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Question: I have a 10 year old bichon frise who scratches uncontrollably. The issue appears to be around her ears or jaw since when you touch the jaw she winces and wants to scratch. My vet gave her a tooth exam and had to extract 2 teeth that were bad. This seemed to help since she stopped scratching. Then it started up again and this time it appeared to be the ears. I took her back to the vet and she had a fungal infection in both ears. She was put on Conzol 1% for this and it appeared to help. She also got Clavamox antibiotic. Now the scratching has started up again. If you rub under her chin/jaw her back leg starts to scratch. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for my poor little bichon? Thank you,
Patrice (Malleus) Roma.

Answer: Seeing our pets uncomfortable is always upsetting and, when it continues to recur, can also become very frustrating. Since the scratching seems to have been caused by different issues at different times, I think your first step is to have your veterinarian examine your dog again. As you have already pointed out, the first time painful teeth were to blame and the second time it was an ear infection. Other culprits for facial itching include certain eye problems, skin infections, allergies, and some parasites. In some cases, itching can be an outward manifestation of an internal disease. All conditions have different treatments, so it is important to try to identify the underlying cause in order to make your pet more comfortable. I hope she feels better soon.

Rita Angelo, VMD

Dr. Angelo graduated from the University Of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in small and animal medicine here at Oradell Animal Hospital and remained on staff as a senior general practitioner at both our Paramus and Fort Lee locations. Dr. Angelo was appointed Hospital Director of Oradell Animal Hospital in 2019.
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