• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

What to do with a dog that has itchy dry skin

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What to do with a dog that has itchy dry skin

    My 5 yo Golden Retreiver has been having a horrible time lately with itching herself raw. Normally I treat this with a topical from the pet store, but it's not helping anymore. I'm looking for any suggestions - I'd like to avoid another vet visit and steroids.

    A little recent history... Seems this started when the weather changed and the heat came on. She also enjoyed playing in the piled leaves as we were trying to bag them. Took her to see the vet in early December - Vet put her on Prednisone and Antibiotics and she cleared up great is short order.

    Now this past week she has started again. Weather has been back and forth so heat has been on and off (some January!). I've been giving her Antihistamines as the vet told I could use for the itching, but it's only slightly helping. I've added Fish oil to her food as recommended and gave her Flea topical a little early when she first started to seem itchy. I've not seen any signs of fleas, but she has always been very reactive to their bites, and with this mild winter I don't doubt they are still around outside.

    I have an oatmeal shampoo, but I'm afraid to go there - she seemed much worst last time I tried that to try to help.

    At this point I guess I should apologize for the book, but really hope someone who has conquered this will chime in and offer some ideas.

    My planned next step is to change her food. Hubby picked up some IAMS Naturals. It states it's good for Itching/sensitive skin.

    Does anyone have any other ideas?

  • #2
    What are you feeding her? I would start with a limited ingredient diet with a novel protein, grain free for starters. Not Iams.


    • #3
      My own German Shepherd Dog has food allergies, and I have fostered a few other Shepherds that have had the same problem. One had been left unaddressed so long that his lower half body was hairless and the skin had thickened a great deal from years of scratching.

      I would take a serious look at food issues. And it doesn't surprise me that a vet would miss it. I was amazed at how little vets knew about food.

      Iams would not be a good choice. Try a grain free kibble, such as Solid Gold's Barking At The Moon or Taste Of The Wild.


      • #4
        Her diet is very important. What is she eating?


        • #5
          If you find it's not a food allergy, try giving your dog a human fish-oil supplement, or a flaxseed oil supplement. They come in a gel capsule.

          My old dog would get flakey dry skin from the heat being on and the dry air. He didn't have any problem with his food (he was getting home-cooked - brown rice, ground beef, and veggies), just dry skin, and a couple of these in his dinner would take care of it in a week or 2. I think there probably wasn't enough fat in his home cooked food. He had a very sensitive stomach and chicken or turkey/sensitive food would give him the poops.

          It got to the point that I would put him on the gelcaps in November and he'd be on them until spring.


          • #6
            We have a rescue Lab who came to us with a myriad of allergy related problems (ears, eyes, anal glands and general foot chewing). What has been helpful was to put him on a no grain diet (we use Orijen 6 fish), a capsule of Triple Omega thrown right into the food, and an occasional Benadryl also in the food. That said, it's not 100% but there's been quite an improvement. when Orijen' Alberta plant kitchen burned a while ago, I was scrambling to find something similar. But they are now up and running again. Our other dog is a Lab/Shepherd mix and he has a touchy stomach (especially after being struck with salmonella from the Taste of the Wild/Diamond plant debacle this past spring). He's also doing well on the Orijen.


            • #7
              I feed my very sensitive collie Wellness Simple Ingredients. Food allergies are the easiest to address. Try a novel protein like duck or fish with potato first...give it a month or so. Then, there's testing and allergy shots.


              • #8
                My dog is going to the vet this week for this exact same problem. It gets worse when she is shedding, I noticed. She already eats a grain free food, but I am going to switch her to a novel protein. I imagine the vet will want to give steroids and I am ok with that short term, benadryl makes her very sleepy and depressed. Lately, too, she has been acting nauseous, I don't know if it's from all the hair she's ingesting or something else. Did your vet offer a medicated shampoo or anything like that for the itching?
                My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                • #9
                  Have you checked to rule out hypothyroidism? That can cause those signs too....

                  I agree though, it's time for more of a workup to know what you're treating rather than just giving more steroids/etc.


                  • #10
                    Try an alternative protein, grain free food that doesn't use beef, chicken or lamb. Taste of the wild pascif salmon is reasonably priced.

                    Get tested for low thyroid.

                    Wash in Microtek anti itch shampoo. Dry thoroughly.

                    Oatmeal shampoos haven't ever worked for me, whereas the Microtek is awesome.


