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Dandruff
  • Ok I did an advanced search and nothing really answered my question.

    Onyx has pretty bad dandruff right now and I am thinking it could be a few things but I am definitely up for any suggestions. We are feeding him half blue buffalo wilderness puppy and half purina pro plan chicken and rice, and we are about a month into the process of switching all the way to blue buffalo. We are trying to get him used to water so we give him a water only bath (no shampoo, just getting him wet) about every 2-3 weeks. We give him a full shampoo bath one every 3 months, as we were told not do it more than that due to the shampoo messing up the coat. I feed him an egg once a week to help maintain his coat, and he gets a multi-vitamin every morning. He gets a brushing 1-2 times a week.

    So I am thinking it could be a couple things, hopefully I am on the right track, but any advice would be much appreciated before our vet visit December 3rd. These are the things I am considering:

    1. Allergy to food
    2. Bathing too much/too little
    3. Blowing his coat and just has skin irritation

    Like I said any information will be a lot of help because I can't find any.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Bring onyx to the vet and see if they can do a check on him. I think it's called scalp check? I'm sure someone else can get into more detail about it.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Keep in mind that as the seasons change, dogs, like people, suffer from dry skin. My boy has some dandruff as well, which has been the case every season with him. I usually give him a warm oatmeal bath and give him a good scrub.
  • All I can tell you is our experience with this as we still have not found an underlying cause but have found a way to control the dandruff.

    Zim started having dandruff not long after we brought him home and gets it every once in a while. Our vet thinks that it's probably allergies due to the fact that he has had other symptoms of allergies (eye boogers, general scratching, ear scratching and paw chewing, although not enough of those for him to go bald or hurt himself, and soft stool), so we're currently on an allergy trial (well, sort of, long story with that).

    In the meantime, what we have found instantly gets rid of his dandruff is a nice bath with oatmeal shampoo and then slathering (and I really do mean slathering) him with oatmeal conditioner. At the end of the bath we get a puppy who is desperately happy not to be in the sink anymore but who also has no dandruff for at least a week or two and the softest fur known to mankind.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya gets a slight dandruff during blowing season, but not when she isn't blowing her coat.. I dunno what it could be. :\

    Maybe once he is fully transitioned to blue buffalo and having good poop maybe try giving fish oil or salmon oil?

    I've read that is good for a dog's skin and fur.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • MacMac
    Posts: 61
    My BT had serious dandruff with the season changing and then right into coat blow. Now that its all done we are flake free.
  • KimuraKimura
    Posts: 191
    My experience is with my mini-dachshund, but she got dandruff systematically and instantly when she was stressed out... For example, in the car, which she didn't like much, she'd get dandruff withing a few minutes. Has Onyx had changes in his routine or anything that could be stressful?
  • Yes Onyx has, over thanksgiving he spent a week at his mama's house, but it didn't show up until after his bath two days after he was back home. He is still very young so maybe it just is stress.

    We also are going to start allergy testing soon, because he has had soft stools on and off since he got home. After we started blue buffalo, it has slowly started going away, and he has been getting it only about 1 or 2 times a week since about 3 weeks ago, but it still happens occasionally.

    I do plan on giving him salmon oil as soon as the bag of old food runs out. The last round of shots is due on December 3rd for him, I will definitely ask our vet about it.

    One more thing, he does itch, ALL THE TIME. He is constantly scratching and biting his legs and face and stuff. It worried me the first month he was home, but now I am thinking it is more of a nervous twitch cause he does it only in certain situations like during training or when I have to correct him for doing something wrong.
  • If you think it's nerves, I would interrupt the behavior. It's definitely a bad habit to get into. I'm starting to wonder if we need to do that for Zim to make sure he's scratching because he itches instead of out of habit.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    @acmccart8 - Why has it taken you over a month to switch foods? Unless your dog has a super sensitive stomach, you should do the transition over a period of 10-14 days.

