View Full Version : Help! fellow members! Bella is biting herself!

Bella's Mummy
20th September 2006, 10:43 AM
Just wondering if anyone can explain to me why my cav is biting/chewing her skin? I have become aware that Bella has sensitive skin and in the last 6 months she has been scratching under her arms (both sides and top as well as side of her head. I have changed her food to California Natural. I have eliminated flees as she is on her regular medication. For her bath I use Aloveen Oatmeal Shampoo/Conditioner (this is a life saver for her as it calms the itching) AND I rolled up the rug in the lounge where she lies down (as I found her itching to be worse when she was on this rug.
All this helped for a little while..the scratching subsided but the biting especially on her knees and just recently the top of her arms is preety bad. i.e she has little hair on her left knee.
Please help as she is my first little cav and I don't know how to help. :(

Cathy Moon
20th September 2006, 11:26 AM
Hi Anna,
Poor Bella, how often do you bathe her? I would start off with a trip to the vet, with the goal of finding the cause and not just treating the symptoms. :flwr:

20th September 2006, 05:08 PM
that's a very frustrating and worrying thing. my daughter's cav, Belle, started doing this a couple of months ago, chewing on herself in a few places, upper legs, her rear end, and in some places the hair was going, and in one place the skin was raw. The vet prescribed antihistamines but lisa said it didn't help at all. She saw a dog dermatologist and they were going to do some allergy testing, but first, they wanted them to put Belle on Revolution. She had been getting Advantage for fleas, i'm not sure why they wanted her on Revolution instead. A few days later the scratching and biting stopped. Lisa is not sure whether the improvement was from the Revolution, she tends not to think so, i'm not sure why, but she says she doesn't know why it stopped. After it had stopped, Belle came for a visit to my house, and i have fleas very bad during that time of year. Zack was on Revolution and i vaccuumed requently, and had put diatomaceous eart in the carpet and nematodes in the backyard, and still there were some fleas on Zack, but way better than before the Revolution. After Belle visited here a few weeks ago, the biting got worse, she started doing it again. But then it stopped again after they went home. Then a couple of weeks later they came here for a visit again and this time, the biting herself did not start up again. The fleas are dying down now though, it's seasonal. But there are still here.

I'm just so glad the problem went away, it was really upsetting to not be able to help her and to see her doing that to herself. I'll try to find out why the vet recommended Revolution, but i know Lisa doesn't think that's what solved the problem, not sure why.

Denise G.
20th September 2006, 05:25 PM
Anna--my Golden has been having skin issues for a few months and it was recommended that I put him on an enzyme/probiotic program to deal with any yeast issues that sometime manifest into skin problems. I've only just started him on the program, so I can't say yet what the result will be, but here's a link with some info and testimonials that might be helpful. I plan to put Mia on the program to try and keep her free of skins problems.


Hope this helps! :)

Bella's Mummy
21st September 2006, 03:11 AM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your suggestions...I will definately take them into consideration. :flwr: I have just returned from the vet with Bella and the vet did some tests to make sure she has no infection. This came out clear so we have elimenated that. As I have Bella on flea treatment Revolution, the vet reccomended I stick to that as Summer brings all types of fleas..(so we have eliminated that too). The next step was to try out Antihistemines...so we will try that too :? . It that doesn't work the next step was going to be her diet. The vet will prescribe z/d by Hills. But this will be quite scrict i.e no treats or human food. If finally that doesn't work then we need a trip to a dermatitis hospital. :?

However, one step at a time..the vet believes Bella has Atopic Dermatitis which is apparently common in dogs and is caused by a reaction to environmental allergens. e.g dust mites in the home, pollen, grasses.
I bathe Bella every 2weeks and I have seen that this reduces the itchiness a little...the removal of the rug has certainly helped too...pity though I really liked that rug. (Anything for little Princess Bella though) :roll:

Cathy T
21st September 2006, 03:24 AM
We go through the major scratchies a couple of times a year. Turned out once that Jake had mites. I've tried antihistamines and really haven't gotten much success with them. I find that as our weather changes it really affects there skin. Can't say that I've found anything to help other than redirect them when they start. It's very frustrating. Good luck and let us know how things go.

21st September 2006, 10:40 AM
Poor baby Bella, you have my sympathy.

I would suggest you find a dermatologist and have your baby intradermal skin tested. This way you will definately find out the cause ( providing its not food allergy) and although it may cost a bit initially, once you know what you are treating life becomes easier.

Often vets play around with antihistamines, steriods, food, washes and wipes and the cost of all these different trials to try and find something that works mounts up and can equal the cost of having the appropriate tests done in the first place. Also if they do not get a desired outcome after all this they then often refer you on to a dermatologist anyway.
I'm not anti vet but have learnt a lot from experience on this topic.

May help to check your garden also to make sure there are no suspect plants that could be contributing/causing this problem.

Good luck with it all.

28th September 2006, 12:00 AM
Oh no! Not another one!

My Charlie has been diagnosed with multiple allergies and has been on immuno suppressants for quite some time. Another two weeks and he starts on immuno therapy - thank good ness for pet insurance as the Vet today told me that they are £120 per vial and he needs two lots - goodness knows how long each vial lasts but not long I would imagine :yikes

Get your vets to run some blood screens http://www.axiomvetlab.com/Allergy%20testing%20in%20the%20dog%20cat%20&%20horse.html is the testing that my Vet does - we had the top screen and flea. It showed up so many allergies :( BUT Charlie is getting better and his coat is better now than I've seen it :D

Cupcake Love
28th September 2006, 12:47 AM
Cupcake was having this problem as well; in fact the reason I found this message board was due to my frantic searching for a cure! She was chewing/scratching at her back legs to the point where her hair was falling out and the skin was bleeding. I took her into the vet and they ruled out fleas since she is on a monthly dose of Frontline Plus and a number of more serious health issues and told me to give her 1/2 an adult sized Benadryl twice a day since this is a "high allergen" time of the year. It has been a little over a week and the itching is pretty much gone (thank goodness!) and the hair on her legs is growing back.

One additional thing I have done is in the morning rather than going out for a potty walk in the yard we have a 3'x3' box in our garage with potty pads that she uses. Even though we keep the grass trimmed it is long enough to get her legs wet (especially when she sits down to "go") and it is possible that the wet grass was causing the problem.

Either way that is how we addressed this issue. The vet also said certain types of allergy medicine don't always work for some dogs and that we may have to try a different brand. Thankfully the Benadryl seems to be taking care of things.

I wish you guys the best of luck, this is such a miserable thing for you and your baby to go through. :paw:

28th September 2006, 01:39 PM
Just for the garden use, who about putting socks on her?