View Full Version : itchy charlie

5th December 2009, 07:04 PM
Hi everyone i am new to this and kc's i was given a beautiful 3 year old king charles about 3 month's ago already on his 5th home ( this will be his last and i adore him) just need a little advice if anyone can help, when he came to me charlie was riddled with flea's ... which we cleared within 2 day's but after about a month he started to scratch really bad, but there have been no sign of the flea's, he has recently started to bite and rag at himself and has started to pull his fur out he runs around and cry's s if something is biting him really bad i am in the process of trying to change his diet to see if this helps and i just wondered if anyone else has anything similar with their king charles .... i would appreciate any feedback thanks Tanya

6th December 2009, 12:16 PM
Sorry to hear Charlie is so uncomfortable. What breed do you have? I am not sure whether you are saying he is a King Charles Spaniel (KC) or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS -- they are two different breeds).

Either way: you definitely need an immediate trip to the vet -- I would not try the very long process of testing for food allergies without vet help and without helping his evident distress and making sure this is even the problem. There could be a dozen reasons for this behaviour and a vet needs to help you figure out what it could be. This may be an allergy to environment, fleas, food; could be mites (which can be extremely uncomfortable), could be a skin condition, and also, you and your vet do need to be aware of a neurological condition common in cavaliers and also seen in King Charles spaniels called syringomyelia. There's more information here: www.smcavalier.com.

But you are describing a pretty extreme level of distress and I would get him to a good vet immediately, the fastest that you can get an appointment. He is suffering if he is crying out -- that indicates pain and discomfort -- and at the very least he could be given some pain relief as you search for the root cause. :thmbsup: Good luck and let us know what your vet says.

6th December 2009, 03:28 PM
Hi karlin thanks for your response . It has got me really worried now and will get him in tomorrow. He is a cavalier ...... i dont know anything about this breed as i have always had german shepherds and border collie dogs and mongrels ...he has not had a great life so far but will do my best to see its all uphill for him from now on. its really strange that this dosn't happen through the night he is really calm then dosn't bite or scratch himself.
I will keep you posted as to what happens at the vet and thankyou for your help.... Tanya

Love my Cavaliers
6th December 2009, 10:29 PM
Welcome Tanya to the board and good luck trying to figure out what is going on with Charlie. You will get lots of good advice and support from other people on this board no matter what his problem is.

9th December 2009, 07:24 AM
Poor Charlie, I hope he's feeling well soon. There is a lot of great advice on this board for the whole range of problems... definitely bring him to the vet.

When he's having an itchy moment, you might see if his belly is bright pink or red. That was one of our only clues that Maggie was experiencing allergies (rather than something more severe)... among other things she is allergic to cats and GRASS. she's on atopica and getting allergy shots now, soon we hope to get her off the atopica completely but she's not there quite yet.

good luck to you, I hope he's feeling better soon. it's hard when they are uncomfortable and you can't fix the problems...

9th December 2009, 07:25 AM
I should add, Maggie is also more allergic than most to fleas, and so if she gets just a bite from being outside, we will know about it...

9th December 2009, 09:35 AM
Any news on Charlie? What did the vet say?

9th December 2009, 08:07 PM
hi sabby everything fine at the moment, charlie has been given some pain relief from the vet and we are now doing test's ... i still cant believe how big this SM is. i have cried reading some stories i have found on the net and know for a fact i couldn't read the story "for the love of ollie" it would break my heart. i feel now the people who gave charlie to me were aware of this and am really angry at how they could just pass him on (not that i wouldn't have taken him i wanted him to have a great home and life). i have tried to call them as i would like to get his paper's to try and check out his blood line and where he came from as you might be aware he has had a few home's but they are never in and if i could face them now (grrrr!!!!) and i am a sucker for such a beautiful dog he is my world so lets just hope the news is good .....Tanya

9th December 2009, 09:20 PM
Hi Tanya:

Don't worry until you know you have something to worry about. :flwr: I spent a lot of time worried one of mine had SM and he turned out to be clear -- but has PSOM and perhaps some hind brain compression (CM) causing some mild scratching. The dog I assumed was his fully clear half brother is my most-affected dog with SM.

There are many things to eliminate first -- it is just sad if others kept passing him along without proper care. It may well be something like allergies to something in the house or outside that bother him only when awake and running around. Dogs with SM often scratch in the night (this is often an initial tip-off) or right upon waking up. But there are so many variations for the causes of scratching and discomfort that all you can do is start working through the possibilities and try to keep him comfortable til you get an answer.

If every cavalier on this board had an MRI scan probably a third to half would come back with a syrinx, going by incidence in research groups and what breeders have been told by neurologists like Geoff Skerritt, who scan breeders' dogs at low cost in the UK for their breeding programmes. While there is a debate over incidence, the fact that several breeders, some prominent in the national club in the UK, have confirmed that Mr Skerritt is seeing about 50% affectedness of all the random dogs breeders bring in suggests this is probably a conservative figure (as the condition is progressive, and breeders would mostly scan younger dogs, not the over 5's they are no longer breeding from). You will get a lot of denial about the percentages but those percentages are being stated by breeders who would initially have been far more sceptical.

However all indications are that many dogs with syrinxes never are symptomatic and many more are very mild. While this is no excuse for leaving this horrific situation as it is in the breed or accepting it as a 'norm', as some truly idiotic people have suggested we should do (not least as every sign is that the problem is getting progressively more severe and it seems there are few completely clear dogs to breed from), it does indicate that many people will never realise their dog has SM, and many more can be made very comfortable on medications or via surgery. I have had my worst-affected dog on a moderate level of medications and he is now 6. He was diagnosed at 1. Most people would never notice he has a problem; the meds manage the discomfort quite well for him. We just take things a day at a time. :)

The good thing is that you care so deeply, and are on the right path to get him diagnosed with whatever the issue is, and have already helped make him more comfortable. :) We will all hope it is something easily dealt with.