Instructables

How can I get my dog to stop scratching himself?

My dog Scooby has been scratching himself a lot lately. We put flea stuff on him but it didn't really help. Usually he scratches the same spots so he gets sores. I don't know what to do about it and it must really be uncomfortable. What can I do?

Juan Decker2 years ago
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Lftndbt6 years ago
My puppy has a very short coat and she gets terrible rashes/welts/sore's.. She seems to be hyper allergic to anything..... dust,grass,mites,dryskin,heat etc... creams seems to make it worse even the steriodale one's... We are now using human antehistamine's, but only as a last resort... She is very well maintained and is treated like a person... It kills me to come home with her covered in blood because she has scratched herself to bit's... When she has a reaction now, either my g/f or myself takes a couple of days of work tell she's over it.... Just to stop her scratching.... And yes we have been to many vet's... And tried MANY costly remedies... There doesn't seem to be any one trigger, just combinations etc... Just incase you were interested..... She's a 2 year old Rednose American Pitbull.... Runt of the litter, and does not have a mean bone in her body... Well except if someone tried to touch me or my g/f... Unfortunatley Pitbulls as you may know have been restricted and NO more sales,breeding or given the dogs away is permitted.... She was bought 2 weeks before the deadline ban... Making her one of the last purebread rednose pitbulls born in Australia... No more ever.... sad... :(
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I hate a pit bull as well only four months old. and he has been bitting himself and scrathing for days. I gave him benadryl and that didnt work either. Our dog is sooo sweet also I just hate to see him hurtinh. We have called the Vet this morning.....
PB's are known for incredible cases of teenagitist. If your dog is young it is going through normal changes. My dog in the last year has become alot less allergic.... She now gets fed rice and chicken, they have bad bad bad reactions to store bought food also. Let me know how it goes I can probably be of more assistance.
Thanks for replying. We took our dog to the vet yesterday. There is more to the story we let a lady take him for 10 days to trian him. And well lets say we will be filling a report because she used a pinch collar and tore his poor neck up !! And he has little sores all over him. They put him on Chephlexin and Temiril - p I think thats spelled close. We feel so bad for him because he has never been ugly to anyone. Yesterday was the first time he barked when someone was at the door even.
I meant Have not Hate !!!! I can't type the dog was looking at me while I was typing sorry
Making her one of the last purebread rednose pitbulls born in Australia.

That is really sad... :(
I does make me proud that I have one of the last legally registered of the breed. Yes it is sad. She's beautiful isn't she!!
Yeah, she is very sweet!
She likes Pizza too.. ;)
I that good or bad?
again, nice picture!
Well it's certainly not good for her, but could you resist those eyes? LoL
No not really, I really like dogs.
what medicine did u use?? I have a red-nose pitt too and he cant stop scratching or biting himself. He usually scratch or bite himself until he bleed and I already try using flea and tick shampoo and dis rele experience medicine the vet suggested but nothing work. I also brought him a flea collar. I think he might have the same issue your dog have.
I have done many , many, many hours of investigationg on this subject... This is what I know... American rednose's generally suffer from heat/sweat related rash's. If left un-attended the dog will continue until it has removed the effected area, hence a bloodied wound. You need to be using human antihistamines... Depending on the brand and strength, it would be around 1/2 a tablet per 30 kg of dog... You need to administer this as soon as the "couple of spot" get irritated and begin going bright red. If you wait until the rash is full blown it won't work. Give the dog the antihistimine then give it a luke warm bath. You can add oats to the water to help sooth the rash. Definatley not hot though... Lie out a clean lint free cloth and have the dog lie on it for the next hr or so.... You will find if you catch it quick enough the rash will cease and desist. Many pitbull owners have noticed at the ages of around 3 yrs the "teen" rash symptoms seem to subside and I must say my "puppy" has been very good the last 6 months. Prior to that I almost had to intubate her because her throat closed over and she couldn't breath. She had a paralytic reaction and went into shock, hyperventelated and colapsed. I was just about to start CPR on her when she came too again. After shoving an antihistimine down her throat and several anxious minutes she started breathing normally again..... Human medication seem to be the only option as steriodal creams just aggrevate the situation..... So if you want my opinion, search the net, check what human drugs are suitable and buy some... It saved my pup's life and has made mine much more plesant knowing she is safer.... Hope that helped you my friend. Message me if you try human antihistimines on him.
. My best friend has a beautiful Red-nose Pit. She loves ppl, but is aggressive toward most other animals. She thinks she is a (80 lb) lap dog - and my friend does nothing to convince her otherwise ROFL.
. I have a Pit-mix (only weighs 35-40 lb, so I call her a Pit Lite) that is the same way. She makes sure the squirrels don't invade the back yard. :)
. BSLs suck. Don't ban dogs, ban bad owners. Any dog can be made aggressive.
Yep, watch out for the new breed of fighting dog: miniature chihuahuas LOL

