Any ideas what could be ailing Smokie the Scottish Terrier?

Update: Along with the many helpful comments you can read below, the Scottish Terrier and Dog News received numerous emails with excellent, insightful information, all of which have been passed on to Jeanne. Among the tips to help Smokie get better were the contacts for San Antonio Scottie Rescue and a suggestion to contact the veterinary college at Texas A and M.

When I wrote to Jeanne and passed the emails along, I also put in my two cents — that you can’t take everyone’s advice and what works for one dog won’t necessarily work for all.

I also said: “The two suggestions that really stand out for me, however, are 1) Get some food into Smokie asap and 2) Get him to to the vet — Texas A and M–  if possible.” As well, I really liked the idea of contacting San Antonio rescue and using them as a resource.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their compassion, concern and very concrete advice. It was clear to me that the thoughts of Scottie News readers are with Jane and that we all want Smokie to get better. Thank you, everybody.

A reader writes:

I have read all of the comments on Scottie allergies. My Smokie has been fighting some kind of allergy since we moved from NW Arizona to the SanAntonio area of Texas 4 years ago. We did the prednisone, atopica, you name it, the vet tried it, also benedryl, also a dose of antibiotics.

My first thought was also food, changed him to limited ingredient diet three and a half yrs ago. No change. Had been using K9Advantix for fleas and mosquitoes since leaving AZ., however, the fleas still had to BITE him to die! I purchased a product called Shoo Tag, electro-magnetic strips, like a credit card, one for each bug. No more bites. That really seemed to help for a while, the hair grew back on his back-side and chest. Then it started over again, only this time he was also throwing up every morning. Xrays, blood tests, sonograms, later, still itching to the point of not being able to stop. Baby socks on the feet helped the foot and leg chewing. After the antibiotics for a week in case there was some kind on stomach infection, and a topical antibacterial spray called Genesis, the itching again got some better for a few weeks and then started again and just as bad.

During all this extreme itching and throwing up every morning, Smokie started losing weight. Suprise! My vet gave up and sent us to the dermatoligist. A whole lot of money and a month later, Smokie is mildly allergic to Mesquite, some grasses and dust mites. They don’t have any idea why he throws up every morning, but for $2000.00 the internal specialist will “scope” him to “see if there is anything wrong internally”

Smokie has always been a finicky eater, he was a rescue at 2 or 3 years old, 10 years ago. Never really liked dog food but would eat it if it had just a taste of what ever WE had for supper. After agreeing and submitting Smokie to the Derm. Vet’s idea of a food trial, potato and rabbit, which Smokie would not eat, did not eat for 6 days, I bought some rabbit, cooked it and he ate a half cup. since then have been trying to get him to eat every other hour, anything that I can get into him. He has always preferred chicken to anything, even made chicken noodle soup, but he will still only eat a couple tablespoons at a time. He is skin and bones. He does not throw up his food, just mucus, white thru yellow to brown. He is throwing up 6 days out of 7, and sometimes more than once a day. Now seems to have a lot of trouble clearing his throat and nose afterward. Does not want to go for his daily walks, which he just loves. Sleeps a lot.

I just do not know what to do for him. Am bathing weekly and more, using vet shampoo, medicated, added conditioner, at my wits end. After reading all of the notes from others, am going to get some plain yogurt today. No more chicken, but how do I get him to eat? What could be causing him to throw up? Any help I can get will be most appreciated. My husband passed away a year ago, I cannot stand the idea of loosing Smokie too, he is too young, the vets are missing something, really need some help. Thank you so very much. Jeanne

If anyone has advice for Jeanne, please comment or email and I will pass it on.

10 thoughts on “Any ideas what could be ailing Smokie the Scottish Terrier?

  1. Call up Veterinary Schools and see if they have anyone who can see you quickly. It's worth the drive- though our Scotties didn't have as many issues as yours, they had horrible allergy problems that the local vets blamed on food. We drove the 5 hours to Philly and went to the University of PA vet school, and an attending vet plus two students worked with us. The visit lasted over four hours, and they ran tests as we waited. (Outdoor allergies allowed a nasty case of demodex to develop in our case)
    I hope that things turn around. You're both in my prayers.

  2. I do not have nearly the problem that you do, but this is just a suggestion. With our girls we feed them at breakfast and dinner. However, sometimes one decides that she just isn't hungry at breakfast. Any time she does that though, she will have thrown up at least once by the time we get home for the lunch break or after work. It is always just mucus and some tint of yellow. Maybe if she just isn't feeling well enough, she will start to fast, and her stomach can not handle the problem. Keep trying with various foods. My heart goes out to you and Smokie.

