Ask the Veterinarian/Itchy Peke


Hi.  My almost 11 month old female Pekingese itches constantly.  I'm guessing it's her inner ears that itch because of the way she rolls around on the floor, pawing at them.  This happens several times a day.  The vet told us to give her children's benadryl twice a day, which we did for a while, but it didn't seem to be helping her so we stopped.  Should we restart with the Benadryl?  Also, her black nose is starting to lose pigmentation...there are spots of pink coming through.  Is this normal?  Could it be an allergic to something?

Benadryl will probably not do too much but make her sleep. It really does not stop itching in the dog very well.  It could be that she has ear mites or an ear infection making her paw at her ears.  Another possibility is sarcoptic mange mites, because they like to burrow in the ear tip margins and that causes severe itching.  You should ask your vet to examine her for an ear infection and for mites.  Sometimes we will not find the mites, so a shot of a drug called ivermectin will help to kill those mites that cannot be detected.  Some puppies will also show ear itchiness from an allergy to a protein component of the food. A diet change may help if the vet cannot find any other reason for the itchiness.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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