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Help me help my poor doggie.

Rhombus
January 9th, 2009, 07:20 PM
My dog suffers from cold weather itchy skin (fur). I have spent tons of cash on supplements and brushes etc. for her for the last 3 months. It was even suggested that she has fleas!! Not so. I think that it is from the weather. My house is warm and extremely dry. Even on a cold day she prefers to sit on the step outside where it is cool. She seems to itch a lot less outside when her body temp changes. Am I right about this self diagnosis? Does anyone elses pets suffer from this condition?

rainbow
January 9th, 2009, 07:45 PM
First of all, welcome to pets.ca :highfive:

Winter skin itch is quite common as the furnace is on and the air is dry. Do you use a humidifier to help raise the humidity a bit? What are you feeding her? Are you giving her salmon oil supplements daily?

Rhombus
January 9th, 2009, 08:13 PM
I feed Nugget Performatrin Ultra. It is (for me) an expensive dog food. I buy it at Pet Value stores here in Winnipeg. They say it is one of the best you can buy. At $36 a bag, I should think it is. I also started giving her a pet food supplement in her food called Dr. Maggie. It is Omega 3-6-9 with other vitamins as well. She is still itching. I tried a flea treatment cause someone suggested that maybe that was the cause. But to no avail.
The temperatures are hovering around the -40 to -45 degree mark here and the furnace is on full blast. She prefers to sit out in the cold and freeze her paws off. Rather than be in the house. I am worried about her though.

Frenchy
January 9th, 2009, 08:23 PM
at -40 , I wouldn't let any dog outside ! Please get her inside. And like Rainbow suggested , get a humidifier , you don't have to buy an expensive one. There are some between $20 and $30 , they're small but you could rotate , let it in one room for a couple hours , than put it in another room and so on.

rainbow
January 9th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Even a vapourizer will help and they are a bit cheaper.

Or keep a pot of water boiling on the stove......anything to put some moisture back in the air.

She should definitely not be left outside in weather that cold.

coloradokari
January 9th, 2009, 10:54 PM
Hello there, I was wondering if your dog itches at all times of the year...does she show symptoms of itchy ears? I wonder about a couple of possibilities here:
As my dogs are retrievers and we live in a dry climate to begin with, even with nutritional salmon oil supplements and a high-quality dog food designed for skin irritation, it didn't fix a thing.
1) Check with your favorite pet food store about a raw diet. Even though there are many premium brand dry foods out there, most contain ingredients like corn and such that would not ever enter their stomachs if they lived in the wild. (MANY dogs can't tolerate grains of any kind, let alone some scary fillers they add...) Please consider trying a raw diet for at least two weeks as it will contain all proper nutrition, such as bone marrow and organ meats. (GROUND BEEF DOES NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED NUTRIENTS!) Your dog will actually be full with less food as it takes longer to digest. With all of the carbs in dry dog food, no matter what the quality, their blood sugar is all over the place and their pancreas gets really stressed out.
Watch what happens! My retirever's allergies are GONE after 10 years of trying.
2) Have you heard of "Candida"? Google "Dog Candida" & "Dog Aspergillosis". They create very itchy skin and ears, and are exacerbated by dry dog food (carbohydrates).
These are yeast and fungal systemic infections that can very often (and easily) be treated with anti-yeast or antifungal medications. SO easy to fix!!!
3) If your dog is like mine are, they hate the heat. They would rather be in the snow than a heated house...but at the extreme low temperatures you are experiencing, she NEEDS to be inside. Do you have a space that is away from the direct flow of the heater? Perhaps on linoleum or a wood floor? In a bathroom or room away that might be cooler? One trick I use is to turn on a fan in a cooler space and they park themselves RIGHT in front of it, even on high. It may not be air conditioning, but the airflow is very soothing for them.
4) Consider getting your dog a medicated bath from your local groomer or vet. With all symptoms present, it provides a great deal of comfort and relief, and will buy you time until you get to the bottm of the cause of the problem.
5) A humidifier certainly will help also!
Please let me know what I can do to help!
Enjoy your evening!
Kari

Gail P
January 10th, 2009, 12:02 AM
Lots of times itching and skin problems can be from food allergies, but if it's only happening seasonally I wouldn't think that's the case. There are different foods that are guaranteed to improve skin and coat quality, or you could try different oils/supplements etc. Each dog has different needs so it may take some experimentation. Friends of mine have and old Newfoundland dog that has had skin trouble all his life, despite many vet visits and diet changes. They finally found something that helps him though, it's called Dr. Goodpet Scratch Free and they get it at Wal-Mart. It's a liquid and I think they just ad a few drops to his food. I'm not sure if it's done daily or a few times a week but they swear by it. Dr. Goodpet makes several different formulas for different purposes, you can google the name and read all about them on their site. (I don't know the address)

mummummum
January 10th, 2009, 02:23 AM
On the long-term food front...
This is a pretty good place for starters to read all about feeding kibble and more importantly how to read a label and understand ingredients: http://www.dogfoodproject.com. This is another one http://www.whole-dog-journal.com

Corn seems to be the main ingredient in your current kibble and that may be a problem. Many dogs are allergic or sensitive to corn and react to it in the way (or worse) that your dog is doing. All dogs do not digest corn at all well in comparison to meat. I'll leave it to you but I do know you can buy a better product for your 36 bucks than Ultra. I also think you are probably way over-spending on Dr. Maggie's as you can get the same core ingredients:
Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid) 2,375 mg.
Omega 3 (Linolenic Acid) 345 mg.
Omega 9 (Oleic Acid) 315 mg.
Phosphatidyl Choline 650 mg.
Phosphatidyl Inositol 500 mg.
Vitamin A 1,400 IU
Vitamin D 120 IU
Vitamin E 12 IU
for much less money at your local drug or health food store.