    Most double coated breeds get dandruff when blowing coat. Help the coat blow by giving him warm water baths with a soothing shampoo (such as oatmeal shampoo) and massage the loose fur out. Brush him with a slicker brush at least once a day to help get out the loose fur and distribute oils. Adding salmon oil to his diet will also help.

    As for the itching, start him on salmon oil, take him to the vet to check for fleas (and get him on a preventative if he is not already on it), and get him off that Purina food ASAP!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Nikko has skin allergies and can get dry, itchy, flaky skin. The right food has help a lot. We currently use Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck but have also used Innova Evo Red Meat. In addition, a fish oil Omega 3 pill is essential to keeping his coat and skin healthy. This usually starts working within a week or so. When needed an oatmeal shampoo is all I will use on his sensitive skin. Hope your boys skin starts feeling better!
  • We have taken a while to switch him because when we first got him, he was dealing with bad diarrhea for the first month or so. We switched him to the purina pro (recommended by vet) and it got slightly better. After searching around, we realized that blue buffalo wilderness was some of the best food you could feed dogs, so we wanted to switch him to that but was worried about switching him too often, so we have made the change very gradual (And we also didn't want to waste the purina pro). He should be fully on blue buffalo soon.

    We have given him one bath with shampoo and we used a puppy shampoo by top paw for sensitive skin. We were told not to give him baths too often with shampoo which is why, for now, we just use water every other week and then once a quarter use shampoo. We are doing this also to help him adjust to bath time later in life to make it easier and more enjoyable for both Onyx, and us.

    Because the soft poo is still occasional, we want to wait a few more weeks to start the salmon oil while he is getting adjusted to the new food. We have been brushing him a couple times a week with a zoom groom, but when we do it seems to bring out more dandruff.

    As far as the scratching goes, how do we break this habit? we pull his mouth away when we see it but we can't always be there prevent it. Since he is only 16 weeks old, he's been going to the vet often (every 3 weeks) and has come back every time (last Monday was the last visit) clear of fleas or ticks. He is also on a monthly preventive called Trifexis which has both flea and heart worm medication in one easy pill.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Bump~

    So Bootz is 3 years 1 month. I've went through a few shed seasons with her already and she has not had dandruff.

    I left on July 3rd for vacation for 3 days. My brother (who Bootz knows well) house sit for me. Bootz showed no anxiety, and everything was normal at home (while we were away). A week before we left, Bootz started to shed, with no dandruff. We brushed and combed like usual, No dandruff.

    During that 3 days we were gone, I came back, Bootz had very bad dandruff. At first I thought she had a chunk of lint on her, but when i used my hand to sweep her coat, a lot of dandruff came out. She doesn't sun bath, and we have the AC running in the house to keep her cool, so i'm not sure where the dandruff comes from. I don't think it is tied with her thyroid medication.

    I will be picking up Oatmeal shampoo since many have mentioned that is good for dry coats.

    Is it normal for dandruff to suddenly appear even though she had no history?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    @Bootz - Dandruff is often caused by dry skin. Since the air conditioner decreases the humidity, it makes the air very dry. Do you have her on any oil supplements? Fish oil or coconut oil generally works very well with skin/coat health.

    Hypothyroidism can also causes dry skin/coat. If I recall correctly, she was recently diagnosed and put on medication?

    Perhaps give her a good bath with some oatmeal shampoo and some coat/skin conditioner. Get her some coconut oil (she will love it!). And see what happens. If she is also itchy, you may want to get a humidifier for your home as well (but if she is not itchy, I would not bother with it right now).
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @sunyata

    You are correct. She was recently diagnosed, like a month ago. We actually just got back her 2nd blood test 2 weeks ago and she's now considered hyper. A little over the range, so we have readjusted the dosage so it'll be just right. I wasn't too sure if that was related to her dandruff.

    The AC is not on often as we keep it at 75-76 degrees F. Bootz rarely scratches, maybe once a day? But that is normal itching.

    I'm picking up the Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe on my way home today. Will bathe her first thing when i get back and add on some salmon oil to her dinner :( I'll look into the coconut oil threads if her skin doesn't get better.

