Q. I have a 9yr. old toy poodle, and he scratches himself continuously. I have tried everything I know, benedryl, oat shampoo, shampoo with cortisone OT

A. The most common reasons for severe, continuous itching are infections (bacterial/yeast/parasites) or allergies (environmental such as dust mites or pollens) and adverse food reactions. If your vet has ruled out infections and he has not responded to prescription medicated shampoos I would recommend a food trial (8 weeks or a hydrolyzed diet and water (royal canin hypoallergenic or hills z/d) with only water to drink - no treats, flavored tablets or any access to other food of any sort; if this is negative and does not provide any relief then a diet supplemented with natural anti-inflammatories such as royal canin skin care may help. Medications can be prescribed by your vet for severe allergies if he is continuing to scratch, particularly if he is causing skin damage and complicating the issue further

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