Skin problems in Dogs
Click here for the full article with all the links written by Lew Olsen
|By Lew Olson • February 2007 Newsletter|
|The information contained in this newsletter should
only be used as a guideline. Always make sure you have a correct
diagnosis from your veterinarian before proceeding and always follow
their directions and protocol.
PhD Natural Health, LMSW-ACP
UPDATE ON BERTES DAILY BLEND, IMMUNE BLEND AND DIGESTIVE BLEND
B-Naturals is proud to announce updates to our Berte’s Daily Blend,
Immune Blend, and Digestion Blend. Updates in ingredients and product
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The primary ingredient change for the Berte’s Daily, Immune, and
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based ingredient. This change was implemented for two primary reasons.
We had an inconsistent supply of the beef liver powder and we received
many requests from customers with pets prone to beef allergies.
In order to better stock Berte’s products, we are employing a new
manufacturing company that should solve the backorder situation that has
plagued us in the past. We sincerely apologize for inconvenience that
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Of all the inquiries that I receive, the most frequent questions are
about itching, scratching and skin problems. This is such a big topic,
that I will only ‘scratch’ the surface here, but I will put in quite a
few resources to pursue further information.
Skin problems can pop up suddenly, be long term or even seasonal.
Dermatology is a complex field and the causes of itching, redness and
rashes can be hard to diagnose. But a diagnosis is important, as that
not only leads the way to the correct treatment, but also on how to
treat nutritionally and with supplements.
Causes of skin problems can come from a variety of reasons, and that is
why it can be hard to diagnose. These include allergies (food or
environmental), skin parasites (mites, flea bite allergies) or from
bacteria or yeast. And the problem is that once itching, biting and
scratching starts, it can spill over into bacteria or yeast, which can
camouflages the true origin of the problem.
Once a skin problem occurs, along with itching and scratching, it is
important to have a skin scraping done on the affected areas. This can
show you several things. It can demonstrate if skin mites are present. A
skin scraping will also tell you if yeast and or bacteria are present.
These are often not the original causes, but become opportunistic if
skin sores develop. Yeast and or bacteria can make the problem much
worse, but they are easily treated.
Occasionally steroids such as prednisone are prescribed, but these
drugs can make yeast problems worse. It may be wiser to use
anti-histamines for temporary relief of itching until a cause is
If these results don’t show anything, a blood panel and urinalysis
would be helpful, to see if any underlying condition is present. Things
that might cause skin problems include hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease
and a few autoimmune disorders. Trying to diagnose the problem is a lot
about ruling things out, but it most often gets you to the source of
Allergies can cause itching and scratching, and these can be either
environmental or food related. These can also imitate other causes of
Environmental and food allergies can have very similar symptoms,
including face rubbing, eye discharge, rashes, redness in the armpit or
groin area and crusty sores. Dr Pinkston, DVM states that most often ear
problems are the result of food allergies. They may develop yeast
infections, but she feels food allergies are the cause. She also reports
that dogs with allergic symptoms under a year, or that develop in mid
age are most often food related allergies.
Nutrition can play an important part of the treatment plan. Whatever
the cause of the itching, helping the dog with the best nutrition will
help promote better immune response and give your dog more defense to
develop a better immune system. If you are using a commercial diet, look
carefully at the ingredients to make sure good animal protein sources
are used and that it doesn’t contain cheap fillers. Mary Straus has an
excellent website on feeding dogs, with many links and comparisons on
all types of dog food, from commercial to pre-made raw diets.
Supplements can be helpful for many skin problems.
One of best things to add to your dog’s diet is EPA Fish Oil Capsules.
These are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help the skin and coat,
and which also help the immune system. These are added to the diet, at
about one capsule (180 EPA, 120 DHA) per 10-20 lbs of body weight daily.
Adding Probiotic Powder
is helpful, especially when the dog has been on antibiotics. These help
replace the flora and fauna that are lost during antibiotic use.
Probiotics also help fight yeast infections.
Bertes Immune Blend contains antioxidants and vitamins for the immune system, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and B complex. It also has enzymes and acidolphilus, which is helpful for allergic conditions.
Tasha’s Skin and Hair Support
is an herbal tincture that is taken in the gum line, that contains
nettles which helps to reduce itching and reduce inflammation.
Derma Dream Salve helps heal skin irritations and is healing to the skin. Another good topical is the Thayers Witch Hazel and Aloe.
The witch hazel helps to kill bacteria and temporarily stop the
itching. The Aloe vera is cooling to the skin and helps the skin to
For environmental allergies, bathing is important to wash the allergens from the skin. The Purepet Shampoo
is oatmeal based, so it has a drying action to sooth the skin and
contains herbs to help with healing. It is also helpful to rinse after
bathing with a solution of half white vinegar and water. The vinegar
helps kill yeast and make sure all shampoo residues are removed.
When it comes to yeast problems, two good products are the HAC Yeast and Fungal, and the Tasha’s Olive Leaf Extract.
The Yeast and Fungal contains a blend of herbs to help fight stubborn
yeast infections and is given a few drops daily, mixed with a small
amount of food daily. The Olive Yeast Extract also helps fight yeast and
bacteria when given orally. It can also be used as poultice on the skin
to help with relief from rashes.
Remember to keep the dog’s bedding, yard and flooring in the house
clean. Treating skin problems is about treating the dog internally,
keeping the skin and coat clean and also the environment.
Nutrition is also important for maintaining healthy skin and coat.
Trying to use foods with limited amounts of ingredients or even removing
grains can help in some situations. For more information on preparing
home made diets, look at the recipes here:
Home made cooked diets: http://b-naturals.com/Apr2006.php
Home made raw diets: http://b-naturals.com/May2006.php
I hope you have found the above suggestions helpful. The links provided below provide more information on skin problems.
Overview of skin problems
More on skin problems:
Excellent web site with symptom charts and many good links
Dr Mike’s questions and answers on a variety of skin problems and conditions
Yeast Infections on the Skin
Yeast Skin Infections on Dogs
Differences between food allergies and environmental allergies
How Hypothyroidism can lead to skin problems and importance of testing
Some information on canine autoimmune problems and skin
Chronic Skin Disorders and Illustrations
Cushing Disease Symptoms, including the skin and hair