up for a dermatologist appointment for some time in the future. Good luck!
    Kathy_Snyder_DVM_DACVIM responded:
    Flea allergies are very common, but if there are NO fleas around your house or in the environment then my best guess would be that your Shi Tzu also has other allergies--other environmental things, foods, etc. Bacterial, yeast (Malassezia), and mite infections of the skin can also cause very itchy skin. Has your vet performed skin scrapings or made slides of your dog's skin? Things like antihistamines or short courses of steroids are sometimes given for itchy skin. Also, there are a variety of shampoos made for allergies that may be more appropriate than the shampoo you have for fleas. If you can't afford the dermatologist right now, I'd recommend calling your vet, telling him your dog is still really itchy, and explain that as much as you'd like to see the dermatologist that you just can't afford it right now. Ask if they have other medications or shampoos/sprays that you can try. Eventually you may have to see a dermatologist for a better evaluation of his types of allergies, but for now I bet your veterinarian can prescribe some other drugs that will help relieve some of his symptoms. Good luck!
    Wondabeck responded:
    :lightsmile: Hi there I also had this problem with my shitzu and found that the food was the problem and flea bites. I changed the food to Lamb&rice and it helped the problems.
    tjames0002 responded:
    We moved four years ago and one year after our move our poodle had a skin rash. It was treated with steriods and went away. It came back again and he also began licking his paws. We took him back to the vet and they did a simple blood test to determine if he had allergies. It came back that he was allergic to certain foods and things in the environment. We tried medicated shampoos and benadryl with no luck! We are now giving him allergy shots and he is 100% better. I believe the blood test was approximately $150. I certainly understand the financial issues as our poodle just had bladder surgery and is having a few isolated issues from that. Just be honest with your vet and I'm sure they will help you. The vet that responded to your questions is 100% correct!!!
    Donnie494 responded:
    Yes the itching will drive you crazy, but I think of my shihzu (rex) it must drive him crazy also. I have been working on this problem for 18 mo's and still have an itchy dog. I turn him upside down everyday looking for bugs of any kind I can not find any, he is good about letting me brush him & it seems to help for a few hours then back the same way. I took him to my vet, doctor checked him out no hot spotsm no fleas, nothing what he said was very sad but it seems to be true. He said some dogs have sentitive skin & they just scratch. I said no can not put up with this. He did blood test nothing wrong, I give him a pill for fleas every 30days. Works great plus don't have to put the chemicals on him. Can not remember the name of the pill but all vets have it, it is kinda new I have not seen a flea on that baby in a long time. What is strange is some days are better than others. meaning some days it is not a big problem then other days its all day long. Rex is only two years old & he started scratching when he was about 5 or 6 mo's old. One of the Vet Tech's that works with the vet told me her dog was a scratcher & that she has tried everything to get it under control. I use a natural shampoo low on detergent. Bought a special brush & comb that goes deep all the way to the skin, because shihzu's have two levels of hair and both are different. The brushing helps alot. I clip all the little knots off his tummy and legs every couple of days (gets them from scratching) also helps my vet did not mention taking him to a specialist he felt like it would be a waste of money. He said he had seen a lot of dogs that have the same problem. I am still looking for an answer although can't find! I read the post below that said she gets shots for her dog, might try that its like his skin is not balanced & very sensitive. I pick him up and help him scratch sometimes it never seems to be in the same place all the time, One day his legs the next his hips, etc. I know how hard it is to put up with but I guess we just need to keep looking for answers. Not to sound unkind but when I read your post I was so happy to hear someone else was having the same problem as me & Rex. I feel so sorry for him having to scratch all the time. :sad:
    SamBilly responded:
    Hi There, I'm a pet mom to 2 Shih Tzus (one, our beloved Sammy just passed away at the age of 14-1/2yrs from Kidney Disease), but , my other little guy "Billy" has suffered from itchy skin all of his life (he'll be 15 yrs old in March)....After many many Vet Visits in many different States,and many thousands of dollars, I can give you my best advise: If he doesn't have any other obvious medical problems (bacterior infections), 1) bath him once a week in a high qualty medicated, mild, shampoo, even more often in Spring and Summer to get rid of the Pollen, dustmites, etc. 2) be up to date on your flea control, whatever you choose (I use the Pill Comfortis, since moving to Flea Central here in Florida), and 3) keep his hair short at all times, even in Winter. We now live in Florida, so keeping his hair short does not cause him to shivver in Winter. Depending on where you live, keep in warm with a nice little sweater. and 4) every night, for most of his life, I've given him 1/2 of a simple Benedryl (not Benedryl D just plain old standard kind), I started with a Benedrylyt Child's liquid Cherry Flavor in an applicator, which he licked right up, but it became not strong enough, then I moved him to 1/2 of an Adult Benedryl Pill form (mixed with the inside of a cream cookie from Petco.) As he got older, he became immune to the Benadryl, so, with his Vet's suggustion, I now give him 1/4 of an adult Zyrtec....which works the best...I give it every night at bedtime( because it doesn make him a little sleepy), but no more scratching.... Just like people, I found our pets become immune to the same treatments, so you have to switch now and then, when you see it's not working any longer...This doesn't cost much, and the results are priceless....Good luck. I hope your little Shih Tzu, and anyone else reading this will give you as much joy as mine have..
    countrystablecandles responded:
    I have two.. Kylie Marie and Chipper.. Kylie is 3 and chipper is 1 1/2 . Love my furbabies but they do this to all the time.. I have tried everything but givinig the brnadryl.. I will have to try this tonight and see if it helps..
