Atopy? Dermatitis? Nothing is working. Help please.

(14 Posts)
mckenzie Sun 02-Jun-19 20:37:14

Ddog had his anal glands removed about 2 years ago as he was scooting (vet's idea, not mine).
When the surgical vet called to tell me that the operation was done, he said that he had seen dermatitis at the base of the tail and so maybe that was the cause of the scooting and not the anal glands.

Sure enough, the scooting continued and over the last 2 years poor ddog has been backwards and forwards to the vet with more recently, slamming his bottom down rather than scooting and chewing it constantly.

We've tried steroid injection, steroid tablets, Malaseb shampoo, topical steroid cream, Apoquel, Piriton but all to no avail.

So I referred myself to the Royal Vet College Hospital Dermatitis team and Ddog has been put on daily steroids for 2 weeks to then be weaned down to every other day plus on the Purina Vet Diet Hypoallergenic food.
We only got to 1 week in and he was slamming his bottom down again and not being himself. Bless him, the steroids make him hungry, the food makes him thirsty and must be boring as hell and it's not working.
The RVC team have suggested that he has a Cytopoint injection from the vet (booked for Tuesday).

I did try apple cider vinegar mixed with water and sprayed on to his bottom for a time. He would lift his tail higher as I sprayed which made me think that he was getting comfort/relief from it but then suddenly, one day, he shot off and wouldn't come near me again.
From then on, if I had the spray in my hand he'd run a mile and it took me a few days to get near him for anything. He'd stopped trusting me and so I ditched the vinegar.

Behaviour that might be relevant.
He would rub his cheeks against the side of the sofa or on the fake grass (our back garden is a putting green hence the fake grass).
Occasionally he would chew his paws although not often.
when given the steroid injection in the past it would stop the scooting/chewing but only temporarily. This time though, the tablets (which I hand feed him so I know that he is eating all of them)are not keeping it all under control.

One other thing in case it's relevant. We do agility and use a purpose built outdoor arena. When the sun if out, ddog sometimes stops and the trainer has said it's as if he is getting an electric shock from the ground. We are confident that it is not that the ground is too hot as a) I can keep my hand on it and b) the other dogs are all still happy to run/work.

Probably not related at all but hey ho.

Thank you for reading all this. Any suggestions or helpful tips very gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
ilovesocks Sun 02-Jun-19 21:52:09

Has he been allergy tested? Intradermal skin tests as well as blood tests?

What about for critters, there are lots of types of mites and similar?

Apoquel initially worked for us but my boy needed to go onto the loading dose regularly for it to have any effect, the maintenance dose always caused more itchiness to start. Fingers crossed, he has been on the Cytopoint around a year and is still doing very well on it. He is 11 this year, I've spent his whole life dragging him to the vets and various specialists over the years sad

What foods you tried? As well as hypoallergenic there are ones with hydrolysed proteins. I'm not a fan of them nutritionally but could be worth a go. Have you restricted treats/proteins?

Slicedpineapple Mon 03-Jun-19 07:57:05

I've just googled the food he is on, I know it's a vet prescribed one but it really doesn't contain much in the way of nutritional value.

Maize starch*, hydrolysed soya protein**, minerals, coconut oil, sugar*, rapeseed oil, soya oil, fish oil

Maize starch is often an eyebrow raiser in the dog food allergy community. My dog has food allergies and used to display symptoms like scooting etc. Vets were very keen to go ahead with steroids and to be honest weren't great at knowing where to go when I wasn't keen and thought that it might be food related.
Long story short, I tried an elimination diet and discovered he is highly allergic to various meat proteins and some grains. You can also pay for allergy testing. Symptoms were scooting, bum/tail itching, itchy belly, ear infections, yeasty paws.

He is also allergic to grass pollen which we have to treat for in the spring with regular bathing, aloe vera applied topically, and occasionally piriton.

If you have tried various things like piriton, apoquel, steroids etc then I would be looking at food rather than treating potential environmental allergies or skin issues. What food was he on before the Purina?

I'm not a vet but this is from my own experience. I am lucky I know some nutritionists who have been able to advise where vets have potentially been missing red flags.

TheSandgroper Mon 03-Jun-19 09:53:43

I also looked at the ingredients. I am not a vet or a dietitian but ingredient no 2 is Hydrolysed soya protein.

Hydrolysed anything = MSG. MSG can cause rashes which itch terribly.

Otherwise, do you feed DDawgie anything else? Gluten intolerance can also show up as a rash and dogs can have it.

mckenzie Mon 03-Jun-19 12:50:11

Thank you for your posts. Before this Purina food, he was fed raw food (from Honeys). A mixture of pork, lamb, beef, turkey with added vegetables. For training I might use liver, sausage, fish kibble and other kibble treats.
At the moment though it is the purina stuff only.

I tried for a period only feeding fish but that didn’t make any difference.
I’ve tried periods of no sausage, periods of no chicken, I tried meat only and no vegetables.

We are booked for him to have skin tests at the RVC later this month (they suggested trying the food first) along with a blood test.

