hello everyone and i need help!

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hello everyone and i need help!

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:29 AM
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hello everyone and i need help!

So glad to find this site! I am a homeschool Mom, wife to an awesome cowboy, we have 2 cattle dogs and 1 Jack Russell, 5 horses and numerous other animals!!! My question is in regards to my cattle dog Jake. He is 15 yrs old and actually in pretty good shape for his age. But no matter what I use, his skin is so itchy. We have tried prescription shampoos and leave-in conditioners from the vet but they really don't work. I feel so bad for him and hope someone may have some ideas of how to help him. I've had him since a pup and he is my constant companion and best friend! Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Welcome! What kind of food have you got him on now? You may want to try adding some unprocessed coconut oil to his food. It is very high in omegas and the oils will help with any dry skin issue. If that isn't available in your area, you could try giving him some fish oil capsules squirted on his food. You can get the human ones and dose to his size. I'm not sure of the proper dose (I'm sure someone can chime in though). Being 15, you don't want to make any drastic changes as this might upset the apple cart! Hope this advice helps.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:44 PM
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Hello! thanks for the help. Right now I am basically giving him a grain free dog food along with extra meat and vegis because he has a hard time chewing and not too interested in the regular dry dog food. I have to "entice" him to eat! I do soak it and then add the extras. I do have coconut oil so I will try that! His teeth are ok but he just seems to have a hard time and chew REAL slow.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:30 PM
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Maybe it's an allergy? Crazy has LOTS of experience with this, so maybe she can help. It could be food related of environmental.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:15 PM
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Is Crazy a person on this forum? If so, would love some insight! He never had this itching problem until the last year, could an allergy just show up at this late time in his life?
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:32 PM
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Yep, Crazy is a person on this site!
This is here page, if you want to message her! View Profile: crazy
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:59 PM
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I have a 13 yr old pug who was itching alot and even losing hair on his feet/legs. My vet said alot of dogs who have allergies have skin issues. My dog is now taking a children's antihistamine each day and his itching and hair loss is under control. Check with your vet to see if your dog could be suffering from allergies and if an antihistamine might be helpful for him. (Especially if the source of the allergy can not be identified and/or eliminated.)
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:26 PM
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I guess my first question would be about what you've found out from the vet.

Have they done any tests on him? Did they discuss his diet with you or help you figure out what food to try? Did they talk about possible allergy testing? They should be helping you get to the bottom of this...Not just prescribing you special soaps and conditioners and sending you on your merry way. If they aren't showing much concern, it might be time to try a new vet. You may even want to ask to be referred to a dermatologist instead.

If this is an allergy, it could be anything from fleas, to food, to things in the environment that are totally out of your control. Does his current food have chicken? That's a common allergen in dogs and it often develops later on in the dogs life. To see if it's food, you would have to do an elimination diet. Basically, you would start with a food that is a unique protein/carb combination that he's never had before. Obscure meats. Whitefish/potato, venison/potato, pea/lamb, pea/rabbit. Stay away from the normal chicken/poultry, beef, lamb etc that he's probably had before in a food. You can buy kibble with these formulas, or if you have access to the meat, you can home cook for him. He gets NOTHING except that food.

If he does poorly, try a new formula with a different meat or carb. If he does the same, then chances are, it's an environmental allergy. If he improves, then you have a food allergy on your hand. You can keep him on that diet and gradually introduce other meats and carb sources one at a time while carefully looking for any reaction. If he reacts, you've pinpointed the allergen (or one of them).

If it's an environmental allergy, then there's not much you can do except provide an antihistamine (like benadryl) to provide relief and give him skin/coat supplements to improve his physical condition.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:37 PM
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Well, not too much info from the vet. I think they feel that because Jake is so old that we should expect and accept his age related problems and they simply think this is just aging issues. I guess I am somewhat stubborn about my animals and their quality of life/comfort is so important to me, no matter what age. I could try the elimination diet approach, no problem! Wow, I am surprised to hear that chicken is often a major allergen! I know it is not fleas, we have no flea problem, but we did put in-floor heating in our lower level of the house a few years ago. I was wondering if he is just getting too "dried out" from it? I sure appreciate all the help from you folks!
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:01 PM
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Has his skin always been itchy like that? If not can you remember any changes that you made around the time he started having issues?
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