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Old April 9th, 2015, 01:18 PM
rhynes rhynes is offline
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Problem with vitamin uptake?

Hoping someone here can give some suggestions with our minpin.

Still dealing with itchy skin and hair loss.

Some past history:
We thought he had allergies, so we took him off the commercial food and switched completely to raw. Started him off on chicken, hair loss and itchyness got worse.

Figured he was allergic to chicken, he spent the first year of life mainly on a poultry based diet, and not great quality. He was switched commercially to orijen and acana before putting him on raw.

Switched him to a diet of raw rabbit and bison, he got organ meats, seemed to get better for a while, then it got worse again. Dog cannot live on rabbit alone, and had a heck of a time finding other proteins that he could eat.

Nothing made sense, vet is at a loss and like us, throwing darts at a board. Her last suggestion was hydrolyzed food from Science diet (um, no). research shows minpins can get a condition called adenitis. Started with the oil soaks and baths, and vitamins. We saw improvements. His whole body peeled with the baths, skin became inflamed, so we put a stop to the baths.

It seems now we are dealing with vitamin deficiency, or an inability to uptake or process, and the culprit seems to be vitamin E. We give daily vitamin powder mixed with some coconut oil now. Also an oral dose of cod liver oil - vitamin E - and a small dose of flax combined in a syringe. We also rub vitamin E oil on his skin nightly.

It seems to be working but we don't understand the why. This has been ongoing for 2 1/2 years now.

He's back on raw chicken, no ill effects. So it doesn't seem like allergies.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 11:40 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Wow! So glad the vitamin E treatment is working. Sorry, I've got no clue as to why it's working, but that it continues to do the trick! How long has he been on this regimen?
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Old April 10th, 2015, 11:04 AM
rhynes rhynes is offline
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Wow! So glad the vitamin E treatment is working. Sorry, I've got no clue as to why it's working, but that it continues to do the trick! How long has he been on this regimen?
We started with the oil soak / baths a month or so ago. Started the extra vitamin E when giving fish oil at the same time. 300 UI vitamin E, cod liver oil and flax, the oil combined isn't even an 1/8 of a teaspoon so it really isn't much. So plenty of omega's. Seen good hair growth, we stopped the treatments for a week and a half to see what would transpire. Hair loss again, but it seems now to be on the left side and his whole body peeled. Weird. But back on the oral oil treatment for the past week and so far so good.

The why to me is important, can't find anything online about it. This is the liquid we are giving, about a CC a night. Just don't want to overdose him and cause long term issues.



The scratching and chewing is dissipating gradually day to day. He had a raging ear infection a couple of months ago, vet gave a bottle of mometamax to treat it and it worked like a champ. Treating him again as he's been scratching his ears - but there's no smell, infection must be down deep.

Otherwise, he's is happy and healthy. His skin and coat feel amazing, many have complemented on the shine and feel. Just a few bald spots and here's hoping it's just dermatological.

Edit: thinking back, I did some research on the meats/organs we were feeding, and there wasn't much in the way of vitamin E naturally.

Last edited by rhynes; April 10th, 2015 at 11:41 AM.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 03:49 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Since it's one of the fat-soluble vitamins, I'd be concerned about overdosing, too. Maybe a good place to start, if you can't find any actual recommendations for dosing, is to research symptoms of Vitamin E overdose. That way, if you see anything suspicious, you can cut back on the dose.

But it sure does sound like you're on the right track! Wishing you continued success
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Old April 10th, 2015, 07:42 PM
rhynes rhynes is offline
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And this is why it's nice to have other eyes look at an issue, didn't think to check to see if it was soluble or not.

I'll dig into it further. But like I say, 3 oils combined is less than 1/8 of a tsp, and the majority is cod liver and flax.

Thanks for the heads up!
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Old April 12th, 2015, 03:07 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Um, are you saying that what you are doing is curative, but everything comes back when you stop?

I might keep the E and the cod liver the same, and stop the flax, and see if the same thing happens. If so, I might think about Alopecia X, or a hormonal issue, where flax helps, which means you might want to use a bit of melatonin at night to see if that helps at all.

Cod Liver oil, higher in vit A, supports IgA function, skin and coat, as well as the vitamin E. Long term, there might be an accumulation issue, but maybe not - you can try to get to a lowest dose that works. Some dogs have higher nutritional needs, depending on what is going on inside their bodies. I might wonder if this dogs is a bit deficient in zinc.

But first I would try eliminating just the flax and see what happens.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 04:06 AM
rhynes rhynes is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Um, are you saying that what you are doing is curative, but everything comes back when you stop?

I might keep the E and the cod liver the same, and stop the flax, and see if the same thing happens. If so, I might think about Alopecia X, or a hormonal issue, where flax helps, which means you might want to use a bit of melatonin at night to see if that helps at all.

Cod Liver oil, higher in vit A, supports IgA function, skin and coat, as well as the vitamin E. Long term, there might be an accumulation issue, but maybe not - you can try to get to a lowest dose that works. Some dogs have higher nutritional needs, depending on what is going on inside their bodies. I might wonder if this dogs is a bit deficient in zinc.

But first I would try eliminating just the flax and see what happens.
Thought about zinc when researching vits and minerals, but beef is still one of the primary meats in his raw diet. Liver is also a good source of zinc, and he gets that every couple of days. He's also on a vitamin powder mixed in with a bit of coconut oil to cut the grit so he'll eat it, gets it daily. Raw diet is great, but we've found that it takes more than throwing meat in his dish to get balanced nutrition, not all the vitamins are present.

I'll try cutting out the flax, see what transpires. He seems to be doing better every day.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 01:58 PM
rhynes rhynes is offline
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We gave him a bath today to remove the dead skin flaking off him. Not going to get fancy, going back to the basic epsom salt and coconut oil in warm water.

GF bought a pair of exfoliating gloves for him, they work wonderful for bathing short haired dogs. Takes everything off and fairly gentle.
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