All kidding aside, I agree.
It's nothing to laugh about GH.. Have you ever been bitten by one of those lil bas$#@s?? Not fun!!
And it's never a normal attack... It always a mind f#K...
It goes like this
"Oh! tiny lil doggy, your so cute"
scratch him on the head....
his lip quiver's like he is getting annouyed... You think " Silly dog your just being stupid, your ok, nice boy.. You continue scratching, he start's enjoying it. He give's you a lil' cute smile so you continue..
"That's not so bad is it?? Your not that mean are you? Cutsey lil' thing couldn't hurt a fly"
Suddenly he return's from the ecstasy he's feeling from the scratching, for a split second. He realises that he is a actually a nasty lil' f%k and can't remember why some weird person is scratching his head...

.

..

...

~*WHACK!!!!!!!!*~
"Frickin' lil shit!!! what the hell was that for??!!?!! I thought you were enjoying it... What did I do wrong... Why don't you like me? :(

Mind f%k by a dog...
Well that's how mine went.... I felt violated afterwards.... :)
Here's one full grown, sitting in an Ashtray:
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Sunbanks (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
I want one
They are only a little longer than a guinea pig, but not as "heavy" ... I would be afraid it would get stepped on, or that the ants would carry it off LOL
Sunbanks (author)  Lftndbt6 years ago
Um. Oh my. So that's what you were talking about...
A mini? You know which ones I mean, right ? Those things people keep in show boxes so they do not get stepped on; they would have a hard time getting their little mouths around a child's little finger :-) A full-sized one is a different story, but they are just overly nervous dogs; afraid of their own shadow. Still I don't know what motivates a small dog to be agressive, whereas, a fit of anger ccould send them flying across the room without hardly any effort. I had a pug grab my finger once and I just cooed at him and said you don't want to end up far far away, so let go of my finger, and as if he understood, he let go. "-)
"Pit Lite" that's so cute!! I understand completley... She sleep's inbetween my g/f and myself in the bed... She's getting to be a big girl... and I'm fairly sure she think's she's a person. Probably because we treat her like one... Thankfully she has shown NO forms of aggresion. This slightly concerns me because all dogs should at "some" time get annouyed eg. taking its bone... I have NO hesitation in sticking my hand in her mouth and taking what she's eating... I play fight with her alot and not once has she flipped out and "tryed" to hurt me... She bite's my arm's but will not clench down to hurt me . It's more like she is trying to "grab me" ... I have once almost been caught out when she found me walking up the side of my house in the dark... She thought I was someone else and ran at me... I was convinced she was going to go me... But she chickened out at the last second and ran back inside.... I thought Pitbulls were ment to be savage... should have bought a poodle... LoL.. only jk's... she's the best!!!
> Thankfully she has shown NO forms of aggresion. This slightly concerns me because all dogs should at "some" time get annouyed eg. . NEVER let your dog show ANY aggression towards you! You must establish and maintain your position as the Alpha Dog. This is especially important with a larger dog, such as a Pit. Search for and study the Alpha Roll. For a dog the size of yours, you will want to practice the maneuver before you actually need it - more than likely, your dog _will_ challenge you one of these days. Some dogs will readily accept not being the top dog and will never challenge the Alpha, but Pits aren't known for this quality. :) . Taking food from your dog is a very good way to show that you are the dominant "dog." Any signs of aggression/challenge towards you should be dealt with immediately and firmly - leave no doubt in her mind that _you_ are the top dog. . > I play fight with her alot and not once has she flipped out and "tryed" to hurt me... . As long as you both understand that it is play (watch for the dog putting the front part of her body to the ground with the legs out front - this means "play time"). If you will do the same (who cares if it looks silly, this is for your buddy), she will understand that the "fighting" is just for fun and not establishing the pecking order. . > She bite's my