Well, it looks like spring is finally on its way for some of us. I am happy to have warmer weather than the -25 degree Celsius temperatures we were experiencing. However, I hope you will forgive me if I am not so thrilled to see the warmer weather. Now that the snow has melted and the warmer temperatures are here, Abby’s allergies are starting up again.
We had our first warm day and I noticed her digging at her feet and I mean DIGGING. She will rip her fur out if she gets a chance. To help her feel better, I give her baking soda baths. I fill up the tub with lukewarm water and add some baking soda. She seems to like having the water around her and will sit and relax. I fill the tub about 2-4 inches high so her stomach and legs are covered. This does seem help relieve her itching. I also use Hexadene shampoo which really helps as well.
Thankfully, Abby loves to have a bath. However, she will try to get in if you are running your own bathwater so you really have to keep an eye on her.
She is on Atopica which over the winter was reduced to 1 tablet every two days but now that spring is here will be increased to daily. I have also tried an antihistamine but found that she would sit in the corner and pant so I took her off it. I am going to try them again though.
Apple cider vinegar (with the mother) mixed 50/50 with water can also help relieve itching. I mix this in a spray bottle and have it handy to spritz her when we come in from outside.
I also found that insect bites would really cause her to fret and itch more so than any other dog I have owned. Last summer, to try to keep mosquitoes away, I would spritz her with Listerine. This does seem to work. I even spray my feet before heading out the door.
My neighbour and fellow Scottie person, Sandra, needs advice. Her lovely wheaten Scottish Terrier, Abby, is suffering terribly from skin allergies, itchiness and infection.
Another of our dog park comrades, who also had a terrier with severe itchy skin issues, wholeheartedly recommended Atopica, said it changed his dog’s life, and there were no side effects. A little internet research shows, however, that others have indeed experienced side effects from Atopica.
What I’d like to know is whether there are any Scottie News readers out there with Atopica experience. If you’ve used it or know someone who has, please add a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks.
Sandra also sent along this picture of her late, great Scottie, Angus (RIP).
Scottie News would like to give a plug to the Scottish Terrier Health Network, source of much valuable information. Here’s part of an especially touching post:
On Saturday we all went to Clumber Park. You may have noticed a post with pictures. What I didn’t mention was that whilst passing by a young couple with a very large dog (Leonberger type) she very loudly muttered “ridiculous”. I very nearly stopped and challenged her. When she sees a human being, being pushed, carried, wheeled or helped, does she think “oh my, how sad” or think “I feel so sorry for them” or, “I trust there’s hope for that person” or would she automatically think without any understanding of why that human is in that condition loudly mutter “ridiculous”.
So, why do you think she should mutter “ridiculous” when walking past me with my scottie in a stroller. She knows nothing about why he’s having to be pushed. She’s brave enough to mutter “ridiculous” but not humane enough to ask why.
If you have a dog who suffers from itchiness, you know that it’s not just excruciating for the dog but for you as well. That’s why I took note when a reader made a long comment a month ago that recommended Douxo products. I’m reproducing it here and I’ve added links to the Amazon products mentioned by Laurie. Otherwise it’s exactly how she wrote it.
Douxo products were a godsend for our Scottie Duncan, who came into rescue with terrible, untreated skin issues that had progressed to blackened elephant skin on his legs. He was miserable–always biting at himself, open sores: the worst case of untreated allergies his veterinary allergist said she had ever seen.
She began Duncan on allergen shots after a Rast (skin prick) test: don’t let anyone talk you into the blood test, which does not work for most (any?) dogs. The injections definitely did help Duncan; eventually he had one shot a month.
The Douxo products in conjunction with the shots, though, pushed his healing to a new level. We used the pads (available at Amazon.com: Douxo Chlorhexidine 3% PS Pads) for small areas and ears, and also the DOUXO Seborrhea Spot-on (available in a large and pricey box at Amazon, but in a smaller, more affordable box of 5 at 4petsusa.com), in combination with various medicated shampoos.
I did not think the other Douxo products (shampoo, spray, etc.) worked well for Duncan. These two products we used help the skin rebuild its protective layer, which makes the skin less susceptible to bacteria, yeast, and fungus. Duncan also eventually got cold laser treatments once his allergies were under control, to help heal his terribly damaged skin. It eventually became totally smooth (no more huge wrinkles), white, and in most places most of his hair grew back, too.
