Help for Dog with Skin Problems

Updated on November 02, 2008
E.M. asks from Colonial Beach, VA
26 answers

Our dog has some sort of skin problem which is causing her skin to flake and give off an oder. I bought some over the counter skin-problem shampoo and have been washing her with this, but it hasn't worked yet. (I'm washed her with it about three times). I'm newly single and finances are tight right now, I don't see how I can afford to take her to the vet! Does any one have any home remedies or suggestions?

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So What Happened?

the vet is just not possible. I wish we could afford that but we can't.

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L.E.

answers from Philadelphia on

Ironically, I was just at the vet with my dog for this problem. My dog has been smelling and she has drandruff like flakes. The vet recommended bathing her evry 2 weeks for the next 2 months with HyLyte Shampoo (got at PetSmart) And putting Derm Caps in her food - I give my dog 2 tablets a day - she weighs 105 lbs. You can get derm caps at Pet Smart too. I was apprehensive, but this was 2 weeks ago and it worked - good luck

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C.G.

answers from Allentown on

Hi Erika-
Although I can't make any promises, switch the food he's eating to something with a higher oil / fat content and see if that helps.
Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

my dog has very bad skin and i have found the only thing that works is to use baby shampoo....I get him all wet and i lather him up with the shamppoo and i take a fine tooth comb and comb the soap thru his hair then rinse he hasn't had any problems since...they also sell hydrocordisone shampoo for dogs that helped my friends dog but didn't work on mine..they sell it at walmart.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, E..
I know how expensive vet bills can be!
How about giving him a bath in some oat/oatmeal? I know that for human, oats can heal lots of skin problems and I thought since it's a gentle and natural way, maybe you can try that. But I guess you just have to make sure he doesn't eat it while he's in it. :o)
Good luck.

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would search the internet for this topic. I've heard of giving dogs vitamin E to help with itching/allergies/skin problems. It wouldn't hurt to also call the vet and ask them on the phone what they recommend.

Personally, I wouldn't trust a dog shampoo without knowing exactly what the problem with the dogs skin is. You might be making the problem worse. I've also heard that bathing a dog too much dries out their skin, especially in the winter months with the heat. Are you using a conditioner as well?

I'm a dog owner (3) so I feel for the poor pooch!

Good luck.

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C.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My best friend was having the same problem with her 2 cats and her 2 dogs. She finally took the one cat to the vet becuase she couldn't get rig of it with anything that she had tried. The vet told her that it was actually ring worm. It was a shock to her, she just thought that it was some sort of dry skin.. But anyway, the vet told her to use this spray stuff that you can buy everywhere. I think she got it from Walmart, and she just applied it like the directions say, and she hasn't had a problem since.. The skin is a lot better, and the hair grew back where the problem was. It sounds alot like you are descibing... I hope this helps...

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C.M.

answers from Reading on

Hi E.,
I am a veterinary tech and all of these remedies sound good, but the best, and what we always recommend if a client can't bring in their dog, is the HyLyte Shampoo and the Derm Caps. Also, make sure you didn't change your dog's food and you're not giving her any people food, there could be an allergy there! Also, think about when the problem first started and if you changed anything at that time. Good Luck!

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P.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi E., my dog also had this problem. She also had itching and was biting herself badly. If you dog has these symptoms too then get her to the vet immediately! it turned out to be under the skin mange and can only be treated by a vet. It is costly but maybe if you explain your financial situation to your vet they can work with you. Most vets truly want to help animals! Good luck, P.

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J.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

try changing your dog's diet, using more wholesome foods. This happened to our dog, and we cannot afford this stuff called 'spot's stew', but followed some giudelines like changing her diet and brushing (NOT washing). Excessive washing will actually irritate the skin. Try brushing every evening instead. If she seems to get worse, or if you don't see a change in about two weeks, then you should definitely get her to a vet. A lot of vets will accept payments if you just explain that you cannot afford whatever the cost is (we found this out when our cat got pregnant and we decided to keep the kittens...lots of shots and neutering).
I hope this helps you. If you want to read about the informaion I was talking about, do a search on spot's stew.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I too am going to respond just to give my 2 cents...my dog Molly is a pit, lab mix and 8 years old. She has had excessive skin issues from the day she was born. I tried everything in the book, including dropping $1000s of dollars on her at a vet. The thing that finally cured her situation:

1) - Science Diet Sensitive Skin Dog Food

2) - Regular trips to the groomers (a professional needs to do this, I know money may be tight, but if you can find a good groomer it's worth every penny!!!) - I use The Paw Spa at the Odenton Vet Hospital, Nancy DeBruler is the groomer!

3) - Anxiety Medication - I learned that Molly's flaky, stinky skin was partially due to the fact that she is a very anxious doggy! She's on Fluexotine (Prozac) and it helps tremendously!!!

I get the written prescription and use Dr. Foster & Smith Pharmacy online. It's cheaper than all the others and easy to use!! Go to www.drfostersmith.com.

Hope this helps anyone with a similar situation!

