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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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eMy Cavalier King Charles spaniel keeps scratching and biting

Resolved Question:

eMy Cavalier King Charles spaniel keeps scratching and biting him self, wew keep finding tufts of hair on the carpet where he has caught himself while scratching. We took him to the vets a while ago when they gave him an injection and some tablets to take, they worked for so long but then he went back to scratching. It is very upsetting for us because we know he must be suffering terribly. We have just made another appointment at the Vets but think its just a waste of money because I dont think they know how to treat him. What can I do? please help Charlie [thats his name and he is two and a half years old]Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

Is he scratching around his neck more than anywhere else?

Is he on flea prevention?

Does this only happen during this time of year?

Has the vet done any tests?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No he keeps shaking his ears alot and where his private are yes he is in flea prevention and yes I think it happens at this time if year. The vet has examined him and gave an injectiob and some tablets for I think 3 days. I havnt been to the vets yet my appointment is tomorrow morning, sorry for the mistakes but I have only been on the internet for a couple of weeks self taught.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

What you describe could be allergies.

Paw licking, itching and skin chewing are often signs of allergies. You may see red staining to the fur in the licked areas or raw spots where the dog chews itself.

The skin itches from allergies, the dog licks and chews trying to soothe the itch, making the skin raw and allowing other infections to set in which may itch even more.

You can read about allergies and dermatitis in dogs here

Dogs can develop allergies to foods, even ones they eat all the time, and to inhaled items, and contact allergens such as rug cleaners, cedar beds, or chemicals including lawn chemicals or even flea bites.

If this was a year round issue you might want to try a different dog food that has no ingredients the same as what you feed now. Diets of Fish and Potato, venison, or rabbit etc. where the protein source is new and there are no grains in the food can work for many dogs for example. Another option is the hypoallergenic diet from your vet Hills ZD. Changing food does no good if you feed the same ingredients. Remember food changes have to include all treats and can take 8-12 weeks or more before you see results in skin and coat.

If thisshows up at paticular times of year it is possible this is an inhalant allergy you may find using a HEPA air filter in the room the dog uses most and wiping the dog down with a damp towel when it comes in helps reduce allergen exposure.

You might want to see if some plain Benadryl helps with the itching. A common low dose is 1mg per pound of dog every 12 hours. Do check with your vet about using a med but this one or another may help him a lot. If you choose to use that please read here about cautions

Any of the anti allergy meds may cause the dog to be drowsy so working with your vet on ones that might work without him getting too sleepy is a good idea.

A prescription medication such as Temaril-P may be something you can use with him during allergy season and you can talk with your vet about it.

You may want to consult with your vet and consider doing allergy testing to see just what bothers him.

If there are any raw red areas to his skin you can try a Chlorhexiderm shampoo from the pet supply store in case the problem is a bacterial skin infection. Malaseb is another good one to eliminate yeast from the skin. Follow directions on the bottles if you try one.

This breed is also known to have low thyroid level issues and that can trigger skin allergies. The vet can check for that with a blood test.

Some people find their dogs do better when they are given omega 3&6 fatty acid supplements such as Derm Caps or Linatone from the pet supply store.

You can see if your local pet supply store carries Zymox with cortisone or find it online. I've had good luck clearing up infections with that. You can read about it here
This site goes over ear infections and has another ear cleaner mentioned that had good results
here is just the product info
Ear infections are a common symptom of allergies in dogs.
This breed however can have a neck problem that makes them scratch at the head and neck area. You can read about this here

If your regular vet is not able to help you, and you belive the problem is allergies, then you may want to see a veterinary dermatologist and this page may help you locate one if your vet can't refer you to one

Hope this helps you!

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