Recently we noticed Beanie scratching more frequently. Fearing that she’d become the target of fleas, we treated her with Frontline Spot-On, but it didn’t help appreciably. The itching escalated very gradually until early in the week, when we decided to give her a wash with some mild puppy shampoo. Her fur was a little matted due to her rolling in some unsavory items in the park, and we figured that a good wash might also get rid off anything else on her coat that might irritating her skin. During and after the wash I noticed excessively pink skin showing through her fur on her abdomen, chest, back legs and snout.
Over the next two days this worsened and I felt that her condition was causing her some distress. Her frequent scratching and licking had now created small lesions on her skin, so reluctantly we took Beanie back to her third favorite haunt in the world, the vet.
(In case you’re wondering, Beanie’s most favorite place is the cupboard that houses her food and treats. Favorite place #2 is the dishwasher when it’s full of dirty plates. Open either of those and a small, hungry Beagle will instantly appear. Guaranteed!)
The vet suspected an allergic reaction, though 9 months is unusually young for such problems. We wondered if the offending agent might be grass or pollen, since the flare up in her skin had coincided with the latest round of grass cutting at the parks she visits. While the vet didn’t discount this completely, she was more interested in the various cleaning agents we use on Beanie’s bedding, such as bio washing powder, fabric conditioner and so on. The treatment she recommended was antihistamines (more on this later) and antibiotics to clear any infection in Beanie’s skin. We weren’t keen on our pup getting yet another course of antibiotics and the lesions in her skin were quite mild, so the vet gave us a concentrated antibacterial wash to try instead.
By the time we got back home, we had a new suspect for the cause of Beanie’s allergic reaction. We’d recently used a spray-on fabric and carpet freshener in the house, and it was the very areas that contact the carpet when Beanie’s laying down that seemed worst hit. Needless to say the carpet freshener is now in the bin! We’ve also washed the carpets to get rid of any lingering traces of the freshener, and we’ve bought some non-bio washing powder to use on Beanie’s bedding.
Happily Beanie’s skin now seems to be calming down and she’s spending less time scratching, so it looks like the treatment’s working.
And so to the antihistamines Beanie was prescribed. It turns out there isn’t a dog-specific antihistamine, so she was given a human medicine instead: Piriton 4mg tablets. A lot of forums recommend including antihistamines in your doggy emergency medical kit in case of bee stings and so on – at least now we know a brand and dosage that’s freely available and safe!