Skin Problems

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Skin Problems

Message  Christine le Mar 29 Déc - 8:19

Alternative thoughts on skin complaints
The Homeopathic way

Many people think that their dogs coat is simply that – a – coat- but infact the skin is the largest organ of the body. Although only able to show disease in a few ways, often it is a reflection of deep internal problems, mental or physical.

The skin performs functions such as temperature regulation, excretion of toxins, and secretion of sebaceous glands. Many skin complaints cause itching that the dog may scratch, gnaw or bite. Anybody with a dog that has suffered these problems will know how frustrating it is – not only for the dog who suffers the symptoms – but also the owner who has to stop the damage caused by the constant worrying of the area.

We must always be aware of how important it is for your dog to receive the correct diet. Many skin problems start after a slight change to their diet. An imbalance whether excess or deficiency of vitamins, proteins or fat carbohydrates can all disturb the skin and reflect in the appearance of the coat – resulting in harsh dry coats (dandruff) and itching.

Puppies and adults require different types and amounts of protein. The amount of protein given should be about quarter of the total diet.

Deficiency of fat may lead to alopecia and dryness in puppies. Older dogs may show loss of hair and redness of skin. Long standing deficiency can cause skin lesions, especially thickening of the tissue over the paws and can often cause ear discharges, excitability and peripheral muscle tremors. A spoonful of rapeseed or sunflower oil to the daily diet can help a great deal.

Grain products or root vegetables are best especially parsnip, beet, or carrot.

Complete foods have the required amount of vitamins but if you feed a more natural diet (barf, raw meat etc) it may be necessary to add vitamin E. Liver is a rich source of vitamin B12 and should be fed twice a week.

Some skin conditions that arise through vitamin deficiency are: Hyperkeratosis – swelling of the eyelids, susceptibility to infection (vitamin A) depigmentation of hair (Vitamin B factor) severe itching (Vitamin E).

Puppies require calcium and phosphorus in correct proportions. I give my pups from 8 weeks to 12 months – one tab every 2 weeks of CALC PHOS (30c strength).

Magnesium deficiency can cause dryness of coat, poor hair growth and anaemia. Lack of iron can cause paleness of skin and localized oedema. Salt deficiency may cause dryness of skin and ulceration.
I have been using homeopathic remedies on our farm and domestic animals for many years. After writing an article on sarcoptic mange for the newsletter my phone did not stop ringing for a long time. Since then I have given advise and guidance to over 20 Stafford owners – I never realised how many Stafford’s there are out there with skin problems.

The problem with any itch is that when the skin is broken secondary infection occurs and pyogenic bacteria enter the subcutaneous tissues. I have found through my own experiences that an alternative to conventional antibiotics is a combined nosode. A streptococcus and a staphylococcus nosode given daily for five days seem to clear up infections.
Eczema’s may be allergic in origin, be wet, dry or chronic. There are many remedies that can help these. A remedy I have found to be of great help in generalized skin complaints is SULPHUR – in various strengths – especially when the skin is red and itchy (made worse by heat).

When treating skin disease homoeopathically you should treat the dog with its constitutional remedy. This simply means finding out about his like’s dislikes – then finding a remedy that closely matches the symptoms. Here are some popular remedies that can help eczema’s.

Use when the skin is dry and scaly and the shedding of hair is excessive. The animal seeks warmth and will be thirsty. Stomach disorders are sometimes present.
Use when skin conditions are aggravated by wet. Also the older dog that has stiffness upon rising but moves more easily after exercise. The skin has a vesicular rash with intense itching and redness. The dog also seeks warmth
I have found graphite’s to be a good constitutional remedy for Stafford’s – suited to the dog that enjoys the fireside! The skin is usually dry and itching, hair falls out, eyes and ears have a watery discharge, and also the skin in the folds of the limbs may crack and discharge.

Another problem among Stafford’s is follicular mange caused by the mite Demodex Follicularium. There is a predisposition to the disease being congenital.
Squamous type
After the hair follicles are attacked by the mite, the hair soon falls out and corrugation of the skin is soon obvious, remedies – again sulphur is indicated, also Kali arsen and Lycopodium.
Pustular type
The hair follicles become the seat of pus pimples most often seen around the mouth, elbow and hock. The main remedy is Hepar Sulph that has a powerful action on purulent infections of the hair follicles. Again Kali arsen can be used. If anyone has a dog with dmodectic mange and would like to try an alternative treatment, I can advise in more detail if you contact me direct.
Falling out of hair may follow systemic disease of hormone dysfunction. The sides and lower back areas are mostly affected with a black polished look. Hair loss and early greying of the mizzle can show liver dysfunction and must be checked by a vet. Bitches hair after parturition can be helped by sepia. Hormone deficiency is usually related to the thyroid gland and a very low potency given for a short time has been sufficient to stimulate hair growth.
Interdigital eczema
Interdigital cysts are a problem many Stafford’s seem to suffer from. The dog will lick its paws constantly. The area between the toes becomes very red and sore and a small nodules appear, which can be hard or soft any very painful causing the dog to become lame. There are many remedies which I have found will help. A common one is Hepar Sulph again boredom and spending lots of time in a cage can cause licking to become habit forming. Curing the infection and the habit becomes a vicious circle.
Puppies may experience this when teething and a good remedy is Chamonilla 6c
The most commonly known remedy is Bacillinum at 200 c strength.
Treatment of allergies caused by grass, pollens or dust mites can be greatly helped by using the grass/pollen/dust mite nosode.
Flea allergy
I have a dog that is allergic to flea bites and have used conventional medicines that did help somewhat, but I found that it only masked the problem; I now use Pulex – which is infact potenised flea. If he gets bitten by a flea he gets given 1 Pulex tablet twice daily for about a week and this is sufficient to keep him completely allergy free.

I am willing to give guidance to anyone interested in treating their dog with alternative medicine and where they can obtain the remedies from.
I do however advise you see your vet first to rule out any serious or underlying complaints which would call for professional attention.

This article I first wrote for my club magazine in 1997, and I am happy to say the dog with the flea allergy is still going strong at 11 years old.

Sharon pearce (Bullhawk Staffords)

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