Our Seattle Veterinarian Tells A Story About Dog Itching And How To Stop The Itch
Our August Pet of the Month is a sweet 8 year old, female, German Shepherd dog, named Brinks. Like many dogs, Brinks has experienced the occasional ear infection and the occasional hot spot . These usually are resolved with treatment. However, earlier this year, Brinks developed an itch that just wouldnt go away.
In April, Brinks was taken to Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital to find out how to stop her constant itching. Dr. Shawna Wedde found that Brinks had a skin infection under both armpits and around both of her lips. A skin scraping showed many bacteria on the skin. Brinks received antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection, steroid medications to help stop the itch as well as an antibiotic and anti-yeast shampoo. Because of her history of recurrent hot spots and ear infections, Dr. Wedde also discussed the likelihood of Brinks having an underlying allergy and recommended starting flea medications and switching to a hypoallergenic food as a first step.
One month later her skin was looking 100% normal and she was no longer itchy!
There are a number of things that can cause a dog like Brinks to itch, including:
Skin allergies can be the most challenging thing to treat because most dogs have a combination of infections and allergies. This requires treatment of the infection and inflammation on the skin while at the same time trying to get rid of potential allergens.
The itching usually starts with an allergic reaction to:
Talk To A Doctor About An Amoxicillin Rash
If you have an amoxicillin rash, you should talk to a doctor right away about whether to keep taking the medication or not. They may switch you to a different antibiotic, and they may be able to tell you whether you are experiencing a harmless amoxicillin rash or a potentially dangerous allergic reaction.
You do not have to go into your doctorâs office just for a rash. You can have an online video appointment with one of the licensed doctors at PlushCare.
- You will show the online doctor the rash, tell them when it started, discuss your medical history , and talk about any medications you take.
- If appropriate, the physician can electronically send a prescription to your pharmacy for a different antibiotic or a topical medication to help reduce the itching.
To get started with PlushCare, . You can schedule an appointment at a convenient time and find out what to do about your amoxicillin rash.
What Steps Do I Need To Take For Signs Or Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis
- Immediately give 1 shot of epinephrine only into the outer thigh muscle.
- Leave the shot in place as directed. Your healthcare provider may recommend you leave it in place for up to 10 seconds before you remove it. This helps make sure all of the epinephrine is delivered.
- even if the shot improved symptoms. Do not drive yourself. Bring the used epinephrine shot with you.
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Are Antibiotics Effective For A Cold Flu Or Covid
Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections they are not effective against viral infections, such as a cold, the flu, COVID. They also do not work against fungal infections, like ringworm or vaginal yeast infections.
You should avoid demanding an antibiotic from your healthcare provider when you have a viral infection as it will not cure your infection and might make it worse. In addition, this adds to the problem of antibiotic resistance, and it costs you money you do not need to spend. Your doctor can offer symptomatic treatment to ease your viral infection, or prescribe specific anti-viral medications if appropriate.
If you eventually need an antibiotic because of a secondary bacterial infection that might occur later, your doctor will prescribe it then.
When Should The Doctor Be Consulted For Itching
If home treatment isn’t helping, scratching is affecting the skin being scratched , or the itch is disturbing one’s sleep, consult a doctor to ascertain what’s causing the itching. A doctor can also prescribe stronger cortisone-based creams and prescription-grade antihistamines, if necessary, or treat the underlying condition that is causing the itch.
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Ruling Out Other Conditions
If cellulitis isn’t getting better with antibiotics, doctors should make sure that the symptoms aren’t caused by another condition. According to Dr. Mostaghimi, other types of infections are sometimes misdiagnosed as cellulitis, which can delay proper treatment.
“Our research show that when people go to the emergency room or to their primary care doctor and the diagnosis is cellulitis, probably about a third of those cases are incorrect,” says Dr. Mostaghimi. “If you have cellulitis that doesn’t respond to treatment, or that keeps coming back in a surprising way, it may be time to check in and say, ‘Hey, maybe I don’t have this maybe we should broaden the list of things that this could be.'”
Antibiotics Can Be Harmful
If you have an infection, antibiotics can save your life. But antibiotics can also be harmful if you take them when you dont need them. The more antibiotics you use, the less likely they are to work when you need them.
Antibiotics can cause side effects. Antibiotics that you take by mouth can cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and vaginal yeast infections. They can also cause allergic reactions. These include rashes, swelling, itching, and trouble breathing. Side effects from antibiotics cause nearly 1 in 5 trips to the emergency department.
Antibiotic creams and ointments can slow the healing of wounds. And they can cause redness, swelling, blistering, draining, and itching.
Antibiotics can breed superbugs. More than half of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are not needed. Thats according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Taking antibiotics when you dont need them can breed superbugs. These are bacteria that are hard to kill. They can make it harder to get well and cause health problems. You can spread superbugs to other people.