    Just worries me since its the first time seeing so much dandruff!
    Appreciate the info Sunyata!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    I would not worry too much at this point (I know, easier said than done). The hormone imbalance may be contributing, in addition to the use of the A/C. If you have a Trader Joe's locally, coconut oil is pretty cheap and incredibly beneficial (for both humans and canines!). As long as she is not itchy, I would just keep an eye on it, give her that oatmeal bath, and add some extra omega's to her food. :)

    If she gets itchy or if the dandruff gets worse (larger flakes, skin gets irritated, etc.), then I would definitely take her in so that the vet can check her out.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @sunyata

    She's due next week for another blood test so i'll bring it up then if the issue still continues. My husband was thinking the same, hormone imbalance. I just picked up the Oatmeal shampoo during lunch. I'll give her a spa treatment when i get home (half hour bath with thorough massage, extra omega and some cuddle time)

    Just a side note. While we were away, my brother gave Bootz bullysticks to cope with the firework. She got 1-2 a day, I usually give her once a week, or every 3 days at the max. My husband wants to stop the bullysticks for now to eliminate all possibilities....I think he's crazy. Do you think the bullysticks had an impact?
  • @Bootz, Banjo gets bullystics anytime from once a day to once a month (directly related to how much his antics are annoying me and how thin my patience is at that moment).

    I order bully sticks from various places, really, based on what is on sale. I have found different bullysticks ABSOLUTELY affect things in my dog from itchyness to poop quality to eye boogers. It is entirely possible Bootz is reacting to the bullystick.

    I am not just saying that as a sign of unity with fellow men.

  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    @Bootz I have also heard that stress causes dandruff -- hope I'm not reviving an urban pet legend here. I don't know the exact mechanism, though I've read it explained as body/skin tension creating weird skin sheds. I found this hard to believe until I saw it happen pretty much right before my eyes with a couple Basenjis, whose shorter hair made it much more visible. One moment they were perfectly fine, coats glossy and slick. Then they encountered a strange, aggressive dog or were put in an unfamiliar environment, and within 30 minutes, they had huge visible flakes all across their haunches. Very interesting.

    From the sounds of it, Bootz was a bit stressed being without her main people (and Jackie) over the weekend, with fireworks going off on top of it all. Fishy treats, gentle grooming (like with a Zoom Groom) with skin massages, and returning to schedule will probably help get her back to normal.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Ok I just bathed her... A bunch of black/gray spots appeared as I soaked her coat. I bathed her for about 45 mins... Not all the spots come out. It just keeps coming!!! I'm assuming it's dandruff? It didn't move.... And looks like dead skin. :( so freaked out. Thought she had lice or something.

    @curlytails @sunyata
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    Huh... That is odd... It did not turn a rusty colour when you added water did it? If so, that would indicate flea dirt and she would need to be treated. But if it was just plain black/gray, perhaps it is just regular dirt or sand? Or I suppose it could be clumps of dead skin. Did you take any photos?

    Try not to freak out. I am sure there is some simple explanation. Did your brother take her to a beach or some place that may have strange dirt/sand?
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    As an fyi on hormones, stable hormones do pay a big part in skin and coat. Hormone imbalance can certainly produce more shedding and dandruff, particularly during adjustment on meds (hyper or hypothyroidism). On top of that if the cycle for full shedding were about to begin, without a doubt you are going to have some patches with release of a lot of undercoat. (If your dog has a black coat the flecks will be a lot more noticeable too.)

    Since your Shibas coat has started to blow, just go with a daily grooming plan until the under coat is all out, making sure you are up to date on his/her flea meds. Once the hormones settle the new coat should come back pretty quickly. Upping the omegas as Sunyata suggested is a really good idea.


    It’s also a good idea to let your vet know too. If your dog is showing complete Alopecia (bald patterns) I would get into to the vet asap as the symptoms are suspect for Cushings and can mimic some of the same symptoms seen in thyroid disease. Sometimes one disease can mask as the other in the early stages.


