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Old 01-17-2012, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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At my wits end with this skin!

It has been a while since I have been on here but I have always found everyone so helpful. I was searching through the forums today to try and find answer and am halfway there, hoping someone can give me a little extra push.

So my boy is 16 months old and he has always had skin problems, his problems are in the form of small bumps, thin coat, and hair loss in patches (moth eaten apperance).

We switched his diet to TOTW paciffic stream blend (hoping the fish diet would help his coat)

We of course went to his normal vet first and was told it was Demodex and we treated it with topical cream, then saw minimal improvement after the treatment so went back and they did another scraping and said they couldnt find any Demodex so it must be a bacterial skin infection and he was put on a 3 weeks course antibiotics which cleared it some but then after 2 1/2 weeks the bumps returned.

We then told our vet that although we like her we needed a second opinion and we brought our boy to a Dermatologist who also did a scraping and said no Demodex and agreed with the orginal DX of skin infection and said he most likely needed to be on the antibiotics longer so she put him on the same antibiotics for 4 weeks.
(in the meantime he got a severe upper respirtory infection and had to be taken to Tufts which is the end all be all for pet emergencies in my area) he was prescribed another antibiotic for the respirtory infection which cleared his respirtory problem but also his skin problems! It was amazing he could have been in a show ring his coat look so nice) the the week after he was off of those antibiotics the skin problem came back)

Back to the normal vet who said that she thinks my dog as a immume diffency problem and gave us a medicated bath and spray combo to try. I asked her about the antibiotics that Tufts put him on and why did everything clear and she advised that those were like the last resort antibiotics she would try because they were so strong.

So we are currently trying the medicated bath with no new hair growth and still has the bumps, but we will see maybe it will get better.

Has anyone had this experience? Any recommendations?
I also want to know what I can give my dog to help boost his immune system?
Should I change his food, I though the TOTW was a good idea.......?

Please help with any advice I will listen to anything at this point because although it doesnt bother him and he isn't itchy it is just bad looking, and I am running up quite the credit card debt for my poor boy.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Has he spent any time in water?

We had a GSD that ended up with a staff infection of the skin.

We tried everything to get rid of it but never managed to do so. She ended up on a low dose of Prednisone and an antihistamine for life.

Her quality of life greatly improved.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We also transitioned her to a raw diet. I'm not sure what this particular forum thinks about raw, but we've had great success with it.

We feed k9-kraving.

If you're on the east coast it should be easy to get.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is one of the best immunity boosters out there:

Aloha Medicinals Inc., K9 Immunity Plus for Dogs Over 70 lbs, Liver & Fish Flavored Soft Chews, 4000 mg, 90 Wafers - iHerb.com

You may be dealing with allergies. Has the thyroid been tested?
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does he lick his feet?

It sounds like a typical staff infection with the moth eaten appearance. You have to give the meds for at least a month or it comes right back. If it keeps coming back, that is a sign of a food allergy.

If he licks his feet, what foods have you given him...what meat proteins would be a better answer.
If he has never had turkey, try this food and see if he straightens out. It is a limited ingredient food with not much for him to react to and if this clears him up he most likely has food allergies to some meat proteins or maybe grains, also.

Nature's Variety Instinct: Limited Ingredient Diet: Turkey Meal Formula for dogs | Nature's Variety

I would test his thyroid.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You could try herbal remedies, here are a few for you to consider.....


Skin Allergies
Can actually be signs of zinc deficiencies. Buy the Chelated Zinc 10mg Tablets and crush the tablet & mix into daily meals. Elderly cats and dogs benefit this mineral in their daily regular meals, along with digestive enzyme tablet (crushed). Change diets to a all natural preservative free one. That means no more commercial dog biscuits or tin foods. The less toxic chemicals and drugs the healthier your pet will stay. Many Dogs are allergic to the foods (commercial) Also avoid pasta, rice, carrots, yeast, corn, wheat, beef, oats. These are some of the more common food allergens (most commercial foods have wheat, corn and preserves, poor quality artificial meat and flavourings ) ... See a qualified Homeopath for Homeopathic healing medicines for acute or chronic symptoms if still showing once on a RAW Meat and veg diet.
- - - - - -

Coat Conditioner for Dogs
(Rosemary herbs helps repel fleas & conditions coat)
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary leaves (or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb) Bring to the boil 1 pint of water. Combine & steep for 10 minutes, covered. Strain & cool to body temperature. Pour it over your dog as a final rinse. Rub in and towel dry without further rinsing.

