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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20743
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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He's suffering bad with itching, red skin, chews himself raw

Customer Question

He's suffering bad with itching, red skin, chews himself raw and is now throwing up! We have been to the vet twice. Both times we have gotten steroids and an antibiotic. Also told to give him Benadryl daily. Unfortunately after we end the steroid he goes back to where we started. Plus it seems like his anal glands are bothering him again. We have them done and he is full again at the next visit! Our poor boy is suffering so bad :(
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not that I know of. It's yellow and mucusy. I just hope it's not because of all the meds
JA: OK. The Expert will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Pickles
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pickles?
Customer: No. Everything that I've mentioned is exactly what our vet knows and treating him for
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hi,I'm Dr Scott. Welcome to JustAnswer, I am working on your question now, you can expect a written reply sometime within the next ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again,

I have worked out an answer for you below.

Sorry to hear that Pickles is uncomfortable, what you describe { Long term itchy skin } is very common. The situation is that if you exclude infectious skin diseases such as sarcoptic mange which your vet will be easily able to do then you are often left with a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, this is a form of allergic dermatitis. I am very suspicious from your description that this is what is the underlying cause of what going on in your dog's case so I will tell you some more about it and what causes it.

1. Some cases of atopy are due to an allergy to a small protein in the saliva of the flea which the flea passes when it bites. Stringent flea control is a must not only on your dog but in the house as well. Where a dog is hypersensitive only a couple of bites may be enough to trigger a massive skin reaction, it is good practice to really control fleas properly whatever skin condition your dog is suffering from but especially atopy cases. Often the number of fleas are so low that the owner is not aware of them.

2. It can also be an allergy to components of the diet so consider a prescription hypo-allergenic diet, your vet will advise and will stock these but you can also get them from better pet stores. If you go down this road your dog will have to be fed only this and water and it may take six weeks for this approach to show any signs of success. I have known this to be very effective but you must obtain the correct type of diet, self formulated ones are rarely successful in my experience.

3. Other allergies are more difficult to deal with such as to pollen or house dust mites, because you can never get rid of the actual allergen these dogs can be maintained on a variety of drugs such as antihistamines steroids or atopica. If this is the category of disease you are dealing with then if you stop the drugs the disease will often come straight back so often a low maintenance dose is given once symptoms have been controlled. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs may also be needed in the early stages because of secondary infections. Medicated washes such as Malaseb used say twice a week are especially useful to reduce secondary infections.

4. There is a body of evidence that evening primrose oil is effective in reducing the symptoms of atopy in the dog, this normally has to be given in conjunction with other measures and again it is given every day. Just use it on a pro rata basis on human weight and your dog's weight.

5. Other treatment for skin allergies are possible such as desensitisation. While atopy is the most likely diagnosis be aware that there are other possibilities so sometime further diagnostic test such as skin biopsy can be useful.

5. If you want to give your dog relief it could be that you will need to keep your vet involved as prescription drugs may be needed also consider an appointment with a veterinary skin specialist. However if you want to give home remedies a try then consider Benadryl as the antihistamine, strict flea control, evening primrose oil from the human health food shop, plus a hypoallergenic diet for skin cases from a pet store and a malaseb skin wash. Info on Benadryl including dose rates : LINK

6. If you can get the skin under control then it could be that the vomiting will also come under control, as far as the anal glands go your best plan is to have your vet show you how it is done the next time, this is actually something you can easily do yourself after a little guidance. But in any case I should be available online for you the next four or five hours today so please do not hesitate to get straight back to me if you would like to talk things over with me further.

Regards,

Dr Scott
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Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again,

I am just checking back in to see how Pickles is getting on after our recent dialogue concerning his skin problem ...

Please get back to me and let me know how things are going.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you very much for your very thorough response! I am working with my vet to change his food and possibly some long term allergy medication!
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Certainly worth a try ...

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr Scott Nimmo