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My husky is smelling foul with dry flaking skin. Athena 2.

Customer Question
My husky is smelling...

My husky is smelling foul with dry flaking skin

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the dog's name and age?

Athena 2

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Athena?

We have her on apoquel and an anti anxiety med. we also have her on the special food sensitivity food.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 31 minutes by:
1/17/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,278
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Athena. You appear to be describing either a primary (hereditary) or secondary seborrhea (associated with a chronic allergic or infectious dermatitis).

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 (often described as the odor of dirty gym socks or corn chips) skin. 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 yeast (Malassezia) are often present.

I can appreciate how frustrating Athena'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 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 Athena'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 may be found over the counter or at Athena's vet hospital.

5) Daily oral fatty acid supplementation may be helpful as an adjunct therapy (180 mg EPA/10lbs 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 body weight 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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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Her ears are clean and do not smell. I also brush her teeth so it’s not coming from there. She also has licked the area of her genitals bald and bites on her legs to her paws.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Thank you for the additional information. Atopy (allergies to environmental allergens) or food intolerance with secondary seborrhea is most likely. You're addressing her atopy with Apoquel and a possible food intolerance with the special food. You can address the seborrhea as I posted above. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Huskies aren’t supposed to be washed except for once or twice a year. Their coats are hard to dry and washing them too frequently can cause skin and coat issues.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Normal huskies might be washed infrequently but Athena isn't normal. I don't know of any other manner in which to remove that foul smell. I've offered up all I have. Please let me know if you'd like me to opt out which will give another expert the opportunity to enter our conversation.

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Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,278
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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