- - - - - -

Shampoo for Irritated Skin : Beer-Baby-Tea
Baby Shampoo 8oz
Glycerine 2oz
Stale beer 4oz
Green tea 2 bags
Chamomile tea 2 bags
Lemon juice from one lemon
Vitamin E capsule 400units

Steep green & chamomile tea bags in cup of hot water for 20 minutes. While waiting for the tea, mix the glycerine with the vitamin E and the lemon juice with the stale beer and then add to the Baby Shampoo ……… Shake well, then add the Tea brew ( cup) and the glycerine ……… shake well and you have a great shampoo.

If you want Flea Control: Add 1 part of your standard flea shampoo to 3 parts of homemade shampoo.

If you want Antifungal or Antibacterial Action: Add 1 part of your veterinary brand and mix with 2 parts of home made shampoo.

You can also add Flower Essences: Use one or all three into the mix.

Lavender - 1 teaspoon to help the skin heal
Lemon Grass - 1 teaspoon to repel fleas & ticks, and control moulds & yeast
Rosemary - 1 teaspoon to repel fleas & ticks, kill germs
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You could also try.....Echinacea or Astralagus to build up the immune system.


Aloe Vera is a cooling balm for skin conditions.

Also try popping a little Olive Oil into his feed, it helps with dry skin conditions.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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First, I would have a complete thyroid panel done, before changing up his diet. Thyroid panels aren't that expensive.

Cinical signs of hypothyroidism:

"The most common signs of low thyroid function in dogs include loss or thinning of the fur, dull hair coat, excess shedding or scaling, weight gain, reduced activity and reduced ability to tolerate the cold. The hair loss occurs primarily over the body, sparing the head and legs, and is usually not accompanied by itching or redness of the skin. Some dogs will have thickening of the skin and increased skin pigment, especially in areas of friction, such as the armpit (axilla). Hypothyroid dogs often have ear infections and show ear pain, redness, and odor. Hypothyroid dogs may also develop skin infections which may be itchy and result in sores on the body".

source: Hypothyroidism in Dogs
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thyroid......thyroid......thyroid.

also.......... if you can get this book.......The New Holistic Way by Paul McCutcheon, DVM and Susan Weinstein........ The Stress-Health Connection.....a very interesting and informative read!


Hugz to Ryche!
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would do a full Thyroid panel first. If everything checks out there, you might want to try a raw diet. I had wonderful success with a raw diet clearing up a recurring staph infection with my boy. He has now been on raw for 2 years and not an issue since.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Excellent information in this article on allergies, yeasts, shampoos, and homemade rinses to promote skin health and other articles.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Pet?
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My Delta had recurring skin problems, most notably on her flank. Part allergy and part her licking it, I think, and she'd end up with a bacterial infection. Prednisone and antibiotics would clear it up, but it would recur weeks later.

I THINK (and this is not a formal diagnosis) that my girl has both a grass allergy and an allergy to something in kibble - something inherent that makes kibble, kibble because we went through several quality limited-ingredient kibbles to no avail. She's been on raw now for about 6months and we have not had another breakout.

If the thyroid test comes back negative, it might be worth trying a raw diet? It's more expensive than most kibbles, to be sure, but a lot cheaper than prednisone and antibiotics. ;P And if it doesn't work, you're no worse off than you are now. (The diet we use is based loosely on the BARF diet - its pretty much still what I wrote out here, with canned sardines instead of fish oil supplements and reduced down slightly to just under 1.5lb total / day rather than just over. )

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What did your breeder say?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone keep the advice coming. I just saw an all new rash on his belly when I came home from work today that looks real angry so genus going to the vet tomorrow and while I am there I will request a full thyroid panel and update once I get the results. I think after that I will look into the diet and supplement options.
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