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Anyone have an itchy dog??

(24 Posts)
johnbarrowmanlovesme Tue 16-Sep-08 17:29:52

My PBGV has had problem skin for ages but was under control & he hadn't had to have steroids for a couple of years. this summer it has flared up again & every trip to the vets costs £64 for steroids & anti-biotics. He isn't as itchy as he was but still not 'right' as he smells auful. Vet says it's the yeast in his years (yuck!)

we feed him on James Wellbeloved as it is hypo-allergenic (sp?)

Don't really want to continue with the medication as it doesn't really seem to be improving that much.

Anyone had any experience of this in your dog? I would appreciate any advice as the smell is driving me mad not to mention poor dog getting a bit pink again [pink]

johnbarrowmanlovesme Tue 16-Sep-08 18:44:14


johnbarrowmanlovesme Wed 17-Sep-08 10:15:59

So no-one else has a smelly itchy dog then? Only me sad

Marne Wed 17-Sep-08 10:21:51

Do you feed him anything else other than james well beloved (eg, biscuits, scraps etc...)?

I was thinking maybe linked to gluten but james well beloved does'nt contain gluten.

My mum has a very itchy dog but it seems to be linked to flea's, if he gets any fleas his skin flares up and he stinks.

Nbg Wed 17-Sep-08 10:24:34

Our dog is like this and is on steroids for life.
We recently had to stop them as he needed some anti inflamatory tablets and in that time he was chewing and licking is paws like mad.

Like your dog too, he has the yeast problem in his ears.

What breed is he?

johnbarrowmanlovesme Wed 17-Sep-08 10:41:10

He is a Petite Bassett Griffon Vendeen.
He does have scraps sometimes, usually bits of leftover meat. fleas do affect him like your mum's dog marne, I frontline him regularly but still sometimes find them on him.

Do the steroids keep the problem under control for your dog then Nbg?

Nbg Wed 17-Sep-08 11:02:08

It does to some degree but the vet wont up his dose. I think if they did, it would stop.
Ours is a Beagle.

He is 8 and it was only picked up on last year.

All the time I was saying that he licked himself far too much and people said I was wrong!

bella29 Wed 17-Sep-08 11:24:32

Hills used to do an anti allergy food, in duck & rice flavour I think. Might be worth a try.
Also, do you clean his ears regularly? My vet has advised me to clean my dog's ears once a week to prevent wax building up as he has very twisted ear canals.
If his skin only flares up in the summer it suggests a contact allergy, eg to particular plants.

johnbarrowmanlovesme Wed 17-Sep-08 11:55:32

It does seem to get worse in summer.

I do clean his ears regularly, am back using the canaural which seems to help shift the yuk. The Vet commented on his narrow ear cannals which means they get clogged up quite quickly.

Will google the Hills, havent tried that one.

Thanks for your replies.

It's Malassezia, a yeast infection of the skin common in bassets (I have a basset hound). the best remedy is a hypo allergenic diet and regular baths with Maleseb shampoo which you can get from the vets Make sure you are religious about using flea treatments too as a bout of fleas can aggravate the condition.

And yes it makes your poor dog stink!

Nbg Wed 17-Sep-08 12:19:16

do any of you have the ear ointment that smells like cheap peach scnhapps? grin

bella29 Wed 17-Sep-08 12:26:04

Sadly, no!

PuppyMonkey Wed 17-Sep-08 12:27:18

grin I like your thread title a lot. Sorry no dog, just a cat.

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 12:30:42

Will try and come back to this tonight, just about to leave work and get kids. I had a really allergic Dalmatian for years, so have lots of advice and can find some links for you. Burns do a fantastic range of foods as well which would be worth trying. Some dogs have been shown to be allergic to rice and chicken which is what most of the 'hypoallergenic' foods are based on so Burns do potato and duck and all sorts. Its no more costly that James Wellbeloved and cheaper than Hills. Pet shops stock it. Will try and find more for you later

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 12:32:32

Malaseb is the best shampoo I agree, try and get some from your vet.

OliverCromwell Wed 17-Sep-08 12:34:23

I'd like to ask about my slightly itchy dog. He is a white parson russell, fed on James Wellbeloved, and recently he has developed a red and itchy area at the front of his neck. No flakes, broken skin or anything, just red and itchy.

I suspect it is at least partly caused by contact with his collar, so I'm not putting a collar on him at all at the moment - using a harness for walks.

Anyone know whther I should treat it as anything more serious than rubbing from collar? I've heard that white dogs are more prone to skin problems. And over the summer I let him go longer than I should have before frontlining (though I didn't see any fleas)

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 12:42:32

Also gave my dog this supplement. I did also try antihistamines and there was evidence to show that some antihistamines worked better on dogs on long term fatty acid supplements. Will have to get the links when I get home. I went down the route of allergy testing, then we our dog desensitised and there was a huge difference. But a lot of it is getting the diet right and management of fleas and keeping skin washed and free from infection. Sorry to rush, will come back later. Yes white dogs do seem to be worse affected often.

