View Full Version : Bobby at Vet Again

28th April 2008, 11:08 AM
We brought Bobby to the vet again last Friday as his scratching seems to be getting worse. If he's not scatching at his ears, he's shaking his head from side to side. (He has already visited the vets about this problem and was prescribed ear drops for five days). I went to the vets armed with knowledge on SM however the vet wouldn't even entertain the idea. She made me feel a little foolish for bringing it up. She's convinced its allergies. His ears are inflamed but there are no signs of mites or infection. She gave him a shot of anti-inflammatory and said if he didn't improve they would have to allergy test him (He hasn't improved at all). She said this half laughing because in the history of the practice they've only allergy tested two dogs. I think she was implying that myself and Bobby are hypochondriacs!

Have people allergy tested their dogs? We know he's allergic to chicken and that has sorted his tummy out but we've no evidence of other food allergies. I'm assuming the vet is correct in saying this is the next logical step to figure out what is causing the scratching. Any advise?

Claire L
28th April 2008, 11:17 AM
Firstly, I'm sorry Bobby is unwell. There's obviously SOMETHING bothering him enough to make him shake his head constantly. It saddens me to read that your vet did not listen to your concerns :confused:

I would take Bobby to another vet and get a second opinion.
Perhaps someone on here can recommend a vet close to you who is more experienced with Cavaliers or small animals in general.


28th April 2008, 11:29 AM
First I'd look for a different vet. You are paying them for a service and the service includes taking client concerns seriously at least to their face.

That said she is probably right about there being some other reason for his scratching if his ears are inflamed. It also would be very rare for puppies to show symptoms of SM already at his age.

Nonetheless she cannot know much about SM or keep up with the literature on it if she so laughingly dismisses the idea out of hand. Also if she is boasting that they've 'only' ever tested two dogs for allergies there are a lot of their client's pets that must be pretty darn uncomfortable. While allergies are not rampant they do come up regularly and I'd certainly expect a practice to have seen a bit more than that. Not least because vets themselves are happy to push Hill's on their clients and the regular food has a lot of the ingredients often implicated in allergies! Chicken, grains, additives etc.

I'd switch practices.

28th April 2008, 11:58 AM
I'd certainly look for another vet.They're expensive enough and should take your concerns seriously.Even my local vet who has a small village practice in the middle of nowhere has agreed that SM has become a concern in recent years.
However it may well be likely that your pup has an ear inflammation and this needs to be treated.Once he's sorted, then move on.
As for the food...the breeder I got Daisy from feels that a small breed pup should be fed on a hypoallergenic diet for the first few months at least.
She'd been started on Arden grange which is dairy free, gluten free,soya free and red meat free.
I chose chicken as the puppy food but there are others like lamb and rice or salmon which are poultry free.They also contain chondrioton and glucosamine supplements.
It's hard to get but not expensive and I have a healthy girl with a lovely glossy coat.I'd be wary of chopping and changing foods though,try and find one which suits and settle for that.To change brands of food, imagine you're changing a baby's bottle formula,mix quarter new food and three quarters old food for a few days,then go half and half and increase portion of new food over about a week until puppy is totally eating new food.
I can only imagine how frustrating it must be and costly to have a pup in this situation.

29th April 2008, 10:26 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'm seriously thinking of finding a new vet, however our current clinic has come highly recommended by lots of people. I am starting to become more and more convinced that it is allergies however. Should a cavaliers nose be pinkish in colour. Bobby's nose and the area around this is quite pink the last few days. I'm not sure is this usual, or is it as a result of scratching.

29th April 2008, 12:18 PM
I'd get a second opinion. Hey even if it is allergies.... your vet should not make you feel stupid for asking them to consider other possibilities. You are the customer and it is up to them to reassure you and compassionately & intelligently address any concerns you have.

On the note of the red ears & nose... there was someone else on the forum (quite a while back) who said she always knew when her dog was allergic to something because the insides of his ears would go red almost as soon as eating something he was allergic to.

29th April 2008, 08:54 PM
My oldest dog has allergies (I'm still not sure to what) but only flair up when I change food and there are a couple brands I have to stay away from. Anyway, when her allergies kick in the inside of her ears, around her nose, and between her toes turn pink.

Have you tried switching brands of dog food? I'm sure you have, but maybe try one of the ones on the market for allergy-prone dogs. Wellness has one that is Fish & Sweet Potato I think.

Good luck!

3rd May 2008, 02:55 PM
Just thought I'd post an update. I brought Bobby back to the vets yesterday as a week had past and I saw no improvement with his scratching. This time he was seen by a really lovely vet who seemed to have a wealth of experience and listened carefully that my concerns. He says Bobby more than likely has Atopic Dermatits. He's scratching continously, biting his feet, dry skin, inflamed ears and his skin is red in colour. He gave him a course of anti-histamine tablets for 10days. Already I can see an improvement. He said this might be enough to calm his allergies for a while as it may be seasonal. If it doesn't, we need to further investigate the problem and he mentioned a drug called "Atopcia" which he's found very successful. I've m fingers crossed that he won't need to be on medication full time.:xfngr:

3rd May 2008, 03:05 PM
Glad you seem to be getting better help from your vets now.

Cathy Moon
3rd May 2008, 04:16 PM
Did your vet discuss how to find what he's allergic to? If you could figure that out and make some changes, then Bobby might not need long term medication.

Maybe keeping a daily log of his symptoms and changes that have occurred. For example, if he hasn't always had these symptoms, could it be related to the weather (Spring) or new cleaning solutions, laundry detergent, fabric softener, food, dog treats, shampoo, etc.? It isn't easy, but possible to figure it out. It may take a awhile, and you have to watch his treats ingredients as closely as his food ingredients. Maybe the vet could help you with a plan of action.

A veterinary dermatologist recently told me that India had symptoms of allergies, and we've changed her food to rabbit-based with no grain, her shampoo to a prescription shampoo (Duoxo), and I double rinse her bedding in the washer. She's doing well now. Her symptoms were mainly ear problems and yeast, but also dry skin on her belly.

4th May 2008, 10:00 AM
Yes he did discuss how we could find out. Firstly he said from his experience the majority of dogs allergies are more environmental issues (pollen, dust, seasons) than food. He said he would estimate that only about 20% of cases are food issues. However, he said this is not to say this is not Bobby's problem. From what I understand, he is trying out the course of antihistamines to see is it seasonal related. If it goes away then Bobby might need a course once or twice a year. If this doesn't work he said we can do allergy testing. From these results we can try eliminating certain foods etc and if this isn't successful they can create tablets based on what the allergy test results. This he said only has a 50% success rate according to seminar he attended recently. Then he said if that doesn't work we could try Atopica.

5th May 2008, 10:29 PM
You might find Monica Segal's latest newsletter, which is on trying to treat this problem and find the source of allergies, helpful:


The dog she is referring to is her cavalier.

5th May 2008, 11:05 PM
Thanks so much for that Karlin. Great article with lots of helpful tips. His bedroom will soon be cleaner than mine :p.