A question I never really wanted to ask...?
I'm sorry for the length of this. In short, dog itches a lot. Tried all people and vets have told us to try We didn't get this animal thinking it would be cost-free, but nothing seems to be helping. At this point, I'm mostly here because I'm concerned about her quality of life...
AND NOW FOR THE LONG VERSION:
My cocker spaniel has most of the problems associated with her breed. She has chronic ear infections, cataract, and skin problems. The ear infections and cataracts aren't an issue, however. They can be kept under control. The problem is that she also has allergies. At the vet, she was prescribed prednisone (sp?) but she didn't react well to it at all, and so we turned to trying various grain-free, high protein dog foods - from raw to home-cooked to brands like blue buffalo - in the hope that if she had allegies to any ingredients in dog food, the itching would stop. None of these worked, although most seemed to give her runny poop. She was tested for hypothyroidism, and it came back negative, and her skin also came back negative for any kind of fungal problems (although she smells terribly funky, unless it is directly after a bath... I'm guessing it's from all the scratching and licking, over and over again). We've tried seeing if she reacted badly to anything in her environment (anything that we could remove, thus alleviating her allergies), and she's been on more flea control treatments than you can count (the "between the blades" treatment like Frontline and Advantage, dips, powders, shampoos, etc). The treatments were done routinely per the instructions. She is getting proper nutrition. We tried following a vet's suggestion of giving her fish oil, but it didn't help, either. I'd go as far as to say that she scratches 90% of the time... unless she's eating, exercising, or sleeping, she's busy chewing and licking on herself. She has absolutely no hair on the front of her neck, rear end, tail, belly, inside of her legs, or the top of her feet, and she's scratched it all out on her chest and chin. This isn't a new thing, is began a few years ago when we moved to Florida, and we tried to stop it then, but I doubt it's something that'll just "go away". It only seems to progress, hitting harder each year. The hair around her eyes is thin/gone. We've tried topical medications to soothe her skin also, nothing helps. She scratches until she bleeds. She's chewed so much, her skin looks like elephant hide in some places. We don't know what else to try.
She's a nearly 11 year old, spayed female, loves to walk even though she spooks easy (probably as a result of the cataracts), and doesn't get along well with other dogs. We love her like family, but at this point... it's hard on all of us. I'd love to let her live out the rest of her life, in fact, that's what I plan to let happen. But do you think putting her down is even in question? Thank you in advance. I hope you all will see that I'm just reaching out for answers, and don't mean to evoke any nasty responses. Sorry again for the length of this.
Josie - we didn't want to do it, but we've tried putting an E-collar on her and treating the hairless areas while she can't get at them. There IS hair growth returning, but we're afraid once the cone comes off she'll re-strip herself
We've tried Benedryl after consulting with a vet, it just makes her a sleepy little joker. Oatmeal shampoo doesn't seem to make a difference.