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Itchy dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Miniature Dachshund
Age: 8-11 years
I had noticed the oldest one of my dogs, Chloe, chewing and itching a little more than usual the past few days. I noticed last night that she has chewed off the fur (she has fairly long hair) around the base of her tail. We have 5 mini dachshunds living in the house and a couple of them had been scratching a bit. I gave all the dogs baths over 2 weeks ago with a new medicated itch relief and shed control shampoo with lavender. What can I do for Chloe? Could this be a reaction to the shampoo? Or possibly something worse that requires medication?
Thanks,
Erica


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Erica and thanks for your question. While I won't be able to say for sure what is going on, I can give you a few ideas.

When I see a dog who is chewing at the base of their tail it is almost always because of fleas. Some dogs can be very allergic to fleas. It is really common for a dog to have fleas and for us to not be able to see them. But there are some things that you can look for.

Have a look at the skin around this bald area and see if you can find any little tiny black flecks. If so, take them and put them on a white paper towel and then put a drop of water on them. If you can get them to smear a rusty color then this is flea dirt.

However, even if I didn't see flea dirt I would be treating for fleas...especially because some of the other dogs are itchy as well.

The best thing you can do is to get a prescription strength flea product from your veterinarian such as Revolution, Advantage, Frontline or Comfortis. The products you can buy in the pet store do not work well at all.

You'll need to treat all of the pets in the house and treat them for at least three months in a row.

There are other things that can cause itchiness in this area. It is possible that Chloe has something called a hot spot. A hot spot is a skin infection that has started with a break in the skin. These need to be treated with antibiotics and steroids, both of which would be prescribed by a veterinarian.


While allergies can cause itchiness, it's rare to have itchiness over the base of the tail.

I hope that helps! And I hope everybody is better soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you very much!


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.