• As I mentioned in our introduction, we are brand new Basenji owners by only about three weeks. Our pup, Appa, has had his first vet appointment and third vaccine dose and we've given him one topical flea treatment using Advantage. But... he WILL NOT stop itching! It's gotten progressively worse and he's got red sores and scabbing all over his belly and in his front armpits. No fleas, we haven't over-exposed him, we are feeding him the same food as our breeder (Victor and Blue Buffalo soft food), and we've even changed our detergent from Tide to All for sensitive skin. I've checked his ears for signs of mites and cleaned them, but it doesn't seem like he has them. We've also given him two baths, one using a medicated shampoo.

    Please help! Let us know if we're doing anything wrong.


  • Could be environmental allergies triggered by seasonal something where you live. Or spontaneous food allergy from over-exposure. If you've treated with a topical bug medication such as Revolution, the problem shouldn't be infestation. I'd consult the vet, at least for medication to relieve his itching and something for the scabs to prevent infection 🙂 Sorry this is happening!


  • @nkeller89
    Could the itching be due to a reaction to the Advantax? Did the itching start after the application?


  • Could be an allergic reaction to the Advantax, as @Kembe mentioned.
    It could also be environmental, which I think is a good call @Roux. Does your pup have access to a backyard, or a dog park, or other area where he is spending time? Laying down on the grass, or romping in an area with tall grasses? Is the area treated with chemicals or home to fire ants, chiggers (or other pests)?

    Just ideas... we don't know what area you live in, or what your pup has been exposed to. A pic might provoke more "guesses".


  • I'm assuming the baths were because of the itching and given after it started? Because usually bathing a Basenji is unnecessary unless they have gotten into something that requires it. If you bathed him before the itching started, it could be a cause....


  • @nkeller89 - How old is this pup? And how close were the vaccines? Could be the vaccines, not the flea meds... and if he didn't have fleas before there really was no reason to give the flea treatment... could the the combo of all the shots and the flea meds on top of that... I always recommend all that is not done as a "whooper" shot/treatment


  • Some pups can develop itching or other symptoms following vaccination. If the itching follows closely, time-wise, then a trip back to the vet is indicated. This time of year pollen can cause problems in some countries but again, your vet should advise you. Bathing a Basenji is never a good thing ! Apart from their dislike of water, you can harm their skin. Most of my pack, over the years, have gone their entire lives without a bath. @tanza is right too - too much medication in quick succession can combine to cause side effects.
    An indication of where you are located might be useful ?


  • @nkeller89 - Will expand on my response... about "whooper" shots... it is best to separate them. What was the regular shot? Or was there Lepto or other additives? And was rabies including? For Rabies, I do that as a separate shot 3 to 4wks after a regular shot. And flea meds you can order on line and put on yourself as needed. Unless you are in a bad area for fleas you can get away with just as needed. And was heartworm added with this? I use NuHeart that is just for heartworm. You can get this on line also.


  • Hey All! Thanks so much for all the replies! Super helpful! Sorry I'm getting back to everyone so late.

    Our pup is now 15 weeks old for those who asked. His itching started a week after we brought him home and it preceded his third vaccination.

    We treated him with Advantage flea after we saw him itching so badly, so I don't think it's a reaction to that.

    We live in South Carolina, so yes, the bugs are pretty thick out here and there is pollen everywhere! I'm including a picture for those who asked too. It's gotten slightly better since we've started applying Lotrimin, but he's still scratching and it will often interrupt walks, play, and eating.

    PXL_20220615_012618543.jpg


  • @eeeefarm Yes, we bathed him after the itching started.


  • oh dear! Could your pup have found a patch of poison ivy/oak? (thank you for the picture)
    Perhaps treating the area with diluted ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) is worth a try. It won't hurt your pet, doesn't cost much, and you might just have what you need in your cupboard. holistapet.com recommends a half and half mix.


  • That looks like contact dermatitis or bites since it's not in the groin or neck (can't see the armpits). Food/medication allergies will be all over, with much concentration in the areas with thinner skin. If you're saying the bugs are thick, those could be bites at those scab points. The way --mectin medications work is not by repelling, but by killing once the culprit has already bitten; they don't stop bugs from biting at all. Insect repellents for dogs are available, but be careful which you use. Some are very irritating to either their nose, skin, or both. Anyone have recommendations? If it's contact with a patch of plant, take a very close look at the foliage where he's laying down since that's where the rash is. Is it also on his legs?


  • And also remember not to use any preparation on a Basenji that you wouldn't use on a cat. In other words, nothing that can't be safely ingested.


  • @roux - I would mostly agree except for vaccines.... that can show up anywhere, which is why we separate them and none of this all at one time. We also do not give the chewables that claims to cover everything.... And often (in my opinion as an owner/breeder) not necessary.


  • @roux Thanks, really helpful! The rash is not on his legs, just the belly.


  • @elbrant we haven't seen any poison ivy on our property. One thing it may be is fire ant bites. We have a lot of ant hills and its quite possible that he laid down on one. ACV sounds like it might be a good option. The Lotrimin AF has help relieve some of it to where he's not scratching himself bloody. But he's still scratching.


  • @nkeller89 Aw poor baby! Well Bs are smart so if he's the norm and IF those are bites/plant contact, he'll learn to avoid certain areas of your yard. I would consider possibly consulting an exterminator about the fire ants though, considering there's still a learning curve and those are possibly dangerous in large quantity.
    In all this time that has passed since he first started itching, has he been taken to the same area again? Still itching? Ups and downs? Improvement? If his movement, diet, medication, and skin are tracked closely enough every day/hour, there should be a definite answer as to why this is happening. Though of course I am not a vet! A good vet will be the biggest help!


  • @nkeller89 said in The Non-stop itching!:

    it may be is fire ant bites.

    (I'm across the state line in NC)
    I don't think its' fire ants ... because doodle will fuss immediately if a fire ant "gits her" and I have to rescue her by dusting them off. Also, fire ant bites leave little pustules, like zits that hurt, and I'm not seeing those. hmmm... I'll let it sit in the back of my mind and see if I can think of another environmental exposure that might produce that kind of reaction.

    @roux said in The Non-stop itching!:

    consider possibly consulting an exterminator about the fire ants

    Bless you... if only Orkin could eradicate fire ants. Unfortunately, these little devils snuck into America almost 100 years ago and there's really no way to tame the population growth. Grits work pretty good, if you can spread them during a dry spell. Once it rains and the grits swell, your just feeding them.


  • Best remedy I know for ants is diatomaceous earth. Get the food grade, so it is safe for pets and people.


  • @elbrant LOL you're right, I have 0 experience with eradicating ants! Taipei doesn't have fire ants hahaha though the huge flying roaches are a big problem and apparently cause Roux to have diarrhea if she eats one (I NEARLY HAD A FIT WHEN I SAW THIS) so thank you for the clarification!
    Hopefully y'all get down to the reason!

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