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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 10 month old Doberman. We’ve been feeding blue wilderness puppy for about 5 months and salmon oil. Recently he has gotten really dry flaky skin. We’re going to change food to see if that helps. Would love to hear any suggestions on what else might help or what the cause might be?
 

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Big Lil pup
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Hi Mm. Welcome to you and your pup from the Pacific NW.

There are really too many causes of what is perceived to be "dry" or "flakey" skin in Dobermans, to make any kind of a successful lay diagnosis over the internet.

Possibilities, could include a medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. It could also be something as simple as over bathing or improper bathing technique. At your pup's age, Dobermans are prone to a variety of treatable skin issues, in part due to their particularly, slow to develop, immune systems. Their causes can include, among other things, bacteria (staph) or mites (demodex mange). Another common cause for itchy and/or flakey skin is simple dermatitis caused by contact allergies. Often, the allergen is something as unavoidable as a local grass. My most recent boy had occasional minor problems with contact allergies on a seasonal basis, kept under control very easily with frequent wipe downs with a water and vinegar rinse. A solution that was recommended here on DT.

The tedious, and often ineffective, method is to systematically address each potential cause, and eliminating them one by one. The most effective method is to enlist the help of a specialist. In this case that would be a veterinary dermatologist. You could start with your family vet. But unfortunately, many general practice DVMs are not particularly well versed in skin issues common to Dobermans.

One last thought... There certainly is no reason not to switch kibble. In fact, at 10 months, there is no reason to have your boy on puppy food anyway. A lot of folks here, including myself have had good success with Purina ProPlan. And one of the often mentioned formulas is the PPP Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula. But, that being said, of all the variables that could be suspect in your pup's dry/flaky skin, his kibble would fall towards the bottom of my list.

Please keep updating. Any success that you have in alleviating the problem could be of help to another member somewhere down the line.
John L
Portland OR
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your responses. Took Marley to the vet today. The vet said he thought it was due to the area we live in, Western KY. They gave me medicated shampoo and said to give a bath with it once a week for three weeks. If we’re still having issue, then come back in and they’d probably give antibiotics.
 

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Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Here's a bit about bathing technique (old post of Dobebug's)

"I don't know what temperature the water you are bathing the dog in is but most people use water that is much too warm. Dog skin doesn't like warm water--in general the cooler the better--tepid at most. Tepid means that it should almost feel cold to you. If it feels warm enough for you it's too warm for a dog.

There is a good article on bathing your dog on the DPCA website--the original source is the same dermatology seminar I got it from.

Typically you can tell if bathing technique is the problem if the dog always has dandruff a day after bathing.

Here are some don'ts: Don't scrub at the dog when bathing them--you can actually cause folliculitis and end up with staph infections doing that. Don't use warm water.

And some do's: Use very mild shampoos. Dilute the shampoo a lot and apply either with a clean wet sponge or a wash cloth in the direction of the lay of the hair. Rinse thoroughly--it should take longer to rinse the dog than it did to wash the dog. When drying a dog the same stuff applies--wipe the dog down in the direction of the lay of the hair."

Here's the link to the article I think she was talking about:


Note: this was for ordinary bathing--if your vet gave you a specialized shampoo and told you a bath frequency, follow his instructions. If your pup keeps having problems and you feel they are severe enough you want to track them down, you might want to head to a dermatologist. Dog skin troubles are a beast to diagnose and treat, and a specialist is more knowledgeable and up to date on various treatments than is a vet who has to know how to treat all kinds of other problems too.
 
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