Posts filed under ‘Skin issues’

Back from the vet – more skin stuff

Over a week ago, Boogie dragged himself around on the grass and gave himself a rashy red belly. The rashes didn’t go away even after a bath and neosporin so today we were at the vet and unfortunately, Dr. R doesn’t know what exactly the problem is. There are red welts on Boogie’s belly and inner thighs and he has been licking them incessantly. Some of the welts have turned into dry sores… crusty and peeling. Dr. R said that it is some sort of bacterial infection, possibly Staph (like last time) or allergies. He prescribed some cephalexin (to cure the staph infection), and I am to watch for signs of improvement. If by next week the Boogs is still itchy, then we need to return for allergy meds.

The clinic that Boogie goes to is a small place and always insanely busy so we waited around for a LONG time (over 1 hour!!!) to see Dr. R.

When we arrived there were 3 dogs in the shoebox-sized waiting room (yikes) but Boogie stayed close to me and was OK. Boogie  is so used to being in this room with other dogs around that it’s not that big a deal…

There was a German Shepherd lying down in the far corner of the room who clearly was not interested in interacting with any dogs…. Boogie was curious, but not threatened at all.

A very regal Doberman sat next to us. Boogie sniffed her and got into playbow position several times… which got him a lot of attention from everyone in the waiting room – “Oh how cute! Look, he wants to play!” But the Doberman GROWLED at Boogie so I led him away. Not that the vet waiting room is an appropriate place for play anyway.

Photos below (because it was so boring just sitting around)

Someone said to me: You should take a photo of him in front of that black and white door…

Boogie: Please, can we go home now?

And while we were waiting for Dr. R to return with the cytology results…

Please please please can we go home now?

Please, mom?

Vet appointment was at 2.30pm. We didn’t get out of there until 5.00pm. And I will have to return again this week because they were out of Comfortis (flea meds) today.

March 16, 2010 at 1:21 am 12 comments

Cancer Diet recipe, from The Honest Kitchen

Tonight I cooked up the “Cancer Diet” from the Honest Kitchen recipe book. This is a recipe that has higher protein than others and is suitable for both dogs and cats.

I started with this recipe because I already had all the ingredients at home: ground turkey, yams, green beans and yogurt. I sauteed the turkey with a combination of extra virgin olive oil & virgin coconut oil (which I read is really good for skin issues) and boiled the veggies first because Boogie is fussy and will only eat them cooked. (He also doesn’t eat fruit, except watermelon). I think this big bowl will last 3-4 days if I feed him 1.5 cups per day.

February 6, 2010 at 3:16 am 2 comments

On Thyroid-related behavior issues

This is something I learned only recently and today Boogie had his blood taken for a Thyroid test. We will get the results on Saturday. Fingers tightly crossed.

*UPDATE: The vet hasn’t received all the results yet. Still waiting….

It has been said that aggression issues (especially “aberrant aggression”, fear of strangers etc.)  can be linked to thyroid issues and that medication can help in addition to behavior modification. Sometimes, medication eliminates all the symptoms and a fearful/anxious/aggressive dog becomes friendly again. (wow. Sounds too good to be true?)

Some links:

The number of animals showing various types of aberrant behavior in these three classical modes (aggression, extreme shyness or seizure-like activity) has been increasing in frequency over the last decade. Consequently, we began to examine these animals by using the stepwise diagnostic approach outlined above [ Complete history; clinical examination; neurological work-up; routine laboratory testing of CBC, blood chemistry and thyroid profiles, urinalysis, fecal exam and x-ray; additional specific laboratory tests as indicated; examination of cerebral spinal fluid; more specialized neurological examinations). We were surprised to find that in many cases studied, significant abnormalities were found in the thyroid profile.

Boogie doesn’t show any of the usual symptoms of thyroid disease like ADD, lethargy and weight gain, but we know he has aggression issues and Dr. R said that he has recurring skin problems and ear infections… and while allergies may be the primary cause of these infections, we can’t rule out low thyroid levels.

We’ll wait and see…

December 18, 2009 at 12:23 am Leave a comment

Staph :(

Boogie in Elysian Park. DISCLAIMER: this is a very old photo. Boogie no longer wears one of these prong collars. I am now training him 100% with positive reinforcement. No physical punishments.

Home from the vet.

Dr. R. took some skin and hair samples but we won’t have definite results for at least another 10 days. However, he doesn’t think it’s mites or ringworm. It is most likely a secondary Staph Infection caused by allergies. Based on his knowledge of Boogie’s symptoms and how Boogie responded to various meds, he believes the allergies to be related to the environment or the season rather than to food. He prescribed oral antibiotics (Cephalexin) for at least 2 weeks.

According to this long list of Dog Allergies , Staph falls under the “Bacteria Allergy” category:

A dog’s skin normally harbors Staph (Staphylococcus) bacteria. If the skin is normal and the dog’s immune system is normal, Staph causes no problems. Your dog is more likely to develop a bacteria allergy if it is in other ways unhealthy, or if it has other allergies.

Signs of a bacteria dog allergy include hair loss that is often round and 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, red blotches on the skin, and possibly the development of pus pockets filled with fluid.

