Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My dog has very dry skin and he scratches constantly. What can I do to relieve his itching?

He is a border collie/english spaniel mix with long hair. We keep his hair cut short. He seems to have this problem worse in the summer.

My dog has very dry skin and he scratches constantly. What can I do to relieve his itching?
In my experience as a breeder dry itchy skin is caused mainly by one thing: a shortage of Linoleic Acid in the diet. Furthermore this has to be present in a certain ratio with Linolenic Acid as it serves as a carrier molecule. Mind you we aren't talking about just any Omega 6 or 3 Fatty Acids but those 2 specifically. Another fact is that lamb is the most hypoallergenic of all the commonly used pet food proteins and rice the safest of all the grains. Not to mention rice is also the most digestible. You should feed this:

Best food for Border Collies and Border Collie mixes IMO. One working BC handler I know has been feeding Nutro for over 30 years. Another thing that helps is Super 14 for horses by Farnam. When selecting a Shampoo look into one made with Tea Tree oil, it has potent antiseptic/antifungal properties and is 7 times more moisturizing than Aloe. 'ProCare' is the one with the highest Tea Tree oil content I've used:

If you are dealing with seasonal allergies and these are not severe I would stay away from certain medications, these can cause additional (and far more life threatening) health problems in the long run. A bonded cysteine supplement in your dog's diet might also help.
Reply:Go to your vet. Maybe he/she can prescribe a cream.

Hope I helped!
Reply:Have a look here.
Reply:Dog's with dense long fur can get hot spots, where the skin becomes irritated and just won't heal in the summer heat. I have a border collie/golden retriever mix, and I keep him shaved spring and summer. He may simply need more oils in his diet. If he has alot of dander, that could be a signal that he's not getting enough in his food. I switched my dog to Iams, and that has been a great help. You might try adding some olive oil to his food or they make a capsule that you can buy from the vets or Petsmart that contains a variety of oils that will improve the quality of his skin and his coat. There really isn't anything topical to help dogs with dry skin, it's treated more from the inside out.
Reply:On this site it says not to overbather, brush him often to keep the blood circulating and it also recommends a supplement. There is a link to it on the page.
Reply:give him fish oil pills and use hair conditioner after his bath
Reply:Give him binadryl. You can give him 1 25mg tablet twice a day.
Reply:try putting a little vegetable oil on your dogs food, it worked for my dog.
Reply:give him "Derm Caps", or got see your vet and he/she can recommend something.
Reply:I have a schnauzer that does the same thing, it is allergies. He gets a Cortisone shot around every 2-3 months for it when it is really in full swing. They also prescribe Prednisone and over the counter Benadryl. I hate seeing my dog miserable and it also drives me crazy when he scratches. Go to your vet and they will help you. Good luck!
Reply:Make sure your dog isn't itching due to allergies or thyroid. These are tests that the vet can do for you. Border collies are prone to these diseases. I have a golden retriever/border collie mix and he has both allergies and thyroid. These can be treated and controlled to keep your dog happy and healthy. If his problem is only in the summer, it would be my guess it is allergies. Try Benadryl to help alleviate the itching. Cortizone shots will help, but too much of this steroid can shut downt he kidneys and introduce a different set of problems for your pet. There are allergy shots for dogs...very similar to a child's.
Reply:Have you read the ingredients on the dog food label. The first ingredient should be meat not corn. Some foods contain a higher fat level which would put more oil in the skin, reducing the itching.

My label says that it contains 20% fat, what does yours say?

Also, vaccines can cause skin problems in dogs. What time of yr does he get his shots?

Read Wisconsin University web links:
Reply:my dog had the same problem. The vet told us to put a little vegetable oil in his food also. That worked for him. I am now using Nutro natural dog food from Petco and it has a lot of oils in the food. It has made a huge difference in the dogs coat.
Reply:I would recommend not clipping the dog anymore. He is a medium-long haired breed of dog and his fur is there to protect him from the elements. That is probably why it is worse in the summer, with the sun, dry air, rain, and such to irritate his skin.

There are several ways to deal with the problem right now though. Adding a skin and coat supplement to his food will help. For the itching, try a hydrocoritsone or anit-itch spray. It will soak in quicker than a cream, making it harder for him lick it off.

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