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  • #68051 Report Abuse

    I would appreciate suggestions & thoughts re shampoo and conditioner for very dry skin, with dry white scaling and non-greasy dandruff.

    I’m dealing with a dog that has come through the kill shelter & breed rescue. She is also very itchy and will try to scratch and bite herself. Affected areas are neck, top of back, backs of ears mainly — some by shoulder divides and hips. No paws/legs involvement, behind/anal or top of rear or groin, no underside/belly, and no ear infections. When I part her fur, in some areas it is white skin with fine scales and dandruff.

    We are ruling out atopic allergies (outdoors), food allergies soon via novel protein/carb diet & elimination trial, and treating another serious temporary medical condition that may be causing itchiness (or I suppose *could* deplete nutrients). No external parasites of any kind, no round/whip/tape worms etc. No bacterial or fungal infection signs.

    She has been eating quality foods, with 1500 mg added of Omega 3 EPA/DHA via wild salmon oil and virgin organic coconut oil.

    I’ve used coconut oil on her external body and fur, even parting longer fur and placing it directly on her skin. Unfortunately it does make her fur greasy & attract dirt, making her dirty (which I hate). And coconut oil is VERY hard to remove from fur. I have also applied avocado oil & olive oil, as coconut oil hardens & turns waxy in colder temperatures which I figured it could do in the fur.

    She has had two generously donated “spa groomings” with special skin moisturizing and aloe treatments. She looked and felt to the touch fantastic afterward, glossiest dog on the planet lol! But after a few days she still itched.

    Her dry scaling skin and dandruff have remained throughout all of this. So, since she has to be bathed regularly anyway, I would like to find a shampoo & conditioner that will help.

    Ideally, I would like to find a moisturizing shampoo with an extremely MILD cleansing agent (like what I would pick for my own hair) that will NOT be DRYING or irritating + natural oils or moisturizing ingredients. And then I would like a VERY RICH moisturizing conditioner, perhaps that will some soothing and moisturizing residue behind to coat the skin — without making her fur greasy! Or if it rinses cleanly I could leave it on for a while maybe. I don’t know, as I am taking her to a self-wash place and would probably have to explain why I need to be there a long while or do a two part session!

    I’m looking at trying this skin TREATMENT, in addition to shampooing and using conditioner to combat scales/dandruff & soothe the skin:


    Ingredients: Water, Colloidal Oatmeal, Beta-Hydroxy Salicylic Acid, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Alpha-Hydroxy Malic Acid, Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin A

    Since I know GSD show people, this was recommended to me also as a conditioner/shiner. The GSD show kennel that makes it also says it has been effective on skin sores and conditions. It is expensive though, especially with $15 added shipping cost:


    So does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts? Please help me to help her.

    A groomer told me to avoid oatmeal containing shampoos & conditioners — which all of Tropiclean products have (I have their shampoos & conditioners) — as the colloidal oatmeal would disperse in the liquid and soak up/cling to all the oils, not allowing oils/moisturizing ingredients to moisturize or shine the fur. She also said it could be a problem in a dog allergic to oats, but I think that is less likely to be this dog’s issue or allergy even if she does have an allergy or allergies. In fact, perfumes and optical brighteners used in some grooming shop brands, I think are more likely to irritate or cause a reaction. I think they used Nature’s Specialties last time, with the owner recalling the Bluing one (which contains both).

    • This topic was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by GSDsForever.
    #95648 Report Abuse
    Kate G

    I have also heard not to use oatmeal containing products on dogs. Have you mentioned this problem to your vet? We have a 5 yr old dachshund with an itching, dandruff problem. Our vet gave us a non sudsing shampoo to use. You leave it on 10 min before thoroughly rinsing. Plus brushing before hand to loosen up the dandruff. It’s helping but hasn’t cleared the problem. I feel it’s an allergy.
    My daughter adopted a rescue puppy last year that had a severe itchy scaly skin problem. After 2 different vets, she found one that solved the problem. The pup had an over abundance of mites on her skin. She was given medication for 6 wks and prescribed a different dry dog food. She is now itch free. I would definetly start with your vet.

