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dry scaley skin

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Birdie has a thyroid problem that she has been on meds for 5 weeks now.

Her skin was dry and flaking some but all the sudden today I've found bad

scaly skin.

Any suggestions what to do?

It wasn't that bad when I had her to the vet Dec 28th.

Going to give her a bath today with oatmeal soap.

Will try to rub olive oil into her skin.

She isn't scratching or acts like its bothering her.

We live in NE Ok.

 

Thanks

 

 

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Bathing may make it worse by drying it out. And oil applied topically isn't likely to be anything more than a short term fix. . . . and really gum up her fur!

 

I'd try adding a good quality fish or salmon oil to her diet. Begin slowly at first then work up to a higher dosage. The maintenance dose for one of my dogs is 50% higher than the recommended average for a dog his size. If he gets less he gets a dull coat and flaky skin very quickly, and his thyroid is fine.

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Is the fish oil or salmon oil in pill form?? Where do you get it?

She weighs 42#

Thanks for replying so quickly.

Just told DH probably wasn't a good idea to give bath.

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Bathing may make it worse by drying it out.

 

I was under the impression that oatmeal shampoo specifically avoided that effect?

 

They also make leave-in oatmeal conditioners and sprays if I'm wrong and the bath is going to dry out the skin.

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You can use fish oil capsules that you'd buy for people. I'd have to find the recommended dose of DHA EPA for dogs, but usually gave one 1000 mg cap to my 37 lb. dog and three to the 43 lb. one who needed more, IIRC. Make sure the oil's been filtered to remove mercury, which may be on the label. I used to have a list of what brands were OK, but I can't seem to find it ATM. Nature Made and Sam's Club's Members Mark brands are 2 I remember as being OK, and they're what I buy for myself.

 

You can also puncture the capsule and squirt it on food. I also add the squeezed out capsule since it still contains some oil. My dogs think the capsules are delicious and just chew them up like a treat. If your dog doesn't take to just eating the capsule at first, pierce it and squeeze a tiny bit out, which is usually enough to let them figure out there's very good stuff in side.

 

Generally speaking I'm leery of the brands marketed for dogs, but I buy Grizzly brand salmon oil from Amazon for the dogs. It's wild caught Alaskan salmon and I think it's a good brand. Being liquid rather than capsules it's more economical. Just be sure to store it in the fridge and not at room temperature.

 

Remember that Omega 3s deplete vitamin E, so I also give my dogs a 400 IU cap every other day to make up for that.

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I was under the impression that oatmeal shampoo specifically avoided that effect?

 

Oatmeal is soothing if there's a rash or open irritation, but AFAIK it's not moisturizing. I still think bathing of any kind strips the natural oils from the skin and this dog definitely doesn't need that right now.

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http://www.petsmart.com/dog/shampoo-conditioner/top-paw-trade-oatmeal-baking-soda-dog-shampoo-oatmeal-aloe-scent-zid36-12661/cat-36-catid-100102

This is the one I use for Aed's dandruff, it is advertised as moisturizing skin. As far as I can tell all oatmeal shampoos and conditioners are, at least the ones I just looked through. But I can't really say from experience, as we used it to treat the itchiness, not the dryness. The general trend seems to be that mild shampoos like oatmeal are helpful for dry skin as they leave the natural oils intact, but harsher shampoos will strip them. But I haven't found any really good source for that, just product descriptions and instructables and one general dog shampoo site. So who knows, really?

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Well, as a former soap maker I know that oatmeal can also be used to absorb oils. It's often used in soaps designed for oily skin.

 

Yes, it's gentle, and yes, it's soothing, but by itself moisturizing? Not at all.

 

And sadly manufacturers can get away with making a whole lot of claims that just aren't true. There's simply not enough oversight in the industry.

 

But looking at the ingredients in the link you provided, any moisturizing effect the shampoo may have isn't from the oatmeal but from superfatting with high linoleic oils such as linseed, hemp and "fish". ;)

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p.s. to the OP. I'd also give your vet a call and mention this to her or him. Thyroid meds often have to be adjusted a time or 2 to get the dosage or type of medication right, and with dry skin being a symptom of an underactive thyroid it could be an indication of something awry with the meds. You don't mention if Birdie's hyper- or hypothyroid but either way this might be important information for your vet to know.

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And sadly manufacturers can get away with making a whole lot of claims that just aren't true.

 

Yes, the thought crossed my mind. :P

 

Fair enough though. I'll leave it to those who may have more concrete experience to contribute. I'm rather interested now.

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Thanks all of you.

I did call the vet he sold me some fish oil tabs with E and other stuff in it too.

Says it can take 3+ weeks before we see any change.

I sure hope it helps poor girl!!

She is hypo throid

 

Thanks again for your quick replies.

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I did call the vet he sold me some fish oil tabs with E and other stuff in it too.

 

What "other stuff"?

 

I'm not a big fan of most vegetable sourced fats/oils as at least some of them, flax seed in particular, have been shown not to be easily converted by dogs into the usable components.

 

I do give my dogs some coconut oil from time to time for the medium chain fatty acids, but pure fish oil is my go to for skin and coat care. Added vit. E is OK for reasons mentioned above, but I can't think of what else might be useful to add to fish oil.

 

ETA: I'm guessing you might have paid more for fish oil from your vet than you would have for human stuff.

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Be sure to use cooked salmon. I read something about something in all salmon that was really bad for dogs. Just can't remember if it was a virus or fungus or something and it's a problem in area where dogs can get salmon like up on the Washington coast. I'll ck on it. It was something serious, too.

 

Don't feed raw fish to dogs. It's a parasite and is 90 percent fatal if untreated. Doesn't affect cats, raccoons or bears. Jut dogs.