arm's but will not clench down to hurt me . It's more like she is trying to "grab me" ... . Well, without fingers and/or an opposable thumb, what else can she grab you with? heehee If she clamps down a little too hard, act like you're mortally wounded (yelp, roll around, &c) for a few seconds and she will learn to ease up. . > I thought Pitbulls were ment to be savage... should have bought a poodle... LoL.. only jk's... she's the best!!! . Pits _are_ bred to be aggressive ... towards other dogs. My friend's Pit and my Pit Lite will often challenge each other when they are together. For a few seconds it looks and sounds like they are going to kill each other, but it's mostly bluff. Seldom does either dog receive more than a scratch from an errant claw. . As long as they think you're the Alpha Dog, a Pit will make a wonderful companion. . And who's gonna mess with ya when ya have a "vicious Pit Bull" by your side. :) She might _lick_ them to death. LOL
I have had MANY dogs, and am more than aware of the importance of being the "Alpha dog"... This was especially important with my German shepard as she was prone to attack othor dog's. I could click my finger's and if she heard that, even in the middle of a dog fight she would submit and role onto her back... My pit know's all to well that I am the top dog. If she does get a bit rough, she spends the next 2 min pinned down in one of several submission positions a can put her in.... She does not mind me pinning her down, she know's I can do I when ever I want.. She just looks at my like... "ok dad you win". This dog is one of if not my best friend and she know's it... When I say "every dog should show aggression" I mean at some stage every dog attempts to show aggression wether it means to or not... Like most dogs will give a bit of a mistaken growl if you take a bone they REALLY want.... She has NEVER done this... She has NEVER challenged me.... She has NEVER bitten anyone even as a young pup...(my german shepard as a 2mth old pup was still drawing blood from to rough play), She she totally appear's to not have a bad bone in her body.... It's like at over 1 1/2 yr's old she still hasn't worked out what aggression is... I count my blessing ever day that I have a Pitbull that is NOT aggressive WHAT SO EVER.... In saying that, this is what I mean about it slightly scarring me.... Is it possibly that she might "flip" out at a later stage.... I would prefer it if she was a lil' bit aggressive outwardly. Then I could control it like you would with a normal dog. Or... is it just she is a sweet lil' runt (last one left with the mother in the litter and the breeder's babied her excessively) which thinks and act's more like a person... I'm sure she think's of me as her dad, but at time's I wouldn't be surprised if she thinks i'm her boyfriend... I spend hour's with her each day and she is an inside dog..(had some problems with the council :( ) So she spend's most of her time get hugs of me... She has been the easiest dog to train I have ever had. We have had some great agility result's.. And she has shown an extremley high intelligence level(as is normal for pits) We have EASILY been able to get her to phonetically sound out several words (standards throat growl method) and are now working on perfecting tone.. "Hello" , "yes please" and "i love you" are understandable. she now has decided to speratically talk when ever she feel's like it... I was getting dressed the other day and slightly ignoring her... I had my back turned to her, when out came a VERY clear "i love you" (She know's "i love you" means kisses and cuddles, "yes please" is for food time and "hello" is for visitor's... Hard to believe but very true..). She can also get things if you have another to show her what you want...eg... We give her soda bottle's to chew on (I know it not good for her, but she loves them sooooo much... well she loves the drip of coke in them... te he..) So if I show her any brand of bottle and tell her to "go get me one" she run outside to the 30 or so bottles and grab a coke bottle and bring it back to me. This works time and time again with which ever brand I show her,coke,fanta,sprite,mt dew.. I also have to be careful when feeding her.. I told her to sit and stay when giving her dinner. I forgot to say "munch" before I walked of... Needless to say 3 hr's later when I realised she wasn't about, I returned to her bowl and she was still sitting there... Hadn't touched a bit... She was damn happy when I said she could have it... LoL! She's the best dog... ;) Hope that clarifies a bit... In fact it doesn't scare me at all. I'd trust her with my life.. she will NEVER bite me on purpose, I know that sounds stupid to say, but she is not ordinary dog... ;) She also pulls my boot's then sock's off after work (my g/f says it's mean to make her take my dirty socks off.. LoL)
