chow skin condition is driving her crazy

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chrisusvi
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chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by chrisusvi » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:08 am

Hi,

We have an all black chow that is going on 5 years old. Every years she gets this skin condition where the hair falls out. Mainly from the front shoulders to the tail.
This year she actually has lost hair from her upper body to her head. We've tried everything from vet. visits for shots to changing her diet to rubbing Neosporin on her skin to kill the parasites or whatever was making her hair fall off. As it has been happening over the years the hair will naturally grow back in about 6 months or so. I have attached a picture to support my problem. Her hair is growing back now and she constantly scratching her skin and it feels warm when it is touched. Is there something we can put on her skin to keep her scratching so much?
Is there a remedy to keep this from happening at all in the future?

Thanks.
chrisusvi
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sit_by_the_beach
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by sit_by_the_beach » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:29 am

I never had that problem with any of my chows. Do you feed your chow good quality food? Has your chow been seen by a dermatologist vet? Had blood work done on the chow? Others might be able to advise you. Do a search under health in this forum.

I can't imagine that used motor oil can fix anything, on the contrary, probably did more harm. Chemicals get in your chow's bloodstream. It reminds me when I had a bad case of poison ivy outbreak on my legs, a farmer suggested for me to rub my skin with gasoline, yea right.
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chrisusvi
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by chrisusvi » Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:20 pm

Our chow has gone through all the shots by the vet and I've never heard of a dermatological vet. We feed her a special food that is for sensitive skin. We've done all the blood work too and still she gets this problem. We were also told that mosquitoes and fleas could be the problem also.

=; To clarify the motor oil bath...it was attemped once, it was only a very thin layer and then she was bathed twice with a special skin shampoo from Eqyss MicroTek that stops the scratching and itching and to make sure all the oil was completely gone and then she was groomed with a hair dryer.
I don't want to make the motor oil bath to sound abusive. If it was going to be harmful I wouldn't willfully harm my dog. (FYI) #-o

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Jeff&Peks » Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:50 pm

What brand of food is the special skin sensitive food? Treats? table Scraps? Any chemicals around the place like Rug shampoos, bathroom/kitchen cleaners etc? Not that he's eating or drinking the stuff but just being around it or laying on the carpet.

No Wheat, no Corn, no soy, no fillers, no by products, No Wal-mart, no Grocery store, If you see any of those in the food or treats, time to change.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by chrisusvi » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:31 pm

The food we give her is Science Diet. We do give her some table scraps like meat scraps, chicken scraps, pedigree wet dog food cans. There aren't any cleaning stuff either or rug shampoos that would affect it.

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Jeff&Peks » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:55 pm

Let me guess, your feeding science diet because your vet recommended it? My Advice, Stop all the meat and chicken scraps, No more science diet or Pedigree. Switch to Nutro Lamb and rice for skin, Put a drop of vitamin E-oil in the food (at the pet store) Try that for about 2 or 3 weeks nothing else, No table scraps, nothing but the Nutro, She may not eat it at first but she will when she gets hungry. Also bath her in a Skin shampoo. I went through this when I first adopted my Chows but the only difference was mine was bleeding all over. after about 2 weeks on Nutro she was ok. Skin problems or not There is alot of better foods out there then Science Diet but I think Nutro is the best for skin problems.

You may not even need the Vit. E oil but if you do just a drop not a can of it, That was called abrupt sarcasum. Can + oil, Get it?
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Rowlee » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:42 pm

Have you considered a raw diet for her? It's very good for dogs with skin problems.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Bob » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:56 pm

I am sorry to for your Chows skin problem and I hope you find out why. I had a similar problem with my last Chow. It took going to different Vets and a couple of years of useless visits and shots before we found out why. It was a food allergy. The last vet. suggested that we take her off of all foods that contain meat or chicken. We started using dry dog food that had fish and fish meal as the primary ingredients. It acted like a miracle cure. This is an easy and inexpensive thing to try.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Victory » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:41 pm

Do what Jeff said, if the nutro doesn't help, switch her to Solid Gold, (they have a website if you can't find their food close to you), My chows are on that, no hotspots, (ever), no itching and I don't have to bathe them. You might want to cut down on the baths and using grooming instead, a good 3 times a week brushing, will help stimulate the blood to the skin surface and also clean away dirt and distribute new natural oils from the skin to the hair, while removing the old dead skin and oil from the coat. A good grooming schedule will keep your chow very clean, (not show dog clean but near it), my Firesong, who just turned six hasn't had a bath in 4.5 years, and Dreamdancer who is 19 months old now, has never had a bath. They are clean and their skin is very healthy.

