In February 2000, a 3-year-old Great Dane was presented for a second opinion for severe pruritus of 5-months duration.
History. The condition was first noticed in late September 1999 on the dog's face, legs, and ventrum, but the dog had no previous history of skin disease. The examining veterinarian found no obvious lesions and made a diagnosis of seasonal atopy on the basis of the history, clinical signs, and absence of other clinical signs. The pruritus did not respond to oral antihistamines and essential fatty acid therapy, and the dog was eventually treated with oral prednisone 0.5 mg/kg Q 24 H for 10 days and then every other day until the first snow (early November). The owners were informed that if the condition was indeed seasonal atopy it would resolve with the onset of cold weather. The pruritus responded only partially to the prednisone. It greatly intensified when the therapy was discontinued in early December, and the severe pruritus and clinical signs strongly suggested Sarcoptes infestation. The dog was treated for this condition even though repeated skin scrapings were negative. There was no response to oral ivermectin (200 µg/kg Q 2 Wk for 6 weeks) and concurrent topical lime sulfur sponge-on dips twice weekly for 6 weeks. The owners continued to practice flea control throughout this period.
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