. So I did all that typing for nothing, huh? :) Sounds like you have everything under control. . My Pit-mix is not real interested in doing tricks (she'll do what she's told, but is seldom enthusiastic about it), but the Australian Cattle Dog has a very strong drive to please - if I can just explain to her what I want, she'll do it. But I don't think she can discriminate between brands of cola; that's amazing.
Oh yes, Border Collies are like that too. Very friendly, easy to train, and an elivated desire to please.
I have found when teaching trick's you need to start simple then build on it... eg.. bringing items... Put a coke bottle and mt dew bottle next to each other.. ( the red on the coke bottle is handy for them... I guess it stand's out..) Sit the dog infront... Show them a coke bottle (ensure they know you have food) , put the coke bottle behind your back and walk the dog to the bottle's.. be excited and point at each one... They won't get it the first time, do it again, this time don't walk the dog there. Send it.. you'll find once in about 3 goes the dog will probably pick up one of the two... Re sit the dog if it accidentally grabs the wrong one... But if it by chance they pick up the coke bottle.. give food and praise... after about 50 more goes they should get the point that, you want the one your showing... once it can get the coke bottle, switch to the mt dew.... rotate which one you want... once the dog can fetch the correct bottle, start adding more to the line up... one at a time... Once they can confidentlly fetch the bottle start moving the sit position further away adventually out of sight of the bottle's.... And no you did not do all that typing for nothing... because I found it very interesting and informative to read... thankyou.. ;)
Sunbanks (author)  Lftndbt6 years ago
She's such a cute dog!
yes she is.... ;)
Mothys5 years ago
its a dog's nature but nonstop scratching?
Sunbanks (author)  Mothys5 years ago
It was pretty much nonstop, but he's stopped scratching so much, thank goodness.
spiker6 years ago
well Adams works best for fleas, its a ten dollar bottle though
http://www.adamsfleacontrol.com/
Hello fellow dog lovers! There is a website that you should check out: www.earthclinic.com Go to the pets section and there you will find tons of advice on how to care for your dog (or cat) after the vet has thrown up his hands in frustrated surrender. Two of their cures I can PERSONALLY vouch for, one being the blue power ear medicine which is a variation of Zim's cocker ear cure*(www.zimfamilycockers.com/EarCleaner.html) with gentian violet added to the mix. I have a border collie and he was always getting ear infections till I used this stuff. The second was Ted's mange cure. This works better than the highly toxic and sometimes fatal cures the vet uses. Check them out and please don't be put off by all the apple cider vinegar cures people post as you will note that the site has a "yea/nay" section too. Good luck and give your dog a hug, terriers are the coolest of all the dog breeds. Blue Zim ear cleaner*(use a CLEAN!!!squirt bottle) To 6oz. of rubbing alchohal add 1/2 TBSP. BORIC ACID POWDER Shake to dissolve Add 2oz. White Vinegar 1TSP. Betadine/PeridoneIodine10%solution 1/2TSP.Gentian Violet solution Shake'em up there you go. This will knock down an ear infection and used once a week will prevent another. No harm either, I've used it in my own ears with no ill effects.
Lftndbt6 years ago
Hey Sunbanks, how's your puppy going? See my latest post.. Have you tried human antihistermines?
Sunbanks (author)  Lftndbt6 years ago
He's doing a lot better now and is scratching a lot less.
That's great to hear!! ;)
When my dog never stopped scratching we took her to the vet and they said she had mange but we got rid of it with medication. Now she doesn't scratch nearly as much.
Kiteman6 years ago
~~Duct tape his paws to the floor?~~ Socks, that's what he needs - padded socks.
Oh no, that reminds me of the Mommy Mommy jokes *sigh*

