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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28578
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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cocker spanial, now 8months has always scratched quite violently.

Customer Question

cocker spanial, now 8months has always scratched quite violently. Have treated on a regular basis for fleas and ticks, but never makes a difference. Have visited local vets, but were no help. Skin looks good and have combed with a fine combe, but cant see anything.
Have had dogs before and not experienced this problem.
Can you please advise?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Does he have any sores, flaky, redness in the skin?
2- How much does he weigh?
3- Is he licking his paws?
4- Is he scratching all over or in one area?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. no skin looks fine


2. 16 kilos


3. No


4. His flanks

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- The only area he is scratching is the flank area?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he scratches his flanks, also nibbles with his front teeth his tummy and top of back legs

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- How long has this been going on?
2- Did he have fleas before?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. I think it is since we had him form a puppy, certainly several months.


2. Not that we were aware of. We applied flea applications just because he was scratching.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'll follow up for Dr. Peter for you. If your Cocker has been skin scraped and not found to carry either the demodectic or sarcoptic mange mite and a cytology of his skin (a sample of his skin surface examined microscopically) hasn't revealed an excessive number of either bacteria or yeast), I would consider him to be either atopic - allergic to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, or dust mites, e.g. - and/or suffer from a food intolerance.

Atopy can be addressed with a glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone or the cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) or you can have him allergy tested and then initiate hyposensitizing injections ("allergy shots"). 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 his 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 his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (my preference). 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.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28578
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years 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.