Also other things chows can be allergic too, certain types of grass, flowers, pine trees, juniper bushes, dust, pollen, fungus...you know the same things that humans have reactions too.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Zhuyos mom » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:09 pm

I googled "alopecia" and found a couple of causes that chows are prone to -specifically relating to hormones. Here's the link. There are lots of different types of alopecia in dogs. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... icleid=421

Growth hormone responsive alopecia - Not well understood; thought to be caused by an enzyme deficiency or decrease of adrenal hormones, which allows certain other hormones to accumulate in the body: more common in Pomeranians, Chow Chows, Keeshonden, Samoyeds, and Poodles Hair loss on neck, tail, and the back of the thighs; skin darkens; usually starts when dog is less than two years old. Testing: Hormonal blood testing Neuter animal; growth hormone; Medication: hormonal supplementation

Adrenal sssexx hormone responsive dermatosis - More common in Pomeranians, Chows, Keeshonden, and Samoyeds Hair loss starts on neck, tail, back of thighs, and progresses to trunk; dog appears to have a 'puppy coat'; skin darkens. Testing: Biopsy; eliminate other causes. Medication: Mitotane is optional

Where do you live that mosquites would be factored in? So, it's seasonal.. every six months her hair grows back and then falls off the remaining six months? Please clarify.

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Rowlee » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:19 pm

http://www.upei.ca/cidd/Diseases/dermat ... enitis.htm

Here is a link to info on a disease called sebaceous adenitis which is what one of Wilbur's breeder's chows has. Her chow's symptoms are very similar to those of your chow. Judith-Ann (Wilbur's breeder) is going to get on to the site tomorrow and give you some more info about this condition. I sent you a PM with some more info about this.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Auddymay » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:37 pm

I agree, get her off corn based foods, they won't help. Any better quality food that is rice and lamb,salmon, or venison would be a better choice. Also investigate the info Zhuyo's mom and Rowlee put up. I would be concerned this has been going on for years, and the best your vet can do is shrug his shoulders and scratch his a$$, all the while your Chow is miserable.

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Jeff&Peks » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:47 pm

Where did all these skin diseases and hormonal dysfunctions come from?

It could be a million things causing the skin problems but a $9.00 bag of dog food for 3/4 weeks is a good place to start, if you think its fleas then buy some advantage (flea meds) if it doesn't work then you can go to the $300.00 aweek meds and treatments. Once you start medications, Adults, kids and dogs it never ends you will be spending the rest of your life buying medications to repair what the last meds caused so keep it simple and start at the basic's. Diet.

It could also be any of these and hundreds more but I think i would try the food first.

Atopy* is an allergy to a substance with which the dog is not necessarily in direct contact. It is a type I hypersensitivity to a substance that is inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Up to 10 percent of dogs are affected.[68] It is common in dogs, especially seen in breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Shih Tzus. The most common symptom is itching. Affected areas include the underside, the face, the feet, and the ears.[69]

Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common skin disease of dogs in the United States. It is caused by sensitivity to flea saliva.[70]

Food allergy* in dogs is commonly manifested as itching, especially of the face, paws, and the underside. Skin testing has proved unreliable, and a trial of a hypoallergenic diet is usually used for diagnosis.[71]
Follicular dysplasia is a genetic disease of dogs causing alopecia, or hair loss. It is caused by hair follicles that are misfunctioning due to structural abnormality.[31]

Dermoid sinus a genetic, autosomal skin condition in dogs. It can appear as single or multiple lumps on the dorsal midline.[31]

Lick granuloma also known as acral lick dermatitis, is a skin disorder in dogs resulting from an urge to lick the lower portion of the leg. The lesion from the incessant licking is a thickened, firm, oval plaque.[31]
Pemphigus is an uncommon autoimmune skin disease. The most common form in dogs is pemphigus foliaceus, which manifests as erosions and crusting of the skin and mucocutaneous junctions. Pemphigus vulgaris is more rare and manifests as blister-like lesions in the mouth and at mucocutaneous junctions. Bullous pemphigoid is most commonly seen in Dobermanns and Collies and appears as a scald-like lesion of the groin.[72]

Dermal fragility syndrome, also known as Ehlers-Danlos-like syndrome, is a rare condition in dogs characterized by increased skin elasticity and poor wound healing. There appears to be a genetic basis for the disease.[73]

Discoid lupus erythematosus is an uncommon autoimmune disease of the skin in dogs. It does not progress to systemic lupus erythematosus in dogs. The most common initial symptom is scaling and loss of pigment on the nose.[31]
Last edited by Jeff&Peks on Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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chrisusvi
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by chrisusvi » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:26 am

To answer Zhuyos mom's question about the mosquitoes, we live on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. We have mosquitoes year round. When the hair has fallen off the mosquitoes bite her skin and when the skin condition first started, we had thought it might be the mosquito bites that were making her scratch so much.