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 14:43:40

My Dalmatian started getting itchy skin just before he was a year old. He would chew his feet raw, scratch and lick his undercarriage, scratch under his 'arms' till they bled and constantly itch his smelly ears. First vet I went to wanted to give steroids. Dalmatians are a breed that can be prone to something called Demodectic mange. All dogs carry the demodex mite but it only becomes problematic when the immune system is compromised, so its a defect that Dalmatians immune system can be compromised rather than they have more mites. Steroids would have compromised his immune system. They are never a great idea long term for any dog.

Skin specialist vet was fab. Did skin scrapings from his worse areas to check for mites etc, also when they showed nothing did some deeper skin biopsies as scrapings can often not show anything. Put him on antibiotics - once an infection sets in it will then make the dog itch more and more. He was alwasy treated for up to 5 weeks on ab's. A weeks course is rarely long enough to get rid of the infection. Your dog might need a course to get rid of current infection. By infection I don't mean open, weeping wounds or anything, but often, wet, smelly damp skin with some areas looking more red and raw. I had to wash him weekly in Malaseb, concentrating between his toes. Ear infection also treated, ear infections are a common secondary problem in skin problems.

Once all the issues were treated we had to try and find the cause. He went on an exclusion diet of fish and potato for weeks (fresh cooked, not dried food). Apparently these days some dogs are allergic to chicken, think its more what is put into the chickens that is the reason. No improvement from him with diet. As I said before Burns do a great range of foods, I would have a look at them. He was put on fatty acid supplement which he had for the rest of his life - has the same benefits to dogs as us and can help improve the skin in general. We tried antihistamines but not very successfully. They don't work as well in dogs as humans. Some improve with them, others don't. He was much worse when he was near carpets, we had wooden floors and leather furniture (I kid you not grin) he itched like mad when he went to our friends with carpet. Some of this helped to keep it under control but when it flared up it was not nice for him. Also had to clean his ears regularly and use drops the minute they started smelling.

Didn't really improve greatly so had him allergy tested. This showed up he was allergic to house dust mites (most common obviously) and bark and some types of grassses. We then had him desensitised to house dust mites. Weekly injections then monthly which DH used to do. All of this is over the course of several years. He improved loads after the desensitising but we still kept all the other things going. Washing, regular flea treatment, washing bedding in non bio, no fabric conditioner, washing it regularly at over 60 degrees. Long term he was fine, and in his later years he hardly had a problem - see picture on my profile. When he was young he looked 'pink' most of the time. Sadly he died last year aged 11.6. We miss him so much sad.

Unfortunately it really is a long haul with a dog with a chronic skin problem. We were strict with his diet, never gave him any treats that had colourings or anything in, had to keep on top of ear cleaning etc. It all cost a fortune as well, he was insured so insurance paid for tests etc but it was really costly.

All the links I have are breed specific to Dalmatians. Will see if I can find anything else. If your dog is insured I would try and get a referral to a skin specialist. If by any chance you leave near me (SE London) there is one local to us. If not I could probably find out from Dalmatian friends of any in your area.

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 14:44:09

and if that post doesn't bore the arse of you all I don't know what will grin

Wags Wed 17-Sep-08 14:49:44

This explains more of what I have said, the drug names mentioned by Carroll Weiss at the end are American so you may not recognise them.

johnbarrowmanlovesme Wed 17-Sep-08 17:51:20

Malassezia, that's what the ver called it, thanks monkey. Have been washing him twice a week in malaseb for ages. Last time I ran out I went and bought some medicated stuff they recommended in the pet shop as malaseb is £13 a bottle, thought I'd try & save some money hmm Wrong thing to do as his skin flared up again. The vet said the only shampoo to help with this condition is malaseb so we had to go back to the start using antibiotics & steroids.

Thanks for the info wags. He is insured but as we claimed when it first flared up a few years ago, we now can't claim on anything relating to his skin condition.

We are in Gloucestershire, can I ask the vet for a referral then?

I'm still reading your link, thanks for all the info.

beautifulgirls Wed 17-Sep-08 18:53:38

Definately get your vet to refer you to a veterinary dermatologist for further testing and advice - but be aware this is likely to start mounting up the ££ too sadly. There are other products on the market too to help with chronic allegies too eg a product called Atopica, that can be used instead of long term steroids in many patients but much less potential for long term use side effects. Also ensure good levels of essential fatty acids in the diet - high levels of evening primrose oil can be helpful. Desensitising injections don't work for all pets, but when they do the results can be dramatic so well worth a try if the allergy is a suitable one for this type of therapy. Malaseb washes can be used daily if necessary when things are bad - just ensure you leave it in the coat well rubbed in for a full 10 minutes before you wash it out.

johnbarrowmanlovesme Thu 18-Sep-08 10:54:01

Thanks for that beautifulgirls. Will have to speak to the vet again ref seeing a dermatologist.

Malaseb is magic, I gave him a bath last night & he stops scratching straight away, doesn't last though,by tonight the smell will be getting stronger again, poor old thing sad

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