Posts filed under ‘Skin issues’

Trying out a couple of new doggie products

1. Freshpet VITAL dog food.

This is the same company that makes those Deli Fresh and Vital rolls that I have been using as training treats. (Thanks to Sarah for the recommendation!) I picked up this bag of Vital Complete Meal at my local pet store, from the fridge where they keep the other Freshpet bologna-type rolls.

At first I was a little concerned that there are so many different proteins in this food … seems like overkill to me… but we’ll see how Boogie does.  I like that this massive bag is only $10 (cheap compared to other  brands, and this stuff is fresh!) and being kibble-sized, they also work as high value treats.

2. Virbac Epi-Soothe Creme Rinse Conditioner

Poor Boogie’s skin is so itchy, dry and flaky.  Our vet recommended Virbac Etiderm doggie shampoo which is what I have bathing Boogie with once a week, but we have seen no improvements. The several weeks that Boogie was on antibiotics for staph, he stopped itching and his skin cleared up. A week after he finished the antibiotics, the itchies came back. There are now dry patches on his back legs, dandruffy bits on his coat, and bald spots on his butt. And his little nub of a tail is completely hairless from all that chewing and scooting on the rug.

My friends (parents of Popeye and Rosie) recommended this Virbac Epi-Soothe Conditioner. I am going to rinse and condition the Boogs twice a week (no shampoo) and hope for the best.

October 29, 2011 at 6:50 am 6 comments

Summer allergies, staph again :(

It’s that time of the year – skin allergies, relentless itchiness, infections, bleh.  Last week, we came home from the vet with another stash of medications.

Triamcinolone Acetonide
Gentocin Otic

Once again, Boogie has been diagnosed with a staph infection 😦  Bald crusty patches on his skin and red pimples on his belly. Dr. R. doesn’t know why unlike most dogs, Boogie is so predisposed to this staph – which seems to always develop in the summer season along with the skin allergies. I am not sure what to do. One option is to have Boogie allergy-tested… an expensive process which doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.  I also happen to know that all the dogs on my street are experiencing similar problems. The allergens are in the grass and the air.

As Dr. R said with a shrug –  Even if I spend a small fortune on allergy testing, Boogie will most probably end up taking the same treatment anyway.

The Triamcinolone (which is a steroid medication) makes Boogie so hungry. Which is great for Clicker Training games but not so good for every other time of the day. Poor ravenous little dog. Day and night, I see him restlessly scrounging around for food, licking and re-licking my floors where treats were dropped hours ago. On our walks, he inhales crap off the sidewalk. He wants to go for walks ALL THE TIME… also because he is drinking more water and needs to pee a gallon every 2 hours.  I really really hate steroid meds!

The good part is that the itching has stopped. His skin is healing up and thank goodness, we’re moving into Fall.

September 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

Another Itchy Skin post

"Yo, squirrel!"

Hair Loss & Crusty Dry Skin – What is it? is possibly one of the most visited posts on Boogie’s Blog,  and our vet had diagnosed this recurring problem as an allergy-related  staph infection.

Recently I came across an article that confirms and sheds more light on the problem:  The Killer App for Canine Itching and Skin Infections

In fact, this reads EXACTLY like what Boogie suffers from.  Every summer, something in the air sets off an itchy skin reaction with crusty sores and hair loss, and poor Boogie has to take cortisone shots and excessive quantities of oral antibiotics to get some relief.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the antibiotics once relied on to clear up both human and animal infections are becoming increasingly less effective against “superbugs” like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP, formerly known as MRSI — same bug, new acronym), which makes dogs miserable but almost never causes problems for people, and its well-known human counterpart, MRSA. The more frequently antibiotics are prescribed for infections, including canine skin infections, the more bacteria develop resistance to those drugs.

According to the article, the solution = MORE BATHS.