Mommy, Mommy, I am tired of going around in circles...

Shut up or I will nail the OTHER foot to the floor, too.

*sigh*
Have you ever seen dogs with socks on ? LOL




HAHAHAHAHA that is great. i put socks on my dog once, but he just pulled them off.
those videos remind me of the cat with tape on it:


Yeah, that is funny. I hope they don't do that often though, I would think it might give the cats a complex LOL
Sunbanks (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
I once tried making boots for him.
Skyfinity6 years ago
Give your doggy this get well card: Dear Mr. Doggy pants, Hope you get well and stop scratching. Sincereley, Skyfinity
Sunbanks (author)  Skyfinity6 years ago
OK I will. He will enjoy it immensely.
NachoMahma6 years ago
. I'm no vet, but my first guess is some type of dermatitis - probably from flea bites. A good vet should be able isolate the problem fairly quickly and easily. . For fleas, I've had real good luck with Frontline and Advantage. If the infestation is bad enough, you will need to have your house and yard treated by a professional (I have mine done every 18-24 months). . Be very careful if using anti-itch cremes. Dogs don't react the same as ppl and they tend to lick the stuff off.
this time of year, itching could come directly from the dryer air though.
Danny6 years ago
erm you could DIY
lebowski6 years ago
To get rid of fleas, Sentinel has worked really well and also takes care of heart worm.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1460
Go to Vet. It could be allergies which are simple to treat, an oatmeal bath will offer some short term relief, but if he already has hotspots, they should be looked at professionally, Doc might give the god a cortisone shot, and put it on antihistamines. BTW if one flea treatment doesn't, work switch, the fleas evolve.
gmoon6 years ago
Our beloved Bassett hound had this problem. Yes, take him to the vet.

They call these 'hot spots.' The first time we took him to the vet with the problem, they were so sever it was causing septicemia (we had just trimmed his nails, and he'd scratched the skin under his jaw flap raw.)

Until you track down the problem, you might need to shave the spots and apply cream. It was very upsetting....

We tried several remedies (bathing, fish oil pills, etc.) Eventually we found he was allergic to flea bites. We used collars, flea combs and everything we could think of to get rid of the fleas (but in a residential neighborhood, cats and varmints keep re-introducing them.)

It was a struggle until they released the once-a-month chemical treatment for flea control (Advantage or similar.) After that, he was a happy camper :D
Sunbanks (author)  gmoon6 years ago
Yeah I was thinking they could be hot spots. We used to use Advantage but then we ran out and didn't get anymore for a while.
Cinder20076 years ago
If it's not dry skin, go to a pet store and ask for green apple spray. It tastes like crap. Spray it on the dog and he wont bite himself anymore./
its a lion6 years ago
that happened to my dog, ended up he had something like dandruff. the vet gave us some special shampoo and it cleared it up after a few washings. now we just have to bathe him regularly and it seems to work well enough.
Sunbanks (author)  its a lion6 years ago
We should probably give our dog a bath sometime....
if it is dry skin though, you should use a shampoo that will not further dry the skin.
yep, dandruff is one form of dry skin....sometimes the fungus P. Ovale is involved ...
Brennn106 years ago
I agree with Goodhart, take him to the Vet just for a check up. They probably will give him either a cream or a pill to take, maybe some flea or tick medicine. Then again, I am no veterinarian, so you are better off taking him there.
Sunbanks (author)  Brennn106 years ago
I'll need to talk to my parents but I think that would be a good idea to take him to the Vet.
yep, if it is dry skin or mange it is very uncomfortable for him. But it is fixable in either case.
Goodhart6 years ago
Hmm, a visit to the Vet might be in order, sounds like a skin (maybe dryness) condition. Hopefully he didn't pick anything up.....like mange or scabies. Maybe he is nervous or bored ? Does he get left alone much ?
Sunbanks (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
No, he doesn't get left alone much. I think you would probably be right about his skin being dry because lately it has been pretty dry outside (except fot that storm last week) and my hands have been drying out too...
well, it may still be a good thing to have a vet check; you don't need him picking up any kind of infections because his skin may be cracking if dry enough.
Sunbanks (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
Yeah. That's a good idea.