Excessive Scratching in Springer Spaniels: Ella Has Allergies and an Ear Infection? What Would You Do If It Was Your Dog?

What if your Cavalier Springer Spaniel was scratching excessively but not show any evidence of a skin issue?

Ella was a 4-year-old female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was the love of her mom’s life. Those two were inseparable and deeply bonded.

Excessive Scratching in Springer Spaniels: Ella Has Allergies and an Ear Infection? What Would You Do If It Was Your Dog?

First symptoms

When Ella was about 2-years-old, she started scratching herself more than usual. Nothing major, just enough for Ella’s mom to notice.

Their vet concluded Ella was having food allergies. So they started searching for food that would agree with Ella. A few months later, Ella’s mom also noticed that there was something odd about the way Ella would go up the stairs. But while at the vet’s office, there was nothing conspicuous in the way Ella moved and acted.

That is, unfortunately, quite common. Dogs often don’t exhibit symptoms while at the veterinary clinic. Increased adrenaline can mask signs of pain and other symptoms.

Scratching at the ears

Ella’s continuous scratching at her ears was diagnosed as an ear infection. She received treatment but was not improving.

With time, more symptoms cropped up. Ella also seemed unusually tired after a daycare visit of play with her buddies while being restless at night. It seemed as she just couldn’t get comfortable.

None of those things seem all that unusual or serious. However, Ella’s mom felt that something was happening but nobody was catching on.

Symptoms pile up

At one point, Ella started hiding under furniture, shaking her head all the time, and having a seriously hard time walking up the stairs.

The veterinarian insisted that those things are caused by an ear infection and allergies. Could that really be the reason behind all that?

What do you make of Ella’s symptoms? What would you do if Ella was your dog?

Read Ella’s story.

Further reading:
Excessive Head Scratching in Cavalier Springer Spaniels

Categories: ConditionsDiagnosesDog health advocacyReal-life StoriesScratching

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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