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Our 6-year-old Maltipoo keeps scratching his eyes and rubbing his face on the ground, opening up and exposing the flesh around the inside of both eyes. He also develops buildup quickly around his eyes. It started around 6 months ago and has been getting progressively worse. About 3 months ago, we took him to a vet who prescribed antibiotics and suggested he wear a cone for a week. He was still scratching after one week so we kept the cone on for a couple more weeks. After that, we've put it on again from time to time in the hopes that he would stop scratching and the cuts would heal but he hasn't slowed down. After doing a bit of research online, we also tried herbal supplements with no success. We're getting worried and would prefer not to keep taking him to a vet or paying for an allergy test if we can try other remedies at home.

Does anyone have experience with a similar problem or have any suggestions? I've attached some photos of the poor little guy's eyes. Thanks!
 

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If the antibiotic didn't work my next guess would be an allergy. Did you happen to switch foods when this started happening? You could try switching his food to a different main ingredient to trial and error a food allergy. Make sure you take your time mixing in a new food if you do decide to go that route. Maybe even call your vet to see if they can recommend a food for you to try.

However if it continues to get worse I would get a second opinion and an allergy test!
 

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Have you been giving him anything for allergies? You can give benedryl, 1MG per pound of body weight.

At this stage, however, I think he really should go back to the vet for better medication than that. One of my dogs, Tiger, has allergy problems that affect his eyes in the warmer months, and benedryl just didn't make the grade. He's now on cetirizine (brand name, Zyrtec) and just had another vet visit because even THAT wasn't working very well anymore. He's still on it, but now has some ointment that I have to put in his eyes for the next couple of days (yes, we're having a good time administering that, to be sure), a steroid blend with a really long name, shortened to NeoPolyBac w/DEX. It's been FANTASTIC.

PLEASE take him back to the vet, and try a different one. I'm finding it difficult to believe that a vet would prescribe an antibiotic and not treat for the CAUSE of the problem, which is pretty clearly an allergy. Letting something like this go on for months may be damaging your dogs eyes permanently.
 

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If the antibiotic didn't work my next guess would be an allergy. Did you happen to switch foods when this started happening? You could try switching his food to a different main ingredient to trial and error a food allergy. Make sure you take your time mixing in a new food if you do decide to go that route. Maybe even call your vet to see if they can recommend a food for you to try.

However if it continues to get worse I would get a second opinion and an allergy test!
We didn't switch foods when it started happening but just switched start today to Orijens grain-free for its hypoallergenic ingredients and​ Vet's Best seasonal allergy supplements so we'll see how that goes.
 

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Have you been giving him anything for allergies? You can give benedryl, 1MG per pound of body weight.

At this stage, however, I think he really should go back to the vet for better medication than that. One of my dogs, Tiger, has allergy problems that affect his eyes in the warmer months, and benedryl just didn't make the grade. He's now on cetirizine (brand name, Zyrtec) and just had another vet visit because even THAT wasn't working very well anymore. He's still on it, but now has some ointment that I have to put in his eyes for the next couple of days (yes, we're having a good time administering that, to be sure), a steroid blend with a really long name, shortened to NeoPolyBac w/DEX. It's been FANTASTIC.

PLEASE take him back to the vet, and try a different one. I'm finding it difficult to believe that a vet would prescribe an antibiotic and not treat for the CAUSE of the problem, which is pretty clearly an allergy. Letting something like this go on for months may be damaging your dogs eyes permanently.
Thanks for sharing about Tiger. We probably should have tried Benadryl early on as I'm now seeing it recommended on several forums but did not get that advice before. As for trying a different vet, we actually did go to another one after the first treatment I described in the OP didn't help. He suggested allergy and blood tests but they were going to cost over $1,000. So we took a cheaper route he recommended to no avail (different antibiotic and switching flea treatment to include mites). Starting yesterday, we switched his food to Origens grain-free for its hypoallergenic ingredients and​ Vet's Best seasonal allergy supplements.

About how much should we be expecting to spend to test for allergies?
 

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Thanks for sharing about Tiger. We probably should have tried Benadryl early on as I'm now seeing it recommended on several forums but did not get that advice before. As for trying a different vet, we actually did go to another one after the first treatment I described in the OP didn't help. He suggested allergy and blood tests but they were going to cost over $1,000. So we took a cheaper route he recommended to no avail (different antibiotic and switching flea treatment to include mites). Starting yesterday, we switched his food to Origens grain-free for its hypoallergenic ingredients and​ Vet's Best seasonal allergy supplements.

About how much should we be expecting to spend to test for allergies?
$1000??! Ridiculous. Apparently you've found a vet that, sadly, wants to squeeze you for all he can get at your dog's expense. :( You don't have to test for seasonal allergies. If this happens in the warmer months, it's clearly an environmental problem that happens to millions of dogs. You're feeding very well, and I'm sure it's helping, but you need to find a good anti-histamine and probably a steroid, as your dogs problem is, at this point, SERIOUS.

You could try again with that same vet and just demand he prescribe a good allergy medicine and steroid backup immediately. If he for whatever reason declines, immediately request your records from his office to show what you've tried so far; the vet should comply readily. Please be firm with your next vet if you try a different one. Tests are not necessary. Prescribe a good allergy med and a steroid backup or tell them you will again be going elsewhere.
 

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Thanks for the input and reassuring us about what we suspected but weren't sure about regarding the vet. Your approach sounds like a good one and I hope to be able to report good news in due time!
 
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