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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20161
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience
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I have a 14 year old collie named Charlie . He has all ways

Customer Question

I have a 14 year old collie named Charlie . He has all ways thumped his back leg when you tickle him in a certain area around his ribs , but over the last few weeks if you touch him anywhere further back than his shoulders along his spine he involuntary thumps them even when stood up and falls stright to the floor . I take it that it's some kind of nerve condition and is there anything I can do about it ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. Thank you for your question about Charlie. Are you seeing any changes to the fur or skin in this area that is now producing this response? Does he seem to scratch himself more than he used to when not touched? Is he biting along his spine or tail head area more than normal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dr Bruce , yes last night I noticed he had very red raw skin in this area with some scabs . He also does seem to be scratching his ears or the side of his face a lot more on the floor
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for that information Ian. This excess scratching that Charlie is doing now is most likely due to irritation of the skin. The fact that the skin is red, raw and has scabs indicates visually that something is going on with the skin there. Basically it is so itchy that when it is barely touched it causes a significant itch reflex in him. Things that could cause this are skin mites such as scabies being the most suspect. There is anecdotal evidence when a dog is that itchy that this mite is there. But, there could also be fleas or a superficial dermatitis due to a bacterial infection. As far as what can be done to fix this, absolutely there are things that should be able to help him feel much better! But, key here for this is making sure a proper diagnosis is made. IF the scabies mite is there, it needs to be treated directly. The best thing to do is to get to your vet so they can do a skin scrape to look for the mite. If it is found, then medical / topical therapy for it will be started up. If it is a bacterial skin infection, then a course of oral antibiotics and topical medicated shampoos can be started up. Could this be fleas? I've seen similar cases too. Typically flea dirt (little specs of pepper like material are seen at the tail head as a classic sign or the fleas themselves). I would be very confident that this itching / discomfort is fixed here once the correct diagnosis is made. As far as at home, the only thing that you can do to help ease some itching until you get to your vet is oral Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). It can help to reduce some itching, but in his case it won't eliminate it as the pathology / cause is still there. Here is a good link on the Diphenhydramine use.

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