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> Cocker Skin Problems
Wellsmum
post 4th Apr 2012, 5:05 pm
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Hi All,
Ive posted on here before about my cockers skin problems, which quite often and ultimately, end up with behavioural problems because she is so grumpy!

She has been suffering on and off with bad skin since September last year. In the interim it has completely settled, then flared up for no 'apparent' reason.

I realise cockers are prone to skin problems, but wondered if anyone has any recommendations / tips or if they have cockers and have similar. At the present time I am really debating what route I take as it seems an impossible problem to try and rectify.

The first bout she was given anti inflams and anti biotics and the problem cleared completely between September & December. In December we had ringworm in the house and I treated her with preventative medicine - which caused her skin to flare up again. This time, the anti inflams and antibiotics only worked for certain areas - her chest and belly - but her back continued to cause her discomfort. She was then treated with 1 week salt water bathing, this didnt work and three weeks on she had hibiscrub, which also failed. After another couple of weeks she had a course of the antifungal wash - just as final precaution that she didnt have ringworm and everything cleared up.

About a week ago she got new lumps again. They look like mosquito bites and this indeed could be the cause as they have been present in our kitchen (we have killed them when spotted obviously)... one thing I have noticed though is that throughout all of this her ears never really settled and she shook them more than she ever used to....this may seem an off remark but for those of you who know their dogs - you know when they scratch more than usual or shake their ears more than they used to. She has done this - in particular when her back needs a good rub - the vet has checked them EVERY TIME thoroughly and said he believed that the ear flapping was a knee jerk reaction to the itchy back - but I am sceptical.

Any offers???? Sorry long post but needed to give all info!

Obviously she has been flea treated & wormed, she does not have ear mites....she is also on a hypo diet.
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Bunter1
post 4th Apr 2012, 5:10 pm
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Anything in the house such as air fresheners, washing powder, etc that she could be reacting to?

Also, you say she is on a hypo-allergenic diet, but it is only hypo-allergenic if she is not allergic to any of the ingredients! Dogs can be allergic to anything at all. Grains/cereals are the more usual culprits, but she could also be allergic to chicken or rice for instance. What food is it she is on?
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Boysie
post 4th Apr 2012, 5:42 pm
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As it's her ears and skin, she might have a yeast infection - if so, she would need AB's specific to that, alongside ear drops etc. Has the vet taken a swab of skin / from ears?
The other thing to consider, if she is also getting grumpy, is having her thyroid function checked (full panel), as this can make dogs prone to recurrent skin / ear problems.
Hope you can get to the bottom of this flowers.gif
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Wellsmum
post 4th Apr 2012, 6:30 pm
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She is on Beta Sensitive (salmon and rice) which was recommended...although we never really thought it was a food allergy in the first place - we just put her on the hypo food because of the recurrence. The first bout was when she stayed at my sisters when we were on our hols....she came back like she had fleas, but didn't. She remained on her normal food just a supermarket dry complete and was sorted fine. There was no recurrence until Christmas so 3 months without a problem - and even then, I think the main reason she had such a problem in December was because I was over-enthusiastic at trying to ensure all my own animals didnt catch ringworm, so as well as my own quarantine, I had preventative stuff for them too.
It just seems madness that weve gone so long with NO problems, and now they wont go away....and of course financially, a recurring problem is a nightmare! (She is 10 in August btw...)
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Wellsmum
post 4th Apr 2012, 6:52 pm
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And THANKS that yeast infection stuff is looking possible....I will see how we go over the next week and looks like we might be back at the vets AGAIN!!!!
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bodle
post 4th Apr 2012, 7:56 pm
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No real solution but having had a couple of itchy dogs I would recommend a few things - we have found that Yumega Plus oil does help but like all supplements it does take a couple of months to really see a change. Last year we changed to giving Natural Instinct raw food ( with a little Burns pork and potato) and have seen an improvement in our lab who does get occasionally itchy ( both skin and ears) - for the first time he had a year without steroids although we still used piriton occasionally.

