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It could be candida - a yeast infection. My dog had really dry skin, and would scratch all over, but mostly around her ears. The vet was little help citing that its probably an allergy and suggested Benedryl according to her weight. She slept - a lot more than normal...so, that was no good. I changed her diet to the highest protein grain-free I could afford, as some breeds don't get enough protein and that can lead to candida. Grains, bread, pasta etc can also trigger allergies. She is a hound and they require about 80-90% protein - the dry food I got her was about 70%, and at $20 for 4 lbs was expensive enough . Meat and certain veggies give her the runs which is unappealing to me, and I really don't have time or space to start making foods especially for her alone. I also bought numerous shampoos and conditioners (oatmeal, antifungal, medicated and even Selsun Blue), which only gave her relief for a couple days after a bath and she was right back at it again. Tried probiotics because they are supposed to help with candida, and there was some improvement but nothing permanent. THEN, I was reading about curing a dogs dry skin with omega fatty acids. Her food has omega fatty acids, but I decided to give it a shot, as Ive tried everything else already - and EUREKA! It worked. No more foul smell, especially around her ears, AND she now has a very soft shiny coat, instead of the rather bristly and dry coat she had before. I got ANIMAL essentials Ocean Omega GOLD Premium Fish Oil Soft Gels for dogs and cats with natural vitamin E. I've stuck with the food, since I know from doing the research that it comes the closest to meeting her needs for protein, and I add a couple of the soft gel 'fishies' to her bowl. She loves the soft gels, and would probably eat them plain. I can now let her have some of her beloved pasta - she actually barks when she thinks the macaroni is done - and it doesn't trigger any problems. I could have saved literally hundreds of dollars from buying shampoos, probiotics etc, if someone had been able to offer that as a suggestion when the problem first appeared. P.S. Coconut Oil also seems helpful, and I mix some with her food too. Dogs love it, and you can also put it directly on their skin and ears at bath time, IF you don't mind a somewhat greasy dog afterward, lol.
 
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