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A.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi E.,
You might also pay attention to exactly when the dog is itching the most, like when you vacuum your rugs. Your dog may be allergic to the brand of deodorizer that you are using. Some dogs are allergic to the cheaper deodorizers.
Good luck, A.

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T.J.

answers from Pittsburgh on

E.,

Does your dog only get this way when she/he is to hot or when the heat is on in your home? It could be an allergic reaction to something or it could also be dry skin. I would start by changing her/his food. I would start a notebook & keep track of each food & your dogs reaction to that food. Things such is this is any difference in your dogs skin with each different food. If that did not work I would try treating your dog for dry skin. How we treated my dog when I was a kid was we put a little vegetable oil in her water and also fed her eggs at least 1-2 times a day. I hope that this helps!

T.

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M.J.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, when we got our dogs we researched to find out the best diets for them. We are very health concerened about what we and our children eat, so why would'nt we care about what we feed our dogs. We found a homeopathic vet who recommended a raw food diet for our dogs. We only give them organic or natural raw beef,chicken,chicken part,necks,wings and raw meaty bones for their diets and a dog muti vitiman with garlic and barley tabs for their limitied shedding..... We also give them hoeopathic worm medication to keep them from getting worms. Most of the time the flea collar and flea powder are very harmful to them and cause skin problems and much worse. The diet for our dogs gives them better skin,breath,no smell,optium health and never sick. They are 6 and 8 mnths old and are in perfiect health. When people see our dogs when we are out and about, the raves about how healthy they look and not at all hyper. Their breath smells like nothing...actually their breath smells better the most humans.They are happy and love to play. No skin problems at all!!! Look on google and type in homeopathic vets and make an appointment... you will be happy you did.

M.W.

answers from Dover on

Your dog might have allergic to the food this will cause skin and coat problems. I feed my dogs only Holistic (all natural) pet food which has no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no corn or corn gluten and no wheat or wheat gluten. I get it from HealthPetsLive.com and my dogs now don't have any health or skin problems. You can also try Naturals Melaleuca Oil Shampoo this works great, and it does not cost much. I use both these products because they are all natural and safe for my family and pets they are also very afforable. I hope this helped. If you need anymore information just e-mail me at [email protected]____.com

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J.T.

answers from Altoona on

A great place to ask this question is in the forums at www.dogster.com. There are so many knowledgeable people on there including breeders, vets, and just people who have dogs. I've learned so much from that site it's unbelievable. But, here's my suggestion. Natural Balance dog food makes several allergy formulas. My aunt's cat had this problem and she switch him to natural balance allergy formula and it cleared up. This food is a bit more expensive than a lot of cheap-o foods but it is extremely healthy for your dog and since it is more nutritious your dog will eat less of it and it will last longer. Before we switched, we used to go through a 50lb bag of purina in 3 weeks. Now a 17lb bag of Natural balance lasts us a month.

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M.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

this is going to sound odd but she may have allergies. my dog and cat both did the same thing and i took them to the vet to find out that yes they were allergic to something in their enviroment. my dog is also allergic to flea bites and her skin flares up. you may need to take her to the vet for the initial consultation and then she may need allergy shots. my vet only charges $15.00 every three months for the shot which is really reasonable. its the initial visit that may cost you. i completely understand finances but she could get really sick if it is not taken care of. if you are in the maple shade/moorestown area i can recommend a really great vet.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, this helped me... try using some regular over the counter Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo. Not too much or too many times since it is made for humans.

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K.S.

answers from Washington DC on

If nothing helps, call the vet and tell them that finances are limited and ask to come up with a realistic payment plan. Before you make the appointment, I mean. A good vet may work with you. Especially if your financial problems are temporary. If the dog is having hot spots they can get infected.

If it's allergy related, the dog just may need a little Benadryl, but the dosages aren't the same for dogs and people. I'm just saying the treatments might not be that expensive.

Our alpha dog got a chicken bone last week, and we found a bit of blood in the stool, and so we took him to the vet: X-rays and bloodwork and antibiotic and office visit which included suggestions for training so the dog would stop stealing food added up to about $280. (He's fine now.)

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D.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi I'm a licensed Vet tech in the Winchester area. If I may ask a few questions I might be able to give you a few suggestions with your dogs skin problem........What kind of dog is it? What kind of food is he/she being fed? Treats? Table scraps? Brand of food? How old is the dog? Most likely the odor that is being given off is from either a bacterial infection or a yeast infection on the skin. An oatmeal bath will help soothe the skin so it isn't as itchy and will help with the flaking. I would suggest giving the dog a bath at least once a week. Most of the shampoo's you can buy OTC at pet stores are not worth the money you spend on them. You would be better off going to your Vet if you have one and asking about a medicated shampoo until you can afford to take the dog to be seen. Depending on the breed of dog and other particulars, I might be able to give you some better ideas. Hope this helps you out, if not send me an email at [email protected]____.com Happy Bathing!!