The best thing: he no longer scratched and bit at himself, and we didn’t have to use either prednisone or Atopica/cyclosporine, both of which carry significant health risks (prednisone can lead to Cushing’s, which is not unusual in Scotties anyway; Atopica/cyclosporine is an immune suppressant, which is how it works to stop allergies, but this also can leave your Scottie more susceptible to many cancers).
I hope this helps someone! I’ve had four different Scots with allergies. We do use a holistic vet for light allergy problems–currently one of our Scots has mild seasonal allergies, and she gets a glycerite elixir of Passion Flower, Linden, and Nettles. Dried Nettle Leaf (NOT root, which is for a whole different condition!) in powder form (the “cut and sifted” is not fine enough–get the powder) really helps for itchies (works better in my estimation than antihistamines and with no bad side effects). Nettles are also generally very nutritional and our Scots happily eat the powder sprinkled on/mixed into their food. Buy organic in bulk for best product at the best price: you can usually find Frontier Nettle Leaf Powder Organic on Amazon.com; you can also get it on Frontier Herb’s own website. An eighth to a quarter teaspoon twice a day should help with itchies. I’ve used it for years (have had 8 Scotties in my life) with no ill effects.
Hope this info helps someone–Scotties are the best!
A few readers have reported problems with the Westminster watching situation so the Scottie News is going to try and give you a hand. Keep in mind that this is just how things are supposed to work. We can’t guarantee they will work. But we’re hoping.
No need to have USA Network (or for you Canadians, Animal Planet), anyone with access to the internet can watch the entire proceedings of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show online from the breed competitions to the Best in Show finale.
USA Network is not just letting the whole wired world watch. It’s also offering “social viewing experiences including community chatting, interviews, FB and Twitter integrations and real-time behind the scenes moments from the floor. USA is partnering with UStream for the video coverage, which will be accessible worldwide via online and mobile phones. The show will be telecast on USA Network from Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 13 and Tues., Feb. 14, 2012, starting at 8/7c.”
I have a 7-month old female Scottie called Eshta. She is very loving and playful but she has not outgrown the habit of biting feet. I have tried everything, including the squirt bottle but it is not getting better. She will obey me when I use a stern voice but guests do not have a hope in hell. It is no longer cute as her teeth hurt and the more a guest will shout at her the more excited she gets and the more she snaps and wants to bite. I know this is playful aggression but it is a real nuisance with guests, especially as we tend to have stay-over guests who need to be able to control her without me being around. Any advice? I adore Eshta. She has learned to sit, stay, come and she even rings the bell when she needs to go out. But I cannot teach her to ‘leave it’ (our feet, that is). I worry that this will only get worse.
Caitlin also left a comment a while back:
My male scottish terrier is almost 3 years old. He won’t stop attacking our cats and dogs outside of our home. He is a loving dog to all humans, but small dogs or cats he looks at like toys. Do you know any methods I could use to stop the attacking? I do not have the money for training right now, so I have to do it myself.
Scottie News replied:
Hmm, can you provide some more details? How long has he lived with the other pets? Has he always been like this? What do you mean by attack? how do the other animals respond?
He has lived with one other dog for the whole 3 years. We have had 4 cats, and he is constantly trying to fight with them. If the cat didnt get away and we didnt stop him, I believe he would have killed the cat. He tries to bite them and shake them, as if it is a rodent. He has been like this since he turned one years old. The other animals are so afraid of him and they try to get away.
He is honestly a sweetheart. The most loving dog I could ask for. This is why I am so confused, because he is on attack mode with the other animals.
Susan wrote last weekend about her dog, Gus:
Could you post a request for a little prayer for my oldest scottie Gus. We had to rush him to the hospital this morning. We thought he had a stroke. He was screaming in pain and couldn’t walk. They gave him pain killers and muscle relaxers and still couldn’t get him out of pain enough to do an x ray by this afternoon. My vet is keeping for the weekend for observation. They think a disc in his neck may be pressing on a nerve. He was playing like a pup last night with Barkley and Maizie, his much younger housemates. His sister Gracie misses him terribly!
Thankfully, he was doing better this week. Let’s all hope he continues to make progress:
He’s doing better! He still walks in circles, but the pain is not as bad. There is a light a the end of the tunnel.
Please, everyone, feel free to contribute your thoughts and best wishes.