Author Topic: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.  (Read 7789 times)

Offline Newly Newfed

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Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« on: April 27, 2008, 11:24:54 am »
Loyalty to your vet can only go so far.  Sierra's itching has suddenly taken a turn for the worse.  She has red, raw and sometimes oozy bald spots all over her and there are tufts of hair laying around the house from her pulling it out while scratching.  She'll be sleeping peacfully and then suddenly jump up like a bee stung her and start itching like crazy.  The food change to the Allergy Formula didn't seem to make one bit of difference and, honestly, the only time we didn't see her itch was the other day when she was with Jeff, cleaning out our pond.  It's half-empty and has thick mud in it and she ended up coating herself in the mud.  She didn't itch once that any of us saw.  As soon as we gave her a bath, she was back to it.  Anyway, the vet just keeps going back to the flea allergy, she didn't really test her for anything else and I'm getting a second opinion.  I almost feel guilty doing it, because I like this vet, but I just kind of feel like she's not doing everything she can for Sierra this time.  I don't know.  Maybe there really is somethng else another vet can do, or maybe I'm just desperate to help my dog and I'm blaming the vet because she doesn't have the answer.  I'm just hoping an allergy test will tell us something, or maybe the dog needs cortisone shots or something, but SOMETHING has to be done for my dog.  I'm again at the point where I just sit on the floor with her, with a cold cloth on her itchy spots because that seems to make her feel better.  Jeff even suggested putting an OTC topical anti-itch cream on her, but I don't know if that would be good for her.  He even said he has half a mind to go and let her get all muddy like she was and then just brush the dried mud out of her coat and deal with the smell, which is saying a lot about how he feels, because he hates the dog smelling.  I just don't know what to do anymore.  I just look at her and I want to cry.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 12:14:54 pm by Newly Newfed »
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole - Roger Caras

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Offline People Whisperer

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 12:44:12 pm »
Poor Sierra :'( :'( :'( What a nightmare! :(
I think that second opinion is just a MUST at this point and I agree with the above and take her to a specialist. I know you are in PA and I am not sure if you have a specialist close by, but if not there is a great Dermatologist in Baltimore ;)
"To once own a Great Pyrenees is to love and want one always."
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Nicole

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 01:43:46 pm »
awwwwwww!!!

Well, if your vet has said its a flea allergy, why hasn't she given her a cortisone shot? One of our kitties is allergic to fleas like CRAZY. I mean, seriously. If he gets ONE flea bite, he pulls out all of his hair and literally loses his mind. Seriously. One summer, he snuck out the third floor window and tried to live in a tree, pulling all of his hair out. Its really horrible!!!

So, my vet gives him a cortisone shot which lasts about 6 months or so. He also gives him the Program shot. AND he gets topical flea treatment. (I can't remember which one works WITH the Program)

Basically, I hate giving him all of those shots, but it is WAY better than the alternative. I know what you are going through.

It truly does sound like a flea allergy to me, but I would wonder why its not being treated?

Offline AC

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 02:31:56 pm »
My Angus has the same problem with itching. Many trips to the vet and multiple diet changes have not helped. He is currently on a vegetarian diet which is having no affect at all on controlling the itching. The vet just writes it off as environmental allergies and would like him to go on prednisone for the rest of his life and I do not want that. The probleme with Angus is not just the itching but he decides to chew himself up for relief and an outbreak of nasty hotspots follow. I've been to a few breeders as well and they think he has seborrhea and I treat him for that. In order to control the itching and chewing he gets a medicated bath every 2 weeks. In the beginning though, to control the flaky skin I had to give him a medicated bath every second day for a week, then once a week and I am currently at once every 2 weeks. It is plenty work but does control the itching. I get my medicated shampoo from a Newfoundland dog breeder / groomer so I will have to check with her for the brand as the ones I have bought at pet supply stores do not work.
Does your dog look like he has plenty of dandruff? Is it really oily? You may be dealing with the same thing I am.
Oh yea, Angus is a Newf as well.

Offline patrick

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 02:55:18 pm »
Boy I wouldn't hesitate to use topical meds to help.  There are so many things to choose from but as long as the dog is scratching he will not heal  So it is IMPERATIVE that he get some relief.  What have you tried so far?  Meds? Shampoos? Topical? Antibiotics?  I once had a vet who did not give me prednisone in this type of situation so I got another vet.  A dermatologist is a good bet for you at this point

Offline jennifer

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 03:58:12 pm »
Poor Sierra and poor you!  :-[
I feel this pain as Bear has undiagnosed allergies that sometimes result in lots and lots of itching. Since he's on pheno and KBr for seizures, I hesitate to give him anything else BUT at the suggestion of my vet I occasionally give him ad adult dose of generic antihistamine (pills) and it works really well. I do this mainly during the spring & fall allergy seasons when his symptoms seem to worsen. 

Hope you get some answers and relief soon.
:) Jennifer
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RIP sweet Bear (9/02-8/08)

Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 08:43:13 pm »
Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions.  I was telling my friend here at work about it and I just started crying.  Sierra depends on me and Jeff to take care of her and keep her happy and healthy and I feel so utterly helpless.  I know I'm not but, sometimes, I just feel like I'm failing her.  I have an appointment with another vet  tomorrow and another co-worker was kind enough to call her dauhgter who works as a vet technician because she overheard me talking to my friend.  Her daighter suggested benadryl.  Haven't tried that yet, but I may as well so I can cross it off the list.  I'll keep you posted...
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole - Roger Caras

Sierra-Newfoundland
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Oscar, Gina- Cats
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Peaches, Sean, Thunderbolt, Chablis, Lucky, Miracle, Ivy, Riley-Whitetail Deer

Offline jennifer

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2008, 08:59:04 pm »
Benadryl is a name-brand antihistamine. Like I said, it gives great relief to Bear's itching. It doesn't solve the problem but treats the symptom. Good luck to you both!
:) Jennifer
Mom to Saint Nakita and Charlie the cat

RIP sweet Bear (9/02-8/08)

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2008, 10:16:17 pm »
I hope the second opinion vet will give you some answers.

