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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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Our part black lab has severe dandruff, large flakes, all over

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Our part black lab has severe dandruff, large flakes, all over his body it seems. We give him good quality dry food, then make half from hamburger, rice, veggies, oil. We also give him a fish oil capsule daily ... any further suggestions?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Vet help replied 5 years ago.
If Buddy's skin is not responding to a high quality food and omega-3 fatty acids, there is likely an underlying medical condition at work.

Hypothyroidism- low thyroid levels caused by an autoimmune destruction of the cells of the thyroid gland- can lead to abnormal skin turn over and result in the kind of flaking that you are seeing. Your vet can diagnose this via a blood test. Treatment involves daily thyroid hormone supplementation. This is a fairly inexpensive medication and should be easy to give in a little treat or piece of food.

The other concern would be a condition called seborrhea sicca. This common in Labs and may be a primary, inherited condition, or a secondary to other issues, such as low thyroid levels.
Dogs with seborrhea characterized by flaking but no oily feel to the coat need weekly bathing with hypoallergenic, moisturizing shampoos containing emollients, lanolin, urea, or fatty acids such as Aveeno or veterinary shampoos such as Etiderm.
Dogs that have flaking with some oiliness to the should be bathed every 2- 3 weeks with shampoos containing sulfur and salicylic acid because there help remove build up of dead skin cells and are antibacterial, antifungal which helps to control secondary infection. Head and Shoulders, Neutrogena T-gel, or veterinary product Sebolux are useful.

I recommend a vet visit to check for hypothyroidism as a starting point.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
One other thing - the flakes are large,soft, and almost oily feeling - we brush him a lot but don't bathe him as he has a very strong fear of water (weird for a lab, eh) but we do give him a topical wash often. Someone mentioned a conditioning spray that would help the skin - do you know of this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
One other thing - the flakes are large,soft, and almost oily feeling - we brush him a lot but don't bathe him as he has a very strong fear of water (weird for a lab, eh) but we do give him a topical wash often. Someone mentioned a conditioning spray that would help the skin - do you know of this?

Also for a 6 yr old dog, he's not at all energetic - just loves to be petted and loved. Would this be a sign of hypothyroidism?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi I'm new at this, so don't know if you got the above info? Does the answer come here or a new email?

The conditioning spray question - is it from the vet or from a pet store (if it is available/if it works)
Expert:  Vet help replied 5 years ago.
Lethargy, heat seeking, weight gain despite a normal or decreased appetite and no extra food, skin and hair coat changes, and occasionally larygneal or hindlimb weakness are all signs of hypothyroidism. It's a very common condition in Labs.

There are several conditioning sprays that contain fatty acid supplements, lanolin, etc., but if he already has an oily feel to the skin, these are unlikely to be helpful. It sounds like a seborrhea condition, perhaps secondary to hypothyroidism.
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