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Discussion Starter #1
Caeda has another ear infection, she had one in December when she was spayed too, so I'm a little concerned that there might be a pattern developing. She's also got a little bit of dandruff too (which she had a bit before her bath last week). Both are fairly minor, but either way I'm trying to track down whether there is an associated cause or if they're unrelated, and perhaps relatively innocent.

The two relatively "innocent" causes I'm considering for these issues : First off she likes sticking her head in the shower if we are in there....getting water in her floppy ears could be the cause of the infections, but I'm not sure (I dried her ears well after her bath, but after shower episodes I haven't been as thorough). As for the dandruff, well...its REALLY dry in our house, my skin is flaky too, no matter how much I moisturise. Thinking she might be having the same problem.

If it isn't these causes I'm thinking maybe food related, but I'm having a hard time pinning down the ingredient. We tried completely grain free for a while but it gave her horribly loose stools (and she had previously done very well on SD, which has lots of low quality grains, so we don't think its grain). For the last several months we're feeding her Horizon Large Breed and giving her a kong of wet food once a day (a variety of flavours). So first off I need any hints anybody might have to start pinning down what ingredient it might be with the minimum of food changes possible. My DH thinks possibly chicken, so I'm starting out by just giving her beef food in her kongs for the next couple of weeks (Wellness). Is this a good place to start or should we change her kibble soon? How long does it take to see a change in these things to be able to say what ingredient it might be?
 

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So probably one of the main reasons people visit my vet office is because of ear infections. There are a few causes to them. the Most common is skin allergies. Being that your dear dog also has dandruff lets lean towards the allergy related ear infection. Allergies can be tricky in dogs. each seems to react in their own way. for example. My basset hound before I tacked down what works best for him would get open sores and scabs from allergies. My pit bull would get dandruff then it would turn into little bumps. Each of my dogs has a totally different treatment.
First and fore most get treatment from your dogs vet. This is important for an allergy outbreak. Because you need to get the infection and symptoms under control. but once you've gone to the vet and you have gotten the current outbreak under control then we work on preventing it.

There ARE some many things your dog may be allergic too. It will take so much time to do trial and error to find the cause. so your number one option would be to get your dog tested for allergies. its quite costly but it tacks down right away what your dog is allergic too. That to most people is money they don't want to spend. but just so you know the option is there.

Here are some basic suggestions for you.

1) What i would suggest if your going the food changing route is go all in. run to your local vet and get something completely different. they should have Hills prescription diet D/D it comes in different uncommon combinations such as RICE & EGG, POTATO & SALMON, DUCK & POTATO. its pricey but it will eliminate a lot of the common food allergies right away without having to try a bunch of different combinations.
2) CLEAN water give your pet filtered or bottled water.
3) build up your dogs immune system. Give him pet vitamins!
4) plain yogurt
5) get a ear cleanser from your vet. and clean the ears 2 times a week.
6) bathe your dog once a week or once every other week with a hypo allergenic shampoo.
7) wash the dogs bedding if it has a bed
8) do research! learn about ear infections. so many people come in with dogs with severe infections and didn't even know they had one! learn about how to detect them when they just start. Most vets would be happy to discuss all of this with you. If you can catch an infection right when the ear is just starting to become infected you can usually kick it in the butt then without having to go through the whole expensive process of injections, oral antibiotics,and drops.

If your dog still gets ear infections frequently see if your vet would allow you to keep a bottle of antibiotic ear drops on hand you can use every week or every other week.
Also run a culture sensitivity test on your dog when his ear infections do spark up it will help the vet find out what sort of bacteria is causing the infections and what works best to kill the infection.
lastly to help with the dandruff problem Humilac spray is a wonderful product! I have people asking my constantly how my dogs fur is so healthy and shiny. ( these are dogs with previous allergy and dandruff problems) This stuff really works well !
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess if I'm going to look seriously at changing all of her foods there's one thing I really need to know. How long does it take on a new food to know if it has made a difference?I guess if I'm going to look seriously at changing all of her foods there's one thing I really need to know. How long does it take on a new food to know if it has made a difference? Aside from the ear infection it might be kind of hard to tell, since the dandruff is relatively minor.

I don't mind changing her food much, especially if it makes a difference. Of course there are reasons aside from allergies that she could be having the dandruff and the ear infection (reasons I'll be removing), but I don't want to buy a monster bag of a new food to last a month or so if two weeks will tell me what I need to know. don't mind changing her food much, especially if it makes a difference. Of course there are reasons aside from allergies that she could be having the dandruff and the ear infection (reasons I'll be removing), but I don't want to buy a monster bag of a new food to last a month or so if two weeks will tell me what I need to know.

On the up side I still have the ear drops from her last infection, and the vet actually told me to keep them on hand since with the floppy ears (and her previous vaginal infection) she might be prone to yeast infections. I'll have to call and see if I can get more though, I'm not sure the "leftovers" will cure this one.
She is on bottled water, since our well water is....well...disgusting (yet another potential cause for dandruff, since we all have to bathe in it!).
 

