Michael Goldberg, DVM, CHom
Dr Goldberg:We are in great need of help with our nine-year-old golden retriever and six-year-old cat.Our dog has had itchy, smelly ears for a long time.
Dr Goldberg:We are in great need of help with our nine-year-old golden retriever and six-year-old cat.
Our dog has had itchy, smelly ears for a long time. Every time he has to go to the vet, he now needs to be sedated in order to clean them out. He has been given eardrops and other lotions to no avail. Interestingly, the dog doesn't scratch when he is with other animals or people. Even the grass is worn away from the area he uses to rub his ears.
As for our cat, she scratches at her face and has worn all the fur away from around her eyes. She is on a pill for fleas. She's very fearful of people and will even hide from my husband. What can we do?
Unfortunately, itchy skin and ears are very common problems with our pets these days. I have a few concerns.
There are no easy answers or quick fixes to chronic problems like these. I'll give you a few pointers on how to get a grip on these situations, but I feel that ultimately your pets may be helped through the use of homeopathic treatment.
First of all, with ear problems, the first thing I try to do is to recognize what may have caused it in the first place.
A common problem is allergies, which result in itching of the skin around the ears. For allergies, I have had some success with Yakriton, which is a liver extract discovered years ago in Japan. It seems to have an antihistamine effect and can possibly control itching. A gentle cleansing with a vinegar and water solution is a good yeast retardant and can sometimes help. I would also begin the dog on a natural diet, which I feel gives the body the nutritional base needed for healing.
Dogs and cats are carnivores, and as such, we should mimic their natural diet. Your four-legged friends should be fed raw, unprocessed, human-grade meat similar in composition to your pets' prey (see alive #219).
As for vitamins, I would begin him on vitamin C at 2,500 milligrams twice daily and vitamin E at 400 IU once daily. These are good antioxidants which are important when there is inflammation present.
It's still important to realize that he has chronic problems and should visit a homeopathic vet, where treatment will be specifically chosen for him.
This case is a good example of how your dog's emotions may play a part in this problem. You mention that the itching occurs mainly when he is alone. This is a very important symptom from a homeopathic point of view and would be taken into account when you have him treated. Separation anxiety can cause your dog to scratch at itself.
Now, let's look at your cat's itchy skin and high anxiety. If this problem has occurred since she has been on the medical control of fleas, then I would definitely stop giving it. I find that any oral drug can potentially cause a reaction. If there has been a change in your cat's personality and physical condition since beginning the therapy then it should be the first thing stopped.
A number of cats exhibit food allergies or parasite infestation by rubbing the fur from around the eyes. Have these possibilities checked by your vet. The fact that she is so fearful is also important. Quite often cats will exhibit symptoms we associate with allergies but are actually due to stress. Again, the first recommendation is to go to a natural diet and preferably use a meat source that is novel to your cat. Go to < felinefuture.com > or < amorepetfoods.com > to see about natural diets for cats and dogs. After a month on a fresh raw diet, I would recommend constitutional homeopathic treatment which would take into account both the physical and the emotional symptoms of your feline friend.
Check out the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy < theavh.org > in order to find a homeopathic practitioner near you to begin further treatment on your four-legged family members once the diet and vitamin changes have begun.
Address letters to The Pet Vet, 7436 Fraser Park Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5J 5B9.