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Itchy King Charles Cav (mrstjohnson) - UPDATE AND THANK YOU

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Itchy King Charles Cav (mrstjohnson) - UPDATE AND THANK YOU
  • I am posting this for my BFF.  She has a King Charles Cav. and ever since they moved poor Manny has been scratching only his left side.  They have done everything or least all the following:

    - Elimination diet to determine an allergy

    - Changed all dog bedding (he's not allowed on their bed)

    - replaced all items that come into contact with Manny (leashes, collars, etc.)

    - Had their carpets (well the rooms that have carpets) steamed cleaned without chemicals, the rest of their house is wood/tile)

    - Checked for fleas

    - special baths, powders etc.

    The interesting thing is that it is only his left side.  She's had him at the vet at least a 1/2 dozen times as well as specialists.  They've checked his ears, etc. tested for everything and come up empty.

     Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Their next step is a neuro vet but they are hoping to avoid it.

    Also, please don't suggest remove the carpeting because they are in a rental house and that's not possible.  The house they had before this one had carpeting as well.

    Thanks!

  • It sounds like a contact allergy to me -- specific spot, not bi-lateral.  Tell her to compare one house to another.  Just like you were making a listing to sell a house side by side.

    Paper vs. paint on the walls?

    finished basement vs. soil?

    Is there something he rubs against?  Sometimes dogs will scratch against a fence or corner of a wall -- and the contact can actually be the very thing they are scratching ON.  Maybe inside, maybe outside. 

    Is it the side he prefers to lie on or the other side?

    What does the skin itself look like?  Is it broken?  scaley?  pustules or papules (one has pus, the other is just a 'bump' that doesn't erupt)

    Different stuff to clean with?

    What *stops* the itch?  i.e., is it better after a bath?  has she tried easy things like a final rinse in tea tree and water?

    Is it worse in the morning or at night?  Does he wake up to scratch (or scratches in his sleep?)??  How often does he scratch? 

    My other suggestion would be a breed-specific thyroid panel at either Michigan State or Dr. Dodds (you can have the vet mail it off).  The breed specific thyroid panel can show FAR more than a regular blood test. 

    That's the only "test" i'd suggest but  if she hasn't had a **breed specific** test done it's honestly important.  It wouldn't be typical to see a non-bilateral itch with thyroid **but** sometimes when you're trying to solve a puzzle you have to go a bit further.

  •  Excellent questions, Callie! Sorry Lisa, no help here.

  • This is a purebred Cavalier, right? Is he scratching around his neck area? Has this been ruled out?

    http://www.cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm

  • Thank you for responding...

    Paper vs. paint on the walls? - both in both

    finished basement vs. soil? - both finished (carpet, wall paper, etc.)

    Is there something he rubs against?  Sometimes dogs will scratch against a fence or corner of a wall -- and the contact can actually be the very thing they are scratching ON.  Maybe inside, maybe outside.  - I will ask

    Is it the side he prefers to lie on or the other side? - I will ask

    What does the skin itself look like?  Is it broken?  scaley?  pustules or papules (one has pus, the other is just a 'bump' that doesn't erupt) - I looked myself and couldn't see anything or any signs of imflamation.

    Different stuff to clean with? - nope same stuff

    What *stops* the itch?  i.e., is it better after a bath?  has she tried easy things like a final rinse in tea tree and water? - he itches ALL THE TIME.  So far they haven't found anything that stops it.

    Is it worse in the morning or at night?  Does he wake up to scratch (or scratches in his sleep?)??  How often does he scratch?  - they work during the day, but I know he wakes up in the middle of the night to scratch

    Jen - a neurologist is their next step but I will definitely pass it along.  Based on what I have seen yes, it is right near his neck since most vet's initial reactions are that its a contact allergy with his collar.  He is a purebred, but to be honest I don't know where they got him.  I am assuming it is a reputable breeder, but you never know. I will definitely tell her about the article you posted - it sounds like it!

