Animal Doctor: Dog Itches Uncontrollably After Baths
Dear Dr. Fox:
Our adorable 3-year-old Lhasa apso itches uncontrollably after baths. Using Virbac Etiderm shampoo, putting one capful of shampoo in a cup of water and using no shampoo have all yielded poor results.
She was given hydroxyzine (25 mg) to take several times a day, but I prefer not to medicate her and especially not that much. Our answer is to not give her baths, but she does get a bit smelly.
How often were you bathing your dog and why?
If she has an oily and smelly coat, you need to look into changing her diet. Healthy dogs on a good diet don't smell and rarely need to be bathed. All they need is good grooming every few days.
Some people are obsessive dog shampooers, which can disrupt the normal, healthy bacterial population "barrier" on their skin. The skin can become hypersensitive and more prone to irritants and infections.
Cut back on the bathing and give your dog a half-teaspoon of fish oil in her food daily. Use aloe vera liquid as a basic shampoo with additional herbs such as German camomile, lavender, nettle and calendula.