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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19635
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a female whippet 8years old early this year she got a

Customer Question

hi I have a female whippet 8years old early this year she got a very itchy neck have had her to vets have spent $7000 on her for biopsy /skin tests/medications/looking down her throat/xrays/heaps of test but she will not stop scratching driving us nuts hope you can help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
What did they find on their biopsy and skin tests?
Where ear, nasal, and oral issues ruled out?
Did she stop scratching at all on the Prednisone?
Does she scratch all of the time or does she do so in sudden bursts/fits?
Does she ever carry out the scratching motion but not necessarily scratching anything ("air scratching")?
Any history of seizures, odd behavior, head pressing, circling, or head tilts?
Any pain or resistance if you move her neck in any direction?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi they found nothing at all with the biopsy and skin test ,didn't stop scratching while on the prednisone ,yes sudden bursts of scratching , no air scratching no history of seizures, odd behaviour, head pressing , circling, or head tilts no pain when you move her neck the only thing that came back was on the blood test was she is loosing protein out of her kidneys hope you can help thankyou nolene
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Nolene,
Do you know what dose of steroid was used?
Did they try any other medications?
Does she seem distressed or sore when she scratches?
Just for thoroughness, can you take a photo of this skin? If you can do so and post it online, this will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar above your text box. Or if you cannot see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on an alternative site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi the prednisone was 20mg ,2 pumps of cortavance daily for 2 weeks ,neocort 3 times daily , apex antibiotic lotion daily ,fuciderm daily this is just some of the medication I still had at home that didn't work since the scratching started will send photo later today thankyou Nolene
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Nolene,

I will keep an eye out for your photos of her skin.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
have sent photos waiting to here from you thankyou nolene
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now you have noted that you posted the photos, but I cannot see that you have. If you can try again that would be grand.

Still, at this stage and since I do feel like we are playing a bit of tag, I will give you my thoughts thus far about your lass. Now I have to say that Chevelle’s situation does sound quite complicated. Even though I have not seen her skin, it sounds like this may appear normal (safe for the self trauma she is causing). Therefore, while she is scratching the skin and considering the tests/treatments that have been used, I would question whether our issue is actually deeper.

Now first, to hear that she has protein loss in her urine as well as this itchiness, I would note that we can see both signs on occasion in dog with kidney dysfunction. Now I assume this is less likely for her since she has had bloods (which were hopefully normal) tested and a skin biopsy done (so hopefully they’d have seen any calcium deposits secondary to uremia if present).

Furthermore, if the cause of her protein loss was stressing her body (as it likely is since she is essentially losing nutrition via her kidneys), we can see demodex mites cause chronic persistent itchiness in older dogs too. So, while again I would hope that this had been checked for, ruled out, and/or addressed; it could fit with what you are reporting for her.

And again another concern and one I hope they have ruled out already would be Alabama Rot. Now the likelihood of this would depend on your location but I would note this as a concern since it does cause skin disease as well as protein loss in the urine.

Otherwise, we have to start thinking about less common issues. Now I know that her vets have xrayed to check for visible issues within her throat and neck, but I would be suspicious that her scratching could be a reaction to irritation/inflammation with a local nerve, the spine, or even her brain. And while some of inflammations within these tissues would have responded to the steroids, it would depend on just what was present. So, I would consider potentially speaking to he vet about these nervous tissue irritation causing what you are seeing. If there is a question of this, there are medications that could be trialed (ie Gabapentin) to rule out nerve pain. As well, you could even consider having a spinal tap or MRI to check for diffuse infections or protozoal disease that could affect the brain or spine.

Overall, you have taken all the right steps so far. Still, this sounds like this may be something subtler then a skin issue here. So, if you can post those photos that would be great but otherwise these would be other concerns for what we are seeing with Chevelle.

Please take care,

Dr. B.