View Full Version : Scratching
24th July 2010, 08:52 PM
Recently Tilly has started scratching on her tummy with one of her back legs, I've had a look at where she scratches and I think its one of her 'baby-buttons' (not sure if they are called nipples on a dog...), its not inflamed or anything but every once in a while she decides to give it a good scratch - is it a habit she has got herself into or would it be causing her an itch?
For as long as she's been in my care (for about 2 years now) she 'nibbles' her two lowest baby buttons (between her hips) so they are now bigger then the others, is this anything to worry about? When I try and get her to stop she starts to growl and has gone for me a few times...
Does anyone else's cavvies do this or is Tilly completely mad? :p
24th July 2010, 09:27 PM
Some of mine scratch down there and I use a product called Neem 40 named Pet Soothe its a hygienic skin care product containing neem oil ,Beeswax Coconut Oil Cedar wood Oil Camphor and Sesame Oil ,it comes it a dispensing bottle and I just put a little on the area rub it in and it seems to ease:) and cool that area ,its good.
24th July 2010, 10:33 PM
I'd have your vet look at her as a priority -- only a vet can really tell you whether there's a specific concern. She could have allergies, for example, but I'd wonder whether there isn't something else that needs vet attention if she is actually chewing her nipples (['d be concerned that she has done this so much as to cause them to enlarge; that's a bit strange). The fact that she is growling would also really indicate a vet should check this out -- dogs tend to grow if there's some discomfort/fear of someone touching them/intervening. As a matter of course, when I get dogs into rescue that are considered to be 'aggressive' and growl, I have them checked for medical/pain issues by a vet and this is the requirement of trainer friends for their 'difficult dogs' class. A dog that 'goes for' people is worrying -- what is her history? That would be very atypical behaviour for a cavalier, even one in pain. But I'd be checking for pain and an underlying medical cause for that sort of behaviour as a first and urgent step.
Be sure your vet is also familiar with SM as this could possibly cause the kind of scratching you are seeing and lower body pain might cause a dog to try and chew at the parts she can reach (eg her nipples) but from the sound of it it would seen there's something related to the nipples and belly area specifically and doesn't sound likely to be SM (but all cavalier owners need to keep this condition in mind as a cause of scratching/pain/odd behaviour as it is prevalent in the breed -- if no other cause can be found it is something to consider).
25th July 2010, 04:00 PM
Iíve asked Paul about Tillyís history and she was found in a newspaper advert along with her brother. They saw both her parents and she was brought for Paulís nan - she was around 8 weeks old when she went to her new home, but around 6 months later the nan ended up in hospital as she wasnít feeding herself properly and was feeding Tilly her food. Paul seems to remember when she came to his mum she Ďchewedí her lower nipples, she had no toys at the nans house and chewed a lot of wooden furniture and had gained an obsession of eating tissues, which she still does today.
In Paulís mums care she would not eat proper dog food (his mum, Sue, tried her best) but all Tilly would eat was pasta and ham. She was given a few toys to play with but not many (she was given a ball, yet didnít know how to play with it). Paul canít remember when the aggression started to show, whether it was due to him pestering/tormenting her, I donít know.
Iíve known Tilly now for about 3 and a half years. Just under 3 years ago, Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer and sadly passed following a 10 months battle. Around 8 weeks previous to losing Sue, I took over Tillyís care due to Sue being in and out of hospital/Marie Curie.
I remember Tillyís weight getting to a point where she would sit at the bottom of the stairs and bark because she was too fat to get up there, so I carried her up and down the stairs (I think she has separation anxiety as she doesnít like to be left on her own). I knew I had to do something about her weight so I brought her some Cesar, which she liked, and she lost a good amount of weight on it. I took her for her annual booster at the vets and asked about getting rid of the last bit of weight when the vet suggested I try her with Chappie due to the high salt content in Cesar. She was ok on this for about a year but was developing anal gland infections all the time so I changed her diet to Wainwrights dry food and, touch wood, she has been fine.
Up in Liverpool (where we lived up until 2 months ago) she didnít have many toys as Paulís dad liked the house to be perfect and she was never really played with when he was around because of the Ďnoiseí she madeÖ
Now, happily living in Coventry, she has plenty of toys (which she is very possessive over when she wants) and she gets a nice long walk around the local park every day.
