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Our dog has the terrible odor of corn chips(excessive).

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Our dog has the...

Our dog has the terrible odor of corn chips(excessive). Everywhere he is stinks. His skin gets pink, he scratches, rolls, grunts, bites himself and is generally itchy. He has had an allergy shot (nothing), He has been on steroids two consecutive times(nothing) I have to bathe him a lot.(nothing) It doesn't even last day and he stinks, scratches and rolls.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the dog's name and age?

Fuzzy Shih Tzu and about 14 years old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Fuzzy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Fuzzy?

He doesn't like going outdoors any longer.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
12/19/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,192
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Fuzzy. You've described a seborrhea which can be a hereditary disorder of keratinization - keratin is a structural protein in skin - or, more commonly, seborrhea arises secondary to most any chronic skin condition which needs to be clarified by Fuzzy's vet. Clinical symptoms of the hereditary disorder initially appear during puppyhood and may be mild at first but worsen with age. Symptoms may become apparent or worsen as an adult if underlying concurrent diseases develop.

Clinical signs may include a dull, dry, lusterless hair coat, excessive scaling (dandruff), follicular casts, scaly and crusty seborrheic patches and plaques, and greasy, malodorous skin - often described as the odor of dirty gym socks or corn chips. Most of the body is involved to some degree, with interdigital areas, perineum, face, axillae, ventral neck, abdomen, and skin folds usually most severely affected. Pruritis (itchiness) is mild to intense, and ceruminous otitis externa (oily external ear canal inflammation) is common. Secondary skin and ear infections with bacteria and Malassezia (yeast) are often present.

I can appreciate how frustrating Fuzzy's care must be for you. I don't know everything you've tried so I'll list a primer for treatment and prognosis for you to peruse.

1) Ensure good nutrition. A commercially balanced dog food that meets AAFCO requirements should be fed. You should find the AAFCO statement on the food label.

2) Any secondary bacterial and yeast (Malassezia) skin and ear infection should be treated with appropriate topical and systemic therapies. Periodic treatments or long-term, low-dose maintenance therapy may be needed because these dogs are susceptible to recurring infection.

3) For symptomatic control of ceruminous otitis, long-term maintenance ear care is necessary. Ear treatments with a multimodal therapy (consult with Fuzzy's vet) or ear cleaner should be administered to both ears every 1-7 days to control cerumen (wax) accumulation.

4) For symptomatic control of seborrhea, antiseborrheic shampoos and emollients may be used every 2-7 days until the skin condition is improved (~2-3 weeks), then, bathing frequency should be decreased to every 1-2 weeks or as needed for maintenance. Antiseborrheic shampoos contain some combination of sulfur, salicyclic acid, tar, benzoyl peroxide, or phytosphingosine and can be found over the counter or at Fuzzy's vet hospital.

5) Daily oral fatty acid supplementation may be helpful as an adjunct therapy (180mg EPA/10lbs of body weight). EPA is thought to be the most antiinflammatory of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. It's plentiful in fish oil supplements.

6) Vitamin A 8000-10,000 IU per 20 lbs orally administered with a fatty meal every 24 hours. Improvement should be seen within 4-6 weeks.

7) For dogs with severe, greasy, malodorous, pruritic seborrhea, treatment with systemic glucocorticoids (steroids) may be helpful. Acitretin (a retinoid) may be helpful in some dogs. Calcitriol (vitamin D) may be helpful in some cases.

The prognosis is variable, depending on the severity of the seborrhea. This is an incurable condition that requires lifelong therapy for control. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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