View Full Version : We've got the itchys again...

29th March 2007, 04:37 PM
So we returned to the dermatologist to follow up on the results of our food trial. Unfortunately, not much improvement with my little baby's itching. The derm suggested we do another round of steroids for 7 days and if that has no effect switch foods and do another food trial with a different food.

We did talk about SM and he does has some concerns since his itching is really concentrated to the right side. But he is also knawing on his underbelly as well which the vet didn't think was related to SM. He did try and get a repsonse from him by touch different parts of his right side with no results. He thinks it could be just food releated or it could be a combination of things.

He mentioned that due to the high cost of the MRI he would really like to rule out everything else first (food, environmental allergies) before going that route. He has had several cavaliers in his office that have gone on to be diagnosed with SM through his diligence and referal to a neurologist so I am very confident in his abilities.

I think it is always good when he starts out by saying "if this was my dog, here is what I would do"...So remaining hopeful that the medicines will work. It's Aston's first birthday next Saturday so at least we will get to celebrate something! :D

29th March 2007, 06:44 PM
He is right to eliminate other potential causes thoroughly first. The gnawing could however be due to SM -- it can cause skin crawling sensations anywhere. If you are also seeing any kind of air scratching where he scratches without touching his body, bunny hops while on the lead, scratches more right after a walk, and/or scratches a lot right when he gets excited (eg you come home, get a big doggie greeting during which he has to stop and vigorously scratch) -- those are signs to watch for with SM in particular.

Where are you based? There are low cost scanning cinics in the UK and US in some locations if that becomes something your vet recommends.

29th March 2007, 08:51 PM
Hi Karlin,

Thank you for all of your information. His scracthing is usually pretty random and just kind of happens, never connected to any certain activity. I will let the derm know about the gnawing though, because I do want to stop it before it leads to infection.

We are in Dallas,TX and there is a great vet referal center out here that houses all types of specialists in one building. I am not really worried about the cost (these dogs are my life!) as much as I am the results. I had to have an MRI last month (everything was okay) but I worried more about the results than anything, so I guess I am transferring that to my babies!

I referred him to your site if he needed to look at more videos. My little boy is also "mashing" his face into the couch, carpet, etc. but not just one side, both sides, is that an SM sign?

29th March 2007, 11:43 PM
A lot of dogs do that mashing and just seem to like doing it. I wouldn't worry unless these behaviours get really excessive -- but focus on finding the source of his scratching. A lot of people have dogs that get itchy skin every winter from indoor heating which can really dry them out. I'd also be sure the vet does a skin scrape or mites -- for some reason a lot of vets don't check for these but they can be really itchy.

That kind of gnawing is often due to allergies; you might need to try food eliminations to see if he improves. I'm sure your vet will talk you thorugh all of that.

30th March 2007, 12:55 AM
Thanks so much for all of your advice! I feel a lot better now that we are seeing a dermatologist specialist instead of the regular vet he seems more in tune to what we are dealing with. We have done the skin scrapes twice both negative. I really hope it is the food, he said if the steriod doesn't work then we'll switch foods again. We are all wanting it to be food allergies! I have a notebook now and am writing down when the itching happens, on what side on for how long.l We will beat this!!!

Aston was a rescue so I have no information on his past which can sometimes make it difficult to know what is wrong since we don't have any family history. Fingers and paws are crossed! :)

30th March 2007, 01:59 AM
Has your dermatologist done any other allergy testing, or is he focusing mainly on diet? I worked with a vet derm for a while and he did skin testing much like they do for humans. Allergy testing can also be done using a blood sample (if I remember correctly, these are sent to Michigan).

Good luck. It's so frustrating when they scratch like that. Tibby (my ruby) has no hair on her tail or her very bottom from scratching. She's on medicated baths right now. Previous vet didn't do much for her. Current vet picked her up and said "This dog has a yeast problem on her skin". It's not the definitive answer since she still does some scratching, but it has helped. De-sensitization injections did nothing for her.

30th March 2007, 03:15 AM
Thanks Critter! WE had not done the environmental allergy testing yet because he wanted to rule out food first. Aston was having some tummy troubles as well but those have improved since we have been on the food trial but the itching still persists.

He did mention that it could be a combination of both types of allergies. Poor thing has no hair on his back legs or feet from scratching it off. My 3 year old has bad itching too so I think it might be something in the yard. After we finish the steroids in a week if he is not improved we are going to do the skin tests. I'll keep you posted. I hear you on the frustration thing, I just want him to stop itching I feel so bad! :|

30th March 2007, 04:19 AM
Tibby's tests showed her to be positive to mold and mildew (really great for a Florida dog!), then all sorts of weeds and things that I wouldn't recognize if I saw a picture of them.

Feel free to PM me any time you need to either vent or need a shoulder to cry on. :flwr:

30th March 2007, 09:41 AM
How do you do your food elimination there ?

It seems like a lot of commercial food is used which I was told is not a very acurate way of doing it as you can never be a hundred percent sure of how it is made and what is in it ? Yes there are less ingredients but still quite a few.

When I did it with my boy I had to use a source of protien and carb that he had never had before and that was all he could have for 12 weeks.
Is this what you do ?

30th March 2007, 03:54 PM
He is currently on Royal Canin Vet Diet Venison and Potato, limited ingredient. It is one protien source and one carbohydrate source. The down fall is the cost, a 20lb bag is $45 and you can only get it at the vet so I really have to think ahead when we start running low, no 8pm trips to the pet store can help!

If the steroids do not work we are going to switch to another vet diet TBD...