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We've stumbled upon this post relating to Pets listed below on the web and believe it made good sense to relate it with you here.

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues


I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix's full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix's permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It's sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it's nowhere near over. Here's my best advice for dogs with skin issues.


Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix's skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.


See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it's honestly best to go right to the top experts.



Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog's damaged skin.



Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).



Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it's recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.



When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.



Follow your veterinary dermatologist's advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don't improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)


Mr. Stix's Story as a Dog with Skin Problems


This is what Mr. Stix's nakey spot looks like when it's normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That's not the issue.


This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.


This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) ... as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.


But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix's skin got much, much worse -- even breaking open and scabbing over.


Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.



But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.


Post-Biopsy Diagnosis


As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don't think it is life-threatening. They don't think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.



With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus -- often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It's the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that's where we started.



I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn't heal completely.



So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.



But, it still hasn't healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.


Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug


Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.



It smells like it's made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it's recommended you give on an empty stomach).



I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.



The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix's ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.



It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it's going to help the skin (or not).



We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.


Anxiety


I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don't know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.



I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix's weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.



It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. when do pitbulls stop growing of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we'll want to risk it ... because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.



He is only 3 years old. I don't want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I'd poisoned him.



The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn't seem to hurt or itch or anything -- though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn't lick it off.



His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/


How To Care For A Dog: Tips And Advice




Owning a dog is no simple task. They require a ton of care, from being bathed to fed to checked over by the vet. With so much to do, how can you keep track? This article will give you some simple tips to help you get the job done right.

Hugs are great, but steer clear of kisses. It is unsanitary to be licked by a dog. Dogs are always getting into garbage, drink from places like the toilet, and they clean their bodies with their tongues. It's an old wives' tale that a dog has a very clean mouth. It simply is not the case.

When giving your dog a bath, make sure that you only put on shampoo that is intended for canines. Using lukewarm water, get the entire body wet and then begin applying the shampoo to their face, working your way down their body. Wait a few minutes and then take a washcloth and wipe off the suds from your pet's face. Wash off the rest of the shampoo as well.

Never give your dog milk! It's not necessary for his body and he doesn't have the proper enzymes to digest it anyway. Feeding your dog cow's milk can lead to chronic diarrhea and leave him with an upset stomach, among other health problems. Stick with plain old water for a healthy and hydrated dog.

It is important for you to take your dog in to see the vet on a fairly regular basis. Just like humans, dogs can develop health problems like toothaches, arthritis and weight gain. Do not wait until you think your dog is sick before taking him in to be seen.

You don't want to buy the bargain dog food. Cheap brands usually contain ingredients that can be harmful to the health of your dog. Try using animal advocacy groups or consumer awareness to get a list of great dog foods that have high professional recommendations. Your dog will be much healthier if you feed it some healthy food.

Pet boarding and day-care services are a billion dollar business, so make sure you get your money's worth if you have to leave home without your dog. Although kennels offer interesting opportunities to socialize, your dog will be happier with familiar surroundings. Thoroughly check references for a sitter-service and keep him in his own home if at all possible. Otherwise, put him in a reputable kennel and check up on him oft

Follow instructions from the vet if the dog needs special attention or has medication. For instance, your dog may need a cone and not like it, but your vet prescribed it for a reason. Your vet will recommend things that are good for the health of your dog, so make sure that you follow his advice.

Feed your dog dry, premium-quality dog food. This kind of dog food helps to make sure your dog gets all of their vital nutrients. Making sure that they get proper nutrition helps them live a longer life and reduces their chances of obesity, malnutrition, skeletal problems, muscular problems, and many more conditions.

Remember that dogs are creatures of habit and anything you start with him will be expected in the future. If you're not keen on him sleeping with you, don't let him do it only on occasion. Likewise, if you don't want him begging at the table, never offer him a bite of people food. He will learn and accept things if you are consistent.

Get your dog spayed, and if you have a female in heat, take extra care that she does not become pregnant. Males can smell her scent for miles. This may also make other dogs fight and it could also get her pregnant which will make her have puppies from an unknown source.

Never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours each day. For example, if you are planning on being away from home for a few days, you should find a place to house them where they can get regular care. Dogs can become anxious when left alone for extended times, so consider their feelings and provide them with the care that they need.

Check your dog for ticks and fleas daily once it gets warmer outside. You can get a flea comb that will help with the removal of fleas on your dog. There are lots of products that can help with ticks and fleas. Speak with your veterinarian about various flea and tick remedies.

Send your dog to school! He will feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of him and obedience school will help him learn that. It will also boost his self-confidence, and of course, make a more well-behaved pet of him. Call around locally and see if you can sign him up for a trial class and take it from there.

Do you feel stressed out a lot? Dogs have been proven to help lower your blood pressure and help you to feel calm. People who own dogs often live longer than those who do not. Dogs can also bring you happiness and comfort if you are suffering from an illness.

If you live with other people, make sure they are aware of your training "rules." It is important that everyone redirects the dog off of the furniture, for example, and that they use the same language when doing so. If everyone's rules are different, your dog is just going to get confused, which will make the training process much longer and more difficult.

