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Old December 22nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
cy88 cy88 is offline
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Skin allergy on my westie?

Hi all,

We have recently got a new westie, his name is Snowie and now 15 weeks old He is my first puppy. The puppy was healthy with the exception of coccidia which was cured within a week or two.

The puppy was being fed with Purina Puppy Chow when we picked him up. He didn't come from a breeder directly, instead, a "friend" of the breeder. Without knowing too much about different type of food, we went and picked up a pack of Purina Pro Plan puppy (didn't know there's a puppy chow and a pro plan puppy) from petsmart. He was switched to Gastro Formula as advised by the vet as it would be easier on his stomach. At the end of that, the vet said she has no problem for me switching him back to the Pro Plan (not Purina puppy chow).

After he's been gradually changed over to the Purina Pro Plan fully, his stools started to smell absolutely awful. It has a foul smell and darker color to it. I started to read about the ingredients and doing some research on the Purina Pro Plan, turns out it's not that much more "pro" than any other low grade food! The vet gave us a list of "recommended food" on our first visit (Royal Canin, Wysong, Wellness, eaglepack, fromm), and I've tried to find them in petsmart. Royal Canin was the only one that's available, so I've asked for advice from the staff/manager. They've introduced me to Blue Buffalo, which is claim to be as good or better than the other ones. Upon doing some research, many people praised about the food and have success with it. I've picked up a pack of lamb and rice formula on wednesday and started the change slowly.

I am not sure if it's related to the food, but in the last 2 days, I've started to see pink areas around the eyes and the hair seems to be thinner than usual. I took a look back at some pictures I've took and this is what I have:

Dec 12:


Dec 16:


Dec 18:


Dec 19:


Dec 21:



I've also realized the thin hair around his rear right leg, which had a nail injury at the end of Nov and had it removed. We gave him a bath on the 18th, and not sure if that contributed either. It's his third time taking a bath (8 weeks, 12 weeks, Dec 18th) with the use of this shampoo - http://www.hartz.com/Hartz_Products/...r_shampoo.aspx

We already have appointment visiting the vet tomorrow but I am just too anxious to find out what's going on! Should I put him back on the Purina now just in case? Any help is appriciated!

BTW, Happy Holidays from Snowie:


Cheers,
Chris

Last edited by cy88; December 22nd, 2008 at 03:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old December 22nd, 2008, 03:25 PM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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It could be an allergy. Is he itchy? Scratchy? Are any other areas on his body looking a little bald-ish or red? Usually food allergies are accompanied by itchy skin, redness.

Some thoughts: Steer clear of the pro-plan. If you're worried about allergies you're more likely to find potential allergens in that food (lots of grains, fillers, poor-quality meat products). Consider a grain-free food with a novel protein source, like fish or venison. You're probably not going to find a good-quality packaged food at petsmart. We can get Orijen, Go, and a few other good brands at our local Berry's Pet Store. Have a look at some of the smaller outlets for better food.

Second, what you're seeing around the eyes there looks very similar to what we've got in our youngest dog, who is currently being treated for demodex mange. The hair loss around the eyes was one of the first things I noticed, and then a few thinned-hair spots on her abdomen/side started to appear. Something to consider/mention to the vet.
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  #3  
Old December 22nd, 2008, 07:22 PM
cy88 cy88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendyfoot View Post
It could be an allergy. Is he itchy? Scratchy? Are any other areas on his body looking a little bald-ish or red? Usually food allergies are accompanied by itchy skin, redness.

Some thoughts: Steer clear of the pro-plan. If you're worried about allergies you're more likely to find potential allergens in that food (lots of grains, fillers, poor-quality meat products). Consider a grain-free food with a novel protein source, like fish or venison. You're probably not going to find a good-quality packaged food at petsmart. We can get Orijen, Go, and a few other good brands at our local Berry's Pet Store. Have a look at some of the smaller outlets for better food.

Second, what you're seeing around the eyes there looks very similar to what we've got in our youngest dog, who is currently being treated for demodex mange. The hair loss around the eyes was one of the first things I noticed, and then a few thinned-hair spots on her abdomen/side started to appear. Something to consider/mention to the vet.
Thank you for your insight.

The inner side of the rear leg also have little hair, but I *think* it has always been like that. The area behind the ear has always have lesser hair. Other than that, he seems to be alright.

Tomorrow's appointment is actually for his last set of shot, as well as getting this skin issue checked out. I actually have a feeling it's the shampoo causing dry out of the skin and led to this. The first two time I didn't use too much to clean his face, but this time I used a little more than usual. Any thoughts?
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:25 PM
t.pettet t.pettet is offline
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Skin allergy on

You are over-bathing, dogs need 3-4 baths per year and Hartz is too full of perfume and detergent. A hypo-allergenic shampoo from your vet would be better.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:45 PM
cy88 cy88 is offline
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Originally Posted by t.pettet View Post
You are over-bathing, dogs need 3-4 baths per year and Hartz is too full of perfume and detergent. A hypo-allergenic shampoo from your vet would be better.
Thanks. I will bring this up to my vet's attention tomorrow and see what they have for him!
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 11:57 PM
cy88 cy88 is offline
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Went to the vet, got his last shot and everything is great. Brought this skin issue up to the attention of her, and was advised that there's no visible skin irritation. She suggested me that it could be due to the initial puppy fluff that's coming off due to dry skin caused by variables such as heat in the house, bathing, shampooing.

