Question about Dog's Skin

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by ChiliBeans, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. ChiliBeans

    ChiliBeans New Member

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    My Chihuahua has a red rash-like area on her belly. It has been there for a little while and has not seemed to improve much. However, it doesn't appear to bother her at all. She doesn't scratch the area or seem irritated by the rash. I was wondering if perhaps the cause could have something to do with the type of shampoo we use to wash her or if it could be a condition that the vet should address. We bought some new shampoo for her, but we haven't used it yet. What is everyone's take on this? Thanks for any advice or ideas.
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    My first question when it comes to skin problems is always directed at diet. That's where most skin conditions come from; diet even affects susceptibility to external irritants.
     
  3. ChiliBeans

    ChiliBeans New Member

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    I was wondering...does heartworm medication cause side effects such as skin irritation? The reason I ask is because she started getting the rash right about the time I started her on the medication. She gets Heartgard Plus chewables. Another notable feature about her rash is that she also has a small, fleshy bump in the middle of her chest. It has been a few months now since the rash first occurred. I'm really puzzled because, like I said, she shows no discomfort or sickness of any kind. We have fed her the same type of food for about a year now. We do not variate her diet much because it seems that she has such a sensitive stomach to certain foods, especially wet food.
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Sounds like a trip to the vet to me, and if your vet doesn't have any answers, you need to ask for a referral to one that deals with allergies and skin problems.

    I'd be concerned about that bump in the middle of her chest, especially.

    But please, please, avoid prednisone. Too many vets depend on it as a "magic bullet" for skin ailments, and it causes too many horrendous side effects.
     
  5. Debi

    Debi Moderator

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    Has she been vaccinated for lyme disease? I've no idea what symptoms a dog might get, but I'd be worried about that bump combined with a rash anyway. Keep us updated, I'm curious what the problem is.
     
  6. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    Brady's girlfriend Jenny just had to go to the vet for the same reason. she had a bad rash but it was all through her coat and she was scratching. The vet couldn't figure it out and i kept asking Liz (her owner) about the food, and if she should switch. She though since she fed her Iams it was ok, but that food has like 10 things that can be major allergies for dogs. She took Jenny yesterday to a doggie dermatologist who ran all these tests and said, switch her food. she has to have the lamb and rice now. she has to bathe her 4 times a week in this stuff, jenny has to take all these pills, and have her ears cleaned with a special solution 3 times a week. It cost her $260.00, but it has gotten really bad. I recommend looking more into it and catching it fast before it gets so expensive. Poor Jenny, she looked like she had dandruff, and she was so itchy. Oh and they gave her a shot too. Poor girl.
     
  7. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I understand that switching to Canidae dog food has had very good results for dogs with skin allergies.

    And go to www.greatdanelady.com and read her information about allergies and different feeds.
     
  8. ChiliBeans

    ChiliBeans New Member

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    Okay, we've got a vet appointment set up for Chili. Hopefully we will find that this is nothing to be too concerned about. I'm a little scared. Thanks for all the advice!
     
  9. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    Renee & all interested in the itchy skin problems!

    In researching to change kibble I had decided to start with Canidae because I'd heard from several different sources that it is often good for dogs with allergies. I was just changing to Canidae as I joined a dog diet list hosted by Catherine Lane. She was so helpful in making suggestions, and I wanted to share what she had to say to me on Canidae, and some of the other kibble choices available.. plus some other great info. Lucy & Holly have been on the Canidae kibble for almost 1 month now. Though they really love the food, I am noticing that Lucy is still itchy (though not anymore than she was on the Nutro Lamb & Rice she was on most of her life) but I had really hoped to see some improvement by now on the new food. Since I did decide to alternate kibbles, I plan to try some of the others Catherine recommends for skin problems, over the Canidae to see how Lucy does on these. I hope this information will be helpful to some other "itchy furbabies" out there!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Catherine Lane
    Canine Holistic Consultant
    Nutrition, TTouch, Herbal Solutions
    http://www.thepossiblecanine.com

    You're very welcome. I hope Canidae works for you, I think it's a very good food, but have seen two problems with it; one, it can exacerbate certain allergies because of it's yeast and flax content, two things about it I don't like, because both can both be irritants for sensitive dogs. It also puts weight on, is very energy dense so you really need to restrict the amount you feed carefully. Since it IS a highly palatable food, many dogs are more than happy to overeat it. But it's a good food in terms of overall quality and I've seen many dogs do well on it.

    If you're interested in comparing premium foods, you can go to www.naturapet.com and check their comparison page - people have reported certain inconsistencies with this page (naturapet makes innova, California Natural and lately has added Karma and EVO) but it's a starting point if you haven't sat down with the ingredient lists and looked them over. You can also go to www.doberdogs.com and check out the websites of many, many premium food companies and compare ingredients yourself. If you're looking for a good food for an allergic dog, Canidae wouldn't be my first choice. I'd try something like California Natural Lamb and Rice, which I've personally had good experience with; there are many others, depending
    on what is causing the itching. If it's lamb, then you need to go to something like Pinnacle trout and sweet potato, which also contains oatmeal and flax; http://www.breeders-choice.com/Dog_Products/pinnacle_dog_trout.html or Wellness fish and sweet potato http://www.omhpet.com/dogs/wellness_detail.asp?pCode=dryDogSup5MixSwtPot or Wysong (www.wysong.net) makes a couple of good possibilities. Look for short ingredient list (eg, the more 'stuff' in the bag, the
    greater the possibility that something in there will aggravate the itching) and novel proteins (eg something your dog is unlikely to
    have overeaten in past - trout, venison, duck etc).

