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Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 882
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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I have a 10-year old yellow lab. past 2 years she

Customer Question

I have a 10-year old yellow lab. For the past 2 years she has been losing her hair. It's gotten better, but her skin is still black. She's been on prednisone and amoxicillin for such a long time. I have taken her off of that and tried to do the most "natural" way to medicate her. I just started her on Biotin. She also takes a probiotic every day. I put olive oil on her food. We did an allergy test and she's allergic to all kinds of stuff, which included the sweet potatoes that's in the grain free food she was eating. She's been checked and seems to be healthy, except for the black skin, which I assume is a fungus. We give her a bath in tee tree oil about every 3 days. What else can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.
Hi this is Dr. Holloway and I am a licensed veterinarian with a lot of experience dealing with allergic dermatitis pets. I see you have tried some natural methods and also have tried some medical treatments for your pets allergies. I will let you know what I have found to work best in my patients and the most effective treatments out there for skin allergy dermatitis in dogs. So to answer your initial question the black skin you see most likely is lichenification which is basically chronically inflamed skin that has developed this rough almost elephant skin texture. This is from chronic inflammation that has been uncontrolled. This may or may not get better depending on how long it has been there but topical shampoos to help flush the follicles work well for this. I recommend the following:1) Dermascent Essentials 6 spot on - found online2) Duoxo shampoo- allergic skin (can be found through your vet or online retailers) This is my favorite brand of shampoo for skin problems in petsGive me a moment to type up the rest of my response. Thank you for your patience. : )- Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.
Now I have delved into a lot of natural products for skin care and there is only 1 that is proven effective in my patients. I have not seen much improvement with topical oil applications and tea tree oil I have seen can potentially make the skin worse and also it is potentially toxic to pets so you have to be very careful with using a lot of essential oils topically. They are toxic if ingested in certain amounts and to be honest, they just aren't worth using. Fish oils (Omega 3 fatty acids)- given daily these have a natural anti-inflammatory property to them that helps attack the Ig allergen reaction occurring at the skin barrier level. It really doesn't matter the brand as long as it is formulated for pets. See your local pet store for options. This alone won't cure your pet but it helps prevent relapse once your pets skin has been managed successfully with the other treatments I will discuss.
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.
So here are several options for managing a pet with known allergens.1) Skin allergy shots- these are given by your veterinarian on a certain schedule, usually weekly in the beginning until your pets advances in treatment then it usually is decreased to every 2 weeks and so on. This would be ideal for your pet since you know what she is allergic to, they can formulate a shot that will slowly expose her to these allergens over time to eventually rid the hypersensitivity reaction she is having to normal stimuli in the environment. 2) Oral immunotherapy- there is a new way to do allergy shots without having to give injections. This is by giving oral formulated allergy medication daily instead of shots done by your vet weekly. It requires more applications but owners really like the idea of giving this at home and the ease of use. This works very well in controlling allergies and is just as effective as the shot.3) Apoquel- this is a medication that came out in the last 2 years and really took off as soon as it hit the shelves. Lots of clients love this product! And rightly so because it works fast! Typically owners have reported less itching in pets within 24-48 hrs after use. It is highly effective and doesn't have the side effects seen with steroids (increased urination, drinking, eating and weight gain). It is considered an immune modulator drug that works on the certain enzymes that cause the allergic reaction at the skin level. 4) Bravecto or Nexgard- given monthly. You cannot avoid giving flea preventatives in these pets. It is just too crucial to managing their skin allergies. I have never seen a successful skin allergy case where monthly flea prevention wasn't given. And Bravecto is a 3 month pill and it works! These are my recommendations and I hope that you find them helpful. I am completely confident that this will manage your pets allergies well I have seen it time and time again with my patients and they are now nearly allergy free and happy. A happy dog makes a happy owner.If you have any further questions for me please feel free to ask and I will be more than happy to assist you further.- Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.
If you are satisfied with my answer then please leave me a positive rating before you go. Thanks for your input and feedback!Best regards,Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.
Hi again this is Dr. Holloway following up to our conversation. I see that you had a chance to review my reply. I wanted to make sure that the information you received was helpful in trying to figure out the best way to manage your pets allergies. I know the information may have been a lot, but pet allergies aren't as straight forward as we would like for them to be. These are the best recommendations based on my experience dealing with a lot of allergy pets and has worked. Please update me no K.D.'s status at your earliest convenience. Your satisfaction with the information is of value to me as an expert on the site. Thank you for your time and any feedback is much appreciated. - Dr. H