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Old 11-21-2012, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default mini poodle with severe skin isses, HELP!

Hello,
I came across this forum while continuing research to help our miniature poodle severe skin issues. I am wondering if she has a severe form of SA and I would appreciate your thoughts and experience.

We rescued this dear girl 2 years ago this past Oct. We were told at the time that she had allergies but that she would just need a pill a day and be fine. Obviously they downplayed the problems significantly. It seemed she was on heavy steroids to grow enough hair to find a home after being abandoned at a vet. The vets we saw after getting her were certainly not willing to keep her on this dose of the 'pill a day' indefinitely..in fact they wanted her off of it and would give us lower dose medications that just did not work at all.

She is a sweet dog and I can tell you I have tried everything I can imagine to try to fix her up. She has severe itching, red skin, scaling, hair loss, ear infections, etc. I have been able to control the ear infections with Zymox with htc. She is allergic to corn, beef and chicken from what I could figure out with certainty...I suspect also dust and the like. Just about anything increases the itching.

She has had times when things improved and her hair looked decent, and other times where it is just awful. I tried boots and coats (esp when her coat was thin and she was cold), and to protect areas she had self-injured, only to find that she would scratch twice as hard instead. Immediately upon removing either, she would tear her skin open and bleed (due to being used to scratching so hard with them on).

I have found 2 dog foods that she can tolerate without worse issues after much trial and error and after doing many months of elimination diets. She gets flax, salmon oil in her food, and melatonin at night (to help her sleep with less itching/anxiety and in hopes of encouraging hair growth). I put coconut oil on her skin (especially bald areas) to help hydrate and reduce damage from scratching. I am also trying the oil baths already since it seems to help some with SA.

I took her to the beach once and she tore her skin open after because it made her so itchy. She basically can go out in our very small porch area and that's it because everything makes it worse. She hates the cold and wet for obvious reasons.

I saw the university article on SA and the picture at the end of it of the severely affected poodle looks so much like her right now it brought tears to my eyes. She is bald around her eyes, chin, under her ears, chest, elbows, feet, entire belly, genital area all the way except the very tip of her tail. I am at my wits' end and she is miserable. One thing that seemed similar to the info I found on SA was the mention that the itching was along the hairlines...that is definitely the case with her. On her very bald areas she doesn't itch as much anymore. She is not spayed because her skin won't stabilise enough.

She doesn't play at all. She is content when she eats and when she can sleep. Her goal in life seems to be to find a warm bed wherever she is. I am wondering what quality of life this is for her but she is a very sweet dog and it seems such a shame (and so wrong) to end her life prematurely and I am hesitant. I was told 2 years ago that she was 3-4 years old (so she'd be 5-6 now if that is true) but she does have grey hair around her eyes/muzzle when it does grow in a little.

No vet seemed to even consider this as a cause of her suffering but this girl has obviously had issues for a very long time. Can anyone offer an opinion? Is it cruel to keep trying or am I doing the right thing? I cannot afford $1000's more in vet bills and I feel sick about this as it seems there is no real cure for SA if that is the cause of it all.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who responds and shares their thoughts!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't Know if it help but my dog has bad alergies to a host of things and after many foods and now two vets and the new vet is a holistic vet and has asked me to put him on Canine Caviar diet and so far he has stopped vomiting and itching and he has almost stopped shaking his head . So it might be worth a try. good luck know how fustrating it is as we rescued Kruz too with a host of health and social problems but he is so worth it..
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for your reply and words of encouragement! Unfortunately that food isnt an option for us as we are in Canada.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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so am I global pets is caring it
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would not let her continue if I could not get it fixed. I would not let her live 7 or so more years suffering.

Have you tried a "raw" diet? I have read over and over that a raw diet has worked wonders. I would try it . I don't know of anything else that you haven't already tried.

So sorry, it is such a sad thing ... hugs.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would first have her tested for SA for confirmation that is what you are dealing with. If it is, I believe there are SA discussion groups that may offer suggestions that assist with the symptoms we are unaware of. If it is allergies to something, I wonder if there is a specialist who could assist to get it under control. I admire you for sticking in there and working on a solution. Hope you find a remedy soon.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No, its not cruel to keep trying to help something you love! Could she have a vitamin def.?Omega-3 ? may try boiling her food ( hambugger ) to get the fat out, cool it, mix in sweet pato. little mixed vegies out of a can, so on . If you put her down befor you have tried everthing you know to do for her , you will wonder about it, it will help you to know that you did everthing you could if that time ever comes. Praying for you.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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thought of some other things you might try. Add fatty acids, get them from vet, health food store, that takes 6 weeks to help, antihistamine ( benadryl ) check with vet on dosage. could be hormonal, thyroid, mange mites, dermatitis . You might try giving her a oatmeal bath with aveeno added to the water, let her soak in it for 10 min. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you tried an holistic vet?
There is a good website by Christopher Day (alternativevet.org)who has a surgery in the UK. He talks about skin problems on there. I truly hope your dog recovers... Sending hugs
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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memechose: It's heartbreaking to read what you and your mpoo girl are going through! I'm going to contact some mpoo breeders I know to see if they'll weigh in. The Thanksgiving holiday has thrown schedules off here so it may take me a few days, but I will send you a Private Message the moment I hear anything that may be of help. Meanwhile, I wish you continued strength for your efforts to keep your little girl as comfortable as possible. The only bright spot in this is your incredible devotion to her, I know she feels that. I hope there is a way to get her more relief!
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