Common veterinarian practice is to do a blood test, prescribe the Antibiotic Cephalexin and the immune stimulant shots of ImmunoRegulin.Corticosteroid Cream, or a Steroid Drug, or a NSAID. Veterinarians will also instruct you to give your dog baths with a Medicated Shampoo.

The lesions will usually clear with Antibiotics but return as soon as the antibiotics are discontinued. With continued use of antibiotics, dogs become resistant to the antibiotics, and the Staph-allergic dog has recurrent infections.

Sounds kinda depressing. Poor little Boogie Monster.

Here is another webpage I googled about Staph dermatitis in dogs:

If you have any experience with this, please share!

*UPDATE: Boogie’s skin is looking MUCH better! After 3 weeks of antibiotics, his hair hasn’t grown back yet, but Dr. R said that this would take some time. Boogie has to continue taking Cephalexin for another 3 weeks.

October 27, 2009 at 12:00 am 68 comments

Hair loss and crusty dry skin… What is it?

When the weather cooled down, thank goodness the red summer allergy rash on Boogie’s face went away. But we now have another skin-related problem. (Sigh – There’s always something else, isn’t there?)

In the sunlight, Boogie’s black coat looks like it has white splotches or specks all over it. On closer inspection these are bald patches of dry flaky crusty skin. And these patches are EVERYWHERE!  I think they itch because Boogie loves rubbing his back on the grass way too much.

Does anyone know what causes these dry crusty patches?

What are they? An allergic reaction?  Is it some type of MANGE? – I have no experience with mange so I don’t know.

I searched the WOOF forums. Other BT owners who have experienced similar dry skin issues said they switched foods and/or changed shampoos and the skin problems went away. Or they added a skin supplement to their dog’s diet, which is something I have  already been doing from Day One.

This is what Boogie is eating everyday:

* HALO Spot’s Stew Chicken kibble
* The Honest Kitchen FORCE or KEEN
* The Honest Kitchen PERFECT FORM (digestive supplement)
* Sometimes – cooked chicken, or canned sardines/tuna

Treats: Wellness Lamb/Chicken jerky, Beef smokehouse jerky rolls, hot dogs, Zuke’s mini training treats…

For his skin and coat, I was giving him ULTRA OIL everyday for the past 6 months. One month ago I switched to HALO’s DREAM COAT oil but I am seeing no difference in his coat. If anything, I think the problem is getting worse. The crusty bald patches are multiplying…

This week I added MISSING LINK, yet another type of Omega 3/6 supplement.

The shampoo we use is by KELCO (Coco tar for dry skin).

Perhaps a visit to the vet is in order (to rule out mange) but if anyone knows what this is, please share your knowledge!

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

(Follow us on instagram HERE)

October 25, 2009 at 7:10 pm 160 comments

Allergies – pink face.

The Boogs has a rash on his face – it’s the same one that he has had all summer – pink, raw, itchy, weepy skin in between the folds of his face. I give Boogie skin+coat supplements and have applied hydrocortisone cream, neosporin, zinc oxide, baking soda (it’s supposed to relieve itchiness), nu-stock…… I can’t tell if any of these work because when I’m not watching, Boogie rubs the stuff off his face onto his bed, the couch, or the carpet…

The bald patches on his face look worse at night – really red and sometimes bloody. And I can’t see the skin healing and the fur growing back in a hurry because the area is always damp from tear stains.

Dr R. gave him a cortisone shot about 1-2 months ago and that seemed to help A LOT. Boogie stopped scratching and his face started to heal. This steroid medication lasted about 2 weeks and then his face looked really bad again. When we went back to the vet yesterday for another cortisone shot, Dr R. didn’t think it was such a good idea as repeated cortisone shots can bring about horrible side effects including liver damage. (Like Prednisone) So we came home instead with some Panalog cream.

A few new routines:

  • I have started Boogie on Comfortis – an oral anti-flea med, instead of Frontline/Advantage.The vet tech warned that there may be some vomitting at first if he is not used to this…
  • I am introducing HALO pet food to Boogie’s diet and ordered an Intro Kit. I don’t know yet if I will do a full switch where I will feed exclusively Halo… I read that mixing up his diet – feeding a variety of proteins will prevent the possibility of developing an allergy to a single protein. (He has been eating THK turkey all year)
  • My complimentary Thankdog Bootcamp classes have ended but I might be enrolling in a program of maybe 2 or 3 classes a week. This is great discipline for me and good obedience practice for Boogie. He still hates the wet grass and protests like nobody’s business but well, what can ya do….The amazing thing is that at home and on our walks – he understands and obeys! Well, maybe only 60% of the time but hey, that’s a HUGE improvement.

October 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm 1 comment

Back to Bootcamp

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 

It has been a long time since the last blog post… We went to the vet today and the Boogs is suffering from summer allergies. We had the same problem last summer – he chewed and chewed on himself until this tail and thighs were full of bald pink spots. This summer, things look much worse because the raw pink spots are on his face… and his ears are also raw, crusty, scabby and bleeding. I told Dr Reina that I had tried everything including Benadryl. Should I make Boogie wear a cone to prevent further rubbing and scratching?

