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Thread: Dry, itchy, flakey, smelly skin - Help!

  1. #1
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    Default Dry, itchy, flakey, smelly skin - Help!

    Hey guys,

    Our 10 year old lab mix mutt has suffered from itchy skin and allergies most of her life, but in the last couple of years it has gotten much worse. We have been to the vet a dozen times and tried all kinds of treatments from steroids to antibiotics, specialty shampoos, changing her food, allergy pills, leave on treatments, etc.

    We have been giving her a product called nzymes for about 3 months which is a combination of probiotics, antibacterial solution, enzymes to help with yeast and black leaf. It seems to be helping, but she will get better and then worse again.

    She has terrible dandruff. Sometimes it even looks a bit brown and the flakes are really large. I bathe her a few times a week with an oatmeal and baking soda shampoo and then use a conditioner over the top, but after a couple of days, the dandruff and she has a terrible odor sometimes, not the normal stinky dog odor, but a very distinct smell. I don't like bathing her as much as I do because I know it can dry out the skin, but I have to. The smell is really bad and I can't get rid of the flakes by brushing, it just gets worse.

    Right now we have her on a lamb and sweet potato food, we give her 2 different suppliments with her food for skin and coat and we also give her the nzymes products. Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, home remedies, product you have used for itchy, dry, flakey, irritated, smelly skin? Something to help with the flakes would be wonderful!!! I'll try anything to help my sweetie!
    Heather, Fletcher (Ruby Male) & Riley (stinky sock lover) (Blenheim Female)
    http://www.heatherhink.com/pets.asp

  2. #2
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    Sounds like maybe it would be worth trying to find a specialist in skin conditions. I'd find your closest vet school and ask if they have a dept of dermatology or to suggest the closest place with such a specialty. If this is a specialist problem, vets could have a hard time pinpointing the cause.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Wondering has she ever been allergy tested? That sounds like a good approach if you haven't done it.

    This sure sounds like what you are describing:

    http://www.vetbiomed.murdoch.edu.au/...rmallergy.html
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    We had some tests done a while ago and made the changes in food and have tried to limit her activity outdoors with all the wonderful allergens. I even purchased air purifiers, but she still itches. We could continue to give her steroids but our vet said that can have negative effects, so I want to try other options first. The only other thing my vet recomends is just giving her daily alergy pills which help, but I'm looking for a solution.

    She has only been on the nzymes for three months and according to the info, it can take 6 - 8 months for full results, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it clears up. In the meantime, I am just looking for something to help with the yeast smell and flakes. Any kind of shampoos or skin treatments that anyone has used that helped their pet.

    It' funny because her coat looks wonderful when it is grown out (we keep her shaved right now so the flakes don't stay caked in her fur). The hair is shiny and soft (it used to be course), so I know the supliments we are using are working, but the flakes just keep on coming!!!
    Heather, Fletcher (Ruby Male) & Riley (stinky sock lover) (Blenheim Female)
    http://www.heatherhink.com/pets.asp

  5. #5
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    Don't you just wish your dog could speak and tell you what the problem is !

    Obviously they can't and so the only way you are going to be able to treat this problem effectively is to know the source of the problem, eg what is the allergy or allergies.

    Normally the first step is to rule out a food allergy this is done by using an elimination diet for a minimum of 12 weeks, if this has no effect then intradermal skin testing is necessary to find the source as it can often be a number of things. This testing (where I live) is not that expensive considering the black and white answers it provides you with and therefore an effective treatment plan.

    As you are probably already aware there are lots of treatment options, steriods (which I also steer clear of), antihistamines, fish oil and allergy specific drugs as well as topical treatments which are used for bathing and to help improve the condition of the skin in a localised area.

    As for the bathing if it is a specific prescription shampoo you are using, oatmeal based, you can usually use it a couple of times a week to help remove the bacteria, pollens etc off the skin. But you need to check this with a vet/specialist as every doggy is different and the cause of each allergy is different. I know the products I use are fantastic but then again I know what I am treating.

    In your position I would ask my vet for a referal to a specialist as Karlin suggested and go from there, the cost of this is probably not much more than the cost of constantly buying and trialing new drugs and treatments to see if they work.

    Oh that smell is more than likely rotting flesh and dead skin.

    Hope you manage to find a solution for your girl. It will be hard work but those licks are certainly worth it.
    Luvzcavs xx
    Harry (tri) and Digby (blen).

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    Try some of Dr. Foster & Smith's products, I've seen a lot of their products work...plus I give King their multivitamin/mineral tabs and vita caps tabs and they really work for him....here's a couple of links to some of their allergy products http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2534&siteid=12 but check around the site....
    Aaron, King and the rest of family
    living in NY

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    Try some of Dr. Foster & Smith's products, I've seen a lot of their products work...plus I give King their multivitamin/mineral tabs and vita caps tabs and they really work for him....here's a couple of links to some of their allergy products http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2534&siteid=12 but check around the site....
    Aaron, King and the rest of family
    living in NY

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    Heather--I feel your pain. My 2 year old Golden is going through almost the exact problem. The only difference is that he doesn't smell. But he has incredible flaky skin that looks like dandruff. He also has flat, scaley red, sometimes scabbed places on him too. I was talking to my sister today, who is an Naturopathic Doctor and she suggested a yeast infection. She said to get him on enzymes and probiotics, as well as a product I've used before called Parabuster for any type of parasites that may be lurking. Also, of course, fish oil is always good. When he was a puppy, the Parabuster helped a much milder flare up of this problem. So I'm going to try it again. She also suggested colloidal silver in his drinking water to take care of any infections as well as the yeast. Just some ideas... I've heard good things about the Nzymes product. There's also a site called petenzymes.com that I've been looking at. I think I may try their enzymes and probiotics.

    Wrigley's skin has never been this bad--though like you, his coat looks good and he isn't really shedding any more than usual. Go figure...

    Good luck!
    Denise, Wrigley (Golden-5 Yrs.) and
    Mia Bella (Cavalier-2 Yrs.)

  9. #9
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    I wonder if allowing her coat to grow and not washing her as much would help? I would think the mix of washing a lot and shaving could be very irritating annd possibly could exacerbate the problem. There are also medicated shampoos from vets that help. I'd still be looking for a vet school with a dermatology speciality, as regular vets can have a hard time diagnosing a specialist problem. Most GPs are not able to diagnose sepcialist problems, for example. It's just not within their range of training. A vet school will have people with the right specialities.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    My heart goes out to you and your lab, it's very worrying to have something like this that does not improve. I would look up the nearest veterinary college as Karlin suggests. The dermatology specialist would be able to offer the best diagnosis and treatments for this type of condition. I would worry about making the condition worse by trying home remedies.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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