A. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Rule out allergies, infection, endocrine imbalance or external parasites. Treat as indicated. Your vet may prescribe a short course of steroids to break the itch cycle then can dispense or recommend an antihistamine to prevent the itchiness from returning. 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. Wash in cool water and pat dry afterwards. Consider adding an essential fatty acid supplement (usually a fish oil) to her diet to promote healthy skin. EFAs may also decrease inflammation. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements. If your vet diagnoses allergies, your task is to try to determine what she is allergic to and decrease or eliminate it. Discuss food elimination trials, hydrolyzed diets and allergy testing with your vet. If fleas or other parasites are diagnosed, treat the dog AND the environment.
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