So sorry to hear about how miserable Oliver is with scratching his skin! No funny for either of you, I'm sure.
One thing I would be very concerned with is possible sarcoptic mange. These mites live in the skin and are EXTREMELY itchy (from personal experience!). They are very contagious between dogs and something that could have been picked up at a groomer's. I had an older patient that had a similar presentation as Oliver that we kept treating for allergies, but he wasn't improving. Finally sent him to a dermatologist who diagnosed sarcoptic mites.
Sarcoptes mites are very difficult to find on a skin scrape--I think I've found them once in my 18 years experience. But the treatment is very effective and easy to give. It is just ivermectin given either as an injection or orally once every 2 weeks for 3 treatments. Plus thoroughly washing (or discarding) any bedding Oliver sleeps on.
Here is a good website with more info you might find useful: http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=616
The other possibility is severe allergies, although that wouldn't be from clipper burn. I assume that Oliver is licking and chewing at areas that aren't related to the clipper burn? If the ivermectin injections don't seem to do anything, then I would ask your vet about starting Oliver on steroids to suppress his immune system and allow his skin to heal up. If allergies seems to be the case, then your vet might have a new medication called Apoquel. It is great for allergies, works as well as steroids, but without the side effects. Not all vets in the US can get it right now and I'm not sure if it is available yet in the UK.
If you think it might be food, then a "novel protein" diet is the way to go. The idea behind changing the food is to switch to something completely different--a protein and carb source to which Oliver has never been exposed. So something like venison & potato or rabbit or kangaroo. The important thing is that the new food is the ONLY food Oliver can eat--NO table food, NO treats, NO rawhides (in case of a beef allergy), etc. ONLY that new food for 3 months before deciding if it is helping or not.
But start with the sarcoptic mange treatment and see how that goes.
Oliver was on the same diet for years prior to this happening-Butchers moist food and Iams dry food and didnt seem to have a problem- plus a little of any meat I was cooking but not much! especially chicken as his stools would get a bit softer but I was aware of this so it all worked fine.
He has not had a problem with the skin on his body before but he had a problem with his feet whenever he spent time in my daughters garden and we worked out that it was probably the pine needles which covered her garden because it all stopped after she moved and has been ok since.
He was fine last year and I cant believe he is going through this, I have been in and out of the vets constantly for nearly six months now and its like he is a different dog since this happened.
The vet has suggested that she can test him for allergies etc but I have thought it better to see a specialist, what do you think?
And if so should he be treated for Sarcoptic Mange while waiting?
The other thing I wanted to raise is that the week prior to this infection flaring up again I had taken him to the vet for anul sac express
My vet has had quite a few young student vets or newly qualified i'm not sure which but I am constantly seeing someone else, the young man that did the anul Sac express that day was well built ,thick fingers and Oliver was screaming, he doesnt like having it done but this was horrible and it quite upset me, a day or so later I noticed Oliver had a raised lump come up on his left buttock about the diametor of a large egg, it started to go down again quite quickly but was still slightly there when I took him back a few days later for his booster, I told the vet and also that he kept stopping and sitting down while walking which he had never done before and he has stopped doing it now!
it's just that it is his rear end, back legs inside back thighs lower back that he keeps scratching and licking, could there be a problem?
Looking at his skin you cant see anything but sometimes it gets a bit pinker, he also feels quite hot suddenly and he seems to be drinking a bit more than usual even for this time of year. What are your thoughts?
Also would he have to be off medication when he sees a specialist?
But then the skin scrape showed
I did see the vet the following week which was 2 weeks after the anal gland issue, I did bring up about the swelling tthe previous week and dont know if she already knew but she said she needed to check his anal glands I didnt really want her to as he had only had them done a fortnight earlier and he gets stressed now, but she said it can build up quite quickly she said the sitting down while walking even though he had never done this before could be arthritus as he was getting on in age? she did the anal glands and afterward said she would check them again next time he came in after finishing the antibiotics which again would only be 2 weeks, so I 'm not happy to keep putting him through this as its not normal to have them checked so often.
I have noticed that the lump I queried has not been mentioned in his medical records and she normally puts down everything she or owner has said. is it possible that any damage could have been done, is there anything I should be doing to check he is ok, what would that lump have been, should I be concerned ?