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by sengeoz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:51 am

Dear Chris,

This is going to be a list of recommendations and I tend to be long-winded, so bear with me.

The first thing I would be asking my vet to do with this girl is to get a needle punch biopsy done to either rule in or rule out Sebaceous Adenitis, aka Seb A. This is an auto-immune mediated disorder that causes the body's immune system to destroy the sebaceous glands in the skin, which are the source of oil for the coat and keeps the skin moisturised and supple. If this happens then the skin becomes dry and itchy causing the dog to scratch like crazy and open up lesions on the body which invites in infection, and the coat will fall out. While not an everyday problem in Chows, it happens often enough. It is also found quite often in Akitas, and Poodle world is rife with it. I would also have the vet do some skin scrapings to see if there is any infection in the skin present and start treating her with antibiotics.

If it is Seb A, there are things you can do to manage it - there is no cure - and make your girl more comfortable. And FWIW, motor oil on a dog's skin does nearly as much damage as it does good and will not get rid of demodetic mange.

If this was recommended by your vet, have you thought of trying to find a vet with a bit more up-to-date training, perferably stateside?

Second - throw the Science Diet out now! If this is not Seb A, but is a food allergy, you need to be aware that Chows are food sensitive and the four top allergens are wheat, corn, soy and beef, followed by chicken. You do NOT want to give this girl any of the above for the forseeable future. What you want to try to do is find out if it is food and to do that, a food elimination diet is where you start. The first part takes about six weeks... You want a SINGLE source of protein (fish?) that she hasn't eaten either regularly or recently. I'd recommend that the protein be given raw. Also you want to source a SINGLE source of carbohydrates that again she has neither eaten regularly or recently - rice or mashed potatoes or cooked mashed bread fruit or...

Give this to her daily for the next six weeks along with 500 mg Vit E and a minimum of 4000 mg cold water salmon oil and about 1000 mg of Vit C 3 times a day - keep a log - be honest - how is she faring on this diet - better? worse?

If she is getting better, then you can try introducing either a new protein source or a new charb/veggie source every two weeks AFTER the initial six weeks.

If she is not getting better, then ask the vet to do a skin allergy test on her. This is the same as they do on humans and if you find that she is hyperallergic, she can be put on a low-dose of cortisone and given allergy desensitisation shots on a regular basis.

Since you are living on a tropical island, filled with salty air and sand, I would also recommend that you start her on a regular bathing regime - salt and sand are a great combination to create dry itchy skin in a double coated breed. If she has Seb A, this will be necessary anyway; but in the meantime, I'd start her with fornightly baths using a medicated oatmeal shampoo, followed by a slathering of virgin olive oil worked well into the skin and remaining coat down to the skin, let sit in a warm dry place for 30 minutes then wash again. If she does have Seb A, then there is an essential oil combination you can add to the olive oil that will help. If she doesn't, then this way of bathing her will help manage the symptoms of her skin condition until you can find out what is actually the cause.

Keep us posted.
Judith-Ann
Sengé Chows, VIC (Australia)

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by kiwani » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:15 am

chrisusvi wrote:Every years she gets this skin condition where the hair falls out. Mainly from the front shoulders to the tail. This year she actually has lost hair from her upper body to her head.


There are alopecia links/excerpts in the archives, which 'map out' hormone related hair loss on the body. If you've been feeding Science Diet or other 'grain based' diets, those actually *deplete* the body of the very building blocks needed for healthy skin, hair growth, oil gland regulation, hormone production, immune function/healing, etc. A high quality animal-based protein formula will give you those very important building blocks, such as biotin, sulphur, zinc, found in foods like eggs, fish, poultry, red meats.

It takes a great amount of hormone power to grow a dense double-coat, and you need high quality protein to build hormones, and maintain healthy skin.
Living in a hotter climate also has an effect on hormone production, such as lowering the thyroid. One important supplement for debilitated Chows is SeaMeal. It stimulates the thyroid and immune function, detoxifies and lowers inflammation, helps produce a dense coat and healthy skin, and intensifies coat color.