She also suggested that there's something I can add to the food to make the skin not as dry, but I'll sacrifice the toughness of westie's coat. It will give him a softer coat instead.

Not that I don't trust the vet, I just somehow have a gut feeling it could be something else but I've triple confirmed with her that there's no skin allergy/irritation that she can see. In a way, it does make sense to me because I've recently gave him a bath, and the coat turned into a much softer one. Combined with the dry skin, that could cause the thinner hair (on the face) to fall off.

What do you think?
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Old December 24th, 2008, 01:31 AM
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Dracko Dracko is offline
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Snowie is very cute.

Just have to say, everytime I see this thread I read it as "Skin allergy on my website?"
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Old December 24th, 2008, 01:02 PM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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First, I want to say that Snowie is adorable!

Now, I've dealt with the itchies with my Scottie. I was told by one vet that his problems were probably food related and changed food to one with no dyes or corn. It seemed to briefly help. When we moved, I went to a new vet and he did an extensive exam on his skin, and told us he thought it was a flea allergy. Topical flea treatments, oil supplements and bathing in oatmeal soap (very infrequently) have helped him so much. He has hair! My boy got to bad he was bald in the back.

Now during the winter, we don't have flea problems too much, but he still gets itchy. It is from the extreme dryness in the air. I run a humidifier in the room where we sleep. It really helps add moisture into the air. I also have a vet prescribed moisturizing conditioner that I dilute with water and keep in a spray bottle. I spray this onto his coat and brush it in with a slicker brush to reach the skin. To make the shampoo last longer, I dilute it with water, put it in a spray bottle and then spritz his wet coat and suds him.

Don't overbathe your dog. It dries the skin even worse. Unless your Westie is a show dog, you don't need to worry about the coat texture. My Scottie gets about 3 baths a year and his coat is soft for a couple of weeks following his bath. The texture gradually gets back to its wirey feel. Good luck to you and Snowie! Westies tend to be itchy little guys.

Mac's shampoos: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Vet+Solut...514-10513.html
http://www.1800petmeds.com/Relief+Shampoo-prod2845.html
(If these links are not allowed, please remove them. I was just wanting to show the product bottles. I have never ordered from this vendor and therefore do not endorse this company--I get my supplies from my family vet.)
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  #9  
Old December 29th, 2008, 11:40 PM
cy88 cy88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieDog View Post
First, I want to say that Snowie is adorable!

Now, I've dealt with the itchies with my Scottie. I was told by one vet that his problems were probably food related and changed food to one with no dyes or corn. It seemed to briefly help. When we moved, I went to a new vet and he did an extensive exam on his skin, and told us he thought it was a flea allergy. Topical flea treatments, oil supplements and bathing in oatmeal soap (very infrequently) have helped him so much. He has hair! My boy got to bad he was bald in the back.

Now during the winter, we don't have flea problems too much, but he still gets itchy. It is from the extreme dryness in the air. I run a humidifier in the room where we sleep. It really helps add moisture into the air. I also have a vet prescribed moisturizing conditioner that I dilute with water and keep in a spray bottle. I spray this onto his coat and brush it in with a slicker brush to reach the skin. To make the shampoo last longer, I dilute it with water, put it in a spray bottle and then spritz his wet coat and suds him.

Don't overbathe your dog. It dries the skin even worse. Unless your Westie is a show dog, you don't need to worry about the coat texture. My Scottie gets about 3 baths a year and his coat is soft for a couple of weeks following his bath. The texture gradually gets back to its wirey feel. Good luck to you and Snowie! Westies tend to be itchy little guys.

Mac's shampoos: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Vet+Solut...514-10513.html
http://www.1800petmeds.com/Relief+Shampoo-prod2845.html
(If these links are not allowed, please remove them. I was just wanting to show the product bottles. I have never ordered from this vendor and therefore do not endorse this company--I get my supplies from my family vet.)

Thank you for your informative post! I have actually started to run humidifier in the room since that day, and also I do have a 75 Gallon salt water fish tank in my condo so water does get evaporated into the air quite rapidly.

The area around the eyes seemed to regained some of the hair, and I am still awaiting on the rear right leg. I have a feeling that it was because of over bathing causing some of the weaker/thinner hair to fall off. He had a little accident with his rear leg as mentioned, so it was wrapped in bandage for a few days. Ever since then I've realized thinner than usual hair on that leg so I am suspecting the lack of circulation have caused some weaker than normal hair in that area.

Other than that, I've seen no other new hot spot around the body and the rest of the hair have regained the toughness in the past week and getting thicker. i will keep this thread posted in case I discover anything new, and for anyone in the future that's running into this condition.

Happy new year everyone.
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