Tag Archives: allergies

Abby’s Allergy Update

Hello everyone,

I wanted to give you an update on Abby’s allergies. She is doing much better now. We found out she was not taking the required dose of Atopica so we increased it. We also switched her food to raw. She loves her food! We mix the meat with vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc) and a bit of oil. If we go past her regular meal time, she will let you know it!

Her hair has grown back and is so thick it is hard to see her skin. I can’t believe the change. She still has outbreaks but nowhere near as bad as what they were.

Her personality has changed too. She is now much more playful and content. It must be such a relief to not have itchy skin all the time. She still loves her bath though. If you run the water in the tub she runs and tries to get in. This is a bonus as she has taught Mya that a bath is fun so Mya loves them too.

This is what happy looks like....
This is what happy looks like…well, for Abby.

Scottie News Updates: Your tips for Abby’s paw

Hi everyone,

Abby’s paw is doing much better but I am still going to continue to soak it in epsom salts which seems to be helping.  We still cannot find what caused the problem.  There is no sign of an ingrown hair, mite, etc.  I appreciated all the advice and feedback from the Scottish Terrier News family.  I am going to be starting quite a few diet changes for Abby to help with her allergies.

Here are some comments that were received via email:

“Our female Scottie Lydia had one several years ago and we had it removed surgically with no ill effect.  Our vet in Maine recommended this action.  I did not understand that this could be from allergies, ingrown hair, mite, etc. until reading your note today.  She now has developed another one this winter.  We are waiting to return to Maine in May before determining next step, but I wanted to thank you for information.  Lydia lives with us in Belize 6 months of the year and I will certainly make sure she’s thoroughly checked for a mite of some sort or a foreign object.  She is 13 now and we will avoid surgery if at all possible.” Thank you. – Janet

“I had a Scottie, Meagan, who developed one of these on one foot caused by an ingrown hair.   The vet surgically removed it.  She never developed another thank goodness!”-  kvcoleman

We also received some terrific photos!

Here are Arthur, Bitterman and Dudley.  Don’t they look awesome!

The Jersey Boys
The Jersey Boys


Here is Allister.  He is a one year old wheaton Scottie.

Allister & Friend
Allister & Friend


Here is a stellar crew – Moxie, Duffy, and Mac.  These cuties can hold a pose much better than Abby and Bridget 🙂

Moxie, Duffy & Mac
Moxie, Duffy & Mac


Abby’s Paws: Toe Cysts on Dogs

I noticed that Abby was having trouble walking one day. She would trip over her one foot and when we got home she would lick the paw constantly.  I noticed some changes to her paw but it is a struggle to look at them as she is really sensitive.

I took her to vet and found that she has a interdigital furuncles which are basically cysts on her toes.  Right now I am soaking her foot 2-3 times a day in epsom salts.  We go back to the vet next week to see how they are.

Toe cysts can be caused by ingrown hair, a foreign object embedded in the toe, or a skin mite.  I am not sure what caused this but I know that allergies can also be a factor.

Have any of you had this issue with your Scottie?  If so, can you update the comments with your experience and what you recommend for Abby?



That Time of Year – Allergy Season

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.

Check out other allergy solutions that other Scottie owners have used in the Allergy season plagues Scottish Terriers article.

Here’s hoping this year will be better for all our little allergy sufferers.


Atopica for dogs: what side effects have you seen?

Abby the itchy Scottish Terrier
Poor Abby has been suffering from allergy-induced itchy skin problems that turned into an infection.

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 scottishterriernews@gmail.com. Many thanks.

Sandra also sent along this picture of her late, great Scottie, Angus (RIP).

Angus the Scottish Terrier
Look very closely and you can see the blacks of his eyes

Douxo products help itchy dogs: Reader testimonial

Douxo medicated pads can help itchy dogs
More than 90 amazon reviewers give these pads a rating between four and five stars

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!

Westie Wednesday: help for the itchies

Announcement from Westies in Need: A special seminar

Itchy Westie?

Feel Like You’ve tried EVERYTHING?

Then join Westies in Need  our  Westie Skin Day and you will get you the answers that you need. We expect this to sell out, so please register early!

