Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. While "bad flaky skin" (dandruff) is an important symptom, it's not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one skin disorder. It might represent seborrhea
sicca (a keratinization/maturation defect in skin growth
) or perhaps appear secondary to chronic bacterial, yeast, mange mite infections or an allergic dermatitis
Baseline testing for these patients involves performing skin scrapings in an attempt to identify an underlying mange, a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of Mason's skin surface looking for abnormal numbers of bacteria and yeast), and perhaps a fungal culture. If nothing untoward is found, an allergic dermatitis and/or seborrhea is considered. An allergic dermatitis is expected to be pruritic (itchy) but pruritis is also found secondary to most any skin condition of an inflammatory nature. Skin biopsy is a final recourse when previous testing hasn't clarified why Mason's skin appears as it does.
I regret that I can't be more specific for you from here. Mason's vet can methodically take a history and perform the tests mentioned above and provide a treatment plan. It might include a systemic antibiotic such as cephalexin
, a systemic antiyeast drug such as ketoconazole, a corticosteroid (particularly if an allergic dermatitis is diagnosed) such as prednisone, and either an antimicrobial shampoo containing either benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine or an antiseborrheic shampoo containing some combination of tar, salicylic acid, sulfur, and phytosphingosine. These shampoos can be found over the counter in pet and agricultural merchant stores as well as at Mason's vet hospital.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.