His first 2 lots of antibiotics were apoquel it took 2 lots and finaly seemed to clear up but obviously it hadnt as it came back, the vet said she cant get that at the moment and suggested steroids but said they could effect his kidneys! so I was worried.
you are being helpful because you have raised things that havnt been suggested before and it helps me make more informed decisions about a possible way forward.
today he has pulled fur out at both sides of his lower back/hip and has 2 quite big bald patches quite evenly placed either side ? I really need to help him.
is it ok to give him Ivermectin without knowing if he has sarcoptic mange
Thank you - I have to make a decision today as to the next step forward for Olivers sake but which as I am confused:
Invermectin in case it is Sarcoptic Mange?
Let Vet do allergy tests etc?
Book to see a specialist to do all tests?
Ask about antibiotics (this was diagnosed as an infection so why were they not prescribed before)?
Steroids but that would mean taking a sample prior for specialist?
Having read all what would be your advice in the first instant I know you cannot take responsability for telling me what to do but if this was your dog what would be your next step?
You mentioned if it was Sarcoptic Mange to clean or dispose of Olivers bedding but although Oliver does have his own mattress and loose cover he has also always had the run of the house and he lays on-beds -chairs carpets-everywhere so is this something that will be left in the house to reinfect, what would need to be done?
and finally are the Enrox Sabor tablets he is on now an antibiotic ? and if not, why if the skin tests shows infection would he not be given an antibiotic ?
I took Oliver to a dermatologist and I wasnt very impessed with his skin testing-he took a scrape and looked at it under the microscope then held some paper below his back and shook his fur onto it before looking at that also under a microscope-he then took him away for a blood test for allergies but saying that food allergies cant be done as they dont work-he emailed the results of the allergy tests-said Oliver did not have a skin problem but had allergies to grass & tree pollens-house & storage mites & sheep sorrel.
This is all new since Oliver contacted this skin infection-prior to this he has walked the woods and parkland on a daily basis without scratching or showing any signs of a problem he had a lovely healthy thick coat-was a happy and calm dog-its difficult to understand how he could change overnight-his fur is thin now-mats easily because of these shampoos such as malasab (which make him scratch even more) has sores erupting and I constantly am at the vets though he is not pulling out lumps of fur as much now.
I worry now about the vets bills because I have another problem-the insurance company wont pay out as said he had had skin problems prior to his policy with them-when I looked at his medical records-it doesnt matter what he was taken in for prior to this infection such as anal glands-thorn in foot-flea from infested neighbour etc the narrative of the vet is to talk always about skin problems and allergies to be garded against and even though he hadnt been diagnosed with a skin problem prior to this and had been insured for most of his life without a claim being made for anything they refuse to pay out-I think this narrative is very misleading and dont know how to deal with this-I have asked the vet to email them but she is not vey helpful-but with one thing and another it has so far cost me approx £2000 since this all began last Xmas so you can understand why I am worried-what can I do.
One more thing! Oliver's left hand buttock just below his tail where he had that lump come up from the student vet's anal gland inspection-is now concaved and the area goes in same size as the lump was-it doesnt seem to bother him but it is definitely there! what is that about-is there damage there? his other buttock is normal.
The dermatologist said he hadnt got Mange before he did any tests, after Olivers tests he put him on antihistomines (Ucerax 25 mg, he remained on these for about 3 months and they did help, and also Activylplus spot on monthly between his Advocat
and also changed diet to Purina HA which made no difference (He is on Hypoallergenic Royal Canine food now because it has tins as well) I dont think the food makes any difference to these allergies, but it keeps his stools firm and so he doesnt need to have his anal glands done so I keep him on it.
I also bought a hepa filter for the vacuum cleaner
The dermatologist said if his skin doesnt clear up after this period of months Oliver could could be given something more drastic! which I cant remember the name of now and cant find it in my notes, but it was extremely expensive, I think something like £100 per week which I couldnt afford and it was also only used apparantly as a last resort because it can cause kidney failure and other things and can possibly lead to an early and painful death so I wasnt prepared to do that anyway.
