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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29034
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 8 month old French puppy. About 2 mos ago she

Customer Question

I have a 8 month old French Bull puppy. About 2 mos ago she started scooting along the rug I thought she needed her anal gland squeezed. we took her to the vet and they checked her and she was Ok, She continued this and it escalated up to 3 hrs a day. Just twisting her head one side to the other as if she was trying to reach her back end then scooting and rubbing her bum across the floor. We then took her to the #1 specialist in Pgh, PVSEC board specialists. They said it could be a mental condition but would have to take MRI's and sais to give it a couple weeks with pain meds. She now for two says is doing this non stop. She squeels almost now and it wakes her up and she jumps up and starts rocking front to back twisting her head frantically, Please tell me if this condition is something u have heard of and what your opinion is. It's wearing this pup out and heartbreaking to watch..Thanks in advance.. I am desparate
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. This behavior - constantly turning toward the rear - is a recognized obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs. Obsessive-compulsive disorders are defined as repetitive, invariant, patterned behaviors that are exaggerated in intensity, frequency, and duration given the inciting stimuli (i.e., expressed out of context). The behavior interferes with health and well-being. Your puppy's scooting and perceived pain - extreme pruritis (itchiness) is expected - is usually due to atopic dermatitis - allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc. - or food intolerance. These allergies can mimic each other and one doesn't preclude the other. Atopy is usually addressed with corticosteroids such as prednisone. The new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) is preferred because it works as well as steroids without their adverse effects. It can be difficult to obtain at this time, however. A food intolerance intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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