Itchy old chihuahua. Vet can't/won't help?

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Itchy old chihuahua. Vet can't/won't help?

This is a discussion on Itchy old chihuahua. Vet can't/won't help? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I apologize beforehand for the long post but I'm trying to add all the details I can to help my baby! I adopted a 10 ...

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Old 12-08-2017, 10:32 AM
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Unhappy Itchy old chihuahua. Vet can't/won't help?

I apologize beforehand for the long post but I'm trying to add all the details I can to help my baby!

I adopted a 10 month old rat terrier chihuahua when I lived in Oklahoma in 2010. Upon adopting her they informed me she had a "skin condition" and needed "one more treatment". I was young, just turned 18, and didn't really think to ask what she had.
Anyhow, i proceed to adopt her, they came to my residence the next morning, picked her up, took her to the appointment and brought her back to me. She was fine. Showed no symptoms of any skin disease or illnesses.
Fastfoward a few years and we move to Florida and for the first time she contracted fleas from my sister's 2 dogs, with whom we lived with. We got rid of the fleas but she still scratched and itched until she bled and had sores. I tried every shampoo, conditioner and spray at every pet and tack store in my county. I also tried gluten-free/grain-free diets. All with no avail. This went on for about a year before I moved out of my sister's to my own place during the week and weekends with my boyfriend. During this time she almost completely stops itching, her hair comes back etc. Fastfoward another year and I've moved in with my boyfriend and he's not a fan of animals and he always has a offputting disposition towards her, I ask him to stop tell him she doesn't like that, she's sensitive and so on. We've lived with him about 5 months now and she's back to itching her skin off.
I've taken her to the vet about 3 times over the past year to explain the situation and they look at her, tell me they don't see or cant find any causes and we go home $300 poorer and still no solution to her problem.
Another strange thing is that she's fine if I'm right beside her all day but as soon as I have to go to work, school, visit family and she's home alone, she nibbles, scratches spins, etc.
At night she sleeps fine, she doesn't need to get up to scratch. She doesn't smell or have flaky skin. She will become a little oliy from time to time but that's normal i think. The vet we go to suggests that she is older than what I think, she's could be 10 or 11 years old.
Sometimes I think she just has bad anxiety, sometimes I think it's allergies or the weather here in Florida (we're from Oklahoma), at times i think its part of her getting old?
Anyone have any ideas? Maybe something I could suggest the vet look for next time she has a visit?
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:27 PM
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Reading between the lines in your post, I can conclude, that your current living arrangement is very stressful to your dog. Under stress, dogs can and often will scratch, bite and generally behave poorly. If your Vet is unable to find any cause for the itching, it may well be stress related. You might have a conversation with your Vet and surface the idea of anxiety reducing medication for her, while you figure out how to reduce the stress in her life.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:41 AM
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Changes in itchiness seem to coincide with changes in environment so while it might be stress it could also be allergies and possibly the reason she scratches more while you are out is that there is nothing to distract her. Have you tried antihistamines?
Vets here often prescribe steroids for allergies though personally this is something I would only try as a last resort.
I suppose it could also be mites/mange.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:40 PM
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If you are 100% sure that your pup has no fleas, and she's oily at times try bathing her with Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS shampoo (with the orange label). You can buy it on Use it several times a week, and back off slowly until you can maybe get her down to once or twice monthly baths. (Taper the baths once her scratching and oiliness is under control).

Allergies get worse as a dog ages. There are new medications you can get from your vet that work very well for most dogs. One is a pill called Apoquel and the other is a shot called Cytopoint (or CADI). The pill is given daily, but the shot lasts from 4-8 weeks. Both are made by the same manufacturer, Zoetis. They both stop the itch factor from reaching the pup's brain. You should only need to use one or the other, although there are a few dogs that need both to keep their allergies under control. These meds seem to be safer than long term usage of Cortisone shots or oral Prednisone.

Also, a prescription food may help immensely if it is food related allergies. All three of my pups are fed Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein prescription food for small breeds. You can buy it at with a script from your vet.

I have a 14 year old Chihuahua, Tucker, a 9 year old Maltese, Jack, and a 6 year old Sheltie mix, Ollie. They are all rescue pups and they all have allergy issues. Tucker does well on Benadryl, but Jack and Ollie are on Apoquel. Allergy issues can be frustrating and difficult to deal with and try to figure out, but in the end you have a happier healthier pup which will in turn make your and her life less stressful.
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