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by sengeoz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:48 pm

And to follow on from Kiwani's suggestion, I would also get her tested for thyroid - have a FULL panel run, not just T3 or T4.
Judith-Ann
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by carolyn dewrance » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:19 am

Give Sulphur 200 a try, 3 once a week, this help with any skin problem, unless it's food related or mange. get it from a homeopathic chemist. wont hurt her so give it a try it works
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Grab » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:17 pm

You said it happens every year...I would suspect seasonal allergies. (although I would definitely switch her from Science Diet to a healthier food..diet goes a long, long way) Flea allergies can be a problem (one flea bite can really set off an allergic dog), they can be allergic to certain grasses, weeds, trees, etc. For a problem this severe, I'd look into allergy testing..there's the skin test, which is usually done at a veterinary college, and there's also a blood test your regular vet can send out.
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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Kris L. Christine » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:42 am

Your poor little one! I have eczema issues myself and know how horrible it can be when there's a flare up.

I agree with the recommendations about switching the food. Perhaps Science Diet doesn't have enough biodigestible protein in it. Meadow and Butter had an excessive shedding problem a few winters ago. After eliminating all the other possibilities, we stumbled on the cause -- insufficient protein in their diet. We switched foods and added raw hamburger (mixed with 1 tsp calcium carbonate to balance out the phosphorous), 1/4 cup organic plain yogurt and a raw egg to their food -- solved the problem within a week. The information below might help you. I assume your vet has run tests for thyroid problems, mineral imbalances, etc.....

You could also try a 2nd opinion from a homeopathic/holistic vet. These links American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association http://www.holisticvetlist.com/, Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy http://www.theavh.org/referral/index.php will allow you to search online for one in your area.

http://www.canadasguidetodogs.com/healt ... icle13.htm

Food — What Difference Does it Make?
by Wendy Volhard
Animal Protein Deficiencies

When your dog does not get enough animal protein as part of his diet, or there is an imbalance of his nutrients, one or more of the following may occur:


chronic skin and/or ear infections.
reproductive system, heart, kidney, liver, bladder, thyroid and adrenal glands may be compromised
may develop some kind of epilepsy or cancers
spinning or tail chasing
aggression
timidity
lack of pigmentation
excessive shedding
crooked whiskers
gastrointestinal upsets, vomiting or diarrhea
poor appetite
impaired ability to heal from wounds, for example, spaying and neutering
weakened immune system which cannot deal with vaccines, for example, may contract the disease.
This is only a short list of the more common symptoms associated with protein deficiency.

It has been our experience that the majority of the working breeds, sporting breeds, toys and terriers need extra animal protein in their diets. Dogs that lead a couch potato existence can survive on food with more plant than animal protein.
Kris L. Christine
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THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
http://www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

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Re: chow skin condition is driving her crazy

Post by Wana » Tue May 28, 2019 4:09 am

Hi everyone! I know this thread is old but I'd like to add some comments, maybe it'll be useful for you.

Had a problem similar to this with my Pyr at the end of last summer...

He had an irritated belly, hair loss, and weird black scabby spots. Finally figured out that his "dirt nests" were home to ants living in a nearby pecan tree!

He'd get bitten then nip at the bites and bleed. Could your dog be lying in something irritating when she's outside (lawn chemicals, pesticides, bugs?).

I'm assuming the vet ruled out fleas, bacterial infections, and fungal causes...

I would wonder about allergies next. Fromm is a good brand but there's always a chance your dog is allergic to the main protein. Or even to something in her treats or her heartworm prevention.

If your vet has ruled out everything they could test for maybe start doing a process of elimination with your pet's diet and everything the dog comes in contact with.

Most laundry detergents on the market and especially dryer sheets have chemicals that can really mess with those with sensitive skin...Has she been lying on a bed cover laundered in a commercial detergent lately?

I would go through the environment and see if she's coming into contact with anything on a daily basis (even something like lying on the kitchen floor after a certain floor cleaner has been used), and if you can't find anything in the environment, start switching out the things she's eating one by one. For example, switch her to another great brand for a week, see if it gets better, if it doesn't, return her old treat brand and then try switching out her food gradually over a week or so, then once she's adjusted give her a full week on the new, see if it gets any better, etc, etc.

In the meantime, you could try frequent "washing" of her tummy (with a soap-free natural dog shampoo) and I've had some success with Burt's Bees soothing skin cream but if her skin is VERY raw and irritated she might not like the cooling sensation of it.

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