On the immediate skin front...
Give her a dry oatmeal "bath" (put her in the bathtub to contain the mess, get a bag of dry oats and rub it repeatedly onto her skin to de-flake her dry skin) ~ this will help relieve the itching. Make sure you do a deep groom of her coat thoroughly every day.

Personally, I wouldn't buy an inexpensive humidifier as they can add more :yuck: to your air (and dust to your furniture) than you want to know. Put bowls of water on your radiators/ in front of heating vents and in different spots all around your house. When you can afford it, do your research on humidifiers and buy one that has a good allergy and asthma rating or if you need to replace your furnace buy one with a built-in humidifier.

And there is also your need for heat versus her need for heat to consider. As we age our "internal furnaces" change. You might consider getting or making her a cooling mat.

Rhombus
January 10th, 2009, 11:59 AM
Maybe I put that wrong. I Do Not leave her outside. She just goes for a pee and just to cool down. She is an indoor dog. I would never think to leave her outside. I just let her out long enough to let her cool down.

scooter1
January 10th, 2009, 04:21 PM
Watch out for corn its in every thing and can cause a dog to itch like it is infested with fleas.

ScottieDog
January 10th, 2009, 11:46 PM
Hi. I have an itchy Scottie. He does have a flea allergy so we are careful to keep up with his flea treatments. It sounds like you are in an area where it is cold enough to kill off the fleas, unless they are in the home. Mac's dry, itchy skin flairs up in the winter every year.

I run a humidifier in the room where we sleep. It really helps his skin. We do have a fairly nice one. I use a special oatmeal shampoo from the vet and I was told to leave him lathered for about 10 minutes, then rinse in tepid water. Since he has dry skin, I try to only bathe him 2-3 times a year. I also have a vet prescribed oatmeal conditioner. My vet told me to dilute this with water and put it in a spray bottle. I can spray his coat and use a slicker brush to get the conditioner down to his skin. I can use the conditioner as frequently as I need to. These things have really helped.

While we were trying to find some of his triggers, we were warned about foods with corn and foods with dyes and artificial colors. Treats can contain lots of these dyes. It is important to get your dog relief any way that you can. If the itching goes too far, the dog can end up with infected hot spots and may need steroid injections or pills. Mac got bad enough to need a steroid shot once. Our vet does not want to give him any more of these due to health problems they can cause. Our vet has also precribed doggie allergy pills, but we try to avoid these since they make him very sleepy. Good luck.

rainbow
January 11th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Corn seems to be the main ingredient in your current kibble and that may be a problem. Many dogs are allergic or sensitive to corn and react to it in the way (or worse) that your dog is doing. All dogs do not digest corn at all well in comparison to meat. I'll leave it to you but I do know you can buy a better product for your 36 bucks than Ultra. I also think you are probably way over-spending on Dr. Maggie's as you can get the same core ingredients:
Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid) 2,375 mg.
Omega 3 (Linolenic Acid) 345 mg.
Omega 9 (Oleic Acid) 315 mg.
Phosphatidyl Choline 650 mg.
Phosphatidyl Inositol 500 mg.
Vitamin A 1,400 IU
Vitamin D 120 IU
Vitamin E 12 IU
for much less money at your local drug or health food store.


Corn is not an ingredient in Performatrin Ultra but it does have Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex as an ingredient which is controversial and believed to possibly contribute to cancer.

Personally, I would stop the Dr. Maggie's supplement and, as mummummum said switch to a salmon oil supplement and if the brand doesn't include vitamin e then add it separately 2 to 3 days a week.

The money you save on switching you can put towards purchasing a better quality dog food which, imo, should be a grain free brand and Orijen would be my first choice.

:2cents:

lUvMyLaB<3
January 11th, 2009, 12:33 AM
Hello fellow Manitoban!!! yes has been cold latley hasn't it? My dogs are not too fond of it although they insist we go for our walks, I am thinking they need to learn to watch the weather network before asking!

My dog has had a similar issue and after skin scrapings showed nothing we found that she has allergies. One thing to check.. do you feed from a metal bowl? I did, and she is allergic to it!! So I changed to plastic.. it takes some trail and error to find what will make it better. Try what everyone has said with the humidifier and no grain in the food, hoope something helps. Have you had her at the vet and scrapings done so they can see under the microscope if there is anything on her skin, just to rule out fleas and mites? GOOD LUCK!! Here's hoping it gets a bit warmer soon!