Antibiotics can be a waste of money. Antibiotics that you take by mouth can cost from $8 to more than $200. Antibiotic creams and ointments can cost from $5 to more than $150. Plus, you may need to spend more on healthcare and treatments due to side effects and superbugs from antibiotics.
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Most Surgical Wounds Dont Need Antibiotics
Some doctors prescribe antibiotic creams or ointments to keep wounds from getting infected after surgery. Although infections still happen at hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, the risk of an infection is fairly low. And topical antibiotics for your skin dont lower your risk of infection. Other measures, such as good handwashing by staff, work better to prevent infection. Petroleum jelly can help wounds heal by keeping them moist. Plus, its cheaper and less likely to make the wound sore.
What Causes An Amoxicillin Rash
While hives are most commonly caused by allergies, doctors arent sure what causes the maculopapular rash to develop.
If your child gets a skin rash without hives or other symptoms, it doesnt necessarily mean that they are allergic to amoxicillin. They may simply be reacting slightly to the amoxicillin without having a true allergy.
More girls than boys develop a rash in reaction to taking amoxicillin. Children who have mononucleosis and then take antibiotics may be more likely to get the rash.
In fact, the amoxicillin rash was first noticed in the 1960s in children who were being treated with ampicillin for mono, according to the Journal of Pediatrics.
The rash was reported to have developed in almost every child, between 80 and 100 percent of cases.
Today, far fewer children receive amoxicillin for mono because its an ineffective treatment, as mono is a viral illness. Still, about 30 percent of children with confirmed acute mono who are given amoxicillin will develop a rash.
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Can I Prevent Impetigo
The best ways to prevent infection are to stay clean and healthy. Other tips to avoid impetigo include:
- Keep hands clean: Wash hands regularly. Use alcohol-based sanitizer if you dont have soap and water.
- Practice good hygiene: Clip your fingernails regularly to avoid scratching. Sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. Bathe daily , especially for children with eczema or sensitive skin.
- Avoid scratching: Dont scratch cuts or wounds. If your child gets a cut, scratch or wound, keep them from scratching it.
- Clean wounds: Clean cuts, scrapes and injuries with soap and water. Then put an antibiotic cream or ointment on the wound.
- Keep linens clean: Wash underwear, towels and sheets in hot water.
Frequent Hand Washing Can Help
If you know that scarlet fever is going around , proper and frequent hand washing is essential. Remind your kids to wash often while at school, and make it a house rule that everyone scrubs up as soon as they come home and before they start touching surfaces in the house.
If you or someone in your household becomes ill with scarlet fever, it’s important to know that group A strep bacteria spread easily through the air by hitchhiking on droplets of liquid contained in sneezes and coughs. The best way to keep bacteria out of the air, then, is to cough or sneeze into the crook of an elbow or sleeve. This strategy also will keep the organisms from landing on hands where they can then transfer to frequently handled surfaces like doorknobs and remote controls.
If a tissue is used to catch a cough or sneeze, it should be disposed of right away .
Never drink from a cup or glass that’s been used by someone with scarlet fever, or share eating utensils.
Finally, anyone who’s been diagnosed with scarlet fever must be on antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning to school or daycare. This is to prevent the risk of spreading the illness to others. It’s also important to give the body time to rest and recuperate.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis, characterized by symptomatic hypotension with associated dyspnoea, urticaria, and possibly gastrointestinal symptoms, is the most severe manifestation of IgE-mediated drug allergy. It is most common after parenteral drug administration and is rare with oral or cutaneous exposure. Anaphylaxis results when antigen-specific IgE is present on mast cells and a systemic exposure to antigen occurs, cross-linking the IgE. This results in the simultaneous degranulation of large numbers of mast cells. Mast cells contain histamine and other vasoactive mediators. Their sudden release, due to either an IgE-mediated anaphylactic reaction or a similar non-IgE-mediated reaction , results in a sudden drop in blood pressure and blood volume, flushing, itching, and potentially respiratory compromise, bowel oedema, and potential death .
What Are The Different Types Of Rashes Caused By Medicines
|Type of rash
|Purple areas on the skin, often on the legs
|Some anticoagulants and diuretics
|Blisters or a hive-like rash on the lining of the mouth, vagina, or penis that can spread all over the body
|Antibiotics that contain sulfa, barbiturates, penicillins, and certain medicines used for seizures and diabetes
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What Are Possible Complications Of Itching
As mentioned previously, a secondary bacterial infection of the skin is perhaps the most common complication of itching. This occurs not as a result of the itch but as a result of the scratching and associated skin damage. Antibiotics may be required to treat a bacterial infection of the skin. Itching itself is unlikely to lead to other complications, although some of the underlying diseases that cause itching are associated with complications specific to the disease itself.
What Are The Most Common Side Effects Of Antibiotics
All medications have side effects, including antibiotics. Antibiotics are medications that treat infections by killing bacteria or other organisms or slowing their growth. An antibiotic side effect occurs as an unwanted reaction that occurs in addition to the desirable therapeutic action of the antibiotic you are taking.
