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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 25180
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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Dear team we have a 3 year old parson ***** ***** terrier

Customer Question

Dear team
we have a 3 year old parson ***** ***** terrier bitch. It has an overall odour I would normally associate with a male dog and though it freshens up with a bath it is short lived. It is not associated with rolling etc (lots of opportunity as we live on a farm) but could be linked to a persistent scratching. There is no skin irritation to see. Though a white coat her skin has the black patches of its breed which are constantly increasing (looks like a dalmation coat when wet) It has had spot on and been wormed. I apply sulphur rocks to the water bowl. Her diet is usually a complete food such as bakers, but currently Iams small dog
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you
***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The best clue to the etiology of her odor is her persistent scratching which will induce excess apocrine (sweat gland) and sebaceous (oily) gland activity. Oils, in particular, will become rancid on the skin after time and impart a seborrheic odor - often akin to that of dirty gym socks.
There are quite a few etiologies of persistent scratching. Pruritic (itchy) dogs are suffering from an allergic dermatitis the great majority of the time. Allergies to flea saliva, environmental allergens (atopic dermatitis) such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, and foods should be considered. (Paw and extremity licking indicates both atopy and a food intolerance and so it behooves vets to distinguish one from another.) In many instances, a concomitant pyoderma (bacterial skin infection), yeast infection (Malassezia), or mange mite (Demodex or Sarcoptes) might be responsible.
Her vet can check a sample of your dog's skin surface (a “cytology”) for abnormal numbers of bacteria and yeast and skin scrapings can be taken in an attempt to find mites. Pyoderma is treated with a minimum of 3-4 weeks of an antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin (Keflex) and yeast is addressed with ketoconazole for at least a month.
Our dermatologists tell us to apply an effective over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage, a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or one of the newer prescription products available from her vet even if fleas aren’t seen. Dogs can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Dogs who remain primarily indoors can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. As the weather warms at this time of year, egg hatches are common. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone will work wonders for dogs allergic to the saliva of the flea. If you have other pets they may have fleas too but may not be allergic to the flea’s saliva.
Environmental allergies are usually initially addressed with prednisone as well. In some dogs an over the counter antihistamine such as clemastine (Tavist) at a dose of 0.025 - 0.75mg/lb twice daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily may be effective. Antihistamines, however, aren’t reliable. Adding fish oil to the diet at a dose of 40mg/kg daily of the EPA in the fish oil might synergize with antihistamines to provide better anti-pruritic action. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are antiinflammatory but may take 8-12 weeks to kick in. The new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) is likely to revolutionize how we address dogs such as she. It appears to be as effective as prednisone without prednisone's adverse effects.
Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.
Finally you simply might see how an antiseborrheic shampoo containing some combination of tar, sulfur, salicylic acid, and phytosphingosine affects her odor. These shampoos can be found over the counter or at her vet hospital.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 25180
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Please disregard the info request.

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