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Dear all,

My 9-months old Irish Setter Keira has had itchy skin since we acquired her when she was just 8 weeks old. She has no parasites, eats well and is full of energy, but I feel so sorry to see her scratching herself so often. When she was smaller, she even had a rash and had to be washed with sulphur soaps. Now her coat just seems a bit patchy, but it's a beautiful chestnut red color and very shiny. We switched to a special Eukanuba dog food for skin problems and she did a bit better on that, but as it's imported into Mexico, it is so expensive that we cannot afford to go on buying it for her (we have 4 more dogs and two horses) ... Currently I'm phasing it out very slowly and mixing Kirklands adult chicken food in with the Eukanuba.

Has anyone else had a dog with itchy skin? Do you have any suggestions as to what we could do to make her more comfortable?

We live in a forest and are surrounded by all types of plants ... I also wondered if it could be an allergy?

Thank you very much in advance,


P.S. Our other two setters (one English, one Irish) don't suffer from any skin complaints, but one of our rescue dogs who has a thick white fur is also suffering from itchy skin ...

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Hi Eileen,

               If you click on your discussion, you will see just above your photo 'All Discussions'. Click on it and then type itchy skin into the search box. It brings up eighteen discussions on this subject, so there is plenty of information to digest on this matter. I hope you can find something that will help you ease Kiera's problematic skin. Best wishes.

Thank you so much James, I will do that! :-)

Hi Eileen

I have had a terrible time over many years with Hobson's "itchy skin" due to the continued misdiagnoses of numerous vets. I note you say that Keira does not have parasites. Do you mean Demodex mites? If so, just alerting you to a problem in Australia that not all vets know how to do the skin scraping properly so I hope the vet you used was thorough. Many vets who treated Hobson did not do the skin scraping properly and the consequence is that Hobson ended up with adult on-set Demidecosis with generalised demodectic mange which is a life-threatening condition and extremely difficult to treat. I would also recommend you not allow a vet to give either of your dogs an immune-suppressant drug because dogs who end up with "itchy skin" usually have weakened immune systems. Re dog allergies, read what Dr Jean Dodds has to say about this. You will find her either through a Google search term with her name or "Hemopet". There are many websites which discuss the natural approach to "itchy skin" which I believe is the best way to do. However if a secondary bacterial infection has occurred, antibiotics are required. 

Wishing you the best of luck, Susan 

Dear Susan,

Thank you so much for your reply! I have a very good vet and unfortunately mites including Demodex mites are very common here and he did all those tests. This week I have to go back to him for another vaccine for Keira and I will bring it up again. Thank you for your suggestions of searching the internet, that is very helpful.

Kind regards,


Hi Eileen

You are lucky to have a good vet. I thought it strange though that you said that Demodectic Mange is common in your area because this type of mange results from a weakened immune system and is not contagious. There is another type of mange called Sarcoptic Mange which is contagious. Maybe Google these search words. 

Not one vet mentioned Demodectic Mange to me until the University of Queensland veterinary hospital who correctly diagnosed Hobson at first sight. 

I sincerely hope you sort out the skin problems very quickly for your dogs. Best Wishes, Susan

Both types of mange are common here and I've come across both diseases in street dogs that were rescued. We have a huge problem with street dogs in Mexico and some dogs are poorly taken care of even if they have owners ... :-( Luckily Keira has neither. Thank you for your good wishes, I'll let you all know how I get on.




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