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I've got an 18 month old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Mix named Koda. Our winters are pretty dry and cold here (in Idaho), and I believe that may at least be a contributor to Koda's skin irritation. I've noticed it off and on for the last six months, but just the last week it's come back again. He used to eat Grandma Z's Lamb & Vegetable adult kibble, but we just switched to Purina One Lamb and Rice Smart Brand about two months ago because it was less expensive and I'm not getting as many hours at work lately. For treats, he gets these chicken jerky treats from Zamzows. And of course, he always has fresh, cool water available 24/7, both inside and outside (Although he's primarily an inside dog.) He doesn't get bathed too often, maybe once every few months. I use a gentle oatmeal shampoo for that. We often go for 8+ mile runs in the foothills, although we've been doing that since he's been old enough and trained enough for that (about 8 or 9 months now). I don't think it's food allergies because he's not itchy along his stomach or flanks, just around his mouth and eyes. He's lost a little hair around his eyes and his lips look a little how human lips get when they're chapped. What can I do to relieve dryness and itchiness? (Adding something to his water, food, bathwater, etc...) Any other suggestions? This doesn't seem like a serious health issue to me, but I just like him to be as comfortable as possible. And would rather not take him to the vet for something that's not serious, because as I said, money's a little tight for most people nowadays. Thank you in advance! :)
 

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I don't think it's food allergies because he's not itchy along his stomach or flanks,
They usually aren't with food allergies, FWIW, but I don't think it's food allergies either.

18 months old is a little old for this, but he should be tested for mites.

Are you sure about his cross (breeds?)

What kind of bowl does he eat out of?
 

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Yes, his dad was pure Aussie, and his mom was mostly Aussie with some Border Collie. He eats out of a stainless steel bowl, same with his water dish. He's due for some shots coming up, so if the problem hasn't been solved in the next couple weeks, we'll be seeing the vet anyway.
 

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Okay, so there are conditions (genetic) in some of the Arctic breeds (huskies etc) that could look like this, hence why I asked about his cross.

Some animals may be allergic to plastic bowls, so it's good he's using stainless steel.

It could be an environmental allergy and it could be mites still. I'd be surprised if it were just the temperature to be honest since it's localized to his face like it is...
 

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Definetly check with the vet, but you might try an Omega oil supplement, if he'll tolerate it you can get it as a liquid to add to his food, or as gel caps (there are doggy ones, but the human gel caps are usually fine once you know your dosages, just check the packages to make sure the human ones don't contain anything different). Or maybe cod liver oil (smells nasty, fyi). It often helps with the skin and coat condition. I've never looked closely at the foods you mentioned so I have no idea about how they do for that.
 

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If you give fish oil (omega 3 supplement) make sure it contains vitamin E with it, as the body's oxidation of it can bring down the levels of vitamin E.

If the fish oil doesn't contain vitamin E, you can give a vitamin E capsule along with the fish oil. It should be the natural form of Vitamin E (d), not synthetic (dl), so look for d-alpha-tocopherol, not dl-alpha-tocopherol. You also want it to be tocopherol, not tocotrienol.

Fish oil doesn't usually survive well with heat or light, so it's best to keep it in the fridge after you open it.

If you give Cod liver oil, be careful as it contains high levels of vitamin A.
 

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If you give fish oil (omega 3 supplement) make sure it contains vitamin E with it, as the body's oxidation of it can bring down the levels of vitamin E.

If the fish oil doesn't contain vitamin E, you can give a vitamin E capsule along with the fish oil. It should be the natural form of Vitamin E (d), not synthetic (dl), so look for d-alpha-tocopherol, not dl-alpha-tocopherol. You also want it to be tocopherol, not tocotrienol.

Fish oil doesn't usually survive well with heat or light, so it's best to keep it in the fridge after you open it.

If you give Cod liver oil, be careful as it contains high levels of vitamin A.
I was told not to give my dog Cod liver oil. I give him fish every other day as it was too much for him every day . This poop started to get lose.
 

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I was told not to give my dog Cod liver oil. I give him fish every other day as it was too much for him every day . This poop started to get lose.
Depends on the individual dog and the amount given as far as tolerance, I know dogs who do fine with it. I don't use cod liver oil, I just use a mercury free fish oil and natural vitamin E. I mentioned the cod liver and vitamin A concern, because cod liver oil was mentioned above.
 

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If you give fish oil (omega 3 supplement) make sure it contains vitamin E with it, as the body's oxidation of it can bring down the levels of vitamin E.

If the fish oil doesn't contain vitamin E, you can give a vitamin E capsule along with the fish oil. It should be the natural form of Vitamin E (d), not synthetic (dl), so look for d-alpha-tocopherol, not dl-alpha-tocopherol. You also want it to be tocopherol, not tocotrienol.

Fish oil doesn't usually survive well with heat or light, so it's best to keep it in the fridge after you open it.

If you give Cod liver oil, be careful as it contains high levels of vitamin A.

Good points. The capsules I've seen for the omegas all already contained vitamin E so I didn't think of it.
 

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Okay, so there are conditions (genetic) in some of the Arctic breeds (huskies etc) that could look like this, hence why I asked about his cross.

Some animals may be allergic to plastic bowls, so it's good he's using stainless steel.

It could be an environmental allergy and it could be mites still. I'd be surprised if it were just the temperature to be honest since it's localized to his face like it is...
My last poodle would not drink his water from a plastic bowl!
 

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If it's mites (demodex or sarcoptic) and since he is a border collie/mix be aware that your dog ought not to be treated with Ivermectin as this is toxic to this breed! Keep us posted as to his progress and diagnosis if you can. Best wishes.
 
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