As I dig deeper in my research about a holistic approach to my dog’s skin allergies, I wanted to find a spray that I could use to help moisturize and protect Maggie’s skin. The frequent water rinses were drying her out and I wanted to moisturize and clean her skin and fur in the most natural way possible. In my readings I found about about Calendula and it’s benefits to dogs with skin issues. Infusions of calendula flowers are effective as a soothing and healing skin wash for various forms of inflammatory dermatitis, such as flea bites, poison ivy, eczema, or sunburn. The antimicrobial and astringent nature of this plant make it useful for treating burns as well.
In any event I was able to finally find a spray that contains it. But it prompted me to write about what makes dog’s skin so different:
Also in regards to dog’s sweating:
The dog’s dermal skin layer has two types of glands that produce fluids. The apocrine glands, which produce sweat in humans, have two other functions in dogs – they help seal the outer layer of the epidermis and they secrete pheromones that give dogs a distinctive body odour. The eccrine glands in the pads of the paws do produce a watery secretion similar human perspiration. This secretion leaves damp pawprints behind nervous or stressed canines and may also improve traction for a quick getaway. (source: Vetwest) [/fusion_text][title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”none” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]The pH of dogs is around 7 (neutral) to 8 (slightly alkaline) versus human skin which is around 5.5 (acidic)[/title][fusion_text]Dogs skin is very different from ours . In fact its closer to the skin of a baby. If you ever rub the belly of your dog …. it should feel super soft … like that of a baby’s skin.
That’s why using grooming products formulated for dogs is critical because if you strip away that outer layer, you remove the defences mechanism of the dog against irritants and allergens.
Here are some examples of pH levels
When you move on the pH scale it indicated a change of 10 times 10 or 100 fold change. So if you went from 7 to 5 that is 200 times more acidic or from 7 to 9 then it becomes a change of 200 times more alkaline.
Which means that if you used Ivory dish soap it is approximately 250 times more alkaline to a dog’s epidermis. And baby shampoo is approximately 150 times more acidic to a dog’s epidermis.
Anything that is too acidic or too alkaline will disrupt the acid mantle of the dogs and leave it open to bacteria.
Things to keep in mind:
Pruritus is the unpleasant sensation that provokes the dog to scratch. Itching is a sign that there are parasites, infections or allergies. Itching may develop because of secondary bacterial or yeast infections and it is possible that by the time the dog itches, the initial cause is gone. For example, think about a time you’re gardening and you suspect an ant or bug bit you. But you don’t start to itch until a day or two later. The same thing happens with dogs.
They might be out on the lawn, get bit by an ant of flea, and start itching a day or two later.
In Maggie’s case, I eliminated fleas (I applied flea treatment to them). Also they sleep with us so I thought if they had fleas then we would get bit (which we aren’t).
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual from which I got a lot of this information from:
“The feet, face, ears, front legs, and abdomen are the most frequently affected areas, but scratching all over the body is common. Scratching can lead to secondary signs of wounds, scabbing, infection, hair loss, and scaling. Other signs of atopy include licking or chewing the paws and rubbing the face and eyes.”
Atopic or Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis:
Introduction: The term allergic inhalant dermatitis implies that the dog inhales the substances which then lead to a reaction in the skin. Atopic dermatitis is a less restrictive term, implying that the allergic reaction is a response to ordinary environmental substances. Many studies indicate that atopic dermatitis may result from not only inhalation of these ordinary substances, but also through ingesting these substances or when these substances directly contact the skin. Because of this new understanding, the term allergic inhalant dermatitis is falling out of favor. Atopy is a general term used to describe these types of allergic reactions.
Atopy is often considered an inherited problem passed on through genetics. Certain dog breeds to tend to develop atopic dermatitis more frequently than others. West Highland white terriers, English setters, Cairn terriers, Wheaten terriers, and Fox terriers are probably the five most allergic dog breeds. Other breeds which are frequently diagnosed with allergic skin disease include Labrador retrievers, cocker spaniels, and Chinese shar peis. Dogs with atopy usually begin to experience skin problems somewhere between the ages of 1 and 7 years.
Causative Agents: Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things including regional pollens, house dust, house mites, air-borne molds, human dander, and often food proteins to name a few. All of these are considered allergens or substances that produce an allergic reaction. When one of these substances contacts the animal, the immune system produces several types of antibodies known as immunoglobulins. Most of these have the absolutely crucial function of fighting infection. One specific type of antibody, known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE) plays a significant role in allergic reactions. Basically, the immune system of dogs with atopy over reacts and a hypersensitivity reaction results. This hypersensitivity reaction produces excess IgE and causes the release of histamine and other substances. IgE is generally found in very high levels in dogs which suffer from atopy.
My dog Orbit has yeast infections. She has the following symptoms:
For Orbit my protocol to address her yeast involves:
As for Maggie – she doesn’t have yeast she has environmental seasonal allergies or atopic dermatitis. The best way to help her is to keep the allergens off her, strengthen her immune system to balance it out and to address and alleviate some of the itching. So how do you treat it? Below is a list again from Infovets and I’ve stated which one’s I’m doing.
As you can see allergies are complicated and having a layered approach. As I continue this journey with Maggie part of my research is to understand all the components of her body that are affected. I hope you’re enjoyed this article learning about dog skin. If you have feel free to share it with your friends on social media or contact me for any questions. You can purchase any of the items from Amazon.
Disclaimer: I’m pro-vet and do not want this to be information you use to avoid going to the vet. I’m simply sharing all information I’m learning about skin, allergies, and dogs.DISCLOSURE:
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