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Thread: Itchy Cavalier

  1. #1
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    Default Itchy Cavalier

    We have a 4 year old Tri and lately, ESPECIALLY at night, he is really itchy on his belly and back hind legs. Poor little guy We took him to the vet a couple weeks ago and he put him on a steroid for 5 days with an antihistimine. We have changed his food since then, his treats. Any ideas as to what can help?

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    I think you need to look at a couple of things -- potentially allergies, and potentially something in the bedding like fleas, or flea allergy, but I think you also must look into the possibility of syringomyelia, and make sure your vet is both familiar with this problem and knows the high incidence in cavaliers. Needing to scratch more at night is one of the common signs amongst those of us with dogs with this unfortunate condition. You can read more and download several documents to bring to your vet here:

    www.smcavalier.com

    If your vet cannot find any other cause (and also if some other symptoms look famiilar, in particular) have your vet refer you to a neurologist, ideally one familiar with SM. There's a list on my SM site above and also on www.cavalierhealth.org.

    Good luck with finding the cause of this problem.

    Ps Steroids will help suppress signs of SM and make the dog appear better, but once off steroids the signs generally return fairly quickly. A difficulty in diagnosing SM is that it can have similar symptoms to many other conditions though soe signs, such as 'air scratching' are unique to SM. However, not all dogs with SM air scratch or scratch at all, though it is one of the most common symptoms.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Default itchy cavalier

    He is actually making contact with his belly, around the outside back legs too. he mostly licks it, the vet said it actually looked like he had hives? you can actually see it getting more reddish (his little belly) and its warm. i bought a natural aloe spray for dogs to help soothe him a bit and it seems to do the trick, that or a cool clothe on his belly. the vet said something about rag weed? BUT we haven't been up near that area in about a month, so i would think it would go away. he also was checked for flea allergies, and there were none. weird question though, if you have heard of this. the same weekend we were up north, it rained a lot and there were little frogs all over the place, NOW everyone thinks im crazy, BUT do you think that could of caused something with them all over the yard, peeing in the grass and weeds where he goes, what do you think? it started right after we got back from up there.

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    If there are hives coming up then does your vet think this is allergy? He could be allergic to the material in his dog bed, to cleaning powders or fluids used in the house, to dust mites -- he might have a food allergy -- there are tons of things. Maybe frog urine (!!) but then it should have gone away after you left the area and hasn't. If your vet isn't very familiar with working on allergies or SM then I'd consider seeing a specialist who is. Vets schools generally have a specialist in this area.

    I'd definitely check for other things first , but you also do need to consider SM in the background-- SM dogs do make contact when they scratch -- unfortunately a couple of the breed club sites have repeated the misinformation that only dogs that scratch and do *not* make contact might be considered to be at risk of SM even though all the literature from specialists who deal with the problem indicates this isn;t true as does the experience of those with affected dogs. I have two with SM who almost always make body contact when scratching -- and one doesn't air scratch at all and never has. So just be aware and make sure your vet is aware that this isn't a sign that it can't be SM and if nothing else can be found it may be your next possibility to pursue. Both my SM dogs scratch at their belly and sides too. It is thought that, like humans with the condition, they feel skin crawling sensations or pain in various places and those may vary from dog to dog. Dogs are often described as feeling hot in different areas where they scratch. So it is just very hard to say and is going to take probably a long elimination process to try and figure out what is going on. It can be so frustrating dealing with things like this when they can't say what is happening.

    There are just a lot of possibilities. I'd be working with a specialist or a vet who can work with you through various elimination trials perhaps?
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwarner View Post
    We have a 4 year old Tri and lately, ESPECIALLY at night, he is really itchy on his belly and back hind legs. Poor little guy We took him to the vet a couple weeks ago and he put him on a steroid for 5 days with an antihistimine. We have changed his food since then, his treats. Any ideas as to what can help?

    This cream is brilliant, have seen a number of dogs with very red and inflammed skin, 1 week on this and the difference is remarkable.

    http://www.camrosa.co.uk/index.php?o...d=15&Itemid=99

    Nanette

    PS Use the starter pack.
    HollyDolly

  6. #6
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    Aww poor guy. Hives really sound like allergies to me. My 1.5 year old tri has allergies to fleas AND grass... we suspect there is a food allergy compounding the rest, too but haven't done the food trials yet.

    She scratched like mad and we were terrified about SM. We had her MRI'd and thank goodness she was clear, THEN we knew that her scratching was due to allergies. Other clues for allergies in her case: red red eyes, itchy muzzle and bright pink belly.


    I am no expert on this but you may want to check for flea dander, little dark specks of dirt. Our animal derm said that fleas tend to really get dug in around the back quarters... If he's scratching at night, maybe wash his bedding - flea eggs can live on their beds... Also, Mags has gotten SO much relief from Epi-Soothe shampoo but it's not cheap - at $17 a bottle it costs more than my shampoo!

    We had good luck reducing Mags' scratching with Atopica but it did take forever - we ran trials of every single antihistamine before that, and they *all* failed. Next it's the trials and no more snacks and chew bones for weeks.

    good luck to you and your itchy hivey boy, I hope it clears up soon for him.

  7. #7
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    The strange thing is it is only and night and it started maybe a month ago. We have had him for 2 years now and he's never had this problem. I read the info on SM and pray that it isn't that.
    We have this soothing spray stuff that when applied seems to help. His bedding is our bedding so it gets washed on a regular basis so I don't think it's that.
    Well I guess it's time for a trip to the vet.

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    Has anyone ever had issues with any kind of worm? He was after his paw (heel) late last night and i noticed a little sore there? I think he also may have thrown up last night, the blanket he uses was stained, it's was yellowish, but did not smell of urine, so im assuming it was vomit. I read up on ring worm? I think I will call my vet today, have a sample done of his stuff and see if that is the case. We really are hoping it's not SM, he just doesn't seem to fit the 'model' of that. BUT, we will talk to our vet about this as well. We are very worried about this with our little guy. Im hoping its as simple as worms or allergies. Also anohter thought we had was his glands? He seriously only licks the area around his belly, private area? BUT more toward the tail and back hind legs. He's not sensitive.

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    Do you have foxes around? It's possible it could be sarcoptic mange.

  10. #10
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    The licking may not really have anything to do with the itching -- some of mine seem to be lickers and others do not. Mange def. could be a possible issue. Ringworm isn't actually a worm, despite its name -- it is a fungal infection and also is easily checked for. Has your vet done any kind of skin scrape? That would be one of the first things to do on his hindquarters. Anal glands won't really cause itching. If they are infected or impacted they could cause a dog to bite at its hindquarters.

    Any of these things require further checking by your vet so I'd get him back in for some further investigations.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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