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Love-A-Bull Pit Bull Meetup Message Board › Need advice for sensitive skin

Need advice for sensitive skin

Ann V.
CasaThundertail
Round Rock, TX
Post #: 4
I need some advice about skin problems with Spike.

  • Since we agreed to live together in late June, Spike has suffered with 2 histiocytomas. These tumours are relatively common in Bulldogs and Boxers, and we think Spike is part Bulldog. Both have resolved successfully as predicted by my vet. But both have been real bloody messes, bad enough to consider surgery.
  • Spike "bruises" extremely easily. He always has a few dark freckle-like spots on his skin.
  • He scratches very easily, and not just from partaying with Angel. He's cut himself on decorative grasses and poked a hole in his back leg when he tried to jump a rosemary plant. That was an **epic fail** because Spike is not very athletic.
  • The nails on his front feet grow abnormally: the quicks do not recede and the vet has declined to cut them w/o sedation.
  • The pads on his rear paws show excessive growth (possible nasodigital hyperkeratosis).
  • Spike sheds profusely.
  • The hair on his face is very sparse.

Has anyone seen similar skin conditions on their dogs? And if so, what have you done to manage it? I am particularly interested in shampoos and skin-management techniques. Taken together these symptoms suggest autoimmune disease or possible zinc-related dermatosis. As background information,

  • the floors in my house are all ceramic tile or brick
  • no chemicals are used on my floors
  • no lawn or garden chemicals are used on the grass
  • Spike doesn't show any signs of "dandruff", dry or oily skin, cracking of the pads or skin infections

A former member
Post #: 7
Well, I can tell you from experience that pitties seem to experience skin problems as readily or maybe more than other breeds (or so it seems!). We've spent all kinds of money on our pittie who seemed to get demodex mange with odd frequency for a dog who is totally catered too. :) The vet doesn't have any explanation for that or the fact that the dog had surprisingly little hair in places where he probably should have (like his belly, legs and sides).

We've been combatting this with some success by feeding a high quality fish-based diet - make sure the first two ingredients (at least) are meat and the food contains no grains or corn. I've also noticed none of my pets tolerate chicken so we avoid that too. We supplement that daily with caplets of flaxseed (1/day), fish oil (1/day) and vitamin e (3/day) I buy at heb or Walmart. We haven't had a demodex bout in quite some time and he doesn't shed nearly as much as he used to, so he has more hair now. Still not much on his belly, and he does like to wear a tshirt at night or whenever he's in a room with a ceiling fan. 77 is too cold for this little wuss. :)

We have the same issue with the nails on our pittie and labs cuz we walk so much. Next time we go for teeth cleanings I'll have to get their nails done too.

We had a pittie in our rescue group with the cytomas too. It was very very difficult to clean his ears and so it didnt happen nearly as often as it should. I don't know if that caused the cytomas, but he constantly had ear infections. I have a long eared labrador with ear issues, and we combat that with Universal Vet Ear Cleaning solution from the vet or Amazon (no Rx needed) and Otomax prescribed by the vet.

Hope some of this helps. The food supplements worked pretty quickly - in a couple weeks what he had of a coat glistened and after a couple months his hair is much fuller than it ever has been.

Thanks
Jen

Ann V.
CasaThundertail
Round Rock, TX
Post #: 5
Hi Jen,

Well, I can tell you from experience that pitties seem to experience skin problems as readily or maybe more than other breeds (or so it seems!). We've spent all kinds of money on our pittie who seemed to get demodex mange with odd frequency for a dog who is totally catered too. :) The vet doesn't have any explanation for that or the fact that the dog had surprisingly little hair in places where he probably should have (like his belly, legs and sides).
No mange here, just a pretty bare head and the pinkest belly with the softest skin I've ever seen; and I see a lot of it since Spike Thundertail sleeps on his back.

We've been combatting this with some success by feeding a high quality fish-based diet - make sure the first two ingredients (at least) are meat and the food contains no grains or corn. I've also noticed none of my pets tolerate chicken so we avoid that too.
I feed alternating Taste of the Wild (High Prairie or Wetlands kibble), and am trying Honest Kitchen dehydrated Verve this month. I add beef or buffalo canned foods (Before Grain, 96% meat). Both dogs despise fish. They LEAVE the kitchen if I even open a can of tuna fish, much less bake any. This is good, however, since I have a pond full of koi in the yard.

We supplement that daily with caplets of flaxseed (1/day), fish oil (1/day) and vitamin e (3/day) I buy at heb or Walmart. We haven't had a demodex bout in quite some time and he doesn't shed nearly as much as he used to, so he has more hair now. Still not much on his belly, and he does like to wear a tshirt at night or whenever he's in a room with a ceiling fan. 77 is too cold for this little wuss. :)
What dose level are the flaxseed, fish oil and vitamin E? Although we may pass on the fish oil.

We have the same issue with the nails on our pittie and labs cuz we walk so much. Next time we go for teeth cleanings I'll have to get their nails done too.
Angel has no problem with his nails, and Spike's hind paws are fine. He is a real Freddie Krueger however with those front paws. Angel lets me Dremel his paws, Spike won't have any of the mani/pedi frou-frou.

We had a pittie in our rescue group with the cytomas too. It was very very difficult to clean his ears and so it didnt happen nearly as often as it should. I don't know if that caused the cytomas, but he constantly had ear infections. I have a long eared labrador with ear issues, and we combat that with Universal Vet Ear Cleaning solution from the vet or Amazon (no Rx needed) and Otomax prescribed by the vet.
The histiocytomas were both in Spikes lips; they are an immune system issue, but ear infections might be a trigger. Now Spike has 2 tiny pink spots in his cocoa lipstick. Luckily ears are not a problem for either boy.

Hope some of this helps. The food supplements worked pretty quickly - in a couple weeks what he had of a coat glistened and after a couple months his hair is much fuller than it ever has been.
I am very interested in the supplements. I hope the fish oil is not the magic potion, however. Any particular brands, or are cheapest OK?
Thanks
Jen

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm off to HEB tomorrow for milk, so I'll check out the supplements.

Have a great day.
~Ann

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