Here’s the deal…
I have a golden retriever. Goldens tend to have sensitive skin issues. For the most part, my dog is itch-free and does ok. Sometimes after I mow the lawn or on particularly heavy pollen days, she gets more itchy than usual. For the most part, she is as itchy as any other dog.
Except after I give her a bath.
This is a new problem, in the past year or so (she’s 5). I bathe her indoors with warm to cool water. It’s good water - not well water or hard water. I’ve used three different kinds of doggy shampoo (for sensitive skin, with moisturizer, with oatmeal, etc) and have also tried Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. I pat her dry with a clean towel and let her “air dry” outdoors.
What happens is once she is dry, about 4-5 hours after her bath, she gets uncontrollably itchy. Like, chews on herself until she bleeds (sometimes) itchy. Wakes her up out of a sound sleep itchy. Exhausted itchy.
The first time this happened, I freaked out and called the emergency vet, who told me I could give her 50mg of Benadryl. I also re-washed her using the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo thinking maybe whatever shampoo I’d used was causing some sort of allergic reaction. The Benadryl helped her sleep but it was at least a day until her itchies went away.
After this, I switched shampoos. I washed her a month later or so. Same results.
Then, I got some Skin-So-Soft from Avon. After her bath, I spray it on liberally. Now, she still gets itchy but the itchiness seems to go away within maybe 12 hours instead of 24. I also give her Benadryl after a bath so she can sleep. The Skin-So-Soft seems to be pretty powerful stuff - any time she gets wet, even if it’s a month after a bath, I can smell it.
I mentioned this to my vet in passing the last time we were there. She was intrigued but didn’t have any quick answers. Unfortunately, my vet knows I’m a sucker and will buy anything she sells, so I am hesitant to buy a bunch of $20 bottles of shampoo to try.
I just gave her a bath last night and we’re back to the same routine. Poor thing has been itching herself crazy since last night (about 18 hours now). I know it will subside but I absolutely hate having to watch her go through this.
I can’t not wash her - she’ll eventually get itchy from being dirty, too.
Before I take this issue to the vet again, does anyone have any recommendations for what I could use? Since this has started happening I have had a million recommendations but it seems no matter what “sensitive skin” products I use, it doesn’t work. And no one I’ve talked to has this specific problem - itchy skin right after a bath. Other people have generally itchy/dirty dogs, or dogs with allergies, but my problem just seems too specific.
My poor baby…someone please help!