She has, as far as I can remember, has always nibbled her lower nipples, and Paul says she was doing it when she came to live with him and his family at 6 months old. Could it be a habit she has got into? Whenever I try and have a look, she grumbles at me so I donít push her too far, but earlier today me and Paul managed to take these photos of her:
This is one of her lower nipples:
A pic of one of her middle nipples, which she scratches from time to time:
And, finally, a pic of one of her higher nipples, which she cannot reach:
I donít think she is in pain around her tummy as she loves her tummy being tickled/rubbed when you come home and also when she is on your lap.
I work full time but Paul is home of a Friday (he works up in Liverpool of a weekday), so I was going to give the vets a ring tomorrow and ask if they are familiar with SM in cavvies.
26th July 2010, 11:08 AM
The black scabbing on the nipple could be a fungal infection, which can get very itchy. It can be caused by a badly ventilated house (which can be caused by double glazing when the weather isn't good enough to have doors/windows open), washing being dried indoors, using a washing machine - almost anything. Any dampness in a confined place produces fungal spores that dogs can pick up and get a black sooty deposit on their tummies.When Oliver got it, the vet said air the kitchen and bathroom daily by opening a window wide, and keep the bathroom door closed, especially if there is damp washing in there.
Whereabouts are you in Coventry? We live in Radford - perhaps we could get together for a walk sometime?
Kate, Oliver and Aled
26th July 2010, 01:03 PM
I think we have met - are you Cavalier Condiments? If so, you met Tilly and me the other week at the Allesley Park Walled Garden market?
The house we now live in hasn't got central heating and I don't have a washing dryer or washing line in the garden so all my washing (I do a load every other day) and it gets dried in the bathroom on an airer. When I'm having my wash of a morning and evenning, Tilly will be in the bathroom with me so I will now start keeping the bathroom door closed :razz:
I live 2 minutes from Allesley Park, but to meet up for a walk would be good, it might even help to boost her confidence as she's very wary of other dogs (seems to like Blenheims though as her brother was one).
26th July 2010, 10:35 PM
Sorry, didn't connect name with face! It would do Aled good to have another Cavalier to play with, so email me privately (via the Notifications section, to KateH) with your phone number and we'll get together (or you may have my phone number on the mustard recipes!).
Kate, Oliver and Aled
27th July 2010, 08:34 AM
KateH, I've sent you a PM :)
I've done what you suggested about having the windows open and keeping the bathroom door closed, so I will keep an eye on Tilly scratching :) She was on my lap last night whilst watching TV and she went to nibble her lower nipples, but I gave them a gentle rub for her, which she seemed to enjoy and then she settled back down to go to sleep - that was done without her grumbling at me :D
6th August 2010, 08:46 AM
Sorry I've not posted in a while, been really busy lately at work and I don't have internet at home yet (soon to be sorted!!)
Tilly is going to the vets tonight at 5.50pm, we're trying another local vets, on the reccomendation of a friend with 5 cavaliers, so we shall see what they say. I'm also going to get Tilly weighed as meeting Kate last Sunday for a walk round the park, I can see Tilly is on the 'fat side of thin', so I've reduced her portions slightly more this week, so will find out what she weighs so I know how much she's roughly got to loose :)
She is still scratching at her 'nip nips', they don't look any different to the pictures above so will see what the vets say! I'm a bit anxious about going tbh but I'm sure she'll be alright :)
Will keep you updated on how it goes,
6th August 2010, 12:25 PM
Best of luck at the vet's tonight - hope he/she can get to the bottom of Tilly's scratching.
We all enjoyed our walk last Sunday!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
7th August 2010, 12:06 PM
Tilly got on ok last night at the vets, she was very good whilst the vet examined her and let her look at her nipples without saying a word :)
The vet had never seen before a dog which chewed her own nipples, so at the moment we're going through a process of elimination, the vet said she didn't think the nipples were infected so didn't want to give her anti-biotics but has given her some steroid spray to apply to each nipple twice a day and she's recommended I use E45 cream on each one an hour before applying the spray. Tilly has to wear a collar when I'm not around to keep an eye on her so she doesn't chew her lower ones and also at night when she will probably think about the itching the most.
About the crustiness around the lower nipples, she thinks Tilly has got into a vicious circle, they itch so she chews/licks them,which makes them sore, so the more she chews/licks them, so we're going to try and break that circle with the collar to see if there is any improvement.
She's going back on the 24th August for her booster, so the vet will check to see how they are doing/healing :)
The vet listened to her heart, which was fine and no murmur was detected (I was so glad to hear) and she was weighed... 12.4kg which I was shocked about so the vet recommended I reduce her portions by a quarter.
I will keep you updated of her progress :)
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