Dogs with atopic dermatitis whose bacterial infections are under control should be bathed once or twice a week, but for dogs with resistant staph skin infections, Fadok recommends daily bathing. Dog owners should use shampoos containing chlorhexidine, an antiseptic, followed by rinses and leave-on solutions with specific fatty acids thought to restore the skin’s barrier function.

I looked up the ingredients of Boogie’s shampoo & leave-on conditionerno chlorhexidine…

In any case,  the weather is warming up and Boogie’s itchies have started.  I will be giving him more frequent baths. Fingers crossed.

March 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm 8 comments

Questions for Pet People: What do you use?

If there exists something better — more effective & healthier–  than what I am using, I’d love to know about it! What products would you use and recommend? Please leave comments!

1. What doggie shampoo do you use for skin allergies, itchies etc.? [Using Microtek]

2. What topical product do you use for itchy paws? Keeping in mind that it will be licked off/ingested. [Using Microtek Spray]

3. What spray product do you use to get rid of fleas in rugs, dog beds, sofas etc.? [Using De Flea]

4. What do you recommend for flea bites on HUMANS? I know when there are fleas in my apartment because I always get bitten.  This week has been hell. I get a really horrendous allergic reaction to flea bites… the bites swell up red, itch like crazy, and I feel like I am going to die because I start to itch everywhere. Unlike other insect bites, flea bites on me last and itch forever even when I apply hydrocortisone cream, tea tree oil, Aloe Vera, what have you. They itch for MONTHS even after all that’s left is a faint scar. I am not kidding. When I get new bites, the old ones itch again. It’s hell. Is there an equivalent of Comfortis for humans to prevent flea bites?


I found an excellent solution for my flea bite problem. Thanks to Letitia for the Lavender Oil recommendation .  I mix a few drops of Lavender essential oil in a bottle of Jojoba Oil (from Trader Joe’s) and I moisturize my entire body with this EVERYDAY.  No flea bites! I know this stuff works because one day I forgot to apply this mix and I got bitten. I also add some vitamin E oil with the jojoba and lavender for healing old flea bite scars. Smells much better than the typical store-bought insect repellent.

October 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm 5 comments

Itchy skin remedy: MICROTEK

It has been so stinking hot here in L.A. , Boogie has been itchy and rashy, and I am extremely grateful to Lauren,  who recommended this product to me via flickr.

I went ahead and ordered the Microtek Pet Shampoo and Pet Spray from a couple of weeks ago, and as much as Boogie HATES this stuff (it has a very strong scent), I think it is working. His patchy dry skin has cleared up, his fur is fuller and softer and he isn’t scratching as much as he usually does.

He still has a red and rashy belly with scabby sores but that’s my fault for letting him drag himself on the grass. He looks so cute when he does it!!!

July 15, 2010 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Another Summer. :(

This happens every summer when the weather warms up. Boogie’s itchiness gets out of control and back to the vet we go, for skin rashes, bald spots, ear infections. Bleh. There isn’t really anything that we can do except “tough things out” because the allergens or pesticides – whatever they are – are in the air, on the grass, everywhere… (Interestingly, some neighbors told me last night that after they relocated, their doggies’ allergies cleared up! I am now convinced that it’s the crap they put on the grass around here).

Dr. Reina was hesitant to give Boogie another cortisone shot because even though this stuff alleviates the itchiness for a couple of weeks, ultimately, it intensifies the problem.

I balked when I saw how many pills he has to take each day for the next few weeks.

Cephalexin antibiotics twice a day (for Staph); Hydroxine pills twice-three times a day (for skin infections); Derm pills once a day (for skin); and Panalog drops three times a day (for his ear infections). And I am to clean his ears every day until the crusty, bloody pus stuff clears up. Boogie is going to freakin’ LOVE that. He hides in his crate or under the coffee table whenever he sees me with the ear wash bottle.

Photo taken at the vet. Boogie is blinking at me with his poutiest face. “Can we go home now, please?”

May 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm 5 comments

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

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