Following on from “Hair Loss and Crusty Skin”

April 15, 2015 at 7:08 pm 5 comments

I notice that the blog entries about Boogie’s skin issues get the MOST visits and comments compared to everything else on this blog. This “hair loss” post is many years old, and so are all the posts tagged Skin, but the comments and questions keep coming in. Lots of questions from parents of suffering dogs who want to know which remedies worked and which ones didn’t.

I don’t have answers for other people’s dogs, but here is an update for Boogie….

After spending $$$$ on vet bills, products, and visits to the dermatology clinic over the past 5 years, I decided NOT to go the path of allergy testing and lifelong injections. Our pet insurance doesn’t cover this stuff because anything skin-related is considered a “pre-existing condition”, so I have been focused on more cost-effective solutions.

2015: Boogie’s skin is not great but it is SO MUCH BETTER. In fact, over the past 12 months, Boogie’s skin has been at its best, and looks pretty good compared to previous years.  The summer of 2014 was the first time in 5 years that he did not go on a long course of antibiotics and lose most of his hair. He also had no crusty bits.

The “Solution”:

It took roughly 8 months before I saw the difference with Darwins food and the Pet Cod Liver Oil. Boogie’s coat became fuller and shinier; not rough and dry like before.

Benadryl was recommended by our vet. It seems extreme to be giving this to him every single day – but he is less inclined to scratch, and scratching is the FIRST STEP to infections. In warmer/itchier seasons, he gets 1 benadryl per day. In cooler seasons, he gets one every other day. He still scratches, and is still itchy… but I think it would be much worse without the benadryl.

I also bathe Boogie with Vet’s Best Allergy-Itch Relief shampoo, and occasionally soak him in a tub of diluted Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray or I wipe him down with a cloth that I put some spray on. Especially after he has been rolling around in the grass.

Boogie still gets red and raw spots… especially on his face and in his armpits. I have found that the Virbac Resicort lotion (from our vet) helps with his armpits, but unfortunately this is a recurring problem.

P.S. I tried the coconut oil and apple cider vinegar… these didn’t do anything.


UPDATE – May 2016

This here is a really really old blog post but as I am still receiving so many comments  and questions, I want to give a very quick update on Boogie’s skin problems which did in fact, repeat themselves every Summer  until last year when we started him on Apoquel – an allergy medicine that does not carry the harmful effects of antibiotics or steroids or benadryl.

Boogie’s allergies were ENVIRONMENTAL, not food-related. So the grass, pollen, air, flea bites… etc.

Apoquel inhibits itching so that Boogie doesn’t feel the need to scratch – which means that his skin does not get infected (which leads to Staph infections). Boogie’s skin has cleared up and he looks great. He also has had blood work done and everything is normal. No bad side effects from the Apoquel except some weight gain.

The only problem so far with Apoquel is that it is expensive and Boogie has to take it EVERY DAY forever. When we ran out and he stopped taking it,  the itchiness came back within days. It is also only available from an Animal Dermatologist. Vets have a limited supply.

The other very important life changer for Boogie is WEEKLY baths with Hexazole shampoo – this stuff is amazing. Everyone comments on how nice and shiny Boogie’s coat is. Also expensive, of course. But it works.

I am not a medical expert so don’t take my word for anything. Please talk to your vet or dermatology specialist. Hope this helps! – Lili

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Entry filed under: Food, Skin issues, Supplements.

Life with a deaf dog… When you are out walking your dog…

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Barbara  |  April 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Today, 4/17/15, I read all 84 posts on your blog. After 4 months and almost $700 dealing with this crusty skin and hair loss, my 4 lb Chihuahua is still suffering without a clue of what to do. It is heartbreaking to see sores all over her small body. I was wondering if anyone saw this begin with a couple of fleas. I live in FL where the flea population is active all year around. It is difficult to choose deadly pesticides to control these nasty insects on such small pets so I would apply flea meds only when fleas were present. I do believe that is what originally kicked this off. She obviously is terribly allergic to their saliva. Been down just about every area of treatment offered by pet owners plaqued by this horrible skin condition on your blog. Has any one tried kefir milk? That is the path I am currently traveling down. It is the champion of all probiotics. She loves it and I have heard so many wonderful and promising results on so many ailments for both people and pets. I encourage all to check out the benefits of kefir. I will be glad to share my findings good or bad over the next few weeks.

    • 2. Kate  |  December 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Where are the results??? It’s almost 2016! And how you use it?

      • 3. lili  |  July 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm

        Barbara and Kate – read my update ^^

  • 4. Dy  |  April 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Glad to see Boogie is doing well. He is a handsome boy! I came across your blog searching for this subject in google. As a fellow BT owner you have put my mind at ease with skin conditions as mine just developed what looks like the same exact thing. The other parts of your blog are great, so humorous and informative about doggie life. 🙂

    • 5. lili  |  July 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you, Dy 🙂


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