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you should notice a change within a month. It wont be a complete cure right away skin problems can take time but you will see improvement if you keep tabs on her condition.

also keep in mind the ear drops will only work if the infection has just started. if the infections spread into the inner ear then she will need the whole oral antibiotic treatment. once you get that cleared up. armed with some information you should be able to prevent so may ear infections. there are some dogs with yeast problems. so you'll want to look into medicated shampoos and anti-fungal , anti-microbial ear cleansers.

there is no way around it, fixing a dogs skin condition can really drain your wallet right from the start. but the goal is to learn what works for Caeda specific skin condition and eventually learn to prevent it. Even with my job experience it took me 2 yrs to tack down a plan for my Basset hound. but it only took me a few months to figure it out with my Pitbull. and like i said every dog is different. my advice is be patient and stick to it. Skin conditions are very annoying and can take time to correct. Even if you get her on a plan that works for her it might take a few months till she is dandruff free and back to normal.

I have a few questions for you if you don't mind it might help me to give you some more advice. BTW she sure is a cutie!

Does Caeda sleep in a crate when your gone?
If so how often?
What kind of shampoo do you use?
and how long has she had the problems?
Also, is it all year round or seasonal?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We're lucky, her ear infection isn't quite as bad as the last one, which only needed the drops, so my fingers are crossed that she doesn't need pills. And thanks, she is such a cute girl! You've got a pretty gorgeous family there yourself!
As for your questions....Caeda usually roams the livingroom/kitchen while we are gone, and occasionally uses her crate to sleep in (though we most often find her on the couch or her bed/blanket when we get home:p)
We're using a Hartz shampoo (oatmeal I think), though I also have Mane and Tail, which I've heard is fairly mild for dogs (and I like using myself). We only bathe her every few months, aside from her forays into the shower to try to visit us.
The first ear infection was in December and I was noticing a tiny bit in January that she seemed dandruffy. It might have been there earlier and I dismissed the tiny flakes as dust from her rolling around on the tile floor. Its not intensive dandruff, and I probably wouldn't even have noticed it at all if she weren't black. She has been on her current food since November/December I think, so if it is the food I wouldn't be shocked.
Year round or seasonal....hmmmm. well she just turned one, so I don't have much other than a couple of months of puppyhood from last year to tell if she had it the previous winter, and she didn't that I saw (and I was of course handling her a lot). I know my dry skin is seasonal, this house is so incredibly dry.
We've picked up some sweet potato and fish kibble (natural balance if I recall....), grain free, that we're going to start switching her to in about a week when her current bag is almost done.
Thanks fade :)
 

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actually that is quite helpful! First off get a shampoo from your vet. they usually cost between 10-20$ ,so much of the over the counter stuff at the stores have a lot of chemicals and it can cause or make an existing skin condition worse. The vet can also give you medicated ones, and special ones for anti fungal. there are a lot of options and you would be shocked how many dogs are sensitive to shampoo!

It is difficult when they are so young to really find out what the allergy is if its related to the seasons. most common allergies are spring and fall ( just like with people ) but in winter many dogs come in with skin conditions agitated by the dry house.

The food sounds great my only other suggestions that are inexpensive are medicated shampoo from your vet , some anti fungal ear cleanser from the vet and humilac spray ( its about $10 at the pet store also sold at vets )

I think that this plan of attack might produce some results. if not completely it will only help. Best of luck!

http://www.amazon.com/Humilac-Spray-Rinse-8-oz/dp/B0002YFQ3U
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I knew that Hartz stuff wasn't exactly top quality, but I was hoping that there would be no problems, oh well, not a big deal, it was pretty cheap.
I'll be calling the vet to get some more medicated ear drops for her, its not improving fast enough for me to have enough left to treat this one. I'll be asking about shampoo and definitely that Humilac spray. I'm sure that even if her dandruff is just caused by a dry house the Humilac will help her a ton!
Thanks for the pointers! :)
 

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Rinsing Sasha's coat with apple cider vinegar made a huge difference with her dandruff BUT do not use it if your dog has irritated skin. ACV can help remove traces of shampoo and also treat/prevent fungal infections of the skin. Sasha used to have a very doggy smell, even a day after shampooing, but three days after rinsing with ACV she still smells terrific. Some say to keep it on the skin and do not rinse it off. I worried the acid would be too harsh so after a few minutes I rinsed the ACV off with lots of water.

As for ear infections, our Pit Bull used to have many. Getting to the bottom of his food allergies was key, but even after he got onto a good food and the rest of his skin cleared up he did get one last infection. It was treated with a combination of antibiotic drops (Polysporin) and an antifungal cream (Conofite from the vet), twice per day for three days after all his symptoms were gone.
 

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Caeda is such a beautiful dog!! As a puppy and into her adult years, my Pitbull mix Jazzy has suffered with severe food allergies in addition to chronic yeast infections within her ears. Years ago, she used to get these hard red bumps all over her body and she would constantly lick herself. Various vets said she was getting bacterial infections of the skin. So she was put on a variety of antibiotics and she was even on prednisone for a while. My baby was absolutely miserable. Over the years, I tried countless products from various vets that did not produce the best results.

