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Old July 7th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Can dogs get swimmer's itch?

It seems that every summer one of my dogs gets an itchy belly - no fleas or ticks by the way. No rash on the skin - maybe a little more pink from the scratching.

I was wondering if dogs can get swimmers itch because she seems to be most itchy after her swims in a pond at the dog park. She scratches her groin and pit areas where she doesn't have much fur - so I'm wondering if the swimmers itch parasite could penetrate her skin in these areas?

My other dog has no problems but her coat is much thicker so maybe she is protected???

Does anyone know if there are other things in pond or river water that could cause these symptoms in dogs?
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Old July 7th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Location: Bay Area California
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Ponds are breeding grounds for many different bacterias, protozoas and parasites. Also there may be chemicals or sedimentary compounds that sit on the fur after swimming. A thorough rinsing after any swimming activity is always recommended. Sometimes one pet may be more sensitive than another to either bacterial infections, sensitive skin issues or allergies. Ear infections and urinary tract infections can also occur secondary to swimming activities. For most dogs, in most swimming areas, a quick thorough rinse and 'keeping an eye' on things will suffice. Take care.
Christopher A. Lee, D.V.M., C.V.L.S.
Promoting surgical options and pet comfort through the use of lasers.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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coppperbelle coppperbelle is offline
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Cad dogs get swimmers itch

One of my Goldens is prone to skin infections which she gets at least once or twice every summer. It is definitely caused from swimming in the river. My other Goldens have not been bothered by she is.
My vet described it as comparable to swimmer's itch and prescribed antibiotics and something for the itch.
Goldens are like potato chips, you can never have just one.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:28 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Thank you Dr. Lee and copperbelle. I will have to start rinsing more often - they do have a lot of fun swimming in that gunky pond or the river. I try to get them to use a little pool in the backyard but the stinkier the water the better!

I have a hot spot/anti itch spray with tee tree oil that I use on my other dog who has seasonal allergies and often chews on her feet. Are there any other products that I could use to control the itch that are safe for pets if they tend to lick?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 09:53 AM
SnowDancer SnowDancer is offline
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Location: Toronto
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This would be why I am not getting a little back yard pool for my water loving American Eskimo with the very sensitive pink tummy skin. The only time he gets to go swimming is if he is boarded in the summer with the lovely lady who home boards and then takes the group to an off-leash park that has a place to swim - and she does rinse him off. I guess it is very easy for Eskies to get hot spots - people are always posting about them on the Eskie board so I decided the heck with it - and I have not forgetten the time he jumped into the bathtub with me - not pretty with those claws of his - he enjoyed it though. He loves it if he is sprayed with water - whether it be from a bottle to try and redirect his attention or just because.
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