by Elizabeth Hunter on April 27, 2010 at 8:32pm i
*Note: I am not a Veterinarian, this is only 11 years of experience I've had from being around various skin conditions with dogs*
First off with any skin condition, it is best to go minimal to no steroid shots, there are many long-term side effects that are not worth the temporary relief they bring, if you do resort to steroids, make sure you space them out as much as you can or only do this once. If the dermatitis is caused by fleas, ticks or any other biting pest, your main job is going to be making sure no more fleas or ticks come in contact with the infected dog, one bite could seriously exacerbate the problem, you'll want to keep and eye on the dog to make sure the chewing does not become habitual, if it does the dog could expose itself to a condition called lick granuloma, a serious condition in which the dog can actually create a large wound that requires Veterinary care. If you can monitor your dog, and you notice them chewing, give them something else to chew on, a good distraction sometimes helps them to forget the "hot spot" and let it heal, if they can't seem to leave it alone, an e-collar,or an over-the-counter drug like benadryl, may be necessary for a little while until it becomes less itchy and bothersome . Now remember, every dog is different, what works for one may not work for another, for instance, if your Vet recommends a certain shampoo and you follow the directions exactly, and it doesn't seem to be working, it doesn't mean that your dogs problem is untreatable, it means that it's not the right remedy for your dogs skin. For some dogs it is crucial that they get a bath every week to soothe and calm the skin, for others that may be too much and dry out the skin making it more itchy uncomfortable, you might have to switch to every other week or so. This may take some time to figure out, but the pay off is long term so it's worth it.
As far as shampoos, we here at the shop use many different products, but we tend to stick to Tropiclean, and Groomers Edge, whatever you choose, look for the natural, organic or soap-free varieties, these tend to work faster and last longer then generic, and they are much better for repeated use on your dogs skin. Make sure the dog doesn't have any underlying food or other allergies as well, this will be important information when your trying different shampoos etc;. A good idea is to feed your dog all natural or organic food and use a supplement that targets skin and hair coat health and growth, this will boost the growth of the hair and help the skin to heal while you are working to correct the issue. When trying different shampoos give your dog at least a week to see if the skin is improving or not. This may take some trial and error, but once you discover what works for the dog, you can both rest easy that you can keep things under control.
Reply by Adrianne Matzkin on April 30, 2010 at 11:19pm
Thank you so much Elizabeth!! For those who do not know, Elizabeth adopted Zeke, the gorgeous Doodle we pulled from a shelter in Naples, FL. He was chewing on his tush and the hair from his ribs to his tail was very thin and sparse. I saw pictures of Zeke after a month of Elizabeth's care and the transformation is incredible!! His coat is growing in thick and soft; he stopped chewing his tush and the hunks of skin that was just sloughing off has stopped. Amazing what love, good food and great grooming can do!
Thanks Elizabeth - for the info and loving Zeke the way you do!
Elizabeth and her Mom own a grooming salon in the Keys.