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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I am new to your site and already have learned so much from reading the different posts! I have a two-year old female named Cassie, who is absolutely amazing-very lovable, playful, etc. Our only problem is that she has been having chronic skin problems as well as anal gland problems for as long as I can remember. Her neck and armpits are always so inflamed and red. She is itching at them constantly if we do not have her on a medication from the vet. She is on Tameril and Ketaconazole right now and they're having side effects like having large "accidents" in the kitchen during the day and being lethargic. The problem is that I do not want to keep putting her on medications. It's not good to constantly have her on something. We had her allergy tested and she is allergic to so many things. We have her on a special dog food-the only ones she is not allergic to. I have tried many of the medicated shampoos, which offer little or no relief. I just feel so bad because I have such a wonderful dog who has awful skin problems. Also, she has to have her anal glands expressed almost every two-three weeks. I have tried to do it myself, however I am not too successful. I have been trying the lentil soup thing I read about on this site, which Cassie absolutely loves, so we'll see if that helps. Does anyone know if the skin and anal gland problems can be related? If anyone can please help with some advice, I would greatly appreciate it. I love my "hound" very much and want to keep her around and healthy for a long time! Thank you so much!!! By the way, whoever created this site was a genius!
 

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With extreme situations such as you describe, a vet school in your area might offer some other insights. We are fortunate enough to live near the University of Pennsylvania vet school- is there anything like this in your area?
 
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I give Molly an allergy shot monthly. She was tested and they devised a shot specifically for her. It's not that expensive annually. I also powder her pits and neck area and baby wipe her daily. Frequent baths with an anti-itch shampoo also helps. Try feeding any food that hinders yeast (yogurt, acidophilus (sp?), etc.). Good luck, Belinda.
 

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If you haven't already and she isn't allergic try adding canned pure pumpkin to her diet daily. It is good added fiber to help with those anal glands. My Scarlet had anal gland problems and we started regularly adding the pumpkin and things got better. I second the yogurt suggestion as well but use the plain kind. What I do is I give my pups two meals. They get yogurt mixed in in the morning and pumpkin at night.

CTG
 

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The above suggestions for thorough testing and evaluation are excellent. Sometimes, daily medication is the kindest thing you can do for your dog. Remember, for them, it's quality of life, not quantity.

Here's a good discussion of itch relief suggestions

Itch Relief, Mar Vista Animal Medical Center
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am overwhelmed by the responses...thank you so much! I actually am relatively close to the Univ. of Penn,so I will look into their veterinary school. I also like the idea of seeing a veterinary dermatologist, because the problems are not improving. Is it a lot of money? I just gave her a bath again yesterday, not a fun time for her, but she seems to not mind the doggy massages so much when I have to rub the medicated shampoo on her neck and arm pits. We have had her allergy tested and she is allergic to almost everything, even the Brewer's Yeast the breeder had us giving her. I carefully check all labels of treats before buying them to make sure the ingredients she's allergic to aren't in them. Meaty Bones seem to be okay and she loves those. Also, Three Dog Bakery makes some good ones. They actually look like cookies.

I am quite curious about foods that hinder yeast...what would they be? We have her on the one reasonbly priced food from the allergy list. It is Nature's Balance, Venison and Brown Rice. We mix this with two heaping teaspoons of Wysong 100% beef au jus. She devours this. She was always a finicky eater, so we lucked out with this one. She has actually become quite a little piggy! Do you recommend putting the yogurt/pumpkin on the food or serving it to her as a treat? Which would be the most beneficial? Again, thank you so much to all of you for the helpful responses. It is great to find fellow Basset lovers out there!
 
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Mine get yogurt as a bedtime snack. I only give them about3 ounces. yvonne
 

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Have you actually done a controled feed study to determine if she is infact allergic to specific foods. FWIW the antigen allergy tests have proved wholly unreliable in food allergies. Going about finding a cause in less than a sestematic way can cause more problems.

see
Food Allergy in Dogs
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What exactly is a controlled feed study? I am just going by the list of allergens the vet printed out for us from the lab. Is that not accurate? Are there certain triggers in foods to look for?
 

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lab test for food allergies have proven totally and completely inacurate.

the only know way to accurate assess food allergies is to feed the dog a novel protein source and carbohydrate source that the dog has never been exposed to refered to as an exclusion diet. This regimin must be 12 weeks long unless a noticable improvement occurs.

The dog is then put back on regular diet to see if symptoms reappear. If they do a food allergy is strongly suspected. The dog is then put back on the exclusion diet. If the symptoms clear an food allergy is pretty much confirmed. To determine what the dog is allergic
to, one ingredient (protein or carbohydrate) is added the the novel diet and for a period of time to see if symptoms appear. If they do the item is remove to see if symptoms disappear. If they do an allergy to that item is confirmed. It is possible to be allergic to one or more foods.

1 note. there is very little difference for the potential of one protein to cause an allergy than another. It is a matter of exposure. A dog that is prone to food allergies will develop them to the food(s) that are most abundant in its diet.

see:Food Allergies
"Many owners and veterinarians attempt to look to other tests to diagnose food allergies. Blood tests such as the RAST test or the ELISA test can be performed to screen for food allergies. In addition, intradermal skin testing could also be performed. Despite the fact that these tests are routinely performed and used as a diagnostic aid, there is no evidence that blood tests are accurate for the diagnosis of food allergies. Veterinary dermatologists insist that there is no merit in these tests whatsoever in the diagnosis of food allergies. The only way to accurately diagnose food allergies is with a food trial as detailed above. While the intradermal skin testing is excellent for diagnosing atopy (inhalant allergies) it is ineffective for food allergies. While the ELISA and to a lesser extent the RAST test can be used to help in the diagnosis of atopy, they have no benefit in diagnosing food allergies. In our review of all the current books and articles on veterinary dermatology and allergies, we could not find a single dermatologist that endorsed anything other than the food trial as an effective diagnostic aid. If you want to diagnose and treat food allergies you must do a food trial."