I will check on the blood tests that have been done as you have suggested, though i'm sure they did check his liver at least when I requested one blood test.
Someone told me that she had a dog with the same problems years ago and the vet gave her a spray for her dogs coat, she said it took awhile to clear up but the spray worked, is there such a spray and what would that be called and if so wouldnt the vet have prescribed it?
Having said that I seem to spend an awful lot of money at the vets which you wouldnt mind if you actually got some sort of closure instead of it being an ongoing problem thats never cured! and it's not something that I could maintain indefinitely which really worries me and is the reason I always had him insured.
I dont think the vets opinions should be added as narrative, I think they should only write confirming the diagnoses (the reason you have taken him to the vet) plus the treatment and medication.
Olivers skin is really bad now, he has dark mauve spots of various sizes that scab up, mostly can be seen easily on belly but also on his back, chest and all around the base of his tail and anal area, this morning noticed also now under his armpits, I've lost track of all that i've tried now. a couple of months ago he also started to smell, I bathe him every week but even after his bath the smell is still there..
I took him to the vets last week to have his claws cut by the nurse and spoke to her about his smell, she said well the sores would start to smell! I said I had tried bathing the areas with warm water and a little dettol, she said that was no good, not to do that but to pick up some Hibiscrub "CHlorhexidine Gluconate" which I did, I have started bathing the sores but while many are obvious some when they start are small so I have to find them, and also it's not making a difference yet, is this going to help him at all?
The other thing is that his nails are crumbling, they split easily and she said as she was cutting them that they were breaking up! could this be because he has been on this Hypoalllergenic diet for months now and perhaps there isn't enough vitamins in his food?
I am getting nowhere with Oliver's problems which are now extremely worse that when I took him to the vets almost a year ago., I have done as I was told, there are no pollens now ( he is not walking on the parkland now anyway as its too muddy and have to keep washing the mud off and it's not good for his skin to do this every day)
hes also been on this diet for months, it's now December and as I said he is worse now than he has ever been and still scratching! he deserves a better quality of life than this, why aren't they succeeding in making him better?
What would you advise me now?
With the diet I had 2 batches of tinned hypoallergenic that was "off" it was runny like soup and it smelled terrible the vets took them back but it put me off giving it to him again so though I have kept him on the dried Hypoallergenic food I have reverted back to Butchers moist food just recently-only half of one of the flat containers a day to add to his dry food as he doesnt like dry food on it's own,do you think thats ok? apart from that he eats well really and he had gained 2 lbs last week which he doesnt need but I think its the lack of exorcize, although I walk him for an hour a day its mostly on the lead now where before he could run around on the parkland but i am watching that now, he does drink quite a lot!
The nurse didnt suggest seeing the vet though she knows Olivers history, (I asked her weeks ago if she would ask the vet to write a letter stating that this problem he had this year he had not had before and I took in another claim form because I have now approached the ombudsman((the vet wasnt available at the time but the nurse said she would pass it on to be done) when I asked her again last week when he had his nails done if this letter had gone to the insurers as I hadnt heard she said no but she would remind the vet, I asked if I should ring or she would ring me but she seemed very vague and it all seems so hopeless!
But you saying that with his nails it could be fungal is it possible that when he scratches he could be transmitting the sore "stuff" to his nails?
I have been washing him in Johnsons baby shampoo as you suggested which surprisingly has a lather and at least cant do him any harm but because I knew it wouldnt do anything to help his skin I recently used Earthbath oatmeal and Aloe shampoo-vanilla and almond-could that be making things worse?
He has been on steroids quite a few times this year so I am concerned at how much more he can safely take-I will ask for the blood tests and ask about his nails, I will follow through with your suggestions in the hope that someone will become concerned about his health! I have decided to take him to another vet for a second opinion but what would be the correct proceedure in doing so, aught I to see my own vet first?
I have replied-its on the following reply box for some reason
I have made a note of what the options are.
Today I have already booked an appointment with another vet and I do have Olivers medical records to take with me but I would like this vet to have an opinion after seeing Oliver before I have to tell him anything, I will let you know whats happening either way you never know there may come a point where some of this is helpful to someone else-thank you for now