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(Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/The_shepherd_or_police_dog28IA_shepherdorpolice00meye2C_29.pdf.jpg)The article on the next paragraphs on the subject of Pets is absolutely remarkable. Check it out for yourself and decide what you think about it. 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. 

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  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/

(Image: https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1iCteJFo5fucjPQe12vHob03VRbdstzVD) external frame In Hot Water About Your Dog? Climb Out With This Advice

Do you currently own a dog or have you owned one in the past? In case you have any kind of questions about in which along with the way to work with dog breeds v, you'll be able to e-mail us on our own web page. If the answer is yes, you should know that dog ownership can be wonderful. However, like everything else in life, owning a dog is great only if you truly understand them. The following tips will help you be a better dog owner.

Even if your dog is well-behaved, never leave home without putting him on a leash. A wild animal could draw his attention and make him run off into danger, or an unexpected provocation could result in some unpleasant situation with other people and their dogs. Understand that any damage your dog causes to other people and their pets is your responsibility, so you need to always use caution when off your property.

When you take your dog with you on vacation, take a picture and save it to your phone. In the event that he gets separated from you, you have easy access to a current photo to put on flyers that will help identify him.

If your dog has fleas, and they fall off his coat onto your floor, vacuum them up. However, remember that fleas are pretty good escape artists, so you need to throw out the bag immediately after you are finished. To be on the safe side, tape the bag completely shut before you take it out to your trash can.

Having fresh and clean water available to your dog at all times is a must. Dogs become dangerously dehydrated in a matter of days, so its very important to always have water ready. Dogs will also appreciate water that is clean. If you find it necessary to drink filtered or bottled water because of the quality of water from your tap, then be sure to provide your dog with the same high quality water.

(Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/The_dog_book_-_a_popular_history_of_the_dog2C_kennel2C_and_descriptions_of_all_the_important_breeds_29.pdf/page1-89px-thumbnail.pdf.jpg)You can find many types of dogs at the pound, even pure breeds. Pets are abandoned due to a variety of circumstances, so you might be lucky enough to find one at the pound. Speak to the nearest pound to see if an option suits you. This might save your dog's life.

If you are training your dog, make sure the treat you are giving him really is desirable. Pets have preferences too, and if your dog does not like the treat you are providing, there is not going to be much motivation to do the right thing. Try out a few different brands, and remember that soft, chewy treats are generally the most well-received.

Get creative with your dog's ongoing training. For example, teach him commands in other languages or show him how to do something that will really impress everyone he meets. He will love showing off to people and the extra learning will create a more well-behaved animal who is happier with himself.

Pay attention to your dog's breath. Dogs will always have “dog breath,”u009d however, really bad breath is a sign that they need a dental check up. Plaque buildup caused by bacteria could be the culprit and that will need to be treated by a professional. After their treatments, you will need to brush their gums and teeth and feed them food that helps maintain good dental health.

Always make sure your dog has fresh water available. Water is essential for the health of a dog. He can easily become dehydrated without it or look for unsafe water sources, such as puddles or contaminated ponds. Making sure your dog always has water is an easy way to keep him happy and safe.

If your dog is always drinking out of the toilet, try changing how you provide him with water. Most prefer it cold and fresh, hence the attraction to the bathroom, so buy a fountain or thermally insulated dish to keep his water at a more appealing temperature. Also, add ice-cubes when it's hot out and he's panting

Put your dog through obedience training. A well-trained dog is a joy to live with for both you and them. Teaching them simple commands like “Come,”u009d “Heel,”u009d “Sit,”u009d and “Stay”u009d can help curb or prevent troublesome behaviors in no time. You can either teach them yourself, or you can find out about obedience courses by contacting the SPCA or the local humane society for class recommendations.

If you have a smaller breed dog, make sure everyone who touches him knows the proper way to hold him. Small dogs can be easily injured by inappropriate handling and many owners find this out the hard way. Gently lift at the belly from under his front legs and secure him with both hands.

Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog the habits that you would like to see from them. For example, if you notice that your dog barks anytime someone enters your home you could reward him for not barking with a treat. The dog will then associate being quite with the reward that he will receive.

If you leave your dog with a boarder, there are certain things you need to tell them. First, make sure the boarder has a number to reach you in case of an emergency. Also, tell them of any behavioral issues you dog has. If the dog needs special foods or medication, let the boarder know this as well.

Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. Playing a game of fetch or Frisbee is a great way to get your dog to burn some calories, while having fun at the same time. Dogs should also be walked everyday. Some dogs require more exercise than others, which is why it is so important to understand your dogs needs.

If your dogs breath smells extremely bad, it is important to set up a vet visit to make sure this is not coming from some type of mouth problem. Such problems could be tooth decay or an infection. If untreated, more problems could arise causing further expenses down the road.

Never allow a puppy to climb up or down steps in order to prevent joint problems in the future. This is extremely important, especially with breeds that are at high risk for hip dysplasia. Any sort of high impact shock such as jumping or stair climbing should be avoided due to the fact that their growth plates are still developing.

Dogs don't have to exhibit unacceptable behavior. You don't have to sit back and watch the dog destroy your home or growl at everybody. You have the power to transform you dog into a well behaved pet. Take the advice provided to you here and have a happy, loving dog. (Image: https://drive.google.com/uc?id=1ciI3qJsGSvtRbMZatjnQiq5tKYWqaJ6_) Do you really like reading about Dogs? Give a remark below. We'd be glad to know your insights about this entry. In hopes that you come back again before long. Do you know anybody else who is sincerely interested in the niche? Please feel free to share it. Thank you so much for your time spent reading it.