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View Full Version : Should Elton go to dermatplogist?



anniemac
25th February 2012, 02:45 PM
Elton's MRI did show "mild CM" BUT I do think a lot of his scratching is allergies. I changed food and he's doing better with scratching but his neurologist keeps mentioning that he wants him to refer him to dermotologist.

I know that will not be covered and with his vomiting costing almost $400 last week for fluids and blood work (normal) and still have not got claim $ back from MRI, I'm not sure if it's worth it. Don't get me wrong, if it will help him or if people think its necessary I will go. What would they do? Allergy testing? Food allergies might be easy (I think he's allergic to salmon) but environmental, some things you can't change.

I remember Ella's vet saying she probably was allergic to grass. Well that was SM and increased scratching on lead BUT if Elton is allergic to grass what can you do?

He is still fly catching and tail chasing which I showed videos to neurologist. Tail chasing has not improved but fly catching some with gabapentin.

What do you suggest?

sins
25th February 2012, 03:07 PM
http://www.aromesse.com/skin-problem/petnat-itchy-skin-relief-dermacton-cream-spray-shampoo-dog-canine.html
Perhaps try some of those products before spending more money on dermatologists/neurologists etc..
If Elton has mild CM only,then statistically,it's very unlikely(though not impossible) that he has any pain from the condition.
It's possible he has allergies,after all we live in such an environment where chemical cleaners,pesticides,food additives are part and parcel of life,not to mention the low humidity in air conditioned and heated buildings.
For me tail chasing is not an illness or necessarily an indication of a medical illness.We had labradors,springers and cockers who all did the same.They were probably high energy dogs who were bored being indoors.
Fly catching is..
A breeder once told me to trim the hair over their eyes which distracts their line of vision and remove a whisker or two which might curl back towards the eye.
I think she may have a point,I also recall a thread from a member here who did the same and fixed the flycatching problem.
At this stage,I'm aware of so many cavaliers with minor ailments which are being treated as something more sinister and more expensive.People are shelling out out thousands for investigations of conditions which trouble the owners more than it does the dogs.
Surely a vet can do a skin scraping,send it to a lab and see if it's an infection?
I know all too well the cost of specialists,I paid two months salary to vets for daisy's final three weeks.
Sins

Margaret C
25th February 2012, 03:45 PM
If your neurologist thinks it will be worth seeing a dermatologist and the scratching is bothering Elton, or worrying you, then it would probably be a good idea to take his advice.

anniemac
25th February 2012, 03:54 PM
Thanks Sins! I know Elton has allergies but I am glad he got an MRI. He could have had PSOM but thankfully didn't.

The videos I show his neurologist, he said looked more like epilepsy. I just know he is doing better. I think what Pat recommended about going to behavioralist awhile back I should have done. I have referral but i guess I'm a bad mom. I am having health problems and my parents are helping me with Elton (staying in Columbia) so they are more concerned about me and would not understand.

anniemac
25th February 2012, 03:55 PM
If your neurologist thinks it will be worth seeing a dermatologist and the scratching is bothering Elton, or worrying you, then it would probably be a good idea to take his advice.

I feel like that too because I trust and respect him. He's a specialist for a reason.

BrooklynMom
26th February 2012, 12:19 AM
Hi Anne!

I can shed some light on the allergy thing (and costs) because Brooky just went through it all with a dermatologist after TWO horrible allergic reactions in one month (face neck swelled to the size of a balloon) as well as a lot of other constant skin infections and allergy symptoms (scratching, biting, licking etc.). We have seen a neurologist too, who asked us to look at the allergy side of things for right now as she felt that needed to be tackled first (especially given the two horrible reactions she had a week apart from each other).

First...an average appointment with a dermatologist is around $350 (in Australia, assume it is around the same in the US). They will most likely want to do a skin prick test (Brooky had this done) and that costs around $380. The skin prick test will show airborne and contact allergies (but will not show food) and will show the severity. Brooky for one has a SEVERE (to the point when the pricked her they had to give her a counter shot to stop the reaction because it blew up) allergy to moths. Sounds like a funny one, but most likely she either ate a moth or was playing with one in the back yard the last two times her face blew up this month (because there were no signs of a stinger), so this is good to know. She also has a moderate allergy to grass, ragweed and cockroaches.

