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A 10-day course of Tribission and Prednisolone keeps the problem under control, but when the course ends, the itching and soreness reappear. I am now thinking of homeopathy, but wonder what you would suggest?

A:

It is not uncommon for hard-hunting spaniels to get their skin in such a mess that incessant scratching begins and can develop into a habit if not stopped. The condition could have first been caused by an allergic reaction, perhaps related to food or, more likely, nettle stings.

I would seek advice on diet and then treat the irritation topically with a soothing shampoo formulated to relieve itchy skin. It is produced for humans so is readily available.

If the problem is being made worse by the dog being isolated in a kennel, then move him into the house where he can be watched and every time he starts to scratch distract him with a treat or game of ball.

Homeopathy might work – but good, sound nursing and time and effort will be far better.