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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. here’s a great blog article (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. Champion 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/


Learn How To Take The Best Care Of Your Dog.




There is no such thing as a perfect dog owner. You may look back regretfully on mistakes you've made, but the truth is that you're not alone. Learning from your mistakes is key, and this article should show you the right way to care for your dog as it is chock full of advice from other owners like you.

Be sure your dog is neutered or spayed. This helps reduce the probability of cancer and extends the life of your dog. Additionally, dogs who undergo this procedure are much less likely to wander off and maybe get into to an accident.

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.

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.

Learn what health problems are most typical for your breed of dog. You might be able to prevent some conditions from developing by taking a little extra care of him from the beginning. Also, you can speak with the vet to see what can be done so that your pet will have a better chance at avoiding health problems.

Make sure you have the correct dog supplies. Before bringing your dog home for the first time, be sure that you are equipped with the right supplies. Every dog needs a good sized food and water bowl, a collar and leash, toys, and a comfy place to sleep. Also, remember to purchase an identification tag immediately.

If your dog does something that you do not like, try to avoid just saying no. To your dog, no doesn't really explain what you want your pup to do. Instead of saying no if your dog is jumping, try to get your dog to sit or lay down. By doing this, you provide your dog with an instruction of what to do.

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.

Timing is key when bringing your dog home. Try to introduce him to his new home over the weekend or when you have a couple of days off. Take https://petsroof.com/product-reviews/best-dog-food-for-american-bully/ to get to know one other - this will make him feel much more comfortable when he has to spend time in the home alone. Also, if you have children, make sure that they don't overwhelm him at first. If you have other pets in the house, be extra cautious when introducing the new arrival.

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!

Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He'll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.

You should remember the quote about too many cooks spoiling the soup while trying to train your dog. If the other people who help you train your dog are not consistent with what you started teaching, your dog will have a hard time. One person should be the master while the others reinforce what the dog is learning.

If your dog has been playing outside, take the time to inspect its ears and neck for ticks. These parasites are very common and could make your dog sick if you do not take action right away. Take your dog to the vet if you do not know how to remove the ticks yourself.

If you're going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren't able to watch it for a period of time.

You need to think everything through before you bring a dog home. There are a lot of ways you can do this and it is simple to be in love with a puppy dog face. Make sure that you understand all of the care dogs need so that you will know if you'll be able to do it all.

Before getting a dog make sure you have thought about your daily routing, as well as special events like vacations. You may really want a dog; however, you need to have both the time and patience to make the commitment that a dog requires.

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.

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.

Now that you have some simple tips to use with your dog, you should feel more confident in being a pet owner. That will result in a happier life for both you and your puppy pal. Don't stop learning here, instead keep reading all you can to ensure you're always up on the latest when it comes to dog ownership.
Pets

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




Caring for dogs is a huge amount of work. In some ways, it's almost like taking care of a child, except this child barks instead of crying. While it can seem overwhelming at times, you have the potential to be a great owner. This article will provide you with great tips for caring for your dog.


Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.

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.

If your puppy or dog is constantly chewing up your furniture, invest in some chew-toys. Scatter them around the floor, especially around the legs of the sofa and end-tables. Be enthusiastic about your offers to play with the chewies with your dog to encourage frequent use. This should eventually deter him from chomping your furniture.

You should talk to your vet about the foods you give your dog. Different breeds and stages of development might mean that certain brands and types of food cause an upset stomach. Always be cautious when you're thinking of feeding your dog.

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.

Keep your dog's teeth in tip tip condition. Just like humans, a dog can suffer from toothache, gum disease and even tooth loss. Regular brushing will ensure that that his teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Without regular brushing, it is estimated that dental disease will affect up to 80% of dogs by the age of three. As well as dental cleaning by a vet, make sure that you brush your dog's teeth regularly.

Check and double check your fenced in yard for spots your dog could escape through before letting him roam. The most secure method of keeping your dog outside is on a long run with a strong collar, but if you are comfortable that your fence can hold him, he'll enjoy that even more. Just make sure there's no room for error!

Get creative with your dog's ongoing training. For example, teach him commands in other languages or show him how to do something that will really impress everyone he meets. He will love showing off to people and the extra learning will create a more well-behaved animal who is happier with himself.

Do you have a hard time keeping your dog from barking? You might be encouraging this behavior without even realizing it. Your dog will keep barking if you acknowledge this behavior. It is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if your dog wants to come inside.

Be prepared for natural disasters that also impact your dog. Have an emergency supply of water and food for him and know in advance if your local shelter for people will allow pets inside. Too many pets are injured or lost following storms, floods and other situations that cause chaos in a community.

If training your dog is more than you can handle, you should consider sending it to obedience school. Do some research to find out more about the different obedience schools in your area and talk to other dog owners to find the best school possible. It is best to send your dog to obedience school while it is still a young pup.

Keep in mind that the pads on a dog's foot are very similar to the skin at the bottom of a human foot. This means that they have a hard time withstanding extreme heat and cold. If you have to take your dog out in extreme weather, make sure that you cover their paws, or you don't have them out for very long.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, it is crucial that you choose a bread wisely. For instance, if you have children, large vicious dogs may not be a good idea. Or, if you live in an apartment, smaller breeds may be better. Pick a dog that works well with your lifestyle.

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.

Never punish your dog for their negative behaviors. This will only lead to confusion and possibly resentment as well. If you want a well behaved dog it is best to instead focus on the behaviors that you like and work from there to train them to add more positive behaviors to the list.

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. You should always keep a bowl full of water where your dog can access it or purchase a small drinking fountain for your dog. If you have to leave your dog alone for long hours, so not leave more water than your dog needs.

If you're bringing a new dog into your house, you'll have to figure out where that pet will be sleeping. If the plan is for the dog to be crated by night, never let the dog sleep in your bed. If your wants to sleep in your space, ensure you can handle it.

After reading the tips, you should have a good understanding of the kinds of tasks you can undertake to care for your dog. You can always make improvements, so make sure you put the tips into practice. When you start seeing results, you'll be glad that you did, and your dog will be happy too.

Hopefully you enjoyed our post about Pets. Many thanks for taking time to read through our article. Are you aware of somebody who is truly interested in Dogs? Take a moment to share it. Thanks for being here. Return soon.

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