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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33288
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 17 month old cocker spaniel has an allergy to dust mites

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My 17 month old cocker spaniel has an allergy to dust mites and mites found in dried dog food.Have tried the usual remedies recommended by my vet.All these symptoms began a few weeks after the finished her first season.Hope you can help.Many thanks.
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Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. If atopic dermatitis (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, dust mites, etc.) has been identified but is unresponsive to corticosteroids such as prednisone, there are a few different considerations for Shophie...
1) A secondary bacterial or yeast infection exists and hasn't been eradicated.
2) An underlying mange mite (Demodex, Scabies) exists and hasn't been identified.)
3) Apoquel (oclacitinib) should be considered. This new cytokine antagonist can work as well or better than a corticosteroid without the steroid's adverse effects.
4) A hyposensitizing serum can be produced with which you would administer "allergy shots" or sublingual therapy.
5) There's concomitant food intolerance which needs to be addressed by a presumptively hypoallergenic diet.
Please respond with additional information (what are the numerous tests that have been performed?),further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33288
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Skin scrappings and hair has been tested and are normal.Blood tests reveled the allergy to dust mites,food mites and a low allergy to grass.Her mammary glands,have been swelling at times and on a few occasions when tested she looks as if she is coming into season again,then it cleares up.She also started to loose hair on her back legs and her tail,Is it possible to be linked to hormones and that after she is spayd it could improve?

Thank you for the additional information. Shophie would be an excellent candidate for oclacitinib therapy. Mammary gland swelling in an intact dog most often occurs 1-3 months after estrus (heat) due to pseudocyesis (pseudopregnancy/false pregnancy). All unbred intact bitches become falsely pregnant to some degree after estrus and may demonstrate symptoms of pregnancy such as mammary swelling and even milk production.
There is a sex hormone dermatosis seen in intact female dogs. It's presumably caused by elevated estrogen or progestin levels. It's rare with the highest incidence in middle-aged to older dogs that have cystic ovaries or ovarian neoplasia. Sex hormone dermatosis appears as bilaterally symmetrical, regionalized (flanks, perineum, inguinal) to generalized truncal alopecia that usually spares the head and limbs. Remaining hairs epilate easily. Alopecic skin usually becomes hyperpigmented. Secondary lichenification (thickening, darkening of skin), seborrhea (disorder of keratinization/maturation), and superficial pyoderma may occur. Concurrent gynecomastia (breast swelling) and vulvar enlargement are usually present. Some dogs have a history of estrus cycle abnormalities, prolonged pseudopregnancies, or nymphomania.
In summary, she's not typical of sex hormone dermatosis, but unless she's a valuable breeding dog, spaying wouldn't be harmful and just might be helpful.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to respond and the advice you have given..

Sophie is being spayed tomorrow.

.I fear the worst and hope for the best.

Many thanks

I, too, will think good thoughts for Sophie. You're quite welcome.
I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.