Dr Reina: “You can put the cone on, but he will still be itching and in agony.”

So, he gave Boogie a shot of cortisone and some ointment for his ears… we will see if there is any improvement this week. I hope his face and ears will heal. If Boogie continues to scratch then I am to give him cortisone pills.  I love a long endless Summer but for Boogie’s sake, I can’t wait for it to end.

So, back onto the training stuff. To recap, Boogie started Obedience Training a few months ago and we got as far as Lesson 1 when our trainer Jill suddenly fractured her hip and was out of action. I said I would prefer to put lessons on hold until Jill is healed… and now, a couple of months later, Jill is back on both her feet and ready to move onto Lesson 2.

Just one problem – Wes and I had slackened off on the training rules and most of what we achieved in Lesson 1 has gone out the window. Oops.

Boogie’s Progress:

HEEL – good with sprenger collar. Otherwise, nope.
SIT – good, most of the time.
STAY – er… sometimes
DOWN – only with treat. No treat, no down.
GO TO YOUR PLACE – er.. nope. We let Boogie off-leash and he has been free-roaming the apartment and jumping freely up and down furniture. We lost this one.
CRATING – He now sleeps in bed but I still crate him when I go out. Jill said it’s ok for him to sleep in our bed as long as he doesn’t hate his crate. (whew!)

Jill insists that we get Lesson 1 down pat (especially the ‘Down’ command) because Lesson 2 builds on stuff that we should have mastered in Lesson 1… so, sigh… it’s back to the beginning we go.

I pulled out my ThankDogTraining Lesson One notes today – OMG there are 8 pages. In an attempt to motivate myself and have all this stuff sink in once and for all, I decided to draw up a summary of the Lesson One rules and notes… Can you tell that I am trying very hard to make this fun for Wes and myself?

I can tell you that we definitely have broken all the golden rules…

Here we go again.

August 11, 2009 at 2:22 am 4 comments

It’s HOT SPOT season

This time last year, Boogie itched and scratched like a mad dog. There were sores, scabs and bald patches on his back, thighs, legs. It was horrible. I used  Neosporin, Hydrogen Peroxide, several varieties of anti-itch cream… nothing seemed to work and Boogie would resort to hiding in my closet so that nobody could stop him  from scratching and chewing on himself.

It’s summer again. More K-9 Advantix… Get out the anti-flea furniture sprays..

Today I noticed a nasty red hot spot behind Boogie’s left ear. He was scratching and whimpering at the same time.  His ear was so red raw it looked like it was about to bleed. 😦

And then there’s the ordeal of applying ANY sort of cream on Boogie. No sooner do I pick up a tube of neosporin or whatever med, Boogie cowers away from me and hides under the coffee table.


Of all the stuff I have tried, this one is good. NuStock is a yellow-colored cream for mange, mites, skin disorders, hot spots etc. The smell is so INTENSE it could be flammable. (No wonder Boogie hates it)  He will do anything to get it off him hence the stains all over my furniture – ick! But you do see a difference. The sore heals, the hair grows back faster!

I can still smell this stuff on my hands, in the air, everywhere. It’s so strong. Poor little Boogs and his sensitive doggie nose…

June 12, 2009 at 1:32 am 1 comment

Boogie: red neck

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 

As part of his training regimen, Boogie is supposed to wear this sprenger collar ALL THE TIME. Even when there is no leash attached to it. Even when he is sleeping, we are supposed to keep the collar on. Hell, I am going to break the rules and take this thing off.

I looked at his neck today where the skin is really white and soft and now it’s red with little scabby bits. 😦

I am open to advice on what to put on his neck to heal/soothe it.

UPDATE: Boogie’s trainer suggests getting a half-chain martingale collar instead. In the meantime,  Boogs is wearing this new blue starry hemp Martingale collar. (I actually bought this collar with one of my birthday gift certificates.)

I think it looks pretty cool!  And it’s comfy! We went for a walk a moment ago and he responded to the tugs of this collar in much the same way as he did with the sprenger collar.

June 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

Boogie is Mr. May!

Posted Date: : Sep 22, 2008 5:40 AM

The 2009 Boston Buddies Rescue Calendar is fabulous! If you are a BT lover and haven’t bought it or seen it yet, you can order/check out all the pages HERE.

Our Boogie Monster is the month of MAY:

Erica and Jen from All-Mighty also have a flickr set of photos from yesterday’s Boston Tea Party.  Lots and lots of cute Bostons!

Here is Boogie in his classic Crawl pose…

You can see the bald patches on his back thigh… Poor little bug; he still has his hot spots and there are also bald patches above his bald tail. I still catch him licking and chewing on himself every day and frankly, I am starting to wonder if I should put an e-collar (cone thing) on him. I have started applying Nu-Stock on his wounds … I read many enthusiastic testimonials that this Nu-Stock stuff is a miracle cure for mange, itchy skin and hair loss but the trouble is, no matter how horrible-tasting the creams and sprays are, Boogie still licks them off! 😦

September 22, 2008 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

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