WHEN: Seminar – Saturday March 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
WHERE: Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Guelph, Ontario

  • does your Westie scratch a lot?
  • does he bite at his feet or body?
  • does he have chronic ear infections
  • does he have to wear clothes or a cone sometimes to stop him from scratching??
  • does he have discoloured fur around his mouth and feet?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then our Westie Skin Day is for you. We have your Westie skin solutions!

This seminar is a joint project between Westies in Need and Dr. Anthony Yu of the OVC.

Dr.Yu has lectured extensively in veterinary dermatology throughout North America, Europe and China as well as authoring and guest editing several publications in journals and veterinary textbooks. He is the Chief of Dermatology at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and is contributing his time and expertise to make this a valuable event.

This is SUCH an amazing opportunity for our rescue.

One of our little rescues was named Lilly- she was the worst case of skin problems we had ever seen when she arrived into our rescue program.

The Pet Network saw her info on our website and asked if they could do a story on our Lilly and our rescue. Click here to watch the video of Lilly and her journey…they did a great job and we can’t thank the Pet Network enough for supporting us!

Lilly says THANKS too!

Allergic West Highland Terrier Wednesday

Puffball! ~ 9/52
Puffball! ~ 9/52 by ellenc995 at Flickr

Apologies everyone, for all the broken links in yesterdays post on Scottish Terrier allergies and treatments. The links have now been fixed now so the owners of Westies — who, as a breed, have worse allergies than Scotties — can now check them out along with this study on the Genome-wide linkage of atopic dermatitis in West Highland White Terriers.

Or you can just take a Benadryl and smell the flowers.

Max on the porch
Max on the porch by snosnam on Flickr

Allergy season plagues Scottish Terriers

It always makes me a bit wary when I get a new comment on this post about itchy Scottish Terriers and allergies. Sometimes, it’s good news about how skin allergies cleared up after a change in diet, but at other times it’s  bad news, as it was last week. My heart just sank to hear that Mary was having problems with a 13-week-old Scottie puppy. Here’s her comment:

Hello, Please tell me how you have cured this problem. Scout, our 13 week old Scott is scratching and biting on himself way too much. I have tried medicated baths, Salmon oil, tuna added to his food, and several different foods. He has Advantix for ticks and fleas on, so it’s not that. I’ll be looking forward to your cure. Thanks!

This post prompted me to bring together all the many allergy tips readers have contributed on past posts about allergic Scottish Terriers.

Change your dog’s diet to combat allergies

Corn and chicken are considered the main culprits in dog food allergies. Some people recommend no grains at all while others allow rice. The following foods and diets were recommended by readers. When specific brand names were provided, they’ve been noted. When no brands were suggested, I’ve simply linked to foods that fit the bill.

One reader also recommended a raw food diet (be warned — these can be controversial) and another suggested kangaroo meat. Also suggested were plain acidophilus yogurt, salmon oil and flaxseed oil as well as prebiotic and probiotic supplements.

Shampoos can help with allergy and sensitive skin

While my Scottish Terrier Bridget was originally diagnosed with an allergy, a second vet said he didn’t think she had allergy symptoms and prescribed instead a medicated bath, which cured her itchiness. Bridget was bathed with Vet Solutions Canadian Medicated Shampoo. Scottie News readers also recommended the following pet shampoos:

  • Nature’s Embrace all natural shampoo
  • An anti-seborrhea and dry skin shampoo called Allergroom (it’s also hypoallergenic) followed by an oatmeal cream rinse and conditioner called Epi-Soothe
  • Hylyt
  • Sebocalm (a British version of Hylyt)
  • Oatmeal shampoo for dogs (no specific brands recommended)

One reader added that human shampoos like Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue and generic brands like Equate can also work on dogs. Another recommended Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

Drugs for dog skin allergies

Sometimes with allergies, you have to escalate to the drugs. Scottie News readers and their vets have found the following to have helped in certain circumstances:

New treatments for dog skin allergies

The Scottish Terrier News recently reported on positive results obtained with cold laser therapy. Let’s hope that at least one of these treatments helps poor little Whisky whose allergies have led to missing fur as seen in this video. Get well, Whisky, and all you other allergy-suffering Scottish Terriers.