Pay attention to your dog's breath. Dogs will always have "dog breath,"u009d however, really bad breath is a sign that they need a dental check up. Plaque buildup caused by bacteria could be the culprit and that will need to be treated by a professional. After their treatments, you will need to brush their gums and teeth and feed them food that helps maintain good dental health.

Teach published an article . Simple commands like sit, stay and heel are important for keeping your dog safe and helping him to become friendly around other people. Dogs can easily learn these commands in very little time, and lessons are available if you need some extra assistance.

The knowledge you have gained from reading this article in full will prepare you to bring your dog to your home once and for all. Once you have everything you need and your home is puppy proofed, go and find yourself a best friend. You'll give them the life they deserve and provide yourself with endless hours of love.
Pets

Have Any Dog-related Questions? We'll Answer Them





Who doesn't love having a dog? The attention they give you is second to none. The friendship they provide is stronger than most. That's why you have to pay your dog back and make sure that you are doing everything you can for him. Here are some suggestions about how you can do the best for your dog.

Much like people in the United States, many dogs are overweight. Having a few extra pounds on their frame can lead to a number of health problems, like cancer or diabetes. Many owners simply overfeed their pets. Talk to your veterinarian about how many calories your dog needs each day so you can adjust their meals accordingly.

Never hit your dog. There are better ways to train a dog without having to resort to violence. The best way to train a dog is to reinforce positive behaviors with treats and attention. Negative behavior should be handled with a stern and disapproving voice as opposed to striking the animal.

Your dog needs to be secured when in a car. Not only will it make the journey safer, as it will lead to fewer distractions for the person driving the car, but in the event of an accident, it could also save your dog's life. Look for a seat belt harness, often sold at pet stores, that you can put in your car for your pet.

Don't be upset if your dog does not want to get dressed up. It's becoming more popular to dress your dog in dog clothes, but some dogs just don't like the feeling of having clothes on. If your dog does not relax after the clothing is on, you should remove the clothing to avoid your dog trying to remove it by itself.

If your dog has long hair, make sure to take the time to trim the fur around his feet. If you allow your dog's hair to grow too long, they can get things stuck in their fur. This could lead to injuries between the pads of the feet and around the nails.

When you are walking your dog in the wintertime, there may be rock salt or chemical ice melters that come in contact with his feet. Once you get back in the house, wash his paws and dry them gently. This will prevent these items from causing any type of infections.


Brush your dog often, even if he's got short hair. It's good for his coat and skin and can alert you of possible issues like fleas, tics and eczema. The dog will also enjoy the attention and brushing him regularly will keep more of his fur from flying around the house and landing on your furniture and carpets.

No matter what kind of dog you may have, hang up a few "Beware of Dog" signs on your property. They are known deterrents to would-be burglars and can help protect you and your family. Just the sign alone indicates probable failure of any robbery attempt and a single bark will have them running away!

Accept the aging process in your dog and know how to meet his changing needs. Your older dog may require dietary changes, more rest and not be as playful as he once was. This doesn't mean he should be left to grow old in a corner. Adapt to his needs and make his golden years enjoyable!

Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog the habits that you would like to see from them. For example, if you notice that your dog barks anytime someone enters your home you could reward him for not barking with a treat. The dog will then associate being quite with the reward that he will receive.

Don't bathe your dog after you have applied a flea or tick medication. Some medications tout that they are waterproo, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will largely wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you must bathe the dog after a treatment, use a soap free shampoo.

Does your dog chew a lot? This could be a sign that your dog is bored or anxious. You need to provide your dog with some toys that can be chewed and perhaps leave a shirt with your smell near your dog to avoid separation anxiety, especially if your dog is very young.

Keep your dog hydrated. Similar to humans, dogs need plenty of fresh water to drink. If a dog doesn't get enough water, they can easily get dehydrated, sick, and possibly die. Provide them with a fresh water bowl every day. Always keep it filled and clean for them. Keep the bowl in single location.

Try to use positive reinforcement on your dog. Rewards and praise work better and faster than violence and dominance. Treating your dog well is good for your pet's emotional health, but it's also the most effective training method. Be nice and enjoy the results.

Owning a new puppy is very similar to having a new baby. Puppies need a lot of attention and have to be taken care of constantly. They are not ready to be left alone for long periods of time and need to have a fair amount of attention devoted to them.

Keep in mind that some behavioral problems in your dog could be connected to health issues, especially if your dog is displaying a new behavior. Your dog might become aggressive when you touch it because of a pain and it might have a hard time with house-training because of an infection.

No matter what kind or length of fur your dog has, it is important that they are brushed regularly. Without regular brushing, your dog's fur may become matted. Matted fur can cause inflammation on your dog's skin and is very difficult to remove. Also, brushing their fur regularly gets rid of dead hair and helps distribute oils.

You need to take your responsibilities as a dog owner seriously. An animal is just like any other member of the family, and it needs to be taken care of so it can survive. Though it is a big job to do, you should be able to do it. Use what you learned here and incorporate it into taking care of your own dog.

I was made aware of that editorial about Dogs through a friend on another blog. Sharing is caring. Helping people is fun. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it.

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