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Dogs

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix’s full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix’s permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It’s sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it’s nowhere near over. Here’s my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix’s skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it’s honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog’s damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it’s recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist’s advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don’t improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix’s Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix’s nakey spot looks like when it’s normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That’s not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) … as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix’s skin got much, much worse — even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don’t think it is life-threatening. They don’t think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus — often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It’s the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that’s where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn’t heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn’t healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it’s made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it’s recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix’s ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it’s going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don’t know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix’s weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we’ll want to risk it … because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don’t want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I’d poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn’t seem to hurt or itch or anything — though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn’t lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

Pets

Great Advice About Dogs That Anyone Can Easily Follow

Anyone can go out and get a dog and bring him home. However, if you wish to properly care for your dog, you must know what you’re doing. Pay attention to the following helpful advice so that you can make sure your dog has everything it needs in order to live and long and healthy life.

Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

Always give your dog plenty of attention and affection. When your dog behaves properly, make sure you let the dog know you are happy and give them some affection. This will help reinforce the good behavior and the dog will try to behave in this manner for the positive attention..

Your dog needs exercise and entertainment. By teaching your dog tricks that he can do around the house, such as grabbing the newspaper, you’ll be keeping your dog mentally stimulated. He will always feel useful and a part of the family, while the constant reinforcement of training will keep his thinking skills sharp.

It’s a good idea to have your regular dog training sessions in your own yard or at home. Don’t train them in any areas full of people. This can cause your dog to get distracted, which can make training them simple commands almost impossible.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. You should congratulate your dog when it displays a good behavior, for instance by giving it a treat or petting it. Talk to your dog in a soft voice and make sure you praise it every time the good behavior is displayed.

If you breed your dog, do so responsibly. The AKC advises all owners of pure-bred dogs to make an effort to advance the breed and discard all other motivations, such as money or experimentation. Consider the repercussions of your actions before allowing your dog to mate and create a litter of puppies.

Yelling at your dog or displaying any other violent behaviors are not good options. Your dog will fear you and establishing a bond with your pet will be very hard. The best way to train your dog is to use positive reinforcement and simply say no in a firm voice when you catch your dog misbehaving.

If you are in the market for a pedigree pup, you just may find him at the pound. Many pet owners abandon their dogs at the pound when they no longer want to, or are able to, keep them. Call the shelter to find out which dogs they have available. You can save the life of an abandoned dog this way.

To ensure that your dog is safe, you should try to make your home as dog-proof as possibly. If you enjoyed this post and you would like to get more details concerning cat keeps trying To bury food – https://www.Vingle.net/ – kindly see our own web page. This includes making sure that only safe play toys are within your dogs reach. If you have a problem with your dog getting into your kitchen trash or the things on your counter, you could consider getting a baby gate to prevent your pup from entering the kitchen.

Make sure that you trim your dog’s nails on a fairly regular basis. You do not want them to get too long since it will make it uncomfortable for them to walk and they may develop health issues. They should be at a length that just about touches the ground.

Always use a leash when your dog or puppy is out in public. This helps you make sure your dog always stays by you and prevents them from wandering off or getting into trouble. This can also help you restrain your dog if something upsets them so that they don’t hurt another animal or person.

Be sure to keep your dog’s nails clipped in order to prevent injury. This can occur both from the dog scratching itself or also from having its nails get caught in things such as carpet. In order to be sure you are cutting the nails correctly, be sure to check with the veterinarian or groomer.

Always try to do your training in an area where the dog has some distractions around them. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It is best for you to practice your training with the television on, kids running wild and maybe some music playing.

Although some dogs do well on the recommended amount of food to be given each day, some dogs need more or less. Instead of just going by what your food says to feed your dog, try to keep an eye on your dog’s body. If you notice that your dog is gaining a bit of weight, cut the food intake back a bit.

Stay up-to-date on dog food, specially foods that have been recalled. There have been foods recalled because of being toxic to dogs. You can look online for the latest information about any such recalls, especially on pet friendly forums. You can quickly get news this way.

Dogs will need veterinarian check ups twice a year when they become old. Dogs can age quickly over the course of a year, and older dogs will need more vet examinations in order to catch any changes their bodies may be going through. Additional tests, such as blood, urine, and ultrasound may be needed.

Caring for a dog can be absolutely exhausting, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. If you use the tips and tricks in this article, you may find living with your dog is a breeze. Soon, others will be wondering how you make being a dog owner look so easy.

I hope you liked our article about Dogs. Thanks a lot for taking time to read our short article. Enjoyed our blog? Please share it. Help others discover it. Thanks so much for your time spent reading it.

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