Millie and Kim: An Itchy Dog's Story

Tuesday, 5 February 2013  |  Kate

From time to time I'm going to post the story and experiences of a lovely customer or two, just to highlight how skin problems affect both dogs and their owners. The symptoms and signs to look out for, what the causes of itchy dog skin could be, and then follow which natural skin treatment has worked out for the best in each case.

Don't get me wrong, a vet should always be your first port of call, and they're brilliant at their jobs. Most of my customers end up here when the conventional route hasn't worked for them and they're several hundred pounds down on steroids, antibiotics and skin scrape tests, still with an itchy, scratchy dog on their hands.

This is Kim and Millie's story. It's a classic example of how stress and neglect will often manifest itself in the dog scratching itself uncontrollably until he or she has large patches of red sore skin and the poor dog (and their owners) are exhausted and depressed.

Kim rescued Millie, a three and a half year old Jack Russell, 11 weeks before getting in touch with us around the beginning of November 2010.

Kim's email was a pretty heart breaking read, especially when she sent us photos of Millie.

"She's around 3 and a half years old, we have had her for about 10 weeks now, she's a Jack Russell... I think she my be a cross, she is 4kg, very small, underweight. She was kept in a rabbit cage, beaten and starved by the people who first had her.

My Itchy Dog Customer Stories Blog"When she came to us, she was an itchy dog, really bad around the eyes. We took her for a check-up, (the vet) just gave some shampoo, that was it. Took her to the vets again, who put a cone on her, gave her shampoo, and steroids. Then her whole body got itchy, took her again to vets, gave mite drops, eye drops.

"It cleared her eyes up, but under her front legs and on shoulders, she is getting slowly worse, there is a smell to her skin too... It looks like Eczema, I've been putting E45 on, this has helped, but she licks it off, which makes it worse.

"She went in for tests, which brought up nothing... Vets still wanted her to have treatment for dog mites though. We really do think its stress or eczema. Still no better, she then had a cone on for 3 weeks, eye drops, tablets, the works. She is still no better, she's going in for tests next week...but could it be something simple?? I've just ordered Ekoneem off your web site. I do give her evening primrose oil at the moment. I was giving her cod liver oil, but didn't want to overdo it.

My Itchy Dog Customer Stories Blog"She's in for her lady op next week and didn't want to take her vets to be put on more steroids, a week before her opp. Do you think Ekoneem will be enough, or do you advise on other products?? I've been so worried about losing her, one day her skin is ok, the next day it's a mess..

"I don't know if her skin will ever stop being like it?? In a funny way, it's good to know that other people are going through it..."

It sounded like a classic stress reaction for a poor dog who's now found a loving home and it's all coming out. That and the fact she's probably in need of some bolstering to her immune system as I can't imagine the dog food she was getting (such as it was) would be healthy dog food.

We did advise Ekoneem Oil for the patches on her skin because of it's antibacterial & antifungal properties and that it's pure organic neem oil, so no added problems. The only disadvantage is the pong! It does whiff a bit, but for local areas of wet eczema, healing scars and wounds, flaking skin and red sore spots it can't be beaten.

We also recommended Resist and Yumega Plus to help and start supporting her immune system.

We sent her this email "Kim, Resist is pure echinacea and for a Jack Russell one pot should last around six months, and you'll only need one pot I should think.

"Essentially, it should bring her back to good health, including skin health as she's been through so much already and her body is now having to deal with surgery and steroids, so it's all a bit overwhelming for the system. Resist will get her back up to strength.

"The Yumega Plus will also support good skin and coat health, it contains salmon oil, golden flax and starflower oils to factor in all the Omega Oils dogs need. It should really help with the itching and scratching and her coat too."

Then a couple of weeks later we received this email: "We are now having problems with her wee in the day and at nights... It's not every day, but it's enough to be driving me mad. She had never been in a house until we had her.. so I can see why she may be doing it...

"I do put her out at night and so on...but she can be funny, and just stand there looking at you.. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The bloke who rescued her, had her for a year, but didn't like telling her off, as she was so small...god, the state he said she was in...broke my heart."

My Itchy Dog Customer Stories BlogAn Itchy Dog family member, BB the Bedlington, had a similar problem. She came to us as a three year old rescue. Kept mainly in a cage in the house, not house-trained or socialised and never allowed off her lead. As a consequence her skin was a mess, she was overweight and peed where she stood.

We advised Kim to take Millie out for walks and praise her to the skies when she peed outside. For inside we recommended cutting up incontinence pads intended for humans as they're far cheaper than those made for puppies and dogs.

That's my eagle eyed, frugal sister for you. What kind of a soft touch do these companies think we are! She leaves them down on the floor and encourages BB to go there if she has to. After a good 18 months it's down to the occasional accident at night now.

On Monday we got this lovely email, hooray!

"Had a really good weekend with Millie being clean, did a couple of things differently. May not last for ever, but it's a start, and she hasn't scratched skin to bits for a weekend!"

So here's hoping Kim and Millie are at the beginning of something beautiful. All I know is Millie was very lucky to find Kim.

We'll keep you posted.

If you have an itchy dog story you'd like to share please let us know. Just email us at or leave a comment below.