Well we have finally solved Lucy and Charlie Brown's scratching problem and Karlin had the answer from the very beginning....RABBIT MITES! I just wish it hadn't taken changing food, giving the dogs steroids and me getting bitten from head to toe before it was finally diagnosed. Initially, the vet thought no mites because no obvious dandruff on their bodies and the dogs are on Advantage which supposedly (key word here "supposedly") kills the mites. I will spare you the long drawn out version of how it finally unfolded except to say we have tried everything under the sun to figure out what was going on for the past 2-3 months, including calling out an exterminator to look for fleas and/or bed bugs! I have been sleeping in my son's room on an air mattress because I was covered in itchy red welts that would leave dark bruises as they healed and was convinced some type of critters must be living in my bed. I was totally miserable and so were my poor dogs!
And then today I discovered TONS of white dandruff on the outsides (hair sides) of Lucy's ears (I had been inspecting the skin all over her body daily in search of critters but I never actually completely parted the hair on the outsides of her ear flaps...I had looked in her ears and behind her ears and dragged a comb over her body to look at her skin and found absolutely nothing! Anyway, I brought her into the vet and demanded that they do a skin scraping to look for rabbit mites. They were positive it wasn't rabbit mites but agreed to humor me. HAH!! Were they surprised to find that she is totally infested! I am a little annoyed that they didn't do the skin scraping in the first place and I wish I had listened to Karlin in the first place and demanded it anyway. But at least the mystery is finally solved. The bummer is that I have to wash every single piece of bedding in my house because the dogs sleep everywhere, treat the carpets, dog beds and the dogs themselves as well as the cat and I had to send my mom's dog in for treatment too because she spends so much time at our house. A totally mess but it will be over soon.
Karlin, from now on anything you suspect will be the FIRST thing I demand the vet test for!