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I have a 3-month-old golden retriever which recently started scratching a lot. We have treated her for fleas and ticks so I ruled that out. I also read that this could be an indication of a neurological problem. We have scheduled a visit to the vet at the end of this month, do you think that we have a reason to take her earlier?


Hi Marina,

I know you said you've treated your dog for fleas, and you may not ever see fleas. You should still check for "flea dirt", the tell-tale calling card that fleas leave behind, before you can really rule out fleas as the culprit.

Check your dog's coat in a couple of locations, part her hair and look for pepper-like black flecks within the fur or near the skin. If you can collect some of those pepper-like flecks with a damp q-tip, and the fleck turns from black to a rust color... then it's flea dirt. It's possible the fleas are in your home, and only jump onto your dog to feed, before they're killed by the flea treatment.

Because your dog (puppy actually) os only 3 months old, chances are  this isn't a neurological problem.

Besides fleas, diet and other things can cause itching. Mosquito bites can cause severe itching in sensitive dogs. Some dogs develop allergies, which can be anything from something in their diet to your laundry detergent, or about 100 other things.

It's good you're seeing your vet. If the itching becomes very bad before you see your vet, talk to your vet's office and get the correct dose for Benadryl for your puppy. If you can see what your dog is actually scratching on her skin, you can dab on some 100% pure Aloe Vera Gel. It works for soothing itching on dogs just as it helps human itching. It's safe if your puppy licks it off, but it will do the most good if your puppy can not lick it off immediately. Applying it before going out for a walk is a good way to ensure it stays on long enough to do some good.

Try to notice if there are specific times when your puppy itches, after being outside, after eating, after sleeping, etc. Giving your vet all the info can help with diagnosing the problem.

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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