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Can any of the Staffy experts here give a little advice to my neighbours? They have a male staffy who has recently started persistently licking his feet, and has scratched a path just behind his ears to the raw and bleeding stage. Vets visit produced steroid and antibiotic shots, and steroids to take daily, advice that it will probably has to take this medication for life, and a big bill! No advice on possible cause, ways to find source of irritation, allergy etc. I have advised trying diet change first (he is currently on Eukanuba regular formula), and investigating the home for any newly introduced products. Any staffy specific info and advice much appreciated.
we've had trouble with Gus licking his feet excessively to the point of making them sore and inflamed.
I presume your neighbours dog has been checked for mites - especially ear mites as they can transfer to the paws after itching the ears.
Also you need to look around the home and even where the dog is walked to see if it can be a form of contamination . Has the washing powder been changed , are the floors now washed with something else other than the usual ?
I would do a skin scrape first if everything else is eliminated before changing his food just to ensure the feet are clear and free from mites or infection
wanted to add thornit is supposed to be very good for ear mites although i havent actually tried it .
Make sure he has been wormed as this can lower the immune system too apparently and flead.
Ear mites does sound a strong possibility though
there is a Staffy vet in Liverpool called Paul Boland ( he breeds and shows as well and is very experienced) he has a page somewhere i will see if I can find it for you
Paul Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a staffy expert - but I agree that a skin scrape should be done for demodex mites, they live in dogs hair follicles in small amounts but can greatly increase when immune system is compromised. Shame on the vet that px's steroids straight off and implies may be lifelong treatment, he should have suggested food trial, scrape etc. Staffies and Dobes are breeds commonly affected with demodex.
Steroids also lower the immune system too which makes it harder to fight off the mites if it is them.
Demodectic mites I beleive can burrow quite deeply and be difficult to find on a skin scrape . But by scratching his ears with his paws , whathever the cause is due to , it is merely transfering it from ear to paw and vice versa.
Which does make me inclined to think it is a mite rather than contact contamination.
Gus has recently had a scrape and only bacteria was found - no mites . So the vet is inclined to think that maybe he had had a graze or tiny cut and when he has been licking it , it has become infected, causing it to itch more and in turn does not clear the infection . Antibiotics worked a little but didnt clear it up fully so that when the course was finished the infection was still present.
We are now on deifferent tablets (Rilexine?) and the itching has so far stopped .
A matter of personal interest only; are any of these dogs castrated.
Gus isnt Jacki - he's 15 months old at present.
Do you think there is a higher incidence rate for castrated dogs ?
Hi Jackie, Will ask and see if he is castrated (should explain, these are neighbouring business premises neighbours, not "next door neighbours" so I rarely get to see the dog). Everyone else, thanks for the info. I have a feeling that they are unwilling to take him back to the vet, after the unhelpful treatment. I am trying to persuade them to try my vet, who is very straight forward, no nonsense, and has loads of Staffys on her books! Will also check out his parastite treatment routine, and see if any chance of mite infestation.
Don't know if this helps but my old Stafford dog Sam (not castrated) had itchy feet which we finally after hours of eleminating various reasons found out it was caused by a "weed killer" sprayed by the council (or at least we thought it was) he scratched his ear and passed on the irritation to his ears and vice versa. Almost impossible to resolve, but containable.
But I would suggest he is scraped for mites etc just to rule them out...some Staffords are very prone to skin problems, and I don't think a reason is ever found for them. Just ways to make it liveable.
I have a nearly 10 mth old male staff (just been castrated) and he has a good couple a scratches behind his right ear in the evening and late afternoon (always has done since we brought him home)...not becuase of an irritation...but he loves it! It is he weak spot and if I tickle him there he is in absolute heaven.
I have a 3 year old staffie bitch that is yet to be spayed and she suffers from a skin problem and excessive ear wax build up which causes her to scratch her ears and she also licks her feet a lot to the point where they are red raw, behind her ears have open sores and hair loss around the neck, her head is also very red and also around her mouth and nose to. i treat her ears regularly with a cleanser and my vet advised i change her diet which i have done now for the past year and she is on a complete dry organic diet without colourings or addatives. the vet also said that it doesnt appear to be mite although a scrapping hasnt been done. i bath her regularly with medicated shampoo and clean her feet with salt water. i must add that she is a white staffie which im told are more likely to have skin problems. can anyone advise on what i should do other than a skin scrape?
id say your first point of call is to have a skin scrape to eleminate any mites that your dog may have,
My dog had sarcoptes for 18 months before the vet found out what was wrong with him, another vet had told us it was food allergy and our new vet just treated it the same with steroids and antibiotics. He also scratched his ears badly. After me pleading with him to see if there was anything else he could suggest he decided to do an ear scrape and found nothing but also took a blood test at the same time and found out he had sarcoptic mange which was easily cured by Stronghold.
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