Side effects of antibiotics can range from mild allergic reactions to severe and debilitating adverse events. When used appropriately, most antibiotics are relatively safe with few side effects. However, some side effects may interfere with your ability to finish the medication. In these cases, you should contact your doctor.
Common side effects with antibiotics include:
- Mild skin rash or other allergic reactions
- Soft stools, short-term diarrhea
- Fungal vaginal infections or oral thrush
More severe antibiotic side effects include:
- Severe allergic reaction that results in difficulty breathing, facial swelling
- Severe watery or bloody diarrhea Clostridium difficileinfection
- Stomach cramps
- Yeast infections in the mouth or vagina
These side effects are extremely variable however, there are some common side effects that may occur within larger antibiotic drug classes, as described in Table 1. Long term side effects of antibiotics can occur, but are infrequent.
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Dont Use Antibiotics Unnecessarily
Try to avoid using antibiotics for minor infections, such as an ear infection. In these cases, antibiotics will only shorten your healing time by a day or two.
Ask your doctor if theres anything else that might help before starting antibiotics.
But if your doctor does recommend taking them, make sure to finish the entire course. Not doing so can contribute to antibiotic resistance, which makes antibiotics ineffective against harmful bacteria.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Relieving the symptoms of scarlet fever is key to helping someone feel more comfortable during their illness. Tending to discomfort a nasty sore throat, headache, itchy rashmay even help to speed recovery by making it easier for a patient to get enough sleep and rest.
Sore Throat Relief
You can experiment with these options to find the ones that bring the most relief:
- Frozen foods: Ice cream, popsicles, slushies, or smoothies made with frozen fruit, for instance, can temporarily numb a sore throat. Sucking on ice chips can help as well.
- Warm liquids: Choices such as chicken soup or tea with honey can be soothing. The operative word here is “warm.” Swallowing a too-hot liquid could make throat pain worse, not better.
- Throat lozenges or hard candy: Note that these are only safe options for older kids and adults. Although scarlet fever rarely affects very young children, these items are potential choking hazards for those younger than 4.
- Warm salt water: Try gargling a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of salt and water .
- A cool-mist humidifier: It will help keep the air moist, especially during sleeping hours. Sitting for a few minutes in a steamy bathroom may help as well.
- Avoidance: Irritants like cigarette smoke and the fumes from cleaning products can exacerbate throat pain.
Soothing Itchy Skin
Keep the fingernails of young children who are tempted to scratch short and clean to avoid damaging skin.
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What Are Oral Medications That Treat Itch
Traditionally, antihistamines are used to treat the itching. Examples include diphenhydramine , hydroxyzine , and chlorpheniramine . These medicines can induce drowsiness in many people and must be used with care before driving a car or operating heavy machinery. Although antihistamines may help relieve itchy skin, they seem to do so mainly by helping people fall asleep and avoid scratching at night.
If falling or staying asleep is not your main problem, you may want to try one of the nonsedating antihistamines. Loratadine and fexofenadine are examples of newer second-generation antihistamines that are available without a prescription.
- The second-generation antihistamines do not have the sedating effects of the older first-generation antihistamines but they are not very effective in quelling the itch.
What Is The Prognosis For Itching
Itching itself is not associated with long-term skin problems or harm, and most cases of itch are temporary and resolve on their own or with topical or oral treatments. Itching that is associated with a serious condition may persist if the condition worsens or it may be managed with medications.
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Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome
This time though, I noticed the mild rash after just 1 day. I stopped taking the drug, but the symptoms continued. Rashes popped up on my stomach and feet. I had a fever, mouth sores, back pain and swelling around the eyes.
Later, I discovered natural therapies to treat mastitis through my neuropathologist. Heat and cold compresses, lecithin, garlic, and I actually put cabbage leaves in my bra, which for some reason dries up the milk production. The problem is that there is no magic bullet and it takes longer. So instead of feeling sick for a day, nursing moms will feel sick for a week.
All my reactions and symptoms finally came to a sudden end in mid-July, 7 months after they started. But the fear lingered. I was afraid Id be allergic to other antibiotics and was terrified to try another.
Seeking answers, I began doing research. I found a name for my condition: Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome.
I finally made an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where I met with one of the few doctors who specialize in multiple drug allergies.
He was considerably less concerned than I was, and that gave me hope. He put together a plan so that the next time I needed antibiotics I had some reasonable options.
Zyrtec Is Not The Only Antihistamine With This Withdrawal Syndrome:
Q. I took Claritin during the allergy season for maybe two months. Now Ive had unbelievable itching for the past three weeks. Have you ever heard of such a problem?
A. We have heard from many readers who have experienced severe itching for weeks after discontinuing the antihistamines cetirizine or levocetirizine . In addition, some people have reported itching upon stopping loratadine . Most readers tell us the itching fades with time, although there are no clear guidelines on how long the misery might last.