                    • #11
                      My dog has outdoor and food allergies. I give him a dallop of RAW LOCAL SEASONAL HONEY in this food each morning. Just like humans dogs benefit from the honey when it comes to allergies.

                      ETA I am not yelling, I just wanted to make it clear what works for me.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                        Try an alternative protein, grain free food that doesn't use beef, chicken or lamb. Taste of the wild pascif salmon is reasonably priced.

                        Get tested for low thyroid.

                        Wash in Microtek anti itch shampoo. Dry thoroughly.

                        Oatmeal shampoos haven't ever worked for me, whereas the Microtek is awesome.
                        Thanks for all the replies. Going to switch food to grain free and see if there is improvement.

                        I never thought of Microtek Have that on hand will give it a try.


                        • #13
                          If it's seasonal it may be environmental and the only way to know for sure is allergy testing, done by a veterinary dermatologist. Serum testing is not nearly as accurate as intradermal skin testing.
                          Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.


                          • #14
                            Oh, I feel your pain! Just had my GSD to the vet, poor guy has a horrible ear infection and overall inflammation and itching. He's now on steroids, anti-fungal, anti-biotics, and two types of ear drops. And he is indeed hypothyroid, and we're getting his T4 levels checked to make sure his current thyroid med dose is correct.

                            I'm feeding him Fromm's grain free salmon and duck, but the vet suggested we may have to do more than that. I've got an order in for Royal Canin skin supplement food (whitefish and rice), and we'll try that for a month to see if that works. If not, we've got to start looking into allergies. Vet told me that a serum allergy test will run about $300, while an intradermal test at a veterinary dermatologist will cost $2800 !

                            I am just SO frustrated - this dog was a stray, and when I rescued him he was yeast-infested and underweight. Got the thyroid issue figured out, got the yeast under control, and all was well. Then about a month ago, he started shedding hair, his belly skin got blackened, and he started itching. I shampooed, I brushed, I upped the thyroid meds, and he just kept getting worse. I can only assume that allergies are contributing.

                            Sorry, just venting, and I'm getting a lot of good suggestions from this thread.


                            • #15
                              We have a little handicapped rescue frenchie who arrived to us with a myriad of problems including food allergies, seizures, dry skin etc. We've had a great experience feeding Blue Buffalo - wilderness formula (grain free) in Salmon with 1 tablespoon of fish oil with each meal. Per our vet she also gets 1 Benadryl am & pm. Since starting this regimen we've seen a big improvement.


                              • #16
                                how long a trial?

                                I have an itchy pup too. For those of you that have had success with fish oil, various foods, honey, etc., how long did you try each remedy before deciding it did/didn't work and moving on to something else? I've switched my pup's food and haven't seen a change in a week; should I wait another few weeks?



                                • #17

                                  There are many potential causes for itchiness.

                                  Low humidity due to forced heat in the home.

                                  Too little fats in the diet. (adding fish oil can help--takes 4-6 weeks IME to see improvement)

                                  Allergies--typically seen on paws, belly, etc. Depends on whether it's a food allergy (usually see ears/feet) or an environmental one to say, cleaners, fabric softener, etc), or flea--typically seen on the rump area.

                                  Thyroid issues can cause skin problems. Simple blood test.

                                  Seasonal allergies--dogs can be allergic to various plants just like us.

                                  Really the best bet is to go visit with your veterinarian and see what he/she recommends.

                                  Best wishes.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by gallopingmouse View Post
                                    I have an itchy pup too. For those of you that have had success with fish oil, various foods, honey, etc., how long did you try each remedy before deciding it did/didn't work and moving on to something else? I've switched my pup's food and haven't seen a change in a week; should I wait another few weeks?

                                    Do a slow changeover from the dog's normal food to a grain free alternative protein (no beef, lamb or chicken) over a 2 week period. Then give it about another 6 weeks to see a difference. Make sure you aren't feeding treats with grain or common proteins.

                                    Also do try the Microtek Anti itch shampoo. It really does work great.


                                    • #19
                                      Grain proteins really aren't the top of the list for food allergies though.

                                      I think a veterinary consult would be the best first step, don't you?
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        I was trying to avoid taking her to the vet, but I suppose it's time. Despite being super itchy all the time, she wasn't really itching herself "raw". Her poor ears are starting to get scratched up now, though. Tried a medicated shampoo and conditioner, and switched her to a sweet potato/venison diet; no luck so far. I'm actually just worried that I'll get the "there's nothing we can really do" answer, which is why I was trying to experiment beforehand!