 

And not too much coconut oil. Liz was saying they were seeing dogs with pancreatic problems caused by too much coconut oil. But some people are probably going hog wild with the stuff. It's a huge fad right now.

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That's why I recommended Grizzly brand, TC.

 

I'm leery of farmed salmon for a number of reasons, among them disease and pollution from farming methods.

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It's a parasite found in salmon, trout or sturgeon. So it's not just salmon. Or salamander.

 

It sounds like you should cook fish rather than feeding it raw. I wonder if cooking kills the parasite. It's really serious and can kill a dog in just a couple of weeks.

 

PetMed is saying to never feed your dog raw fish.

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The regular dose for omega 3s is 100mg combined of DHA and EPA per 10 lbs of body weight. Some dogs need up to twice this amount.

 

The omega 3 found in flax is ALA and dogs only convert about 15% of the ALA into the form they can use as omega 3. They do use it as an additional source of fat, but I would rather that additional fat be animal fat or a small amount of organic coconut oil.

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Yep. It's a parasite in salmonid family of fish and other fish that swim upstream to spawn. Well, actually it's not the parasite itself, but a rickettsial organism that infects the parasite in fish west of the Rockies. Eastern fish haven't been infected.

 

The parasites are killed if the fish has been frozen for at least 3 weeks. I always freeze any wild caught fish or meat for that matter for at least a month and am careful that I get it from a source where I know it's been properly handled, that is, kept cool and/or frozen promptly.

 

Salmon poisoning is treatable if it's diagnosed soon enough, but is extremely lethal if not treated.

 

There's another disease called Scroboid fish poisoning that resembles a histamine reaction to contaminated Scromboid family of fish (tuna, mackerel, etc.) that have not been immediately and continuously refrigerated.

 

I suspect PetMD would also be against feeding raw at all. ;) But yes, fish must be handled carefully (IMO frozen for a period of time and fed frozen or right out of the fridge) if they're to be fed raw.

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I'll second the advice to avoid bathing (I never bathe my dogs but do hose them off when they get muddy or manure-y, and spot shampoo for really nasty stuff that just warm water and a rub won't take care of) to help avoid dry skin. I also will second the advice to look into supplementing fish oil and Vitamin E. And, since many dog foods are lacking somewhat in fat compared to protein, carbs, and the non-digestible components, I also supplement with fat to try and bring the ratio of protein to fat to 3:2. I use beef fat (we have our own beef), bacon grease, or eggs/egg yolks for a fat source.

 

When I got Celt as a seven-week old pup the day after Christmas 13 years ago, he had dry, flaky skin. He's never had that since I started supplementing his diet with the above-mentioned fats. I supplement all three of my dogs that way (and the fourth that passed away) and it seems to keep their skin healthy, supple, and in great condition year-round.

 

Your mileage may vary but that's what seems to work for us.

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I've read that if itchy akin is due to yeast infections that oatmeal shampoo can actually feed the yeast and make it worse. That was a new thought to me but it makes sense. I used I with one dog but never specifically for itchy skin. I do occasionally bathe Kenzi to help get the allergens off her coat in the summer and fall. But I usually just rinse with plain water

 

I also give fish oil. Coconut oil is popular right now but from everything that I've read fish is far superior when it comes to health benefit and regular animal fats are much better utilized than plant oils

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Maralynn is right about the yeast, oatmeal just makes any yeast problems worse.

 

There's a fairly common misconception about bathing. You can bathe as often as you like and have great skin...if you use *high quality* shampoo. Not the stuff you find at the average pet store chain. Many of their products contain silicon, which makes the hair very slippery and shiny for a short while, but is extremely drying. I wash Keeper very regularly, as he has allergies and regular bathing really helps him. I'm talking sometimes bi-weekly baths. I prefer to use shampoo and conditioner compared to just rinsing him, it's just my preference. I use and love Isle of Dogs shampoo and conditioner. It's a very common product among the showdog folk.

 

A good coat and skin comes from the inside out, so I agree with everyone on the oils. I feed mostly fish oil (high doses for my dog for anti-inflammatory properties, sure to supplement with vitamin E) and also feed some coconut oil. He gets turmeric paste with every meal which contains coconut oil.

 

Is it possible the skin problem is the result of actually fixing the thyroid problem? I've seen a lot of my animals blow their coat and get flaky skin after fixing a nutrition problem. It's like the system does a reboot once all the needs are met.

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As one who is hypothyroid, I sure know that it can make your skin dry and flaky. Heck, it can also make my nails sort of peel back. So, with luck, the meds will - eventually - clear that up.

 

Until then, I second (of twelfth?) adding oil to the food. I do that at the noon feeding anyhow. Can't hurt.

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Two of my three dogs recently had major moults coming into summer (here in Australia). I have noticed since then that both dogs coats, while still soft and shiny, look dusty when you separate the hairs. I have never noticed this before. Their food has not changed and the only thing different has been the moult. One dog would not have had a bath for about six months, the other had this problem before his last trip to the groomers. His previous bath was months before that.

 

They do not appear to be itchy or scabby, so I have assumed they are suffering from some dandruff. Although it could just be dust, as they have run my backyard into a dust bowl, especially with an unusually hot summer here. My third dog, who has not had the same huge moult, does not seem to have the same problem, and he rolls in the dirt more than one of the dogs who does.... so I am assuming dry skin.

 

Will I get a similar benefit from feeding tinned sardines? Or will that not be enough, and I should feed fish oil/ coconut oil as well or instead of? Is this problem likely to sort itself out in time, or should I feed fish oil permanently?

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