I also avoid chemicals as much as possible-- I hope you find something that helps , it is one of the worst conditions to find a 'cure' for.
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Boysie
post 4th Apr 2012, 8:28 pm
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Having looked back to your January thread, I would suggest that you do have her thyroid function checked ( full panel, not basic test). She sounds like our old cocker was before he was diagnosed as hypothyroid err.gif
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Wellsmum
post 4th Apr 2012, 8:33 pm
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Do you use piriton in conjunction with your vet - it's one thing I have been considering using but haven't had the guts to use in case of any side effects..... I have skin problems myself so have stacks of loratadine and cetirazine hydrochloride in the house to solve my regular problems! I debated giving her something the other day but am quite reluctant to self-medicate.
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Vera
post 4th Apr 2012, 10:03 pm
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Having an American cocker with very similar problems (nearly permanent skin infection starting off with those lumpy things due to various allergies and being grumpy), I feel for you and your dog. In Jesse's case, it was autoimmune thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and since being on soloxine (thyroid hormone tablets) he very rarely gets any skin problems. So perhaps it would be worth getting a comprehensive thyroid test done. smile.gif


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Jo@thewilderness
post 5th Apr 2012, 2:17 am
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As others have said full panel...

But I have to comment on Beta Salmon and Rice. It contains rice, maize and meat and animal derivatives. This would be a nightmare with two of my dogs. One of them can't tolerate meat or maize the other can't tolerate meat, maize or rice. A lot of dogs are intolerant of rice...

And it contains a minimum of 4% (yep, that is right, a whole huge 4%) salmon. The rest of the protein is made up from unidentified sources of meat and veg source.

Switch to a better feed tomorrow. Have a look at Fish4Dogs or Wainrights fish and potato or grain free (and you can get it in Pets@Home so makes life easier).

Harris (the really "special" diet one) comes out in zits/boils if he gets rice and we won't talk about what happens to his rear end with meat rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by Jo@thewilderness: 5th Apr 2012, 2:23 am
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woofgang
post 5th Apr 2012, 5:11 am
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yes you really have to turn into a label reader. I have my boy on wafcol salmon and potato (he gets filthy ears with his allergy) before that he was on Royal Canin sensitive but when they changed the protein source from fish to duck his ears went bad again. On the Wafcol (touching wood) he is fine. The other thing that helped him a lot when he was bad was a steroid spray, cortavance. It doesn't have the same side effects as an oral steroid and you only use it where it is needed.
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riotous_uk
post 5th Apr 2012, 7:47 am
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Also have a look on the internet for 'Spaniel ear cleaner' as so many cocker folks swear by this recipe for keeping cocker ears healthy (not had a problem with my 2 wockers, but will be using this on a couple fo GSD that get recurrent problems).

Other alternatives for food that are good include Burgess sensitive salmon variety, Autarky salmon (mine love this) Millburns cereal free range (only online from petsupermaket.co.uk) and Simpsons Premium (order online) all have excellent ingredients and I've listed them in price order just about. If you order the Autarky online from Dodson and Horrell (sp?), then they have a special offer if you buy 2 bags which works out much cheaper.
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bodle
post 5th Apr 2012, 2:30 pm
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QUOTE(Wellsmum @ 4th Apr 2012, 9:33 pm) *

Do you use piriton in conjunction with your vet - it's one thing I have been considering using but haven't had the guts to use in case of any side effects..... I have skin problems myself so have stacks of loratadine and cetirazine hydrochloride in the house to solve my regular problems! I debated giving her something the other day but am quite reluctant to self-medicate.



Originally yes - but now we use it when we see the need - no side effects with ours . I'm sure your vet would give advice , well worth a try .They do not solve the problem but make life more bearable ,
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bodle
post 5th Apr 2012, 2:30 pm
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sorry double posting !

This post has been edited by bodle: 5th Apr 2012, 2:31 pm
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Wellsmum
post 5th Apr 2012, 5:29 pm
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Well, Hello Dog Friendly Peeps.....

Just to update you all. I went to the vets this evening and discussed your adviceees!

Ironically, both he and I were tied with regard to the Hyperthyroidism and allergies...and whilst at the stage we are not ruling ANYTHING out, Scully's symptoms do tie in mostly with the systemic yeast infection.

Again, I havent ruled that this is an allergy or hyperthy - but things just dont quite tie up with the occurrence of symptoms, the fact that they went away for three months when her diet wasnt changed.

She also currently has conjunctivitis in one eye - but he has actually put that down to the rubbing of ears! He did a really thorough check inside her ears and they are completely clear, so the current plan of action is a course of meds to kill the yeast.... again - it might not be a cure, but it does do one thing....rule out one more thing on the list of "What is causing my dogs skin problems"!!!

The other bonus....and this is quite a biggy....he charged me a consult on the first two visits but since then I have ONLY had to pay for medications.... Scully is not now insured and of course, is now uninsurable....so costs for these things have to be taken into consideration - I was all ready to pay 100 for the Blood Panel, so 27 for meds is a drop in the ocean. Please, fingers crossed for me & Scully!!!

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