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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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I have a 2-year old cavalier king charles spaniel. I understand

Resolved Question:

I have a 2-year old cavalier king charles spaniel. I understand they are prone to have itchy, sensitive skin. She was started off on eukanuba food, tolerated it well, until got up some age and started scratching. I changed her to pro plan for sensitive skin, the salmon kind and she has really done well for a good year. Once in a while she would scratch, but it has really gotten bad on inside of her legs and now her sides.

My vet tells me to give her l/2 benadryl at night. That helps for sleeping, but early morning, it starts again.   I have bathed her in an oatmeal dog shampoo, no go. I have bathed her always in baby shampoo with no soap.

Please help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.
Is she showing only skin problems or is she scratching at her neck area?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is not scratching at neck area, just on side of stomach where she has scratched so much, it is very red. I took her out a while ago just to pp and she would start to and then start scratching, after a few tries, she headed for the door of the house to come in.

She has another spot but it has scabed over, but the one place on her side and then inside her back legs. She tends to stay at the real red spot on her side.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

For the scabby spots in case they are now infected areas you can use Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic ointment on them.


What you describe could be allergies but it might also be something such as mange mites which you can read about here

Or a skin infection with ringworm

or a bacterial skin infection

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.

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 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

You may want to consult with your vet and consider doing allergy testing.

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. You can read about thyroid problems in the breed here

If your dog is not on a flea prevention that might also help. Just one flea bite can make an allergic dog itch all over. If that is the problem then Frontline could resolve a lot of the reactions for you.

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 may also want to read about Curly Coat on this page

particularly if she also has eye issues.

If your regular vet is not able to help you 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!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
You have been very informative. Based on what you have noted, I do think she is allergic to something, however, I am told this breed by nature has itchy skin.

As for the triple antibotic ointment or neosporin use, will this be harmful when she is licking it?

She is on Advantix.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

The ointment is not harmful if licked but it does work better on the spot than on the tongue. Smile You can put a bit of peanut butter (if she is not allergic to it) on the roof of her mouth to keep her busy while the ointment soaks in a bit. NutriCal supplement might also work for that.

"By nature itchy" may mean "breeders carelessly breeding dogs with allergies" rather than that it is a breed problem. Breeders can choose to breed healthy dogs or not.

Much of the scratching in this breed is actually related to a neck issue you can read about here

which isn't really about itching exactly but is why I asked you about neck scratching.

NancyH and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

You are very welcome -hope your dog is feeling better soon!

thanks for the above accept

I'll close out the question but if you end up with more follow up needed you can still reply.