I’m basically writing off our summer holiday this year based on what all this is costing. Good job I love him lots smile

OP’s posts: |
Slicedpineapple Mon 03-Jun-19 13:24:57

I know the feeling, allergies can cost a fortune!!

I've you tried a single protein diet with a novel protein like duck or boar? You can get duck and potato foods, or boar and potato. Might be worth seeing what he is like with them. It can take a few months for an allergen to fully leave the body so not sure how long you tried the fish.

Good luck OP, I know from experience how difficult this is, I hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

mckenzie Mon 03-Jun-19 16:26:27

The poor dog is definitely not enjoying this new restrictive diet so I'd love to ditch it and try something else. He's lethargic, not playful, not interested in agility (which used to be the place where he got the best treats) and looks a bit fed up.
I've paid £££ to go the the RVC though so it seems daft to not now follow their suggestions. He's got the Cytopoint injection tomorrow (more £££) which might give him complete freedom from the itching but then we still won't know if the food is/was helping or not.

Every time I open the dishwasher (I think his favourite thing ever is to sneakily lick a dirty plate) and stand in his way to block his access, I swear his heart breaks just that little bit more sad

OP’s posts: |


mckenzie Mon 03-Jun-19 16:31:13

I've just received an e mail from the hospital confirming our next appt.
The estimate is £500 for re-examination, cytology, sedation with the skin test and a further £250-£320 for the ASIT vial.

That's on top of the £340 that I spent there last month.

That holiday is definitely not going to happen.

And what's cytology?
and what's ASIT?


OP’s posts: |
ilovesocks Mon 03-Jun-19 22:20:14

If you get nowhere with skin and blood tests there is a saliva test you can get done in America.

My lad was clear of all allergies on tests but was shown to having varying intolerances from this saliva test that was done. Google Dr Jean Dodds, she's brilliant and it's her who developed this test, think it is called Nutriscan. Your dog chews on a bit of rope and it gets posted off to the states, that's all there is to it.

Mine had to be bathed in hibiscrub every other week for ages at one point whilst having all his tests done. Our insurance paid out thousands and I have also paid out thousands.

My top recommendations would be really restrict food as you are, you need to do a good 6 weeks + to see any benefit. Then promote skin and coat health, so giving a decent supplement but do beware this will impact on an exclusion diet. My boy was on 2 x moxxor oil capsules a day for years, they contain green lipped mussel and some other things and got him to be the most stable he had ever been off medication. I'd consider bathing his rear end every couple of weeks if he'll let you with a shampoo such as Epi-Soothe, that was the best one we ever had, also, consider giving a probiotic or ensuring his digestive system is working well. My lad was diagnosed with IBD and they think that and his skin problems are also linked. He is deficient in B12 so gets monthly ones of those alongside his Cytopoint too.

Also, please be wary of vaccinating him if and when he is in the middle of an episode. Mine started to come out in rashes post vaccinations. The feel of his specialist is that all of his problems stem from an immune problem which presents itself in a variety of ways.

Our next Cytopoint is tomorrow, I hope yours goes OK! You should see some relief within 12-24 hours if it's going to work. Let us know how you go?

mckenzie Tue 04-Jun-19 18:27:36

thanks ilovesocks.

DDog has has the Cytopoint injection this afternoon so we'll see how that goes.

I've reread my posts on here and noticed that I mention the costs quite a bit. Please know that I am not in any way, shape or form fishing for Mumsnetters to provide financial help; I'm merely having a moan.

We weighed DDog at the vets and he has lost over half a kilo (he only weighed 12 and a bit before) which the vet didn't seem concerned about but strikes me as being quite high. I know he's hungry as he is constantly scavenging when we are out. But sadly not eating the Purina when it's offered.

I think I'm going to try Venison as I can get it from the company that I used to get his food from and I can also get Venison jerky for training and treats.

What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
ilovesocks Tue 04-Jun-19 20:28:44

I would give it a go. If you can keep a list somewhere if all the foods you try so that you know what proteins are left to try. Sounds silly but we have tried so many foods it's hard to remember what they have had and when.

I think half a kg is quite a bit for a 12kg dog. Mine is a whopping 29kg currently, quite often he is sub 25 and I'm thrilled if he's 27+. I would still be worried if he lost half a kilo knowing his history.

Do you know he's not eating enough and therefore that that's probably causing it, or do you think there could be something else? The steroids can have an affect on hunger for quite a while so that might be making DDog seem even hungrier still too. Have you tried soaking the purine in tepid water so it absorbs water and is a bit more gravy like to see if that helps entice him?

How is he doing now, any sign of some relief?

mckenzie Fri 07-Jun-19 12:37:51

Venison ordered. Ddog will be so pleased when it arrives.

OP’s posts: |
ilovesocks Sat 08-Jun-19 22:24:42

Has the Cytopoint helped?

mckenzie Sun 09-Jun-19 09:00:11

He was actually itch free for the few days before the cytapoint and certainly has been ok since it.
I started introducing the venison yesterday so I’m on high alert today.

Ddog was so excited to eat it, bless him.

I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that he’s ok.

OP’s posts: |

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