  3. I have said this in prior posts and I will repeat it again. My Angus (passed away in March '10 from liver cancer) had a miserable first 3 years. All the usual stiff; steroid, antibiotics, oatmeal baths, rabbit and lamb diet, etc. Nothing worked until a new Internist at the time, now a seasoned Vet, put him on 100 mg of Cyclosporine – one capsule a day. It was a miracle drug. Angus turned into a new Scottie. Except for his diabetes, all of his skin allergies were solved although he needed the Cyclosporine daily for the rest of his life. When he passed away in March of 2010, it was sad because when you looked at him, he was rough and tough with a beautiful coat and perfect skin.

    At least ASK your vet about the Cyclosporine. OR, you can contact me in a private e-mail and I will give you the name of the Vet and the hospital here in Chandler who took care of Angus.

    Believe, it really worked. We lost two prior Scotties to skin diseases and the side effects of horrible medications like steroids.

    Ken McLeod

  4. Wow, I'm so so sorry to hear of Smokies troubles. It's so frustrating I know – been there – done that with different dogs we've had. One had allergies that we treated with allery injections we had to give her every week (you keep upping the does weekly until you get to a point that it helps and then you keep it at that point)starting at age 2 and she live a long happy life until the age of 12. The scottie we now have was vomitting continually like you mentioned and would go sometimes a week without eating (and, I must admit, still does on occassion). We too were told we could have her scoped to the tune of $2,000 and having to have her stay in the hospital for 2 days. Well, we are using the vet diet now. Started with fish and potato which she wouldn't touch and have moved on to venison and potato. She will eat that (if I doctor it up a bit). These little guys certainly seem to have tummy issues.
    I will keep you both in our prayers and I know how stressful it is when your little one is not well. Hang in there and please please let us know how he's doing.

  5. You need to find a really good vet and soon. Throwing up this often is not right. Your vet may put Smokie on a good kibble like Royal canine venison for allergies, but I am sure he will want to run some tests to see what else may be going on. We have our allergic boy on a venison kibble and we add just a tablespoon of fresh ground venison meat to each meal. Good luck, and we are keeping Smokie in our thoughts.

  6. Have you tried feeding Smokie chicken livers? When my Scottie got Valley Fever (didn't want to eat, dropped 5 lbs in just over a week) he wouldn't eat anything until we tried chicken liver cooked in butter. After that, we alternated chicken and beef liver and he gained the weight back pretty quickly.

  7. I'm by no means a doctor nor veterinarian. However, some key symptoms you have listed sound like it very well could be a food allergy. The most common are beef, chicken, lamb, fish, dairy, corn and gluten, but as with humans anything can be a cause. I understand the difficulties of getting a Scottie to eat a new diet, so it is probably hard for you to observe food culprits. Various websites that explain allergies in dogs say it is very common for food allergies to emerge as skin irritation, ear infections (especially yeast), lack of energy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of fur, and sometimes difficulty swallowing. Diagnosing a food allergy is extremely tricky and time consuming. I can hear the desperation and concern in your story, and can truly understand your pain. I wish you and Smokie the best of luck.

  8. Poor Smokie! I can mainly offer sympathy … Try to get to a specialist Vet hospital. We are so lucky to have NC State Veterinary College hospital close by. I suppose also that the vomiting could be unrelated to the allergies? – other causes need to ruled out asap. Our Teagan has been prone to occasional tummy troubles and went through spell of vomiting / not eating, so one of our vets was blase about it but another referred us to NCState, none too soon as she had an intestinal blockage about to rupture. Just trying to say please get it checked out. Best of luck for Smokie.

  9. We tried the shots, the pills, the shampoos, yu name it we tried it, the shots did give our Donovan some relief but they cause more harm than good in the long run, the shampoos seemed to make things worse, we tried the medicated, the oatmeal, oatmeal baths, they all seemed too harse to strong. So I started researching foods and came across Natural Choice by Nutro Lamb and Rice small bites for healthy skin and coat, I feed him breakfast and dinner, I bath him in for people dandruff shampoo the generic works great, not the soothing just the regular dandruff shampoo Head and Shoulders, finishing up the bath with a good mosturizing creme rinse for people it took about 3 to 4 weeks for the food to seem to work the shampoos seemed to work really fast, he has been on this food for 6 years now and I have not had to take him back to the vet, not one time for allergies, he does have an occasonal runny nose or eyes and a Benadryl in the morning and afternoon clears that up, this usually happens in the Spring and early Fall when the Crepe Myrtles are in full bloom. He use to completely loose his skirt and was miserable before I started him on this food. He is gorgeous now and has a great beard and skirt and most important he can sleep at night and be comfortable. I bath him once a week if necessary he isn't the type that gets really dirty so in the winter once every two weeks.

    You just have to find what works for yours but your situation sounds desperate, maybe steriod shots to ease his itching short term and try the dandruff shampoo, selsun blue works really good also for skin problems.

    Good luck I hate to see them un- comfortable at all, I will keep you both in my prayers.


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