    In my experience a home made diet is a necessity for very allergic dogs and can be helpful for milder cases like your girl Lucy. If the skin problems are related to, as someone - Dee? suggested, an EFA imbalance or other nutritional problem, you can correct that with supplements. But I often find with allergy it's more about what we take out, than what we put in. It's just a bit of detective work to pinpoint exactly what the allergies are, and then the task of trying various approaches to controlling them.

    Both yogurt and veggies (pulped or cooked for maximum digestibility) will affect bowel function; depending on the dog and
    how much/what type you add, you could see some loose stool over the next while. Start slow especially with the itchy dog, with her I would add only one item at a time. If you make a big batch of veggies, which a lot of us do (one of my RR friends who homefeeds coined the term 'veggie slop' and that's pretty much what it looks like) you may have a reaction but you won't know what she's reacting to. Ditto for supplements, add one at a time and observe (especially important with itchy dogs or dogs with gastric problems). Additional oils can also soften stool and you need to know why you are adding a specific oil. Salmon oil provides Omega3s while safflower bumps up your Omega6 intake; remember that as a general rule, Omega3s are anti-inflammatory and Omega6s, while a dietary requirement for canines, are pro-inflammatory. We often add salmon oil precisely for its anti-inflammatory effects, so be sure you know why you're selecting an oil before you use it. When feeding Canidae, I generally suggest adding salmon oil, and if the dog is itchy, sometimes try a round of GLA - found in evening primrose oil or borage seed oil. You can buy capsules of either one at the health food store; get a good brand and give 500 mg daily, to start. Because Omega6s are so much more plentiful in both human and canine diets, I start with Omega3s and
    watch how the dog does. :)

    Again - add one new item at a time. Give your guys a few days with Canidae before adding the veggies and yogurt, then a few more before you add the salmon oil. And be very selective with brands too. All supplements are not created equal. :)
    Once you're adding veggies and yogurt you an consider making perhaps one day a week of home made food. I find a lot of people gain confidence in home feeding just by starting slow and homecooking maybe just on weekends. Nothing wrong with a cautious approach; in fact I encourage it over just jumping headlong into a radical dietary change. I'm sure you'll do very well with your dogs!

    Good luck!
    Cat
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Great info, Karen.

    And of course, I think it's FASCINATING that she's sending folks to the NaturaPet site to use the comparison page; let's me know I've been on the right track. ;)
     
  11. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    Yeppers! It seems you know your tracks! ;) There is a lot of talk about the new EVO kibble on the diet related lists... being very low carb etc. I think I might try the Pinnacle trout and sweet potato next, just because Lucy has "lived" on Lamb & Rice food for so long! But... since Catherine seems to really like the California Natural Lamb and Rice... will probably end up back on lamb & rice eventually! :)
     
  12. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I'm thinking seriously of getting a bag of the Innova EVO along with my regular bag of Innova Puppy Chow and mixing the two. Shiva's 15 months old now and Kharma will be 10 months old the 19th, and being such large, muscular dogs I think their protein/carb ratio would serve their needs better if it were upped a bit at this point. Especially Shiva, as she's the only one of the three who will overeat if she can and tends to carry more fat. Kharma's lean, long and lanky right now and I'd like to support her muscular development. Bimmer's been eating the puppy chow all along (he's 4 years old!) mainly because you just can't keep Kharma out of his dish. She's the only one he will share food with, and aside from wanting to make sure she got the puppy food she needed, the extra calories didn't hurt Bimmer at all. We have a hard time keeping any weight at all on him because he's just so active. The little guy burns a lot more calories than either one of the big girls.

    I don't know whether to laugh at Shiva or strangle her sometimes. I heard Kharma crying while I was in the shower yesterday, but I figured she was just whining because she couldn't see me since I didn't hear Shiva horsing around. Well, she had a reason to be crying, all right! I found Shiva, laying on the sofa very pleased with herself indeed. She'd carried the bag of dog food (with enough food in it for at least two more days for all of them) to the sofa and was laying there with her head in it, calmly finishing it off. I rescued enough to feed the other two that day . . .
     
  13. LoveNewfies

    LoveNewfies New Member

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    Innova Evo is definitely the best kibble on the market - far closer to providing a more natural diet.

    Nonetheless, if you don't mind me asking, why are your dogs still on puppy food?
     
  14. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    They're still growing and maturing. They'll (theoretically) be on at least some puppy food until they're about two years old. They also get a big bowl of calf milk replacer.

    Even after they're off the Innova puppy I'll probably keep them on mainly the Innova adult. Filas have a very different dietary heritage than many other dogs. The Filas that survived to breed were the dogs that survived and grew strong on diets that were often very protein limited. They are a breed that has arisen out of extreme poverty on the fazendas in Minais Gerais, one of the most impoverished areas of Brazil.
    A dog there may live its entire life eating mainly scavenged fruit and vegetables with only a rare chance at the scant remains of a carcass. Even well fed Filas will literally graze on grass! The Innova seems much closer to being an ideal balance for this kind of dog.

    Bimmer's still eating it because 1) he lets Kharma eat out of his bowl; and 2) he can really use the extra calories.
     
  15. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    LOL!! So one advantage to having little "peeps" who can't carry dog food bags! :D From what I've read most dogs are loving the new EVO, and hear they have much smaller compact "poop presents" too! ;) With your BIG bunch I bet smaller would be much better! :)
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    They're actually pretty small on the Innova puppy. They also go out in the pasture. (YEA!)
     
  17. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    Hmmm.... I'm definitely going to ask Santa for a pasture this year! :D
     

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