Now to answer your questions....well what do I do about this, you can't remove those things? Well, one option is doing a desensitisation shot therapy (you do regular injections over 6 months to a year of the actual allergen, you dermatologist will make up this solution) and you go through that process in the hope that that either stops or decreases the allergy in the dog (20-30% of dogs do not respond to the allergy vaccine, 20-30% response excellently and 40-60% respond partially). So you run the risk that you do this, but not much might happen. It is also a long course of therapy. The quote I got for the whole duration of this was $387.15 (but I will be doing the shots at home vs. at a vet to save money and the derm will train me on that). I have not decided if I will move forward on the injections or not, but wanted you to know the info an costs at least :) We are also doing an anti-histamine trial (with over the counter anti-histamines) to see if they help or work at all. Anti-histamines can be of help with seasonal allergies.
For Brooklyn, we also have to carry an epi-pen and a VERY high dose emergency anti-histamine...but that is for her sever reactions (which are aweful, in 30 minutes flat she almost stops breathing and I had to be talked through doggy CPR last time!). So that would be less likely for you.

As for food allergies...the ONLY way to test for that is with a food elimination diet. You can do this at home, and while it might be a little pain to you to monitor food and cook some things etc. it is not a cost issue, can be done on your own and will tell you accurately if Elton has a food allergy to something or not. There are so many things dogs can be allergic to in food, that sometimes switching foods around does not isolate all of the allergens (in which case Elton would do slightly better if one allergic food was removed, but not 100%). Doing a food allergy elimination diet allows you to isolate exact proteins and carbs to really paint the picture. This is the easiest of the above, but aside from effort on your part, you are not shelling out a ton of $$ for tests etc. Just need to feed the diet correctly. Message me if you want more info on this, I'm on week 4 with Brooky :)

Also, does Elton lick/bite paws? If so, Epsom Salt soaks from the knee down for apx. 10 min will help that a lot and good to rinse off feet when you come inside if you suspect grass or something is irritating him. I keep baby wipes by the front door and just quickly wipe off Brookys paws.

Sorry, this was a LONG reply, but I wanted to give you all the info I had because I am in the middle of it all with Brooky. There is always the CM and other issues that can be causing things too, but this is at least some allergy info to add to your ever growing knowledge bank! ;)

BIG HUGS to Elton!!

Sydneys Mom
26th February 2012, 12:30 AM
Hi Anne, nice to see you here again. Sounds like BrooklynMom said it all and gave some good advice. The only thing I know about the grass allergy is my neighbors dog is allergic and would constantly bite at his paws. So now, walks are on pavement and if he's in a grassy area, they put little booties on him. Seems to only affect his paws.

Sorry you're not feeling well. Take care of yourself and hope all is better soon.

BrooklynMom
26th February 2012, 12:37 AM
Here are some photos of what the "allergy skin prick test" look like:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7184/6929770641_1580fb89b4.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770641/)
Allergy1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770641/) by kelseykakes5 (http://www.flickr.com/people/32200327@N02/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7206/6929770623_f3cc7c4cdf.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770623/)
Allergy Test (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770623/) by kelseykakes5 (http://www.flickr.com/people/32200327@N02/), on Flickr


And these are pics of the last two times Brooklyn went into a sever allergic reaction:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7193/6929770619_c9edc5b634.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770619/)
IMG_2363 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770619/) by kelseykakes5 (http://www.flickr.com/people/32200327@N02/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7182/6929770605_6dca1eec1b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770605/)
IMG_2359 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32200327@N02/6929770605/) by kelseykakes5 (http://www.flickr.com/people/32200327@N02/), on Flickr

And I too hope you feel better Anne...will put you on my prayer list ;) xx

anniemac
26th February 2012, 12:45 AM
Thank you Kelsey! I may ask you some questions privately.

mommytoClaire
26th February 2012, 01:51 AM
Oh Anne! Sweet Elton and all his issues. I know it must be hard, but bless you for caring for him so deeply! You are a good momma, and with all your own personal issues too!

Wow Kelsey, great info....little Brooklyn is also a trooper. Hard to believe all she has been through, and now the allergy trials. But at least you are getting some answers. Hard to believe she is so high allergic to MOTH's!!! But glad you have an answer and can control it.

Anne, I was wondering why you can't get the allergy stuff covered by your insurance? But, I certainly do understand that if finances are thin, there is only so much you can do. So even though the neurologist made the suggestion, it's not him paying the bill. I know how important Elton is to you, and I know you will do everything humanly possible to keep him healthy and happy. Don't feel guilty about waiting it out a bit while you wait for the insurance money from the first tests to come back.

For now, you need to concentrate on getting well yourself! Elton needs a well momma. Hugs and prayers Anne!

mommytoClaire
26th February 2012, 01:51 AM
Oh Anne! Sweet Elton and all his issues. I know it must be hard, but bless you for caring for him so deeply! You are a good momma, and with all your own personal issues too!

