Here at Tripawds, we share information about our dog’s journeys with amputation and oftentimes bone cancer, but one thing we can’t emphasize enough is that we aren’t vets.
That’s why we are so grateful for the ongoing help and feedback in the Discussion Forums by Dr. Pam Wiltzius, a pawesome veterinarian in Puyallup, Washington.
Dr. Wiltzius has firsthand experience with amputation and bone cancer. Her beloved Tazzie was a beautiful Mastiff who battled bone cancer for just over a year. Although Tazzie earned her wings in October, 2009, Dr. Wiltzius continues to share her expertise with Tripawds nearly every day. Thank you, Dr. Pam, we are so grateful!
A Shepherd’s Itchy Mystery
Last Fall we were lucky enough to shadow Dr. Wiltzius at work. In the following video, Dr. Wiltzius meets Gunther, a regular patient who was brought in because he’s been scratching and itching more than usual.
Dr. Wiltzius performed a skin scrape on Gunther to see if he had mange, which he didn’t have. But Gunther’s symptoms weren’t typical of a flea or pollen allergy either. Since German Shepherds are highly susceptible to allergies, Dr. Wiltzius suspects he could be developing an allergic reaction to something, and a blood test could be in his future, possibly even allergy vaccines.
Itchy Skin Recommendations
Before spending the couple hundred dollars for an allergy test, Dr. Wiltzius recommends looking for common signs of pollen allergies, including red, sore ears and feet, and a general overall itchiness.
Additionally, she suggests:
- Frequent bathing every seven to 14 days with hypo-allergenic oatmeal shampoos (aloe-oatmeal combinations are best). Bathing can help remove any allergens that are sticking to him and making him itchy. And as long as an anti-itch shampoo is used, his skin won’t dry out even with weekly bathing.
- Trying a stronger, but gentle, shampoo if itching gets worse. (See recommendations below.)
- Temporarily using a prescription antihistamine (with a very low dose of prednisone) to break the itch cycle. While it’s not desirable to have a dog on prednisone for a long period of time, the amount in this antihistamine is a temporary solution to help Gunther stop scratching.
As you can see, Dr. Wiltzius is a fantastic vet. If you live in the area, your fur kids will be in great hands by having her as their veterinarian. She practices at River Road Animal Hospital in Puyallup. Stay tuned for more informative videos from our visit with Dr. Wiltzius
Recommended Pet Shampoos:
Here are some great shampoos we found that can help a dog with itchy skin: