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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I have a female Golden Retriever, Atenea, 5 years old.

About two or three years ago, she started itching more often than usual, and we got her to the vet. After A LOT of different studies and asking every single doctor I could find, one of them told me she was "allergic to the environment".

We tried every anti-allergic there is, but nothing changed. The first year Prednisone did its job very well. She wasn't completely normal, but itching decreased drastically. As of today, she still gets Prednisone every two days, but it's no longer helping at all (or maybe yes, but it's gone a lot worse, that's why she's still getting that treatment).

Last year, we gave her a special vaccine (I dont know what it is at the moment, sorry) that would help her get better. It worked fine, but as expected, the effect was to last about 3 or 4 months only.
We gave her that exact vaccine yesterday, still waiting for it to work.
Anyway, that vaccine is extremely powerful and along with the Prednisone, are making her old worryingly fast, and she cant walk more than 500m without getting extremely tired.
We've tried changing her food between different brands, home made food, but nothing changed. We also clean her wounds and shower her with anti-allergic soap and shampoo.

I cant really have any weird special tests done on her, I'm from Uruguay and sadly animal hospitals don't exist here. There are only a few vets, and I've contacted the best of them. There's only one person specialized in dog's skins, and he's the one who told me about the allergies, but his treatment didnt work.

I've searched everywhere, forums, online vets, tried everything, but she's still itching.
She bites herself, has red marks everywhere, no hair in some parts, bad smell on her skin (and that mixed with salive that she has all over her skin because of the biting).
I keep touching her / talking to her when she itches, talking does nearly nothing, and I dont want to scream to her so I have to take her leg or move his face to make her stop, and that's once every 5 minutes, or less.
She can't sleep more than 10 minutes at once, she suddenly wakes up and it happens again.

Please, there has to be someone out there that has something that could help me!

Thanks in advance!
(sorry if there's anything you dont understand, I dont really know how to explain it better in English)

Edit: some photos! I'll add them as links because they're a bit big.

http://imageshack.com/a/img910/3448/d46Buo.jpg

You can see how little hair she has on her tail and back leg
http://imageshack.com/a/img903/9867/wCoGm8.jpg

And this is what she's doing the whole day
http://imageshack.com/a/img905/4650/AlX7PP.jpg

Chest
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/6329/QdyCRO.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img905/237/lDt5qk.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img907/9649/txWeke.jpg

And more... It's not dirt, I clean her very carefully, specially these parts, and it's like if it was part of her skin. I dont even feel something different. That part doesnt itch for her apparently though.
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/228/JwO5Hg.jpg

One spot that itches a lot.
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/505/6pGvM0.jpg

She has little hair all over her body. The vet told me the Prednisone could cause that, another reason why I want to stop with it...
I tried with some clothing but it wasnt stopping her.

Also, when I touch her, mostly her back and some parts of the chest, she'll start moving her back legs trying to scratch the spot. Her skin is extremely sensitive.

And here one cute photo of her when she was 4 months old :)
http://imageshack.com/a/img908/5391/kVpTdj.jpg
 

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I feel sad for you and your dog, and I hear the worry so clearly through your post. Douxo products topically are really helpful, and maybe you could follow the prednisone with consistent dose of Temeril P and Simplicef combined with Duoxo spray or mousse.

I assume the shot was kenelog or Depo Medrol ? It is a risky thing with those shots in case you have demodex mites or another immune issue.

All I can think of too is to simplify what your dog eats to a few novel ingredient in case it is food allergy.

I am so sorry you are coping with this bc it sounds really difficult.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply Ljilly!

Sadly my country limits me a lot when it comes to products. Douxo products arent sold here, and buying them from a different country is something I cant really afford.

I think it was kenelog, yes. She seems to be ok with it, it didnt stop the itching this time, but no other counter effects. I'll ask the vet about that though, never heard of it before from him.

I'll also ask him about these Temaril P and Simplicef. Didnt find them in any store so far but I'm going to search for a similar one under a different name.

About the food, we are still changing her food every one or two weeks, removing certain ingredients and see if it's related to that. I personally dont think it's food related, I have tried with home made food with a very small variety of food, and nothing changed.

I'll also, just in case, get her another Thyroid check done. We did one to her when everything started and nothing showed up to be wrong, but you never know.
 

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Do you bathe her and then blow dry through baking soda or corn starch? Sometimes simple remedies do work. We have a show member here who can cure almost everything with simple gold listerne mouth wash. Brush through Gold Bond powder? Could it be fungal? Could it be yeast? Could it have ecoli or staph secondary? I could try to send you a box of Duoxo products if that is legal(?).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks again for your reply!

When I bath her I usually dry her with a towel only. It's pretty hot here almost the whole year so she's completely dry in less than an hour.
I'll try these products you mentioned though, I'll see which of these I can find, I'll go to the biggest shop we have here tomorrow and see what I can find.

Yeast definitely no, tried with food without that.
Fungal I dont think so, the backyard is pretty clean and we take care of that, but I'll re-check it just in case.
I got her checked for ecoli and staph twice, but nothing came up.

I'll try to get the Thyroid checks done this week and see what comes out of it, meanwhile, I'll bath her and try one of those products!

About the Duoxo ones, thanks for that! The problem is not the price of the products themselves, but the shipping and extremely ridiculous taxes we have to pay here (up to 3x item price, only for taxes), even if it's a gift.

Edit: I'll add some photos tomorrow, looking at her might help :)

Edit2: Photos added to the first post!
 

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I feel so bad for you and your Golden. My Golden experienced skin problems which have been completely resolved.

The Douxo products that Ljilly28 were close to miraculous for Chance's skin problems. I used the Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo and used the MicroEmulsion Spray in between baths. And in the beginning, to get ahead of the problem, I was bathing Chance every other day. Be sure to dry her completely especially where the hair is thick and beneath her ears.

It may sound like too much, but I was guided by this article (link below) and because Chance was not a candidate for prednisone, I had to go a different route. I also worked on building Chance's immune system (used Thorne Immugen supplement) and switched him over to a grain-free diet.

Please read this article in detail which contains a tremendous amount of information and helped me greatly understand what I was battling.

http://www.sfgate.com/pets/yourwholepet/article/The-killer-app-for-canine-itching-and-skin-2805848.php

Chance is proof not to lose hope. It can be done. BTW, Chance was about 5 also when he developed the adult-onset demodecosis. The hot spots (which previously had been commonplace) are a thing of the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your words, goldy1! I cant wait to see Atenea to be good and normal again, she's really having a bad time.

I'll contact some vet shops' importers and ask them if they can get me some of these Douxo products.

I'll bath her tomorrow and use baking soda or corn starch as Ljilly mentioned, and I'll posts if something changes or not.

Thanks for the article! I did read a few times that washing her once a day or once every two days could help, but for some reason vets here tend to say that's bad for dogs (though the internet says the opposite, in this case...). I'll ask him that again tomorrow, and will most likely start washing her at least once every two days, and see how it goes.

Is Chance the dog in your signature?? So beautiful!!


Last thing, one question, should I keep stopping Atenea when bitting / scratching or should I let her do it? I dont want her to hurt herself, but there's obviously something bothering her in these spots, and I feel like I should leave her bite herself. Both are bad, but which one do you think is the best one for her?
 

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Yes - do keep positive about the situation. I know it is hard as I remember all too vividly being in your shoes.

I think the "conventional" wisdom is to treat with medication and steroids. I am not surprised that the vets shun frequent baths. This is a new approach and may not be part of the traditional veterinary protocol. The article details why this works and it has been proven by veterinary dermatologist Valerie Fadok. Explained simply: the allergy is to the resulting bacteria (secondary) and the frequents baths minimize/eliminate this. Maybe bring a copy of the article to show the vet. That's what I did when Chance was having severe problems.

Yes, the signature picture is my wonderful Chance who I adore. That picture was taken on his 7th birthday.

I completely understand your dilemma deciding to correct Atenea when she is biting. I hated correcting Chance as well and tried not to. He would be so remorseful and it made me feel so sad. Often what I would do is try to distract him, cover over the area he was biting (often it was his feet) with a towel. You don't want to be correcting when scratching is merely a natural reaction to the itch. Have you tried an e-collar? The Kong Cloud Collar is very comfortable for them (pictured)

And Welcome to the forum. So glad you found it. You will find a wealth of information from many experienced with almost any issue you could imagine.
KongCloudCollar.jpg

Maybe you could even fashion something. I did that before I got the Kong Cloud Collar. I used cardboard in the innermost layer for firmness, then covered it with cotton batting, and outermost with a t-shirt cotton. I cut it out to shape a wide collar (about 8 inches) and used Velcro on the ends to attach the ends to each other. It resembled a neck brace when Chance had it on but it was relatively soft and comfortable. When wearing it, he wasn't able to twist his neck to reach the itchy spots. But he was able to turn over and wiggle around to scratch his back on the rug but it didn't damage his skin that way.

Please try the soothing baths and be sure to dry her well. It is labor-intensive but when you begin to see improvement, you will be encouraged and it will give you some hope. Remember that I combined it with grain-free food and immune support but I feel the baths were the leading treatment in Chance's case.
 

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Wild guess here but could it be fleas? I think I see one zooming in on this photo.

A little below and left of center.

One spot that itches a lot.
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/505/6pGvM0.jpg
Very observant GoldenCamper! I see the dark spot now that you have identified it. It would be great if that was what it is. I don't know - I'm not seeing flea dirt or bites.

martin1592 - keep us in the loop. I am thinking of you and your sweet Atenea.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey, thanks for being worried!

I tried one of these collars, but it was a bit worse for her. She couldn't handle them for more than a few minutes and started trying to break them. I never liked using collars on dogs, maybe that's why she finds it strage and tries to take it off. The same happens the first minutes I put her collar when going outside the house.

That black spot sadly is not flea, it's a small scar that isn't fully healed yet. You can see some bigger black parts in the wet hair in that same photo.

I gave her a bath today and used baking soda, it's still itching but it seems to be less. Maybe it's me wanting it to be gone or it's actually less. I dont expect to see it work the first day, but I dont know. I'll bath her tomorrow again and continue with that for at least some weeks.

I went to the shop today and didn't find any Douxo products, but I left an order anyway to see if they can bring some from Argentina or Brazil for me.

I keep staring at Chance's photo and cant wait to see Atenea back to that :p
 

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Hi Martin,
where are you in Uruguay, I am in La Paloma.
As we have just gone through spring I am wondering if there are any plants around which are affecting her skin. Last year in spring Henry had a bit of a scratching problem and the vet gave me a vitamin supplement containing vitamin E which helped. Sorry she is going through this.
 

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martin1592 - I know the collars are a double-edged sword. Some dogs dislike them so much that it isn't worth the anxiety it causes them. You are making the right decision for your girl.

I am glad that you think the bath may have helped here even a little. I decided to look thru my photo library to see if I could find pictures of Chance. I found some from early in the problem. Believe me, these are bad enough! But it got worse before it got better and I think those pics are on my desktop PC.
I am doing a warning: these pictures are disturbing but may give you hope that if this can be overcome without steroids and dips, it is possible.
In these pics, the sores were mostly head, eye, upper lip, and foreleg. They spread to include bald spots on his side and back. 20101127_chance_Sat_eye.jpg

20101128_chance_Sun_head_lip.jpg

20101127_chance_Sat_head.jpg

20101125_chance_Thu_leg.jpg
This was when Chance was 5 years old, exactly 5 years ago this month.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Martin,
where are you in Uruguay, I am in La Paloma.
Hey, I'm in Florida!

This problem stays all the year, and we lived in a different house for some months so it's not related to anything on this house I guess. We have a lot of plants in our backyard though.

Do you by chance know if there are Douxo products in vets there?


goldy1, that looks painful! Really happy to hear he's not having any problems anymore. I love his hair!!



Do any of you know what are the important components these Douxo products have? The shampoo, specially, so I can try to find a similar one and at least try with that. I'm using an anti-allergic shampoo right now but I've been using it for some months now and it doesn't seem to be helping a lot.
 

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Most peaceful night she's had in months! Didn't hear her scartch more than two or three times in the whole night. I used one spray in common spots that is supposed to be like anti allergic, antibiotic, and a lot of other things. It helped a lot.
 

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Hey Martin,
Glad your pup had a somewhat decent night's sleep......you too.
My bridge boy got itchy during the change of seasons. After testing that it wasn't a serious medical reason his vet recommended apple cider vinegar. The brand was Brach's. I mixed it 50/50 with water and sprayed it on his coat then brushed him vigorously. Going against his coat (direction.)
It did the trick plus it made his coat really nice.
 

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Aethena

So glad you both got a good nights sleep. Glad everyone here is trying to help you discover what is wrong. There's a lady on here called Carolina Mom who swears by Braggs Apple Cider vinegar mixed with water. She sometimes wipes in on her dogs coats.
 

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Martin - sounds like Atenea might be doing a little better! below is a link to the Douxo products that I used on Chance. I think it would be difficult to replicate. There is a contact page - maybe you could contact the company directly and ask them where to get their products in Uruguay.
I hope sweet Atenea shows continued improvement.
click on DOUXO link below:
DOUXO
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the suggestion, Tennyson! I'll try that right away if the current treatment doesnt work!

Yeah Karen519, Tennyson suggested that as well. I'll wait until I finish the current treatment to be sure which one actually worked, and just to avoid mixing them. But I'll surely try!


Thanks goldy1!
I contacted them and I'm waiting for an answer now. I called a lot of vet shops here and no one even heard about the brand :(


3rd bath of the week, I've noticed big change! She's able to sleep now (and so am I :p). Havent noticed much change from after the first bath, but I dont really expect it to be so quick neither, so I'm just going to keep up with this. It's the first thing I try that actually goes in the right direction!

I'll keep updating this thread daily, I wont be at home tomorrow but I'll post again in Friday!
 

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Glad things seem do be getting better!
 
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