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Question

25 Jan 2006

Bull Terrier
3 Year old bull terrier bitch on Verts Choice liks her feet and genitals until all the hair fell out. Help please!
Answer 386 views
Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Allergy is the most likely, although it should also be tested for infection with bacteria, skin mites and yeast.

Regarding allergies, the most common treatments include the use of specialised hypoallergenic diets, avoidance of the allergen (for example staying off the grass when allergic to the lawn), definitely a controlling any form of flea infestation (even as single flea can cause a severe allergy), and drug therapy. Drug therapy include the use of antihistamine (often not very successful), omega-3 fatty acids (safe and helpful), desensitisation through a course of vaccinations using the allergens identified through blood tests (not always effective) and cortisone. Cortisone when used at the correct dose for the patient can regain quality of life for the patient. We attempt to use the lowest possible dose at the longest possible intervals (as few tablets at a time as possible, with as many days in between treatments as possible) to control the allergy to an acceptable level. The short acting cortisone prednisone/prednisolone taken in tablet form is safer in the long-term than repeat use of the injectable form or the long acting dexamethasone type cortisone. Taken in low doses, allergies may often be controlled at a relatively low risk of side-effects. The main side-effects include weight gain as result of excessive appetite and diabetes. The risk of cortisone treatment should be weighed up against the current level of discomfort and your veterinarian will be able to help in this decision. Cortisone treatment should not simply be disregarded because of bad press, it should just be applied sensibly.

For the specific treatment to be determined, your dog must be taken to your veterinarian for the skin to be examined.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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