  • Honestly, it probably makes no different whether the breeder was any good or not,  well, if they were decent and noticed they had one with it, they wouldn't have bred the dog, but it's  possible it didn't show up yet at that point. Perhaps the breeder is decent though. Is it possible she could try to get in touch with them? Maybe (hopefully) this is an allergy and not SM,and the breeder might have had this show up in some other dogs. Or if it looks like it might be SM, and she's not too far from the breeder, he/she might be able to suggest a vet for that.

  • Could it be the water??
  • That was actually the first thing I suggested, since Charlie used to get a rash from the water when we lived in Milwaukee so we had to switch to jugged. They actually tried giving him their old water (her mom lives close) and that didn't help.

  • With cavaliers both the neck issue (the SM) and the mitral valve problem with the heart are both things that are literally *part* of the breed -- it's not just something that materializes with "bad breeders".  Now, believe it or not I have "papers" that say Charlie is a purebred Cavalier King Chas. Spaniel -- those papers and maybe $5 MIGHT get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks!!  Meaning -- they're worthless (and they aren't AKC -- it's some cockamaymie independant breed organization).  he obviously doesn't LOOK like a purebred cavalier. 

    But I'm still watching for SM and the mitral valve thing ... simply because they are as much a part of CKCS as floppy ears are cockers.

    Did that make sense??

  • I'm not sure where Charlie is registered, but CKCSC, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of America, is a legit. breed organization. CKCSC is the original breed club for Cavs in the US. When the AKC recognized the breed, they were offered the option to become the parent club, but voted not to do so. I know it's not really related to this topic directly, but it is important to note that this is a breed where there is a legit non-AKC club for the breed  (which is not to say that there might not be some shady breeders who register dogs with CKCSC).

  • griffinej5
    the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of America, is a legit. breed organization.

    *sigh*  Charlie's is from "America's Pet Registry".

     Has a real classy ring to it doesn't it?  *sigh*  If you knew the whole "story" of how the woman that had Charlie got him ... *sigh* well, it's crystal clear this "breeder" could never be accused of being "good". 

    I DO love Cavaliers -- I always have.  But I'm particularly glad at this point that I have the heart of a rescuer -- because it only fills ME with joy that he's so obviously of ... "iffy" parentage.  He's FIVE with no sign of the mitral valve heart problem! RAH!  He's sweet beyond belief.  I'm glad I have these "papers" because at least I know his real age.

    We have a wonderful dog.  Sorry, to have sorta shanghai'd this thread!!  Didn't mean to go off on a tangent. 

     

  • My money is on the neuro issue over the contact allergy issue. I would definitely let the breeder know and get some guidance from them. If they're around. et: I'd ESPECIALLY think this if antihistamines have no effect. IE benadryl does a whole lotta nothing. Keep his back nails VERY short to minimize skin damage BTW.
  • rwbeagles
    My money is on the neuro issue over the contact allergy issue. I would definitely let the breeder know and get some guidance from them. If they're around. et: I'd ESPECIALLY think this if antihistamines have no effect. IE benadryl does a whole lotta nothing. Keep his back nails VERY short to minimize skin damage BTW.

     

    Unfortunately, it's a Cavalier. It's really not so much a  matter if the dog has some breed related genetic issue, but a matter of when the dog presents with the issues. 

  • yes. Being from Akitas way back...I am unfortunately familiar with that sort of "it's not IF it's WHEN" kinda deal :(
  •  Just a thought, change laundry detergents.

    My Sugar lived with me 3 years, no issues.  I ALWAYS used Tide powder.  Nothing else.  Out of nowhere, Sugar starts itching, scratching till she bled, most of her hair was out.  Someone suggested I switch to a "free" laundry detergent.  Worked!  I now use 7th Generationn laundry detergent.

    I had been keeping notes, trying different foods, etc.  Looked back and realized the problem started when I bought a new front loading HE washing machine, and has to switch to Tide HE liquid.  Who would have thought?  So if they moved, this may somehow work in.

    BTW doing research online, seems many pets AND HUMANS are allergic to Tide!

    I did over 60 washes in 2 weeks.  Having a lap dog breed, I did all the pet beds and blankets, the sofa cover, all our bedding down to the mattress covers and up, including the pillows.  Did all our clothes and as it was September I had to do both summer and winter wear.  I was glad to do it just to see her stop itching, and now a year later all her hair is back to normal too.