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Excessive tummy/groin licking and skin problems

Haven't been here in a while but know you guys will have the advice I need to help poor Bailey.

Bailey is almost 4, had GDV 2 years ago and apart from when he was recovering from this, has been on Purina Pro-Plan Chicken & Rice or Lamb & Rice since a pup (He does not like the fishy flavours!)

In the last 2 months Bailey has had 4 trips to the vets. I noticed his tummy/groin was very red and he was licking it excessively. Couldn't tell if it was red from the excessive licking or he was licking it because it was red and sore. At the same time, his eyes were very gunky. He looked like he was allergic to something. He looked miserable.

Vet thought it might be a harvest mite allergy and gave us Piriton, Maxitrol eye drops and an anti-bacterial shampoo. Symptoms improved and then flared back up as soon as treatment stopped. In the meantime, Bailey started licking his bottom/base of tail excessively and I discovered a bald patch on his neck with scaly, flaky skin. Another trip to the vet, this time for antibiotics, more eye drops and again, symptoms improved during treatment and then flared up again as soon as treatment stopped.Bailey is now only wearing a collar when he goes walkies in case it was irritating the skin on his neck. We've been at the vet 4 times in total and I've just rubbed Sudocrem all over this tummy because it was so red and angry looking again.

I don't really like to keep him on Piriton long term. Do you think it's ok to do this?

Do you think this could be a gluten allergy? Can anyone recommend a gluten free dry dog food we could try that isn't fish based?

Any other ideas?

Many thanks for any advice you can give.

Alison

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You could try Acana Lamb & Apple Dog or Orijen adult. I know that food can cause skin problems, but I never had problems when I was feeding these brands.

My girl who we lost last summer aged almost 13yrs had those kind of skin problems most of her life the vets never seemed to know what the problems was...At one point she lost all the hair on her chest and it looked red raw for the last couple of years of her life she was on steroids ( which I hated) but it seemed to keep some sort of control.

After talking to a few people about diet and doing lots of research I found a lot of dogs on dry complete food suffered fromthese kind of allergys.

I felt I had let my girl down by not researching this more before we lost her.

I now have two youngsters 6month Irish and a 7 month Labradoodle and are both on a completely raw meat and bone diet BAFT a completely natural diet I know what they eat as I prepare it all my self. I cant say they wont get any problems but by what I have read  the diet has helped so many dogs with all sort of problems...

I had real problems with Richmond earlier this year with severe pyoderma/skin allergy. At least 5 months of various vet treatments and referrals saw the problem go away for a few weeks and then return.  A complete change in diet to venison, rice and veges cured him in the space of a month. I have always been a real fan of raw feeding and would second Jennie and Finn's suggestion. When we were in the UK we used to get our raw dog food from Anglian Meat Products and really liked their Nature's Menu meat nuggets which include veges and rice. I recollect you can buy their products at Pets at Home or we had home delivery.

I hope you can sort Bailey's problem out soon.It does sound like an allergy problem.

I just want to say that long term use of Piriton is ,I have been told,not harmful.Ellie has one a day, as she gets irritable skin, and it has worked and she hasn't turned green....yet!

I've noticed that the only REALLY effective dry food for allergic dogs is Royal Canin Hypoallergenic:
http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=761&pf_id=50239
The food is quite expensive, but really good for any kinds of allergies. The incredients are chemically handled the way that the dogs digestion doesn't regognize what they are and the dog doesn't react to them.
My dog got help with this. I recommend you to try it!

The other choice is BARF http://www.barfworld.com/

Could be a staph infection. Treatment is with antibiotics (cephalexin, clavamox etc) for at least three weeks, and frequent bathing with an anti bacterial wash like Hibiscrub. But dogs who are prone to staph infection may have an underlying problem, like a food allergy or a hormone imbalance. I had a bitch who would get a staph outbreak, mainly affecting the belly, inside of the back legs and flanks, five or six weeks before she was due in season, if  treated quickly just bathing with Hibiscrub would control it

Have also had something that looked like a secondary staph infection following use of Frontline, which is now banned from my house

Thank you so much for all these really helpful replies. (Jennie, please don't feel you let your previous girl down. I know this feeling after we lost our last setter to a tumour. I felt I should have pestered the vet more as I knew she wasn't herself. We do our best and hindsight is a wonderful thing).

We're fairly certain it's not a parasite as my Cocker Spaniel is fine. I'll try washing with the Malaseb shampoo every week (although last time it took 3 of us to bath Bailey and he made sure we got more shampoo on us than he did).

Think it's time to try a hypoallergenic or meat only diet and I'm certainly going to try some Fuciderm cream on the sore bits. Our vet had suggested Sudocrem as she maintained dogs don't like licking the zinc based creams off .....no-one has told Bailey this.

Thank you so much for this.

I think it is species inappropriate diet,.  Do some research on raw feeding and species appropriate diets. You could well find the problem ends within days! A good quality raw food is essential because some poor quality one's can be as bad as dry foods. If you fall for the clever marketing that dry food is best at all costs, then for heavens sake add digest enzymes to the diet (again digestive enzymes formulated for dogs) as a matter of urgency.   Please read my posts regarding my own dogs remarkable and unexpected recovery.  If she was on dry food, this could not have happened - even with the enzymes.

The tragic thing is, this is happening time after time with our dogs, and the main problem is just not being addressed.  If we continue with this "dry is best" because thats what the vets and the marketers say is right, then inappropriate nutrition is going to continue upsetting a very complex biological system which bit by bit eats away at the complex balancing act not only our dogs bodies run on, but our own too,  Highly processed foods are killing our animals, just as they are killing humans.

Alison, take note also of Viv Blackshaw's advice to have the anal glands checked.  Licking around the bottom and base of tail is an indication that something is not right in that area.  I havn't heard of anyone with a problem with a Setter but know of a few Golden Retrievers who have skin problems when their anal glands are troubling them.  This might not be the whole problem for Bailey but might be contributing.

Thanks Angela and Viv. The vet did check and empty his anal glands at the time when he received antibiotics. He did NOT like attention in that area and our normally very friendly boy even tried to bite me. Is it possible that it flares up so quickly again?

Will do some research on the whole dry food/meat diet thing.

Think we need to head back to the vet again.

Hello Alison, Our dog Guinness had also gluten free dry dog food. It is called: Prins Procare, Hypo-allergic Lamb and Rice. I don't know if this is for sale in the UK. I hope so. The next thing you could do is give him only meat. Special meat called complete with all the vitamins etc in it. It will be a bit expensive but the vet is also not cheap. I hope I could help you.

Lots of love from Holland, Marion

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