Stop Jack Russell Itching

by Jill
(New York, NY, USA)

Reader Question: How Can I Stop My Jack Russell From Itching?

My Miniature Sadie will not stop itching. I've tried cortisone which last for a week or so, I've tried steroids, Shampoos, conditioners, Benadryl. When I put a t-shirt on her she stops but now she takes it off. Any good advice?

Vet Recommends A Wide Variety Of Products To Stop Itching In Jack Russell's

Hi Beth,

It sounds as if Sadie has an itchy skin condition that responds to treatment but comes back quickly when therapy is discontinued. The most common problem that meets these criteria is allergies. If Sadie were my patient, I’d need to rule out a few things first (e.g., mange, ringworm, and skin infections) with some simple and inexpensive tests, but if those came back normal and her physical exam didn’t turn up anything unusual, I’d definitely be thinking allergies.

Dogs can be allergic to flea bites, ingredients in their food, or environmental triggers like pollen, mold, and dust mites. Sadie should definitely be on an effective flea control medication like Revolution or one that contains fipronil.

If I considered a food allergy to be the strongest possibility, the next step would be a food trial with a hydrolyzed diet like Purina HA or Hill’s z/d.

If environmental allergies were the most likely culprit, we’d have to talk about whether you wanted to pursue intradermal allergy testing to find out what Sadie’s triggers are followed by desensitization therapy (e.g., allergy shots) or whether symptomatic care was a better option for the two of you. I frequently prescribe some combination of prednisone (at the lowest dose possible given no more frequently than every other day), cyclosporine, weekly or twice weekly baths with a shampoo designed to help with allergies, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and topical products like Dermoscent or Duoxo Seborrhea Spot-On that enhance the skin’s ability to protect itself from allergic triggers.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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