Dry skin suggestions

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Tazwell, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    Fleetwood was diagnosed with autoimmune disease a while back (mostly affecting his GI tract), and while we have that pretty well under control, his skin has been a problem from about 4 months old. Dry skin, lesions, and more so in the past 6 months non-stop scratching. He goes through phases where he scratches bald spots on himself.

    He's been on salmon based foods all along, and salmon oil for a long time. He was on coconut oil for quite some time, too, but I didn't notice a difference (he was on coconut and salmon oil at the same time). And my vet(s) both kind of agree that it's probably just dry skin and everything else (lesions and such) are secondary to that. The dry skin is probably caused by poor absorption due to his condition. He may be dealing with allergies, too, but I'm really not sure. I haven't noticed a correlation between symptoms and foods + treats, so the vet is thinking possibly environmental triggers.

    So this last week, his face swelled up three times, and benadryl didn't bring it down. I had to give benadryl and pred. No idea why, the vet has no idea either. I also switched him (after those episodes) to TOTW roasted fowl, because I want to get away from the salmon, thinking maybe he's developed a sensitivity, or just what happens I guess. So far no change. I'm almost out of salmon oil, which brings me to my question.

    What other oils could I try him on? I've read good things about Sardine, herring, hemp, flaxseed and a few others. I also went to a (really great) local pet store yesterday and asked what they recommended to treat the problem from the outside rather than from the inside, and they recommended EQyss Premier rehydrant spray, which I bought and I am using now. Any other recommendations?

    On a side note, since about two or three weeks ago, every time we go out on walks he's been eating grass towards the end of every walk that we take, which is a indication that he's not feeling well and wants to vomit. He hasn't done that since last summer... And I know that there hasn't really been grass everywhere because it's been winter, but he hasn't tried to, or seemed sick-ish either. I wonder if he's reacting to an environmental trigger??

    And a last side-note, his thyroid was very low a little over a month ago, so he's been taking thyroxine. His thyroid is functioning fine, but it's apparently working very hard to compensate the autoimmune disease. So he was on thyroxine for exactly 30 days, and a week and a half ago we stopped giving it for fear that he was getting too much because he was vomiting... Wow this is complicated. Awards to anyone who followed it all :D
     
  2. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    The dry skin can be from the thyroid issue. Did you test his levels before taking him off the thyroid medication? I think there can be some physical issues from stopping cold turkey. (I know it's a human thing, but my coworker faints when she forgets her thyroid med)
     
  3. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    His thyroid medicine was only for support, not because he has hypothyroidism... I was concerned about quitting cold turkey too, but the vet wasn't. We didn't test it, but had reason to believe it might of been too high.

    All of these other problems appear to be unrelated to the thyroid, though, because they've been going on for way longer... So I don't know /:
     
  4. Paradis

    Paradis New Member

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    You could try the coconut oil directly on his skin if he isn't absorbing it through his GI tract from the autoimmune. I do this when my autoimmune dog has some dry patches on his skin, or I'll use bag balm depending on what I have handy and it seems to rectify it after a few days.

    With him having autoimmune and a low thyroid I would guess that his skin is somewhat directly related to his thyroid. Instead of cutting him right off the thyroxine could you opt for a lower dose? This way his thyroid can still be supplemented while bringing it up to mid normal ranges. Low but not hypothyroid dogs that are symptomatic do benefit from some mild thyroxine/soloxine supplementation. Sometimes they need to be switched brands, I know for my dog he only does well on the Soloxine, and didn't do well on the generic, and has an allergic reaction to the blue dye they use in the 0.8mg tablets where he breaks out in massive hives after his dosing. Cutting cold turkey once they're on thyroid meds can have adverse reactions to their kidneys. From personal experience having a severe hypothyroid dog, this time I've had to cut down on his meds, by doing this his vet wants to check his kidneys after a month of the dose being tapered down by 1mg (he was on 2.5mg and now is on 1.5mg) over the course of a month with the taper and then a month since he's been on the lower dose, he now is going in Saturday to have his kidneys and liver rechecked to make sure that he is still in normal ranges from the decrease in meds.
     
  5. paws24

    paws24 New Member

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    I've been using coconut oil on my dog's dry skin too and it's very effective. Aside from coconut oil, olive oil is also great. I add olive oil to her food two or three times a week and bathe her in a warm water and oatmeal solution.
     
  6. Richard Page

    Richard Page New Member

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    My apologies I can't help more than this but I have tried putting organic olive oil in my elder dogs food and it did improve his skin and his coat.

    May I also suggest the grass eating may not be indicative of illness (I appreciate Fleetwood isn't very well and may well be doing it because he's ill) I'm just saying it may not be.

    Both of my dogs do that quite often and I've always been told not to worry about it.

    I just looked online and everything I've read seemed to say the same, is there anywhere I can look that suggests it is in fact something to be concerned about?

