For Lilly’s whole life she has suffered from very sensitive skin that has been prone to allergic reactions, itching and infections. During the last week her skin has once again flared up with a reaction to something and she has a number of red sore spots on her tummy and flank area. Surprisingly the rest of Lilly’s skin does not seem to be bothering her and it is not red or inflamed, except for in these localised spots. It seems that she has probably had a reaction to something she brushed up against, maybe when we went for a walk in the bush.
Over the years Lilly has had many visits to the vet to be prescribed cortisone tablets to help settle the itchy inflamed skin. The cortisone has always helped but these days the vet has advised against the cortisone tablets, as it not recommended to be used with the medication Trocoxil, which she is on for her arthritis. This time the vet has prescribed Lilly some Neocort cream. Neocort is a antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anaesthetic skin emollient cream which I can apply to the affected area twice daily. The hydro-cortisone in the cream will help settle the inflammation and itch, while the neomycin is an antibiotic to help with any infection and the lignocaine is a local anaesthetic to help relieve pain. In the past I have used Neocort cream on Lilly for a number of skin issues and have had great success. It has only been two days since I started using the cream but already the sores look less red and she isn’t licking them as much. They day before taking Lilly to the vet I gave her a bath using the beautifully soothing Aloveen Shampoo and Conditioner. The Aloveen products are fantastic for helping to soothe dry, itchy and sensitive skin as they contain oatmeal and aloe vera but still give a thorough gentle cleanse and remove dirt and chemicals from the skin.
Like many dogs Lilly’s skin seems to most commonly become itchy due to grass and plant allergies. Some dogs are more prone to skin allergies and problems especially those with pink skin like dalmatians. In general, when the seasons change or the grass begins to seed Lilly’s skin becomes red, inflamed and itchy. Usually her tummy and flank are the most noticeable places of concern as well as the ears and under the tail. When the skin becomes itchy Lilly will start obsessively licking the areas she can reach and scratching or rubbing the rest.
My first step to help soothe the itching is always a bath. One of my all time favourite products and an absolute must have in my house is Malaseb shampoo. Malaseb Medicated Foam is a fantastic anti-fungal and antibacterial shampoo which can be used to help many skin conditions in dogs, cats, horses and most animals. You simply wash the animal, lather the shampoo on and then leave it for ten minutes or more and let it work its magic, then rinse off. I find it breaks down any crusty or scabby sores on skin and the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties assist in combating infections. Sometimes I also like to use a gentle skin soothing shampoo like Aloveen or Fido’s Oatmeal & Baking Soda Shampoo. Shampoo’s containing oatmeal are generally very soothing and moisturizing which helps to settle itchy and dry skin.
There are many reasons a dog may become itchy including fleas, mites, other insects, allergies to grass, plants, chemicals, shampoos or even allergies to medications or flea and tick treatment products. It is important, especially if it is the first time your dog presents with itchy, red or inflamed skin, to take them to the vet to make sure it is not something toxic that is causing the reaction. Your vet will be able to prescribe medication and also advise on the best shampoo for your dogs skin condition.
As for Lilly, I am sure this won’t be the last time that I am dealing with her skin allergies but at least it is generally quite easy to get back under control so she doesn’t have to suffer to itch for too long.
Until next time,