    Good luck…
    Snf



  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    My brother didn't take her to any places except the area in our neighborhood my shiba is familiar with, plus the park. The specks are definitely not something she picked up from outside.

    image

    That is the picture after I bathed her....there were a lots of spots. I think it all popped up because I was massaging her coat (she is shedding). After I dried her coat, the specks went from dark spots to light gray in color (the dandruff i saw before). I simple brushed out the dandruff, and her coat looks better now. Gave her salmon oil last night as well as this morning. She doesn't have any balding spots. Her coat is thin from normal shedding. Nothing out of the norm except the "dandruff"

    @Sunyata @curlytails @StaticNfuzz

    Thanks for the tips and info.

    @BanjoTheBetaDog "Sign of unity from fellow men" Hahahaha. You crack me up!
  • @bootz - not to alarm you, but I would take her in to see the vet. Sometimes dogs get a very mild skin irritation that can result in scabs. It is rather difficult to feel them and the dog possibly may not have been irritated enough to scratch them (this happened once with my girl who wasn't even scratching herself). It tends to be harmless but not a bad idea to get the vet to have a look.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @violet_in_seville

    I agree. Better safe than sorry. I actually bumped up her vet visit for this Friday, but wanted to post my experience in case anybody had an input.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    Hmm. That is odd. I would be very curious to know what the vet says. I would be more inclined to think that was scabbing instead of standard dandruff, mostly because of the colour. But I am glad that she is not itchy or showing any other signs of discomfort.

    Keep us updated!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    To me from a distance that does not look like dandruff but skin that is scabbed or has flaked after some sort of irritation or bites. Hard to say without looking directly at the dog though and this is where your vet will know best.

    As an minor fyi….Dogs are more vulnerable to mites if there they are battling some health issues or even digestive issue. When dogs are initially infected with Sarcoptes they may not develop itching for several weeks.

    Keep us posted….
    Snf

    PS: Be sure your dog is fully dry after it’s bath. Sometimes if the undercoat and skin stay wet there can skin issues too with sloughing, particularly if you are in a humid environment.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    As of now the only thing my husband and I can think of that could have caused the reaction is.

    1. Change of medication. The doctor prescribed us a different brand of thyroid medication but said it is "the same" as the one Bootz previously took (just different dosage to adjust for her thyroid levels). We started on this new medication 1-2 days before we left for the weekend.

    2. Hormonal Imbalance / thyroid related.

    3. Possible stress from us going on vacation. Although my brother house sit for us while he watched Bootz. Bootz didn't show any sign of separation anxiety during the weekend and her schedule was normal.

    Nothing else has changed in her routine. Meals, proteins, kibble, exercise, all remain the same. She did not get exposed to any new environments or dogs/animals.

    I'll keep everybody updated once I hear from the vet....After hearing what the vet has to say, i'll bring up scabs if he has not mentioned it. (I still have a sample of Bootz fur with the spots in it in case the vet needs to see first hand...)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Ok....vet managed to squeeze us in today. I got a little bit worried since so many people said it wasn't dandruff and it was scabs/mites (by looks of the picture).

    The Dr. examined Bootz skin and coat. He noted her coat was really rough and dry (compared to a month ago)...but he said its dandruff. I mentioned scabs/mites but he reassured me Bootz skin is healthy and normal. It is neither scabs or mites, and definitely a LOT of dandruff. He also mentioned the dandruff might be a result of Bootz Thryoid issue since she was hypo...then thyroid medication overshot and then she was hyper...and now we don't know where she stands (so we did a 3rd blood test). Also on top of that, her shedding is not helping!

    For now he recommended Oatmeal baths as needed, as well as add fish oil to her diet.

    :)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8549
    Glad to hear that it is nothing serious! Hopefully the oatmeal bath and omegas will help ease the issue. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    That's good to hear! So glad your vet was willing to fit you in.

    There is a good book that came out in 2011, The Caine Thyroid Epidemic by Dr. Jean Dodds. I think it was posted on another thread, but posting it here since it applies and should help you out. It think it is now on kindle at much much reduced cost.

    Snf

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