My other dog, Dot, gets episodes of urticaria over her head & shoulders & definitely improved when changed to a Fish4Dogs diet (perhaps the fish oil). However, recent urate crystals in her urine has meant changing to a diet lower in purines & she’s now on Burns Fish & Maize – skin doesn't seem to have got worse with this change.
She also gets Evening Primrose oil capsules which I believe help her. Dot’s skin flare ups are worse in the summer so I tend to give her a quick rinse all over, to remove any pollen, after returning from countryside walks.
If her skin is bad, Piriton can help but she sometimes requires a short course of Prednisolone to get things back under control & sometimes a low maintenance dose for a while.
So, in short, my first priority with both dogs was to work with my vet to get an accurate diagnosis (requiring referral for one dog) – at least I then knew what we were dealing with.
I like to take a holistic approach to my dogs' care & I try to make sure that what I put into them & on them is as natural & of the best quality possible. However, I won't let them suffer & I'm quick to get them along to the vets for medication if they have any acute skin flare ups.
The rest of their skin care is management - as good a diet as possible that's also suited to their other needs - & one which lists the exact ingredients (i.e. avoiding "meats", "cereals", "derivatives", etc) - & the same goes for treats... there is virtually no treat in a pet shop/supermarket that I would give to my dogs!!!
I also use Evening Primrose Oil (& have used other supplements in the past). I try to keep their environment as free of the allergens that I know affect them... & even when their skin is looking good, tempting as it may be, I never relax our current regime.
Finally, dealing with my dogs' skin complaints has taught me that even 2 closely related dogs are very different in terms of the severity & symptoms of their skin conditions... so there is no "cure all" regime for skin problems & it may take time & a lot of patience to find what helps some individuals.
However, all the hard work is very much worth it when you have a dog that is itch free & doesn't need to wear a Buster collar whenever she is left alone.
If you and your dog are tearing your hair out with frustration feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your problem in the comments box below and we will do our best to help you solve it and get you some relief.