    I do hope Fleetwood gets well soon too.
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    FWIW I agree with Richard about the grass eating. In the spring and summer my dogs eat grass just to eat it, especially the new shoots. It must be sweet and tender, because they graze like cows. I wouldn't worry to much about the grass eating unless he actually does start to vomit after eating it.
     
  8. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    The grass eating isn't always indicative of illness, I have had some Of my other dogs just 'graze'. It's just what they like to do. My experiences with Fleetwood, however is that he looks ill, sounds ill, acts ill, eats grass, vomits everywhere. It's just part of the package when he has an episode.

    I have since taken him off of salmon oil and switched him to flaxseed oil and coconut oil, which didn't improve anything really. BUT, on a whim, I tried applying coconut oil topically to his itchy spots (where he was scratching the hair off), and the scratching stopped. Yes! Success! Now everyday when he starts scratching, I apply the oil, and it seems to bring some relief. Now I have a oily, coconutty dog, but less itchy. Thanks for the recommendation!
     
  9. Richard Page

    Richard Page New Member

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    Well I'm glad you're having success with the coconut oil on the skin as I believe Paradis suggested, nothing wrong with a dog smelling of coconuts either, jolly nice smell.

    I must admit I was referring to my dogs grazing, especially in spring. They're not vomiting everywhere afterwards. I do hope he gets better soon.
     
  10. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    I would also say the grass eating is very normal, Enda LOVES to graze every morning this time of year till fall, so don't be surprised if he's looking better but still grazing, I've read other Beauceron owners say their dogs do it all the time! Now Jinjo, I will say is one of those dogs who does only eat grass when he's horridly ill, he'll scarf it down as much and as fast as he can till he heaves, and he does have serious issues (digestive, more than likely IBS or IBD, and allergies), but just don't be surprised if he always does it anyway.

    Sounds good that the coconut oil is doing good when applied topically! But I have to ask, have you ever tried rinsing him after baths with Apple Cider Vinegar? You can just dilute some in an old shampoo bottle 50/50 with water, when your done with the regular bath pour it all over lifting his coat and trying to press/squeeze it down into the skin, then rinse thoroughly but don't be shocked if you still smell it for a while, it usually doesn't dissipate all till they're fully dry.

    And lastly, have you tried adding Vitamin E? If you're supplementing with an oil that contains omega fatty acids it's usually a good idea to also add in extra Vit E.
     
  11. Yorkie Mom

    Yorkie Mom New Member

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    Moderation is the Key

    If the dog hasn't has blood work in as recent as 12 months, I would have a complete blood panel done on this dog asap and go from there.

    I would immediately stop feeding the salmon, salmon oil and coconut oil. It's not a surprise to me this dog is as sick as you describe. No wonder he is eating grass.

    I would treat this dog to a nice roasted chicken meal with white rice and steamed carrots. Give his system a break for awhile. This may just help him turn around.
    Feed only white meat of the chicken. Mash the carrots after steamed. Add a little either flax oil or rapeseed based on the amount of carbs and proteins. Wouldn't hurt to add some natural oat bran for fiber, to the cooked meal before feeding.
    The dog can do alright on this for the short term but the idea is to give his system a break. The above will be easily digested and will be something much different that the over consumption of salmon and salmon products which I feel is number one reason your dog is sick.
    Switching to something like the above can help this dogs body quiet down some.

    If you continue to feed whole food for more than a few months, and slightly cooked, you will have to learn how to properly supplement the calcium to balance out the phosphorus in the animal proteins. Number one.

    The dog may of had dry skin since 4 months old and obviously it just got worse but I do not feel that the salmon consumption has helped this dog only because it has been way too much over time.
    Consider your source of salmon as well.

    Treating the symptoms is not treating the cause. Re: Topical solutions can help sooth the dog until the cause is found, treated and eliminated.

    From what I understand this dog has been on a strictly salmon diet and that's it?
    Has the dog been given Vitamin E supplement during the feeding of the salmon meals? Extremely important. Salmon oil is oxidizing. It needs to be properly supplemented with Vitamin E which is an antioxidant.

    Also Salmon is very very rich. Is this cooked salmon? How are you preparing it if it is being cooked? What is included in the salmon meal before it is set down for the dog to consume? How much of everything?

    On a rotational whole food diet my dog gets salmon once a week. Sardines on one other day per week. That's it for seafood.

    To answer your question about "What other oils could I try on him"?
    When, I first seen this thread I knew that E.F.A. would be in play.
    When I feed beef, I supplement with Hemp oil. When I feed chicken I supplement with Flax oil. Sometimes I just use rapeseed.

    I would eliminate supplementing with coconut oil all together for sure.

    Currently I am researching more on the use of E.F.A.'s in a dogs diet and will post my findings upon completion if desired.

    All The Best.
     

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