Treating Skin Issues in Dogs

November 21, 2018

treating skin issues dogs

Skin issues in dogs is so complex and varied that it requires patience and a lot of hard work to keep it under control. Our German Shepherd, Mischka, has been battling skin issues that is humidity related. During the Monsoon months here in India, we go through an entire routine to try and control his suffering as his skin issues flare up. It is immensely difficult to see a dog battling with bacterial problems, fungal problems as well as dandruff issues. The poor dog spends all night scratching away. Even anti-histamines can't seem to control the issue fully.

With dogs battling skin issues related to humidity, the problem is simply, when the humidity goes up, the problem starts. The simplest advice I can give is, don't allow your dog's coat to get too wet when you take him out. It only aggravates the issue more. Here's where people ask me, "but he gets wet when he goes out to do his business, what do I do?". Simple, use a hairdryer to dry him after. Alternatively, put a raincoat on him and hair dry him after if he's still wet. As much as you can possibly do it, do it. It helps control the skin issues.

Besides the need to keep his coat as dry as possible, there a few other things you can do to ensure your dog's skin issues are kept under control as much as possible.


Medication

Medication that I put my dog on is an antihistamine. Whether its a prescribed by vet, or a general Cetrizine, putting your dog on one will help him out during the rainy season. We put our dog on Montair. He is generally on it for a few months when the humidity goes up. When on Montair, we find that the skin issues he generally has; the itching and redness, does subside a bit and is pretty tolerable. It has worked far better than Cetrizine for us. As always, if dealing with medicating your dog, always speak to your vet first.


Spot on treatments

Putting your dog on a spot-on treatment like Frontline, Advantix or Advocate is essential. It helps with both ticks and fleas that you'll find invade your dog during summer and the rainy season. I start application of Advantix at least one month prior to the summer season. I leave it on the dog for 3 weeks. Do not bathe your pet after Advantix/Advocate application. Reapply every 3 weeks. Bathe your dog exactly 3 weeks after application and two days later, start a new application of Advantix/Advocate. I keep my dogs on spot-on treatments until winter sets in.

You can purchase a spot on treatment here: Advantix    Advocate    Vivaldis    Fiprofort


Supplements

Supplements to give your dog with skin issues are varied. The ones we have tried and tested and now give the dogs are; Vitamin E 200IU, Fish oils 500mg and vitamin B12. These are going to be your best friend when you have a dog that has skin issues. I would suggest you give him these throughout the year and not only during the rainy season. On top of this, I usually give my dogs 500mg of Vitamin C twice a day to boost their immunity. They don't fall sick as often and I've found that it helps with the skin issues too. I was advised by our vet to start giving Vitamin B12 to both dogs. This, was the best advice I've received from any vet. The day I started the vitamin B12, I noted that there was a reduction in the itching the dogs were experiencing. Vitamin B12 is also great for their nerves as it also prevents nerve damage in dogs.


Creams and oils applications

The one thing I do during the rainy season is to bathe the dogs less often. As I mentioned before, I put a spot-on treatment every 3 weeks. I usually bathe the dogs at the 3 week mark and apply the spot-on two days after the bath. In between, should the dogs start to stink, especially so if you have a dog with a mite problem, I give him a hot towel rub down with tea tree oil. How do I do it? I fill a small bucket half way with hot water, apply 4 drops of good quality pure tea tree oil (don't overdo it, some dogs might be sensitive to tea tree oil), throw a small towel in, wring it as dry as I can (while trying not to burn my hands) and rub the dog down. The tea tree oil will not only give the dog relief against ticks and fleas but settle the skin issues quite a bit too. Please avoid the eyes, snout and mouth area while wiping the dog. Do this during the day as some dogs can have a sensitivity issue with tea tree oil, in case you need to bring him to a vet, day time rub downs are preferable initially when you start this.

You can purchase tea tree oil here: Tea Tree Oil

When bathing the dog, the shampoo that we use is Virbac Sebolytic Shampoo. Its been the only shampoo that has helped with humidity related skin issues with our dogs. Additionally,  we have found that giving the dogs an oil application at least 60 minutes before their bath has helped with skin issues as well as ectoparasite issues. We use a neem based oil called Flematic-Pro Skin Oil. I've been testing this oil on the dogs for 6 months now and it has been extremely helpful with almost all skin related issues. It came recommended by our vet and its now a staple in the dog's bathing routine.

You can purchase the Shampoos and oils here: Virbac Sebolytic     Flemantic-Pro Skin Oil  

If your dog experiences dandruff in between his baths or on a regular basis, I've found the perfect lotion to help you out. I've been using this for quite some time. The Suave Flakes Free Lotion has been amazing in helping out with the dog's dandruff situation. The best part, its for both dogs and cats. It is also natural and doesn't list any harmful preservatives in its ingredients. The smell can be a bit on the strong side, but it doesn't linger for days. For any dandruff or skin related issues, apply the lotion every 2 weeks. Application should be done lightly with your fingertips against the growth of the fur on the skin directly rather than on the fur itself. Leave the lotion on for about 10 minutes and then use a soft bristle brush and brush the dog to spread out the lotion further. By far, this has been the best way I've managed to deal with the dog's dandruff. The lotion also has neem in it which is great to help protect him again ectoparasites.

You can purchase the lotion here: Suave Flakes Free Lotion

Battling skin related issues with any pet can be very stressful for owners. It is a rather long drawn affair to find solutions and entails a lot of trial and error along the way. I hope that by sharing my experience on what I use, it will aid other dog owners with their journey to rid their pets of their skin issues.

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