Questadore Kennels

DREADED SKIN ISSUES

DISCLAIMER - I am not a vet or vet nurse, I do not work in animal husbandry. My knowledge comes from a lifetime experience of owning, training and breeding dogs. I have had many opportunities to help others that are facing devastating skin issues - this has bought me to further research as to diets and alternate treatments. This page is written out of these experiences in hope that I am able to help others.

THESE ARE MY VIEWS THAT I CARE TO SHARE WITH YOU - YOU FOLLOW BELOW AT YOUR OWN RISK. 

NB Please do not put the health of your dog in Jeopardy - if your dog is not improving consult your vet.

 

How many times have you taken your beloved pet to the vets only to be told 'it's a typical westie skin issue'? Then you begin the roller-coaster ride of antibiotics and prednisolone tablets and 'skin diets' that are extremely expensive not to say the cost of skin tests etc, etc etc! After all this your dog still isn't greatly improved and remains itchy and red patches - sounds familiar?

There are many different causes of skin irritation/itching/reddest - they can be divided into three categories 1/environmental 2/ topical  3/ ingestion - each of these I will address through subcategories.

Westies can be super sensitive to many things that do not affect other dogs. 

ENVIRONMENTAL

Fleas - one flea bite can cause an inflammatory response of which the dog will scratch causing skin breakdown of which can then become infected, weepy and smelly - the inflammatory response could then spread further to what was healthy skin. The skin on this dog would then become problematic to both owner and the dog alike.

 Mites - This appears to become more problematic due to the increasing number of artificial grass that is being used also dirt patches and mulched areas. These areas seem to harbour sand mites that bite the pup/dog while they are laying on the affected area. The area that is most affected is the abdomen as it is in contact and with-in easy reach of the mites. At first you may notice some small 'pimple' like lumps which become increasingly itchy, red and irritant - this area can increase in size, swelling and inflammation. This can also affect the feet as well as they also come in contact with the contaminated surfaces.

 Fleas and mites could also be picked up from a great day out if your beloved dog isn't properly protected.

          Treatment - It is not always possible or realistic to rid your yard of the mites however it is possible to protect your dog from both fleas and mites. The main treatment I use on a monthly basis is Advocate - this treats fleas, heartworm, mites and worms. I will go further into the initial treatment of the red, itchy skin at the end or I will be repeating myself.

Allergens  - pollens and grasses can really affect the skin of the dog - dog  may start to lick their feet due to them being itchy - this in turn causes between the pads to become red and swollen - the dog will become increasingly distressed due to the irritation of the paws to the point that they will continue to lick/chew until they bleed. This dog could also have very watery eyes and may sneeze.

          Treatment - I have successfully used half a Zyrtec daily to keep the allergy under control. It may also be possible to recognise particular plants or grasses that your dog may be allergic to and eradicate. Initial treatment I will discus at the end to prevent me from repeating myself.

NB Be aware of plants that you may have in your garden that may be harmful or deadly to your dog eg azaleas

TOPICAL

Frequent bathing, over use of shampoo, use of oatmeal shampoo/product - can all result in over drying of the skin of the dog. This in turn becomes itchy of which the dog will continue to scratch causing the are to become increasingly inflamed and the skin will in time begin to open and crack. This will then continue to increase as the inflammation and dry area increase in intensity. The skin is the first line of defence against infection and therefore as it is broken it is at risk of infection - the skin weeps and becomes smelly. In time the skin will become thick and dry and there will be less possibility of coat growth in this area.

        Treatment - Bath only when absolutely necessary - if muddy allow the mud to dry then brush off. When bathing, I only use a few drops of shampoo in a tub of water rather than lathering the dog.                                                            Avoid the use of Oatmeal products/shampoo especially if your dog already has a yeast/fungal infection - I will go into this further along.

INGESTION

There is an absolute maze of dog food products available, ranging from the totally budget food to the absolute premium. Each one of them are all marketing in a way to make the average dog owner feel guilty if they are not buying their product - no matter what the cost!

Even despite buying the premium dog food, Fido, is still very irritated with red itchy skin..... he drives you and he nuts at nights scratching himself to bits while your trying to have a quiet evening - even changing him to 'skin preparations' still hasn't worked! 

Most people are aware of to some degree that food colouring, preservatives and additives can all add to the issues of skin irritation - but even despite avoiding these Fido's skin still isn't great.......... the one that we aren't all aware of is that GRAINS can cause serious issues with the skin.

 Sensitivities to grains is not something that occurs with all dogs nether does it occur quickly. Like with us, sensitivity to grains occur over a period of time - It may not be until your dog is into his/her adult-hood before it starts to occur.  

To avoid grains these days is much easier than even a couple of years ago - dog food companies are becoming increasingly aware of these issues and are producing some great grain-free products. There is the budget VIP-grain free dry and wet food available from supermarkets right through to the premium more expensive dry and wet foods available through Pet Shop Chains.

How does it affect my dog? Over a period of time the 'protein' that is produced from the grains, potatoes, corn will be fought by the own body's immune system - as it see's it as a foreign body. In time the immune system becomes 'tired' weakened and is unable to fight of the 'normal' fungus/yeast that may develop on the dogs skin - this dog is more prone to ear infections, red itchy sore feet, itchy skin, wiping the bottom across the ground , smelly skin- then other symptoms could start to appear such as diarrhoea (with or with-out blood) vomiting, anorexia.              

Be warned - antibiotics will further weaken the immune system as will any cortisone medication.

          Treatment -  Even if you only suspect that your dog has a yeast infection - you will not do any harm by changing him/her to a grain free diet.

 

 I APPOLOGISE THAT I HAVE NOT COMPLETED THIS - THIS IS SUCH A HUGE AREA TO COVER - I WILL GET BACK TO THE VERY SOON.

IF BEFORE I COMPLETE THIS YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS - PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA THE CONTACT FORM. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contact Details

Shaz
Adelaide, SA, Australia
Phone : 0404018238
Email : [email protected]