This plan is to assist in the management of symptoms of severe skin irritation* in dogs.
First – Start feeding your dog LifeWise food. The most popular choice is Wild Tuna with vegetables (grain free), closely followed by Ocean Fish with rice, oats and vegetables. Both are foods designed to promote a robust gut microbiome.
Second – with each meal sprinkle over the food a probiotic supplement such as Vetafarm Synbiotic 180S at the rate of half a scoop (in the jar) per 20kg body weight (1/4 scoop for a 10kg dog or one scoop for a 40 kg dog, and so on). Protein and Paws both offer similar probiotics albeit at a lower strength.
Please note the use of commercial yoghurt as a probiotic appears to be of limited benefit if any.
Third – Bathe your dog using an iodine based shampoo such as Quit Itch, or Petway Skin Care Shampoo. Both of these shampoos can be diluted and used as a topical application on very itching spots. Calamine lotion can also be applied as a means of calming inflamed skin.
Please note some natural shampoos contain essential oils as fragrance, and these oils can irritate sensitive skin.
Fourth – Where possible limit the application of parasite control medications. Cotex Insecticidal Spray and Pine Oil Cleanser can be used as an alternative under certain conditions. Generally, the more encompassing the treatment (eg. intestinal worms, fleas and ticks and heartworm all in one treatment, or annual heart worm vaccinations), the more difficult the recovery. Points to consider include treating for intestinal worms when the dog is wormy only, treat for fleas as required (this is problematic in tick areas), and consider monthly heart worm instead of the annual injection, or even daily heart worm tablets.
Fifth – Apply the following management tricks to assist the recovery:
- Wipe the dog down with a damp cloth after being outside, paying attention to the muzzle, legs, feet and belly areas.
- Remove as many or all chemical pollutants from the animal’s environment.
- Prohibit (if possible) the dog from eating anything other than the suggested food including scraps and treats.
- Treatments of Cytopoint or Apoquel provide the perfect starting point for this type of management program.
* This plan will enhance the recovery of the gut microbiome, which is the underlying cause of up to 90% of skin sensitivity issues. However, it can be a lengthy process, so care and patience is a critical part of this management program.