[ February 08, 2006, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: Mikey T ]
 

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Buster gets the hotspots under his front legs and on his neck also. I use some powder for him when it is bad. Also a little bit of hydrocortizone creme for some of the red spots helped them to where it was not as bad. I was interested in reading about the yogurt and pumpkin thing. I might try that.

[ February 25, 2006, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: nolan ]
 

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just a note the sctive ingredient in yougurt is live culture. Many of the common brands found in the supermarket are pasturized kill the culture.
 

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Amy reading your post made me think of my little (well not so little) Grace. Every couple of months she gets real red under her arms and on her stomach. We have had her on steriods and antibiotics 3 times for it. The last time at the vet we were told to use a non alergen detergent to wash her blankets in. The vet said that her staf infection looked like more of a contact infection because there wasn't a whole lot of yeast in it. We are feeding her Sceince Diet's Lamb and Rice dry food. If your dogs are sleeping on any kind of blanket or anything you might want to try that detergent. We aren't sure if it has helped any because she is still on the meds. So as soon as she if off we will find out if it helps or not.
 
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I also have had great success with the yogurt when Francis gets a little red under his armpits. He doesn't handle dairy really well, (runny stools) so it's only fed as needed.
I RAVE about the pumpkin. It's the only thing that prevents Franny's anal glands from getting messed up because he won't touch vegetables!
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, I wil try that with the detergent. I am worried about the food thing, though because now she is not really eating anything. We tried the yogurt, she just seemed to get very gassy (burping, like she was going to be sick) and would not eat the rest. We tried cottage cheese, too. Also, she liked the pumpkin for a few days and turned her nose up at it. I am just concerned because she is starting to itch a lot again. It is tick season and we put Frontline on her. We check her EVERY time she comes in the house. Somehow, they are still geting in our house on us...gross! Interestingly, I have found three ticks on me...Gee, maybe I should try the Frotline on myself!!! We have a wooded lot behind our house but is about 15-20 feet back. Anyway, could her lack of appetitie be attributed to something outside like ticks? We just had her tested on Saturday, some kind of quick result Heartworm/Lyme test. The results were negative, we were told. I am just so worried about her, especially with her not eating, the skin problems, anal glands, etc. She is such a wonderful hound...we have been trying so many different things to help her.
 

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With Frontline I have noticed that the ticks will not attach but may ride on the dog long enough to fall off in the house. We had our lawn treated last summer by a lawn service for fleas and ticks- we have a huge yard and they charged about $70- we kept the dogs off the lawn until it rained a few days later (they will tell you it won't hurt animals but I don't believe that). As far as the pumpkin and yogurt- are you mixing them with the kibble? That might work- As far as itching, spring pollen might be aggravating it- I just deal with Murray's allergies symptomatically as different things kick in- Gold Bond medicated powder under his armpits has stopped the redness and irritation for the most part. Sorry this is so long, but I hope that something I've said helps!! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We have given thought to getting our lawn treated, but were worried about it harming her. I would rather deal with ticks on me than her getting sick from something we put on our lawn. Did your dog get sick from the treatment? Also, her front armpits are really raw. Any suggestions? I have read about the Gold Bond, however, her pits are so raw that I was thinking of putting Neosporin on them to clear up any infection first...is that a bad idea?
As far as the kibble, we were mixing the yogurt with the food. She wanted nothing to do with it...took a few sniffs and turned her nose up at it. If I gave her a bowl of Meaty Bones, she would gobble them up...believe me I would feed her them if they had enough nutrients for her...I just want her to eat. She did eat this weekend when we were visiting family who also have a Basset, Gus. Of course, she wanted her food then and his as well...competition for the food, I guess. Also, have you ever noticed small bumps on the outside of your hound's ears? While giving her a good ear scratching (she loves those), I noticed a hard bump small like a tick on her ear. It looked like it was under the skin though...should I be poking at it or just keep an eye on it? If it were a tick wouldn't part of its body be on the outside? I have pulled several off of her ears, but I have never seen one embedded cmpletely under the skin. Apologize for the long response, but I always get such great feedback...thank you again for all the help!!! :)
 

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After the yard was treated,I kept the dogs off the lawn for several days until we had a good hard rain-I stayed off of it until it rained too. You're right to be wary of chemicals in my opinion.We had an infestation of fleas in one corner of the yard, I think due to rabbits, and didn't have a choice- they were jumping on us if we walked outside- it was pretty awful.I wouldn't have done it otherwise.
Raw armpits- yes, I would wait til they heal before using Gold Bond. When Murray gets a sore I spray it with Gentocin (cortisone/antibiotic) which I get from the vet. Usually that heals any soreness in a day or two. Then, I continue with the Gold Bond Medicated baby powder which seems to dry the area and prevent more irritation.This system has worked for us.
As far as the eating problems I'm not much help because Murray is not finicky.
And as far as the ear bumps. ditto, although I tend not to poke at things for fear of stirring something up- maybe you could have your vet take a look.
 
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