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D.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

Skin issues can be from a variety of issues, yeast infections, food allergies, mites (like mange). Unfortunately the best bet is to go to the vet, you are going to end up wasting a lot of time and money on OTC products. Shampoos with Oatmeal can be soothing and help with irritation. If it is something like mange a topical product available through your vet called Revolution will help. Or if you suspect a food allergy try switching the diet to a non-beef, non-turkey etc.. Hills makes a food that helps with this, this is available from your vet. Is the skin irritation around the feet/toes, ears or is it generally everywhere. This can also help pin point the issue. Your vet will most likely need to do a skin scraping and take a closer look. Good luck!!

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J.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Mu first question would be - is your dog on frontline or advantage for fleas? I have a dog that one flea bite sends the dog into orbit and then it itches itself until it creates hotspots and flaking skin. The dog will often stink because he will bite at himself and his wonderful doggy breath is spread all over his coat... yum

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M.R.

answers from Pittsburgh on

First off, I think you should take the advice about trying to work something out with a vet. I've had dogs with the same problem, sometimes it was nothing, but sometimes it required a vet's attention. It could have something to do with the way your home is heated...forced air gas heat really seemed to aggravate my dog's problem, so it might be as simple as a humidifier, or for a short term cheap solution, just pans of water by your vents. For the short term, try the old chicken pox remedy where you cut off the legs of nylons and fill them with plain oatmeal. Then let the pouches soak in the tub and give your dog a bath. Rubbing the oatmeal over the itchy spots should help, and definitely won't harm your dog! It's a really cheap remedy, and always seemed to help ours. Good Luck!

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A.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would call the vet and simply explain your situation. Perhaps he/she can give you some advice based on your dog's symptoms at no charge. I have a "curious" dog who has done a lot of crazy things. Many times, the vet can give us advice right over the phone and can tell us what to look for in the event of something serious. I would at least try this before you try any home remedies that could possibly aggravate the symptoms. I can't hurt to try! Good luck.

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H.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm not sure if your dog has long hair but we used to have a keeshound that had really dry skin. My grandmother used to make a special meal for the dog. She would cook a large pot of rice, chicken, celery & carrots. She would then freeze it in individual serving bags and then just pull out a bag at each meal, heat it and feed it with some dry dog food. It really helped with her coat as well so that she didn't shed as much.

And since money is tight, if you ever need a meal for yourself, you can just defrost a bag and enjoy (but I wouldn't include the dog food!! LOL).

Hope this helps!

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T.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi EVERYONE!!!
I know that this thread is really old....2006 woooo.....but I'm going to answer anyway to give ya'll another opinion....
I'm going to be honest...there aren't very many options that you have aside from going to the vet for this issue.
It may help to change to a higher brand of dog food, some of the better brands that my vet recommends are Hills Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Royal Canin. Some dogs are allergic to common ingredients in food, those pets usually do well on vegetarian diets. (If you change the food be sure to mix it together for a few days, on day one just sprinkle a little bit of the new food on top, then gradually decrease the amount of old food and replace it with the new food, over the course of 5-7 days. This prevents upset stomach.) You could also try 3V Caps (Fish Oil), they are over the counter capsules filled with liquid that you can either a.) crush and put on your dogs food, or b.) (if the dog doesn't like the first option because sometimes the smell detracts the dog from the food) put it in a tasty treat (squeezy cheese, bologna, canned food ball). Some other things that you can try are an aloe and oatmeal shampoo (Animal Pharmaceuticals sells a really good one that is scented with Cucumber Melon) (don't bathe more than once a month unless directed by a vet, as frequent bathing can dry out the skin and cause itching) and a flea and tick prevention, such as Frontline or K9 Advantix. Some pets have flea allergy dermatitis, the pet doesn't even have to have fleas to get break out, a random flea could jump on your pet and bite him/her and your pet would react. Please do not use the cheap flea preventative that is sold in stores. There is no guarantee that they are safe, These are more expensive, but I find that they are two of the best preventatives out there.

If your pets skin has an odor, the concern is that there may be a secondary infection of the skin that can only be treated with antibiotics. Also, there is always a possibility of mites and ringworms, the only way to diagnose these are to do skin scrapes and cultures to look for the mites that are causing the issues. They have different treatments and I must warn you, some mites are zoonotic (which means that they can be passed from pet to owner, people that are at high risk are young children and the elderly, watch for extreme itchiness of the skin).
I think I have covered as many angles of your issue as I can think of at this time. I hope this helps.

~T

P.S. www.1800petmeds.com is a good place to browse
Under Flea and Tick I would click on topical applications (It lists Frontline, Advantix, Advantage, etc.)
Under health I would click on skin and coat (scroll down to where it says "Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids/Supplements" there it has the 3V caps and DermCaps)
under medications, choose skin care, under this list scroll down until you see Shampoos/Conditioners, the aloe one I told you about isn't on there but Epi-soothe is, that one is a very good one as well) GOOD LUCK!!!

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T.P.

answers from Dover on

Try putting a raw egg or olive oil in his food.

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