With the onset of summer so too is the increase in itching, licking, scratching and chewing at the skin in some dogs. These chronic behaviours can cause discomfort to our beloved pets resulting in endless frustration for owners driven to desperation for a cure and the loss of sleep due to itching of irritated pets in the night. Allergies in dogs can be complex in nature. They may be localised to the skin on the paws, muzzle, ears, stomach, groin or be generalised (all over the body), sometimes accompanying a malodour. There are many causes for allergies including parasites (fleas and mites), grass, plants, pollen, dust and even diet. Veterinarians are clinically trained to diagnose and determine the cause of allergies using a combination of history questions, clinical exam and testing techniques. This enables the vet to treat allergies effectively. We would like to share two recent cases we’ve treated at Albion and the amazing results and relief we’ve provided in a short period utilising advances in evidence-based skin medicine.
Case 1 - Mango
- Male, undesexed, 15 year old, Maltese dog
Mango presented to us with an itchy belly. He was born in Europe and moved to Australia with his family. His allergies had only started since being in Australia.
Mango’s skin had become red, thickened and started flaking in some areas and he couldn’t help but scratch at it constantly. His owners had tried some natural shampoos from the pet store, aloe vera and even some tea tree oil which made it worse. They had also trialed used some veterinary shampoos alone, but the skin never improved significantly.
Mango’s diet was very important to his owners, so they started an all-natural diet using only expensive organic fruit and vegetables, but it didn’t help to improve the skin or his itch.
Desperate for an answer Mango’s family presented him to us for further care. Dr Andrew collected a thorough history about his life, health events, daily activity, and environment information. He also undertook some diagnostic tests to examine the skin microscopically to rule in or out many common causes of the allergies. He even examined the hair shafts with a microscope which hold many clues.
Stay tuned for treatment.
Case 2 - Rocky
- Male, desexed, 9 year old, Jack Russell Terrier
Adopted as a rescue pet one day prior Rocky was known to have suffered allergies his entire life and possibly had no intervention or treatment before.
His skin was dry, cracked and bleeding in some places like his neck and in other places it had a serious discharge like in his armpits.
Again, Dr Andrew collected a thorough history about his health events, daily activity, and environment information.
Dr Andrew utilised diagnostic to smears of the skin to investigate microscopically. He also scraped the skin to examine it for potential parasites and infections with bacteria or fungus.
By using the clinical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests, Dr Andrew formulated a simple and individual care plan for both Rocky and Mango. By bringing their preventative health care up to date, modifying diet, as well as a simple skin care regime with safe veterinary products to sooth and protect the skin while it heals. He also prescribed a safe oral medication which is designed to calm the inflammation and allergies in the skin without side effects.
The treatment plans are formulated using evidence-based medicine and have the client’s busy life schedule in mind whilst ensuring the allergies are addressed.
The photos were taken at the first consultation and revisit photos for both patients were taken just short of one month after starting treatment.
The results have provided both patients relief with no further itching and their clinical signs have resolved. Rocky’s hair is now even starting to grow back! Both patients are managing to keep their skin under control effectively going forward with far less intervention than when they started their care.
If you have an itchy dog, we are more than happy to see them to determine how we can help.