Benedryl works great for mild allergies.  The dosage is one mg per pound up to 3x daily.  So for a dog that size you may want to go generic.  I use it on my smallest dog, but she's only 9 lbs (1/2 pill 2x daily works for her).  I had to switch to prescription on Keiko b/c Benedryl was too expensive and the prescription was actually cheaper.  :P

lookingfornewf

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 12:21:51 am »
I don't know if you got any help at the  vet or not yet. If you are still looking for help, I have used the benadryl on dogs and it definately helps. Another big help is to bath them with Aveeno. It is for people skin allergies and is oatmeal based so very mild. You put some in the bath and for about 10 minutes either keep pouring it on them or wiping with the washrag dipped in it. Just pat them dry. It smells a little but not bad and seems to really help. They sell it at groceries and pharmacies. Good Luck.

Offline willowtree

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 12:34:54 am »
I would like to second (or third or whatever) the benadryl suggestion.  The vet thinks Maddox has environmental allergies and food changes didn't help.  So far benadryl has really helped with the itching and swelling of his skin.  I was told to give him 25 mg 3x a day and Maddox is ~50 lbs.  The only thing is that he hates it if it touches his tongue at all.  He won't even eat them in hot dogs now...
Maddox-- My big black something mix puppy

Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 12:51:17 am »
What have you tried so far?  Meds? Shampoos? Topical? Antibiotics? 

I feel like I have tried almost EVERYTHING! But obviously I haven't, because something out there will help.  I just haven't found it yet.  I have tried shampoos, food changes, flea preventatives, she's been treated for mange, I've tried keeping her extra clean, I've tried letting her go without baths thinking the baths are drying her skin out. She was given a pill prescription when the itching first started but to be honest, I don't remember what it was.  I'll ask the vet tomorrow about a recommendation for a dermatologist, and I just started with the Benadryl tonight.  The woman at work whose daughter works for a vet gave me the dosage for her.  I just keep telling myself that eventually we will figure this out.


I was told to give him 25 mg 3x a day and Maddox is ~50 lbs.  The only thing is that he hates it if it touches his tongue at all.  He won't even eat them in hot dogs now...

I was told to give Cece 2 tablets 2x's daily.  She's about 100 lbs.  I'm lucky - Cece is such a food monger, she even thinks pills are treats!  She actually won't eat them if they are hidden in food, but she will eat them if we just give them to her as is.  Sometimes I wonder about the sanity of my sweet girl!!

Someone also told me that they were told to put vegetable oil on the dog's food to fight dry skin...  Has anyone heard of this??
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole - Roger Caras

Sierra-Newfoundland
Cody-Papillon
Oscar, Gina- Cats
Roxy-Ferret
Peaches, Sean, Thunderbolt, Chablis, Lucky, Miracle, Ivy, Riley-Whitetail Deer

Offline patrick

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 01:06:39 am »
Salmon oil is great for the skin as well as flax seed and Lipoderm capsules

Some shampoos to try are oatmeal of course but also tea tree oil shampoo is also great for itchy skin.  Topicals to use would be some of the OTCs that you haven't tried like Benadryl or Hydrocortisone creams.  Some people will spray the areas with foot sprays or even Listerine.  I personally use Peace and Kindness spray (silver colloidal) by Chris Christensen as well as Mellaleuca or Tea Tree oil which you can get at Walmart.  Zinc oxide and diaper rash creams are messy but good to put directly on the spots.  Whatever you use it needs to be consistent until you get it under control- as long as she is scratching she will not get better cause she will just keep causing irritation and hot spots which are actually skin infections.  Benadryl is OK for a start but I believe that Vistaril or Atarax is more effective for stopping the itching.  Hopefully the doc tomorrow will get you started on a program to get this under control  Poor baby

Offline FXgirl

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 01:07:33 am »
Did you say whether or not she has had any allergy testing done?

Offline NarniaMals

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Re: Ok. It's time for a second opinion.
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 03:22:18 am »
Itchy-owie-

I am surprised your vet didn't suggest a 2nd opinion. My husky had a rash on his stomach/privae area last winter that seemed to come up out of nowhere.  Our vet was great.  He and I talked very informally.  We tried something topical which seemed to help - but not cure it.  When I went back for a follow-up we talked some more.  He mentioned an allergist for dogs in Anchorage (we live an hour north) and i sort of cringed thinking of the expense - so we talked some more and we came up with some alternatives to try first.  After about a week of changing some common items in the household we found that my little goober puppy was llergic to the plastic floor cover in front of a door near his water bowl that he would lay on and chew a bone.  Imagine - plastic.  We removed that and waited to see if it could be the plastic bottom in his crate as well - nope - just the clear plastic floor cover. WOWOW - I could have kissed the vet.  Not only did he save me a grunch of money - but he saved my pup from having to go through allergy testing.  The neat thisng was that he openly suggested checking with the specialist - He was awesome.  Hopefully you will be able to find out the root of your pups allergy - It sounds way worse than anything we had up here (and we don't have as many bugs and outside allergies to deal with)

Good Luck - and please don't feel bad about getting a 2nd opinion.  I would think that any professional would not have an issue with that.  All we want is what is best for our pups!
Marianne and the MALS
Jadis (Queen of Narnia - The White Witch) and
Vander  (One of her loyal guardians)
also Maulgrim (our Huskey - Head guardian and our little alpha dog!)