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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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Itching & Scratching
by Denise
Itching & Scratching My soon to be 2 year old Maltese has recently discovered scratching. Jackie O scratches all morning and all night! She has been using a topical flea deterant for about 1 year & has no visible fleas or skin irritations. Yet the scrathing is ENDLESS! My fear is she will eventually irritate her skin, meanwhile she is making Mega-Knots. Please if you can offer any ideas or suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.


I'd have her checked at the vet's before it gets any worse. Any sudden changes in behavior should be checked out.

As for possible causes: Did you make any changes recently? Like a new diet, or treat, or different shampoo or flea spray, a new carpet or blanket? It could be some sort of allergy.. even if its not a relatively new thing, they could develop an allergy to almost anything.. and the skin is usuallly the first place it shows. Maybe it could be the atmosphere too..is it very dry in your house? Maybe a humidifier would help? Or bathing with a moisturizing conditioner? Or, too many baths can dry out the skin.. do you bathe her more than every other week or so? There are a couple of parasites that cause itchy skin other than fleas, with mites (scabies) being most common of the bunch. But if she hasn't had contact with other dogs and doesn't have any sign of crusting or scaling, then this is less likely. I still suggest taking her to the vet just in case. Good luck.. and let us know what you find out.

I would try changing the products you are using on her, one at a time and see of it helps. She may even be allergic to the flea stuff. Be sure when you bathe her that you rinse very, very well. It's always good to consult a vet too. Good luck!
Robin K.
Denise, is her skin just dry from the winter weather? That may be the case.
Libby & Buster
gas heat could also be the culprit!

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