    3dogsmom responded:
    I have two Yorkies. One is 14 and one just turned one. My older one started itching and digging when she was a puppy. My vet ended up prescribing Omega Tri-V Caps for pets. I am still giving her this; now only every other day. My new Yorkie started itching all the time and I have just recently started her on the Tri-V caps; one every day. It seems to be working. Hope this helps.
    Gynchy responded:
    Hello there, I have the same problem's with my dog (bulldog) She'd scratch till she bled. I think that they build up scar tissue there. Anyway's I found an oatmeal based shampoo and bathed her with it for a few week's in a row. I have also given her antihistamines for ppl. With your dog being smaller perhaps breaking a tiny piece of one off for him. The bathing really really helped! and she cleared right up! I will say that she loves to have you pat/scratch or rub her bottom for her though, again I think it's from the scar tissue. Hope this made a little sense to you. Please do try the shampoo if anything. Good luck!
    msapprehensive responded:
    I am sorry to break in on this discussion with another question, but I saw that you all own shitzus and I have been told that this is a fairly common problem with this breed so I thought maybe you all would have some suggestions or ideas. I know it is a nasty question to be asking but I am at my wit's end and it seems to be getting worse. My shittzu eats her bowel movement. My husband and I have done everything and nothing helps. We took her to the vet and he gave us some medicine that was supposed to discourage the habit by altering taste but it didn't help. We have a doggy door so she can go out whenever she wants to and a large fenced in area out back so she can't run off. My husband tries to keep up with her and every time he hears the doggy door he goes out and cleans up any messes but sometimes she goes out and we don't hear her. The problem is now she has been throwing up and she just lays around most of the time like she doesn't feel good. The vet assured us that even though it was embarrassing and disgusting it would not make her sick, but this vomiting every day and being so listless is just not right. My husband is ready to give her away because we don't know what to do but we love her and don't want to do that, she's part of our family. We also had a dog that was constantly scratching and itching and chewing at her paw on her left front paw and we had tried everything. the vet finally did a scraping in several different places to test and we found out she had mites. It took a long time and lot of treatment from the vet but we finally got rid of them. It was so nice to look at her and she wasn't licking or chewing on her paw or foot.
    Donnie494 responded:
    Sambilly, thank you so much you have supplied the rest of the info I needed to take care of Rex. I also have been giving Rex benedryl-liqud childrens cherry the vet told me too. When he was one I gave him one half of a CC now at two I give him a whole CC. But it does not work as well as it use to so maybe I need to try the adult benedryl pill inside the cookie. How long did that last before you went to the Zyrtec? Or after re:reading your post what if I just skip the benedryl pill and use the Zyrtec. Rex is two years old but he is a big boy weighs 14lbs. (I will check with vet) He is the one that told me about the benedryl (cherry) Another thing you said is about the once a week bath to remove pollen & dust-mites thank you for this insight because I live in the country he goes outside with me everyday. I have been bathing about once a month or when he gets real dirty. I thought more often would dry out his skin. What kind of Medicated shampoo? Medicated with what? I use a top shampoo low in detergent I have not seen medicated could I get at Petco or Petsmart? I also use the pill for fleas (comfortis) had forgot the name but that is it. Wow does it work, every 30 days and I never see anything on him. Rex's itching is not as bad but it is a problem for him some days real bad others not so bad. So sorry about losing Sammy, although 141/2 years is an awesome amount of time I did not know Shih Tzu's could live that long. Since it was kidney disease would you have any wisdom to share such as more water or was it a natural thing? I am truly sorry I bet Billy misses him too. Thank you so much for sharing your insight because it hurts me to see Rex itch I know it is not good for him either. Donnie
    bramsam responded:
    My daughter has a pitbull with the severe itchy issues - It has been diagnosed as Yeast Problems. She has absolutely no issues when she is fed the sensitive Salmon dry dog food. This problem is the same as most of us girls are VERY familiar with. If it is not taken care of by the correct foods the dog has issues with her ears & her nails turn dark. Yogurt is good for this also. The colors in regular dry dog foods sets it off.
    Lmbookerossie responded:
    Have you tried bathing him in Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo? Also, try Children's Benadryl - ask the vet how much to give him, because it depends on his weight. I have the same problem with my dog. But the above was suggested for her. It didn't help my dog, but I pray that it will help yours. As of now, I have to keep an e-collar on her 24/7, so she won't bite sores on herself. She bites until she bleeds without it. Like you, I've tried all of what you said you've tried. I am at a loss, too. So, if you find out something that may work, I would appreciate it greatly if you would email me ( God bless you...HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    xybobabc responded:
    My dog was eating her bowel movememt and somebody recommended to mix some pineapple juice with the food, it worked.

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