View Full Version : Scratching sides - treatment not working

28th September 2009, 08:42 PM

Our cavalier king charles, Dillon, is just over 2 years old and generally appears to be in good health. However, a few months ago we noticed he was scratching and biting (with difficulty) the areas on his sides just in front of his back legs quite a lot; his fur is frequently wet there.

This continued, so we took him to the vets. They diagnosed an anal gland problem, so they did tried to do squeezing, but said that they were impacted. Dillon was put on a course of anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories, but these didn't stop the scratching. They ruled out a skin problem.

So the vets recommended an anal flush operation (under sedative); this was performed just over a week ago. They said they took out quite a lot of stuff, and Dillon was given another course of anti-biotics, which he has just finished.

Unfortunately after all this he is scratching just as much as before.

We will be going back to the vets, but has anyone had any experience of this?

Dillon and family

29th September 2009, 01:28 PM

We've been through this. Leo has had 2 ops to express his anal glands. :(
He actually developed an abcess which then burst:eek:

He scratched constently just as you've described. I tried lots of different things, such as adding bran, green beans in the end I changed his food, although he has the odd scratch it's not like before.

The antibiotics did work but it was a long painful process.

Good luck.


29th September 2009, 01:40 PM
It may just take time; but also have your vets check for other potential problems. The list for scratching is involved; if he keeps scratching, they will want to check for parasites, dermatitis, allergies, and if nothing is resolving this, syringomyelia (www.smcavalier.com). My cavalier Lily who has a small syrinx/syringomyelia does exactly this. She can actually chew enough to break her skin at times. This has been less of a problem since I've had her on cimetidine for SM and she rarely does this kind of manic biting and chewing though her hindquarters do bother her and she scratches the top of her behind/lower back back and forth along chairs and sofas all the time. It definitely isn't her anal glands.

30th September 2009, 04:46 AM
Lacey was a scratcher, too. She used to wake me up at night scratching her hind quarters. She literally chewed off her feathers and her feet were wet. I used to hold her in my arms at night just to keep her from scratching!

The dermatologist insisted it could be a flea allergy even though I never saw a flea or flea dirt on her and we used Frontline, a topical treatment regularly. I also had 3 other dogs who didn't seem to have fleas.

Fortunately, after several weeks of a capstar then comfortis regimen we discovered that the dermotologist was right. Problem solved!

I hope you find relief for your baby, too. Sometimes a specialist can be really helpful.

30th September 2009, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the replies; we're keeping our fingers crossed.

A friend mentioned hip dysplasia, although this website http://www.cavalierhealth.org/hipdysplasia.htm doesn't mention scratching. However when he was young Dillon did occasionally yelp for no obvious reason, and he does a lot of stretching. No sign of lameness though - he loves racing around off the lead on his 'walks'.


8th October 2009, 01:36 PM
Vet has just rung to say x-rays show hip displasia on both sides, and believes that is the likely cause of the biting/scratching. She's recommending 'conservative' treatment first - anti-inflammatories and condritin/glucosamine (can't remember what she said exactly), possibly along with hydrotherapy and a 'regimented' exercise regime. She wants to see him again in 2 weeks and a month's time to see if there's any improvement.

I'm going to get Dillon and treatment details from the vets later. Poor little dog - I hope he can fight this :(


8th October 2009, 01:54 PM
Molly has Hip Dysplasia on both sides. She was treated with Glucosamine and she has had a course of cartrophen injections, we took her to hydrotherapy which we had to stop because of her sm. Basically we gradually built up the muscles around the joint to help create support. It was gradual but she is very stable now and doesn't have a major problem in that area. She never showed the symtoms of chewing or licking the area though!

8th October 2009, 03:39 PM
No anal gland problems here, but our dog has done a lot of scratching and biting over the past four months. Now that the bermuda grass is going dormant and not sending up those shoots with the seeds, our Cav has stopped the scratching & biting. Either that, or the Chlor-Trimeton is working. I'm finally able to start weaning her off the Temaril-P, thank goodness.

So it could just be allergies that you're dealing with.