Wow Kelsey, great info....little Brooklyn is also a trooper. Hard to believe all she has been through, and now the allergy trials. But at least you are getting some answers. Hard to believe she is so high allergic to MOTH's!!! But glad you have an answer and can control it.

Anne, I was wondering why you can't get the allergy stuff covered by your insurance? But, I certainly do understand that if finances are thin, there is only so much you can do. So even though the neurologist made the suggestion, it's not him paying the bill. I know how important Elton is to you, and I know you will do everything humanly possible to keep him healthy and happy. Don't feel guilty about waiting it out a bit while you wait for the insurance money from the first tests to come back.

For now, you need to concentrate on getting well yourself! Elton needs a well momma. Hugs and prayers Anne!

Furrfoot
26th February 2012, 04:34 AM
Rose has allergies- her littermate has none. Go figure. We currently use a half a 4 hour Chlortimaton (disclaimer as usual-ask your vet first :P) when she has a bad flare (itchiness to the point of raw spots :( ), and an AWESOME spray and shampoo a Cavalier friend recommended to me. Rose has been soooo much more comfortable. It's called Eqyss Micro Tek. We use the shampoo once a week, diluted (per directions) and then the spray. The first time I used the shampoo, I used it full strength (which you can do, but I discovered it's not necessary for Rose), and when she got out of the bathroom, she was still itching. I was so bummed. But, within 15-30 minutes later and the spray, the itching stopped. And only came back if I forgot to spray her (twice a day is recommended). I'm about to order my second bottle. It might at least give you both some relief until you can get to a point where you can take him to the dermatologist if you still feel you need to.

We did the elimination diet with Rose and now feed her Back to Basics Turkey dry mixed with Before Grain-either chicken, buffalo, or tripe and 2 tsp. of oatbran (she's allergic to wheat). I also quit using the wet Swiffer pads, because she had a bad round of itching after I used them for the first time. I've gotten a spray mop that I put either vinegar and water in, or water and Nature's Miracle. I hope you both are feeling better soon.

sins
26th February 2012, 07:51 PM
I think what Pat recommended about going to behavioralist awhile back I should have done
I agree,
You have a dog who guards,marks and bites.
He chases his tail and flycatches.Not every solution comes from a pharmaceutical factory. Medications may mask the symptoms and do not address the root cause if it is behavioural.

I certainly do understand that if finances are thin, there is only so much you can do. So even though the neurologist made the suggestion, it's not him paying the bill. I know how important Elton is to you, and I know you will do everything humanly possible to keep him healthy and happy. Don't feel guilty about waiting it out a bit while you wait for the insurance money from the first tests to come back.

I agree 100%. You have had some massive medical bills.I'm not sure if you've paid off Ellas?
If a dog has a serious illness,I can understand how we go the extra mile and give them the best treatment we can and pay what must be paid.
However,you have had some vague suggestions,it " looks like" epilepsy,it" might be" flycatchers,all suggestions but no firm absolute diagnosis.
If he doesn't have a rash,persistent diarrhoea,skin infections or serious reactions,then he can wait a few weeks until you've recovered and your finances are in better shape.
People here have given you some great advice about managing allergies.
Just take care of yourself for a while.Then follow up the referral with the behaviourist.
Sins

anniemac
26th February 2012, 08:24 PM
You know I disagree with it being rare for mild CM to be symptomatic. I'm not saying that's definitely his problem but I see him shaking head with no yeast in ears or infections, hiding, etc.

I have seen two MRI stating mild CM with severely symptomatic cavaliers so even if not unheard of, it's more common than I think noted. I was reading a comment on Ella's blog actually from bet before she passed thanking me to showing her that CM can be a big factor.


Dr. Brofman wants be to call him Monday. I want to talk to him and make sure that I'm not trying to look for symptoms not there (people on Facebook have been rude to me thinking nothing is wrong with him) but I have videos of him in distress. My main thing is getting him out of distress and making him not have pain.

While I can't drive and out of town, I found a in house trainer to call. I am not well if he is not well. Luckily, removing salmon has really helped some scratching, tear stains.

Thanks everyone! I don't think waiting on some things will hurt but can do training always.

anniemac
26th February 2012, 08:43 PM
I want to thank everyone for their time and help with Elton.

anniemac
26th February 2012, 10:59 PM
Sins,

You are right. Many people have given me wonderful advice especially regarding allergies. Very much appreciated!