We used trial and error to figure out what dog food would be best for her. Finally one vet switched Jazzy to a quality venison and potato dog food which has helped immensely in terms of her overall health. Her dull coat became shiny again, her stool is normal and her body is actually getting the nutrients it needs. The yeast issue in her ears improved some, but still presented a recurring problem. A buddy suggested Zymox Otic for Jazzy's ears which I used and quickly saw improvement. Her ears are no longer irritated, red or smelly and they are free of discharge. I definitely liked how fast the product eliminated the problem without causing her any irritation. After the infection cleared up, I used the Zymox Ear Cleanser to keep her ears clean and smelling fresh.

Of course, it is always a good idea to take your dog to a vet to find out exactly what is causing your dog's specific health problem. I knew for sure Jazzy had a recurring issue with yeast so I tried Zymox for hear ears. But in hindsight, when I think of Jazzy's discomfort over the years, all of the trips we made to various vets, all of the antibiotics, and all of the money spent -- I only wish a veterinarian (or someone else) had told me sooner to change her diet and use Zymox!!
 

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...a quality venison and potato dog food
Cam, I don't meant to threadjack, but could you tell me which food you are using for Jazzy? I need a venison food for Sasha. thanks in advance!
 

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I can tell you what worked for us. First, the dandruff may be because of the heat. The ear infection can be food related. When Boone was a puppy having recurrent ear infections, an online friend gave me a list of ingredients to avoid, which she got from Tufts: chicken, corn, wheat, soy, rice & flax (I found out by myself that boone can't have brewers yeast). Going grainfree is great but if Caeda happens to be sensitive or allergic to one thing in there, it's not the right grainfree. Boone does best on turkey & fish foods. I'm sure you know this but you have to watch everything that goes into his mouth, treats & supplements included. Boone once got a new fish oil that had soy as a secondary ingredient.
 

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YOu might also look up the "blue power ear wash" recipe, I use it with my pug as well as on EB's and Mastiffs, it's a wonderful way to prevent ear infections, I add a tsp of colloidial silver to it (a natural antibiotic). Frank (my pug) is allergic to a few things such as wheat and corn.

If you have a Costco, they have a FANTASTIC fish and potato food that is very reasonably priced (it's made by the same people who produce DVP natural balance.)

I'd also add either a good fish oil or olive oil to the food, this may help the dandruff.
 

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If you think she's prone to yeast problems, a probiotic might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great information everybody!
I'm going to talk to the vet about supplements and such for Caeda pretty soon. She seems to be taking quite well to the fish and sweet potato food we're starting her on (haven't completely phased out the old stuff yet). We've given her a bit of yogurt with one meal a day for the last week or so. Also been using the ear drops from the vet. We're still giving her beef wet food in her kongs. If she clears up completely I think Chicken (or possibly grain) is the culprit.
Ears are clearing up (not ready to stop the drops yet, but definite improvement!), going to start doing cleanings once or twice a week.
A little less dandruff (I so hated seeing those flakies in her fur!)
and thanks be to doG, stools are staying firm!!
I would LOVE to get her allergy tested but I'm being told its VERY expensive. The dandruff was minimal to begin with, thankfully so I'm not expecting any major skin issues, just happy to be nipping it in the bud before it got bad.
Yay, very soon no more flakies for my sweet girl!
 

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If you have a Costco, they have a FANTASTIC fish and potato food that is very reasonably priced
Its called Nature's Domain and its Salmon and Sweet Potato; look for the bright blue bag. My Pit Bull is doing very well on it after a year of fungal and bacterial infections due to allergies. He was on Acana Pacifica, but this is less expensive and he does equally well on it.
 

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If you think she's prone to yeast problems, a probiotic might help.
Oil of oregano (75% tincture), five drops mixed into a tablespoon of olive oil and drizzled over her food once per day is helpful, too. Sasha gets this, plus I rub a bit of this same mixture onto irritated parts of her skin as a moisturizer and natural antibiotic/anti-fungal. She smells like a wet dog in an Italian restaurant, but it does seem to help.
 

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Its called Nature's Domain and its Salmon and Sweet Potato; look for the bright blue bag. My Pit Bull is doing very well on it after a year of fungal and bacterial infections due to allergies. He was on Acana Pacifica, but this is less expensive and he does equally well on it.

Thanks Sasha! I know it's produced by the same people who make DVP Salmon sweet potato and has the same ingredients. If I had a dog that needed to be on grain free, it's what I'd be feeding.
 

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It does sound like allergies. My Prince had similar flaky skin and stool issues. Are you giving her the sweet potato & fish food by Natural Balance? Prince eats their sweet potato & duck L.I.D. allergy food and it really helped him in a major way. Great ingredients and reasonable price – also easy to find all over the place (Petco, online, etc.) I hope Caeda is feeling better every day!
 
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