View Full Version : Scratching

19th December 2008, 05:50 PM
I am new to Cavaliertalk. I have a Cav called Rosie. I am feeding her dry food at the moment and she also has an addiction for Mixed Ovals. She also eats whatever leftovers we have here mixed with the dry. She is scratching alot at her coat and her ears. I have treated her for mange and worms etc. I am concerned when I hear about this SM thing too.Do alot of Cavs get dry skin? Is it the dry food? I would really appreciate some advice. She is in great form otherwise.

Thank you

Rosie's Mammy

Margaret C
20th December 2008, 12:18 AM
Hello Rosie's Mammy,

I can understand how you must feel worried.
Have you talked to your vet?
There are a lot of reasons for scratching, so expert advice is a good idea.

Margaret C

20th December 2008, 01:19 AM
Hi, echoing the previous advice, you should take a trip to the vet. It could be ear mites, yeast infection in the ears, allergies, fleas, etc. The vet can tell you what is wrong, and it may put your mind at ease.

Welcome to the board!

20th December 2008, 01:39 AM
Poor quality food can also be a reason for scratching, even obsessive scratching. Amber was scratching extensively when my two were temporarily on Pedigree Chum dry food a while ago - within 48 hours of being switched back to a high quality food the scratching had virtually vanished. It comes back as soon as she eats too much poor quality food though so I think it's worth the little extra to buy good stuff. Although really, £30 for three months worth of high quality food for three dogs REALLY isn't a lot of money.

20th December 2008, 01:46 AM
Although really, £30 for three months worth of high quality food for three dogs REALLY isn't a lot of money.

Wow, what do you buy that is so cheap? Even converted to dollars (approx. $45.00), that is a great deal. I am paying $45.00 every 12-14 days right now to feed my dogs, and the cheapest I've ever been able to buy quality food was about $80.00 a month. My dogs eat a total of about 6-7 cups a day (varies with the puppies appetites a bit now). My big dogs eat 5 cups a day total (Kaya is my largest dog at 100 lbs., yet she only eats two cups or she gets FAT) My collie eats 3, and the cav. puppies eat 1.5 to 2 cups total together.

murphy's mum
20th December 2008, 08:29 AM

Our new dog Misty had been scratching, and rubbing herself along the furniture and floor. A trip to vet has shown up an ear infection.

They can do skin scraps and tests to rule out other things, so I wouldn't immediatly worry about it being SM. Although it was the first thing that popped into my mind while waiting to see a vet:rolleyes:

20th December 2008, 10:43 AM
Thank you for the help,I definitely do not use cheap dog food for the record....she has the best of everything being of royal lineage. She eats what I eat and some Bakers complete. She is fussy except when there is chicken on the go:). I will investigate some of the other foods an take a trip to the vet to rule out any mites

Thanks again

20th December 2008, 11:16 AM
Hi and welcome. :)

When you say you treated her for mange, was this on the advice of a vet? Has there been a follow up to verify whether it has fully cleared? Mange is usually pretty obvious in hair loss though, and thickening, reddened skin, not just scratching. It can at times be very difficult to get rid of. Worms are not that likely to causde scratching like this but earmites, flea dermatitis, allergies etc might, and all must be diagnosed by a vet.

You do need to see a vet as a first priority -- as noted, there are many medical issues that can cause scratching and your vet needs to eliminate those. Scratching due to food allergies is not that common but should be checked for as well as part of a careful elimination process. If nothing else helps than you should discuss SM with your vet and make sure they are aware of the problem in the breed. You can download info for your vet at www.smcavalier.com.

Be careful if she is eating what you are eating (I assume that means table scraps?) as a lot of table scraps are high in fat and some human foods are not just risky but even deadly to dogs -- eg beware of onions, raisins, grapes, turkey skin amongst others.

I am afraid Bakers and the ovals are actually very mediocre quality foods -- pretty much anything that can be bought in the supermarket is lowish quality (which is what keeps prices low for small bags; but a good quality food bought in the largest bag will work out about the same. Good quality meaning Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved, Burns, Arden Grange etc -- there are many great options :)) . If you read the side of the bag you will notice little to no actual meat content -- instead it will read 'meat derivatives', 'poultry meal', etc and lots of filler ingredients. If you do a search there are loads of threads on long food discussions (it is a favourite debate!! :lol:) and they may be helpful. Bakers nd the ovals also have colouring and preservatives and grains that all can cause itchiness in susceptible dogs.

But as food is so unlikely to be causing the basic problem, and as a vet can help decide if this might be a food allergy, you should start with a visit to the vet and go from there. :thmbsup: