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My puppy has really itchy skin. We're not sure how much we should be bathing him, if we're doing it too much or not enough. It's quite cold right now where I am. I've read some different things online that say aloe can help or some vegetable oil on his food. I'm a little leary on the oil because he is a couple of pounds overweight and we're working on getting his weight down a bit. Any advice?

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You could try a specially formulated shampoo. If it's skin allergies/dryness there's formulas with tea tree oil, oatmeal, and other soothing things. Sometimes it can be fungus based in which case a medicated dandruff type shampoo would work better. A big problem is RINSING. It's really difficult to get all the soap out of that long hair in the tub. A warm water hose is much more effective. What you wash them with is more important than how frequently you wash. Washing does strip oils from the coat, but a good moisturizing shampoo can be used frequently (twice weekly) with no ill-effects.

 

Oil in the diet is a good idea. You can add some oil and cut back a bit of his regular food to keep the caloric intake the same which would make him neither gain nor lose weight. Some foods naturally contain more oil than others. Someone else will have to jump in to list those because I'm only familar with horse foods in that area (flaxseed, corn which dogs don't digest well, sunflower seed). The itching could be caused by an allergy, too either food or environmental.

 

I've never had the necessity to try this on a dog but when the horses' tail heads get itchy and they start rubbing their hairs off, I rub some baby oil into the skin and they stop itching. It sure makes their tails glossy, too. Might make a dog look greasy, I'm not sure.

 

Make sure it isn't just his collar itching him, too. The chain types can pinch little hairs and make them scratch a whole lot.

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What are you feeding the pup? A change of food might solve all of your problems. I bathe my dogs once or twice a year. Too much bathing can cause the skin to itch, so it's not something I'd consider in this case.

 

I also use fish oil caps to supplement my dogs' food.

 

Vicki

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I hope someone here with a better memory than me can help me, but my dog had reddish, itchy skin. The vet told me to buy *?*?*?* (might have been fish oil) from the vitamin store or wherever they sell vitamins. It was a gel caplet type pill, gold in color, and I think I gave her one every day. That completely took care of the problem. I had to give it to her on and off throughout her life though.

 

The vet said her sensitive skin was fairly common in BC's and the gelcaps were not expensive at all. The precise cause was never determined but it certainly wasn't due to baths as she only had one or two a year.

 

As far as BC's go, they don't need baths except once in a blue moon, unless you show your dog.

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We've had this sort of situation with two dogs. Our old Aussie scratched and scratched. The vet suggested changing his kibble diet from one based on beef and common grains to lamb and rice. Viola - no problem with itching.

 

For our young Border Collie, who had dry and flaky skin (a winter pup), the breeder recommended adding a tablespoon of oil or melted fat to his meal. We do that for all our dogs now and they have wonderful, shiny coats and no itch. We have used bacon grease or melted lard, but primarliy our home-grown pasture-fed beef fat.

 

Of course, these were simple fixes for simple problems. You might need to check with your vet. Good luck!

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sensitive skin was fairly common in BC's
Huh?

 

I haven't found this to be the case, and right now, I have 15 dogs, 14 border collies, from different bloodlines, and none have "sensitive" skin.

 

Although, if I put them on certain kinds of kibble, yeh---they'd itch, but then so would most other dogs, depending on the kibble. It's not so much that the skin might be sensitive, but the ingredients in what you're feeding.

 

Vicki

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Sensitive skin. This brings another question to mind. What exactly is sensitive skin? If a dog doesn't do well on cheap---and sometimes, not so cheap kibble, but does well once when the diet is changed to a better quality food---is that dog considered to have "sensitive skin"?

 

What's blamed, in a case like that, the dog's skin or immune system, or the questionable ingredients of the diet that the dog did not do well on?

 

I think for most dog owners, treating a problem like "sensitive skin" symptomatically, i.e., oral medication or shampoo, is the norm.

 

IMO, you have to dig deeper than that.

 

Years ago, Flick, was itching something awful. Her coat was sparse and she really looked lousy. I took her to a vet. Allergies was the diagnosis and he put her on histamines. They worked, but eventually, she was itching again. In talking to some other people, we began to look at what I was feeding her. At that time, I was feeding her Iams, considered one of the better kibbles at that time. I changed to something else, never took her back to the vet for itching again, and I've never gone back to the food I was feeding her at the time. We go through the "itchies" for about 3 weeks in September---with most of my dogs. This is apparently seasonal and is gone by October. I add fish oil caps during this time.

 

The rescue boy I got in was a relinquishment. His coat was like straw. I just changed his food. I didn't add anything. Today, several weeks---a couple of months later, his coat is smooth and sleek. His odor is gone. All this without bathing, without medications---just a change in food to something with decent ingredients---and yes, raw too.

 

I suggest starting the easiest way. Look at what you are feeding first. Change that. If itching persists, try the fish oil caps---although, they don't hurt either way. If itching still persists, maybe a visit to the vet is in order for a skin scraping or something.

 

Sometimes we're all looking for miraculous cures when the answer is simply, right in front of our eyes.

 

Vicki

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Well we are feeding him Iams. I didn't realize that the food could be a factor. I just assumed it was the cold weather here in Atlantic Canada. I put a bit of oil on his food once and it seemed to help some, but like I said I don't want to do that too often as we're trying to control his weight. We've also tried aloe and that helps a bit as well. His skin isn't red or anything, but you can sometimes see flakes on his fur. What do people recommed for food if not Iams? I was under the impression that Iams was good, but seems like I'm getting more and more feedback that maybe it isn't so good.

 

Thanks everyone for the advice.

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Iams good?-I won't even start on that subject. I feed Diamond Lamb & Rice because it has no by products or wheat and yes Salmon oil is good for supplements.Here's a tip a Petco employee showed me one day.Walk in and stand facing the aisles of dogfood with all aisles in front of you.In her store she showed me the cheapest quality will be to your left and the best will be to your right.Diamond and Natures choice were last aisle to my right.I say try changing the diet.

 

Sue Barta

www.countrymanorranch.com

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Oreo's had dry, itchy skin for a very long time. She's apparently allergic to fleas, which caused her normally dry and itchy skin to turn red and rashy and infected. So we dealt with the fleas (all gone now), got rid of the infection. Now we're just back to the dry skin again.

 

She's been on several different foods. I convinced the parents to put the pets on Chicken Soup for a while, but apparently the pup got sick on it. (They are horrible at deciding on what caused the sickness without doing any checking, and what THEY think it is is usually something they didn't trust in the first place - like a new brand of food). Anyways, right now I have Oreo on Authority, Petsmart's brand. I like the ingredients... no byproducts listed in like the top 8 ingredients. Lots of good meats. But from Iams to Chicken Soup to Authority, never seen a difference in her fur/skin.

 

The vet suggested the fish oil caplets, which I've been adding to her meals. Still haven't noticed a difference.

 

So I'm really stumped. And it's so frustrating, her fur should feel so much better than it does.

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Fergie thrives on Petsmart's own lamb & rice kibble. She'll be 9 on Tuesday and is lean and agile. Of course, I ignore the stated serving size and use what I learned from this board. She gets 3/4 cup twice a day. If she acted hungry or had ribs sticking out, I'd up that. But she's been happily active and has ribs I can feel and a great tuck. And she does get fruit and veggie scraps and cleans plates and pots and pans as one of her daily jobs.

 

About the time of year (as in right now) when my skin starts to get dry and itchy from hot-air electric heat, I start using body lotion. And I start putting a small dribble of veggie oil on the kibble.

 

I figure that, if my skin is fine most of the year but dry with this heat, hers could be too. She did get dry and itchy her first year. But this sure seems to work.

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Lunar, my dog was like that too. I tried several different foods but it wasn't the food, and the irritation would come and then go for a long time. She was sensitive to fleas also, but I had her on that once a month flea stuff that you put between their shoulder blades (man, my memory sucks).

 

I did a google search today about BC's and skin and came back with alot of results that say BC's are prone to have "sensitive skin", "skin allergies", "skin conditions", etc., so though changing the diet may help, the cause could be any number of things.

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came back with alot of results that say BC's are prone to have "sensitive skin", "skin allergies", "skin conditions", etc., so though changing the diet may help, the cause could be any number of things.
There might be some individual dogs that are prone to a particular problem, but as a breed, I don't think bc's are known for skin problems. Have I just been lucky? If you did a search on epilepsy, hip dysplasia, eye problems in border collies, you'd come back with a lot of information as well----and if you put together all the info of problems in the breed, you'd probably have a pretty dismal picture.

 

Any breed or individual dog can have a sensitivity to some substance in their food. Sensitive skin I associate with bichon's, shar-peis, a lot of terriers, poodles, dals but not BC's---although there might be some lines that are prone to "sensitive skin", but I wouldn't label it a breed specific problem. Wondering how these determinations are made.

 

If I had a dog that scratched, here's what would I do--- BTW, my own dogs don't, but the rescues I get in often do. I would first determine if he had fleas---nearly every dog I've had, GSD's, Kees, CO's, BC's, shelties, were allergic to flea bites. It wasn't a breed specific thing. For my own dogs, I wouldn't bother to change the diet if I thought the reason for itching was fleas. The rescues have their diets changed anyway. Just get rid of the fleas. Once they're gone and the dog is still scratching, look at the diet and upgrade. Add some fish oil caps. I usually do this during the winter months & in September. If all this fails, I go to the vet because there might be something else going on.

 

Lunar, has Orea seen a vet? Just curious. I had a friend with a GSD with horrendous skin problems. Her vet recommended California Natural and it helped a lot, although didn't take it away completely.

 

Any feedback yet on Evo?

 

 

Vicki

Vicki

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I read somewhere that the EFA's in fish oil are more readily and completely taken up by the body in the presence of vit e. It's possible that the vet dermatologist mentioned this to me, but I'm not absolutely certain.

 

Any way, my guys get vit e along w/their fish oil. You might give it a try, I get the Costco capsules. Oh, are you piercing and squeezing the fish oil caps, or just giving them whole? Dogs digestive systems are shorter than humans, and I've seen many items that should have been digested come out untouched at the other end. Every capsule is pierced/squeezed, and every tablet is crushed for my dogs, unless the vet specifically tells me otherwise.

 

Ruth n the Border Trio

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Vicki, yes, she did see the vet. It was initially flea allergy that was treated, but that only removed the infection and extreme itchiness. We haven't seen fleas in weeks now. So the vet then gave us fish oil caps in hopes that would help. He recommended Medi*Cal, the brand they carry, but I took one look at the ingredients list (and price) and said, "You've go to be kidding me!" What I have her on now is ten times better than theirs (the first ingredient was by-products!). I don't have much faith in Vets as nutritionists.

 

My fiance's GSD also had a really bad skin problem when we adopted him. Turned out to be mites. Thankfully after a few rounds of medicine he is doing much better.

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Original poster did you say itchy, dry skin, overweight, poor coat, thin coat - loosing air( oops that should be hair lol ), odor? if the above apply you could be dealing with thyroid. My lab had those symptoms and she has thyoid problems according to the test. However, should mention we had bad fleas that yr and money was tight so she was on cheap food. Strangely enough. We moved flea problem wasn't an issue anymore and better food. She got her coat back. She keeps it unless we move her inside. Gas heat seems to dry her out. Also did research ~google on fleas came up with food site.... all I can remember is soy by products and something about if soy something gets into the food it is toxic to dogs and mimics thyroid condition. And if you are on gas heat are you running a humidier? I give Tuck eggs, meat fat and some fatty meat scraps as well as his dry. Good Luck! I'm sure you will find the answers for your dog ~kinda like us we are all different what works for one doesn't always work for another but it does give you a place to start and things to try.

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Wow, yes, I had most of those symptoms and was - finally - diagnosed as having low thyroid function.

 

Of course, I hope that was losing "hair", not "air" :rolleyes: . And no one complained - to me - about odor.

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Karrie, his coat isn't poor or thin or anything. It looks good, he's just always scratching. There are some dry flakes in his fur sometimes and he is slightly overweight, but not too much. Not much of an odor problem either. But we're going to switch his food for sure and we've been giving him little bits of oil every few days. If that doesn't work then we may try the fish oil caps and take him to the vet to get checked. I'm sure we'll figure it out soon. I'm very thankful this board exsists to help us.

 

Tammy

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  • 14 years later...

Border collies are primarily supposed to be outdoor dogs, bringing them home to a house with central heating and low humidity can cause their skin to dry out. 

Diet is a big factor, my dog developed a very red belly and scabs where he scratched, I changed to field and trail salmon flavour (can’t remember the name) and that helped. I also give him fresh fish as a treat as they are a great source of oils. So he’s getting the proteins and fats and oils he needs now (he’s very active) and of course lots of walks 

2274D78C-573E-4F11-AD1D-24BBE64DF9E7.jpeg

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Welcome to the Boards, Olliewood. Handsome dog.

You might want to note the dates on the threads. There can be reasons to revive an old thread, but this particular one is nearly 15 years old and unlikely to reach many of the same people originally involved. ;)

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