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What can I do about our westies skin???

(16 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Fri 05-Apr-13 20:57:21

Hi, we have a 10 year old westie, who's skin flairs up frequently. We've been to the vets again today as he was red raw in places. He has big patches of black skin where he's pulled his fur out. We give him Piriton every day, as we've been told it might help. It's costing £70 each time he has anti biotics and it is frequently.
Is there anything we can try, to keep his skin under controll without having to keep going to the vets? It's awful to see him suffering so much. :-(

mummyloveslucy Fri 05-Apr-13 21:00:21

When I say it flairs up, I mean it itches and he digs and bites at it making it bleed in some cases. It seems to be worse at night.

I'm off to bed now, but I'll check and see if any kind people have left advice in the morning. smile

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 05-Apr-13 21:02:25

What food is he on?

Becp Fri 05-Apr-13 21:12:34

My mum's cat has terrible skin problems, he pulls at his fur till he bleeds when he has a flair up. It's caused by a food allergy (something to do with his liver) and he has a really strict diet which helps.

TotallyEggFlipped Fri 05-Apr-13 21:14:44

My PILs used T-Gel shampoo on their westie. It's for humans, but it's been great for the dog's skin.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 05-Apr-13 21:42:53

Have you had allergy testing done allergies in particular environmental ones are very common in westies.

skratta Sat 06-Apr-13 02:04:01

Again, allergies. How long ago, roughly did the flair ups start? Or have they been for ages? How long goes between the flair ups and are there mild signs beforehand which are barely noticeable but are signs of it being there (as in, constant but with severe flair ups, or not there with it flailing up and happening).

What type of food are you giving and if you changed food at any point Ti the one you are on now (even if it was eight years ago or something)?

G to the vet and ask questions about allergies, but beforehand write down all off the ingredients of his food and all the ingredients in his treats (or take in a few empty packets and an empty small tin or pouch) too.

Isandri Sat 06-Apr-13 19:41:58

My dog was like this when we got him. We now use a human psoriasis shampoo and it fixed his skin.

mummyloveslucy Sat 06-Apr-13 19:57:59

Thanks everyone. smile He eats Iams dry dog food. He also eats chicken. My MIL feeds him a cake once a week and toast with butter. hmm

moosemama Sat 06-Apr-13 20:25:18

You say he has black patches of skin?

It sounds like Malassezia Pachydermitis. My own dog has a chronic case and we have struggled to keep it under control. She has it particularly badly in her ear canals, causing thickening of the skin, leading to recurrent ear infections and ultimately to her losing her hearing.

It is horrible to see them so distressed and itchy all the time isn't it.

You need to get your vets to take a sample and test it for MP. If it is MP regular baths with a shampoo called Malaseb can help, as can treatment with antifungals such as ketoconazole or itaconazole, although we have found vets reluctant to do this for some reason. (It's a well researched and documented treatment you can read a lot about if you Google.)

After 13 years, the only thing we've found that helped relieve the itch and reduce the blackness is high quality Neem oil. It stinks to high heaven, but it works and was the only thing we found that gave her any relief and led to her fur regrowing on her feet, having previously been bald on her back toes for years.

You do have to make sure it is really good quality organic Neem though. We bought a lotion but added extra neat Neem oil to boost it's efficacy.

Other than that, we found going over to a completely natural bones and raw food diet really helped, as she is atopic as well and definitely reacts to commercial pet food. If you can't do that, seeking out one of the top quality pet foods that is gluten/wheat free may really help her. Something like this or a fish and rice variety - but do make sure it's genuinely grain free. We give ours Canagan every now and again as they have to have commercial food when they're in the boarding kennels and it's very good quality with low allergens. Even something like Burns or James Wellbeloved would probably be better than Iams, which although pricey, is full of potential allergens.

mummyloveslucy Sat 06-Apr-13 20:35:03

Thank you. We thought Iams was bound to be good, as it's expensive! We did try Burns and James Wellbeloved, but he didn't like them. He does like chicken and all other meats, but we've been advised not to give him beef, or anything containing beef. (I can't remember why)
We could give him human food. Moastly chicken, potato and vedge. We could see how he gets on with that. Is there anything we shouldn't give him?

mummyloveslucy Sat 06-Apr-13 20:40:39

We will also try the food you linked too. Then just put his chicken with it.

Aquelven Sat 06-Apr-13 20:45:09

I'd definitely try changing his food. One of mine has allergies & his food makes a huge difference. The least allergic, advised by my vet & seems to help mine, is one made from Salmon & Potato, Pets at Home sell a few, like the Wainwrights one. he also does well on James Wellbeloved, but only the duck variety ( Pets at Home stock this too, often on 3for2) Lots of dogs are allergic to grains or chicken.
My one has Piriton too if he has a flare up. Oatmeal based shampoos seem to soothe him & I've had success with Thornit powder. He nibbles his feet like mad till there's no hair left but I stopped this by putting a bit of Thornit powder in a small plastic bag, dipping each of his paws in & then massaging it into his fur. His fur began to grow back within a week from being bare skin before.

hortensemancini Sat 06-Apr-13 22:03:31

Aromesse does a cream for itchy skin, called Dermacton - it's very natural and soothing, and is meant to be great for Westies with hot spots. But agree with the others that the vet should be trying to work out what the allergy is actually being caused by, rather than just prescribing ABs.

glossyflower Sat 06-Apr-13 22:09:50

I guess it depends on the cause of the bad skin. However I have a shar pei X staffy and when she came to me from rescue her skin was awful. She stank, her fur had fallen out in patches she had flaky bits of skin. She was treated at the vets for it but my vet said to maintain a nice healthy coat to give her oil of evening primrose capsules. They sell them through the vets but he told me human ones are exactly the same and much cheaper.
I gave her one a day which she willingly ate and her coat was so lovely after that.

mummyloveslucy Sun 07-Apr-13 09:02:01

Thank you everyone. smile I'm going to make notes of all the things recommended and give them a try.

He is due to go back to the vets in 2 weeks, so I'll ask them to do allergy testing on him.

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