How to help my itchy dog?

Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 10:22 am
Since the cold set in the air in our house is really dry since we use a wood stove for heat (in addition to a gas furnace). I run a humidifier but everyone's skin still gets dry. Human skin is easy to treat but my poor dog is really itchy from the dryness.

I've started giving him some olive oil (yummy!) (he's super healthy and fit so the extra fats aren't a problem) and brushing his fur often and that is really helping but I'd like to get him some quick relief.

I hate to put anything too oily on his fur as that would inhibit his access to lolling around on the furniture and I'm worried that it would further irritate his skin.

As this isn't caused by allergies his typical itchy dog treatments won't work.

And, nope, it isn't fleas.

Any suggestions?
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 10:56 am

I've upped the salmon in the dogs' diet when winter dryness got to their skin. I've got an oatmeal shampoo and rinse combo to use for the times they simply have to be bathed (tho we try to avoid this as much as possible).
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 11:02 am
Here are some websites with various suggestions. Most of them suggest the addition of olive oil in their diets.




And a recipe from another site:


Dry Skin Shampoo
Several people have reported using this with great success on dogs with dry, scratchy skin and for other skin problems that required frequent baths.
1/3 Cup Glycerin
1 Cup Lemon Liquid Joy
1 Cup White Vinegar
1 Quart of Water
Mix in a bottle or an old large shampoo bottle. If you make up the solution in advance, be sure to shake it up before use to make sure the glycerin is mixed thoroughly.
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 11:04 am
after you take him to a vet to see that hes not suffering from some kind of mange (IF HE contacts other dogs this can happen). If theres no mange problem, then Id feed him some extry bacon fat in his food. THIS MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO EAT MORE BACON. think of it as doing something for your poor doggy's comfort.

Sometimes they get hotspots and reactions from being in a dry and warm area.
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 11:30 am
Sorry, gotta ask: how do you know allergies aren't the culprit?
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 11:56 am
boomerang wrote:
we use a wood stove for heat

could the dog's skin be reacting to the stuff put into the air by the wood stove?
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 12:41 pm
I'm 99.999% sure it isn't mange. His coat looks good -- just not it's usual brilliant self. He's not "worrying" certain spots either. Scratching more in general and licking whatever body part happens to be convenient at the moment.

Plus, the cats don't seem to be having any problems.

If it's allergies it's to something new. He has very mild allergies and usually only in high summer and usually only after he's been playing on the promanade that runs down our street and usually only on his feet, leading the vet to believe it is a problem with whatever variety of grasses grow there.

This seems to be more of an all over roughness to his coat and again, it really isn't rough, just not as glossy as usual.

I did try him on his allergy meds when I first noticed him scratching but it didn't seem to help.

He could be reacting to something in the wood stove, I suppose. We're not burning anything unusual in there. He's had no problems with it in the past.

He's not miserable or anything. He's his usual active self -- just itchier.

I suppose a vet visit is in order but I really do think it's dry skin.
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 12:55 pm
Could just be a bad year for him. Could be that he's developing new allergies. Could be he's had some mild flea exposure -- dogs and cats with a flea allergy will sometimes erupt after a single bite. Could be something more serious -- the coat can get dull and the skin dry with a variety of systemic and metabolic diseases. You might want to keep an eye on him to make sure nothing else is out of the ordinary (change in appetite, change in water consumption, change in frequency or volume of urination).

As far as symptomatic treatment, there are some good emollients available (Douxo makes a particularly good one that doesn't smell bad, IMO) designed for dogs with seborrhea but also effective for generally dry skin. Changes in diet can help with these sorts of things -- though diets that are better for the skin (that is, richer) can cause GI upset in some dogs. Fish oil capsules seem to be helpful for some dogs, too.

The good topical products will usually only be available through your vet, though, and they may be able to pick up on things from looking at the skin and the dog that aren't apparent to you.
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 01:00 pm
Okay, I'm convinced. I'll take him in for a look over.

Thanks all!
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 02:57 pm
Gotta say, though, I like the bacon idea...
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 07:17 pm
Yeah, the bacon thing sounds great until I get heart disease and can't walk the dog anymore much less worry about the state of his skin.

We have an appointment.... for next week. The snow started today and the office already had many people out sick. Right now they're only taking urgent appointments. But they thought I was probably on the right track and will call me if things open up. It's a great vet but a small office. I can get Diamond sqeezed in if things get worse.

After an hour and a half herding kids and jumping at snowballs he's laying by the fire not even thinking about itching.
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 07:18 pm
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Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 07:24 pm
After an hour and a half herding kids and jumping at snowballs he's laying by the fire not even thinking about itching.

Yeah, my itchy (allergy) girl is always better for a day or so after a good run (as long as it's not in tall grass gone to seed).
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Reply Wed 31 May, 2017 06:26 am
The constant itching and scratching can lead to hair loss, trauma, and skin infections. Here are 13 all-natural, inexpensive (or free) remedies available to you, some of them as close as your pantry or refrigerator.

Chamomile tea & Herbal Tea soaks
Ground oatmeal
Epsom salt
Evening primrose oil,
Eucalyptus Conditioner
Dry Shampoo
Essential Oil Shampoo
Herbal Flea Powder
Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brush your dog every day
Feed your dog coconut oil
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