I have a 2-year-old silky terrier. I use the Frontline flea/tick treatment on her. For some reason, she scratches and gnaws herself a lot. What is a good shampoo for her? I feed her Purina Little Bites.
V.V.B., Silver Spring, Md Nov 01, 2010
Many dog owners think their dogs must have fleas when they start to scratch themselves a lot and use various dips, powders and spot-on chemicals like Frontline. But these dogs, yours included, may not have fleas but some other skin problem like mange, which anti-flea treatments will not kill. Your dog could also have an allergy or nutritional-deficiency disease, possibly from what she is eating. Purina Little Bites are a manufactured dog food with many ingredients, one or more of which could be affecting your dog that has developed an allergic hypersensitivity.
I advise a veterinary appointment without further delay. The best remedy may well be a basic home-prepared diet as per my own recipe on my website, also available in my book "Dog Body, Dog Mind."
There are some excellent doggy shampoos on the market, notably NuHemp Botanicals, made in Canada and available in most pet stores. Human baby shampoo or oatmeal-, aloe- and chamomile-based shampoos are also good for dogs. Shampoo no more than once a week until the dog's skin and coat are looking good and the itching has stopped. Then bathe once a month if needed. Bathing the dog too frequently can dry out the coat and lead to skin problems if the natural, protective bacterial population on the skin is disrupted by the shampoo.