    #95653 Report Abuse

    “Allergies can be broken down into inhalant, contact, or food allergy origins. Flea allergies, grass allergies, and environmental toxin induced allergies are the most common causes of skin conditions in Cairns. Allergies can be chronic or seasonal. They can be minor or severe in occurrence. They tend to become worse with age. Treatment is much better than in bygone days. Environmental controls, antihistamine treatment, and desensitization injections have made huge strides in the last few years”.
    “Glucocorticoids should be used only as a last resort due to serious side effects. Diagnosis and treatment of chronic or severe cases by a Board Licensed Veterinary Dermatologist is recommended”.
    (excerpt from:) http://cairnterrier.org/index.php/Static/health
    This was copied from a site regarding Cairn Terriers, however, the information applies to all dogs (imo)
    Also, you may want to use the search engine here to search “allergies”
    Example: Have you consulted a veterinary dermatologist? If the allergies are environmental, changing the diet will have very little to do with alleviating the symptoms.
    Environmental allergies tend to wax and wane, without getting Intra dermal skin testing done by a specialist (veterinary dermatologist) it’s pretty much impossible to tell what the allergens are, what is working, or not.

    What you describe sounds like environmental allergies, food would have little impact, if any, on this condition.
    I would continue to work with your veterinarian, however, for best results, I would go to a specialist, a veterinary dermatologist.
    Have you tried the search engine here? This subject comes up frequently.
    Example: /forums/topic/irritated-skin-food-allergy/
    “Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities tend to result in GI disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea. Environmental allergies tend to show up as pruritus, ear infections and such”.
    “You could try a limited ingredient grain free food. My dog does well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. Wipe down her feet with water and gently dry when she comes in from outdoors”.
    “Bathe her using a gentle shampoo, I use Malaseb (see chewy dot com).
    I tried all kinds of things times 1 year (including going back and forth to the veterinarian), but, did not get results till I took her to a dermatologist for testing. Allergen specific immunotherapy worked in her case”.
    Unfortunately, steroids and such are often necessary (for brief periods) to stop the suffering and prevent infection.
    Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural treatment.
    Also, I have heard that some dogs do well on apoquel, you may want to consider staying with that, talk to your vet.

    #95835 Report Abuse
    Susan W

    Check out the Dermagic website. they have a lot of great info & their products work really well. I have a Golden who has had the itchy/stinkies every summer FOREVER. I learned a lot from the Dermagic website & my girl isn’t gross anymore.

    #95894 Report Abuse

    Hi, a lot of people & myself use “Malaseb” Medicated shampoo, it can be used daily & puts moisture back into the skin while relieving their itchy dry skin..
    I bath weekly now but in the beginning I was bathing twice a week, after Patch has his bath he feels so soft like silk, the Malaseb puts moisture back into their skin & stops their itch, a bath makes them feel so much better…
    I also give Patch K-9 Natural Green Lipped Mussels as a treat after his bath & when he’s a good boy….
    After starting a healthy diet her skin will start to improve & get better, I would also put her on a probiotic to make her gut healthy & strengthen her immune system…. I would NOT use Coconut oil on the skin, it traps bacteria on the skin & can cause more problems, if you want to use a cream use “Sudocrem” it’s a healing cream for Dermatitis, Eczema, Nappy Rash, Abrasions & kills any bacteria that’s on the skin & stops their itch, I apply the Sudocrem at night while Patch is sleeping, I check out his whole body, paws, ears etc & apply where he has itchy red skin, it’s excellent, when Patch had Eczema around base of tail & bum & he was dragging his bum on the carpet cause it was itchy, he’s allergic to the flea’s salvia, 1 bite & he itches for days, so I bathed in the Malaseb shampoo to relieve his itch & apply the Sudocrem at night…

    #95898 Report Abuse

    I forgot to add to my post, the emergency vet that I took my dog to gave me the following advice. I had applied witch hazel to the dog’s chest rash and made the condition worse.

    I would not use over the counter meds or apply anything topically to irritated skin unless a veterinarian that has examined the dog advises you to do so. That goes for supplements too.
    Many allergens are airborne and are present all year round.
    BTW: Environmental allergies get worse with age, not better.

    #182456 Report Abuse
    Nastya P

    I found the best shampoo for sensitive dog skin that suits my pup! It is Pride+Groom’s SENSITIVE SHAMPOO https://prideandgroom.com/products/the-sensitive-one

    Ingredients include very nice oils and extracts:
    Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Water, Glycerin, Helichrysum Stoechas Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Niaouli Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Juice Powder, Citric Acid.

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