Thursday, 17 Jul
And by ‘ruff I mean dandruff. For years Piggy has gotten compliments on his shiny black coat, but ever since last summer he’s been battling flaky dandruff that becomes even more noticeable when someone starts to pet him and scratch his back. It seemed to get better for a while in the winter, not fully gone, but definitely less. You can scratch thick flaky chunks off in spots and though he doesn’t seem to scratch a lot, I’m sure it must be at least somewhat uncomfortable and itchy.
I first noticed he was getting some spots on his belly last summer and assumed it was irritation from being in the water. The pug loves to run along the water’s edge, digging at rocks and chasing after other dogs until they swim out further than his little legs will allow. I take him to an off-leash park at a small lake that’s quite pretty, but not big enough to really do anything but let dogs swim in it. It’s not the kind of lake where you’d see boats or people fishing. He also likes to splash around at the beach, so the ocean salt water could also be the culprit.
As a test, I kept him out of the water for an entire month, but his skin seems to be getting worse, not better. I brush him, try to flake off as much as I can with my fingernails, then give him a bath and shampoo his coat with a medicated dog shampoo that has 5% coal tar solution, but that doesn’t seem to give much relief (though he does smell good!). There are a couple of spots now that are pink and tender where I’ve scratched off a flaky patch, so those I’ve been coating with Bactroban, an antibiotic ointment. I’m so frustrated and really want to find a solution to heal my poor pug.
We’ve been to the vet a couple of times, but unfortunately he hasn’t been much help. Could it be from the water? Maybe. Or it could be an allergic reaction to something at the park. Or in his food. Process of elimination seems to be the only way to tell! And what a long process that would be.
His one advice was to get Piggy on some Omega3 fatty acids and really, I think we should all be taking those kind of supplements. Hopefully that will help otherwise I may just dip the whole pug in a vat of fish oil to try to soothe that skin! And you thought wet dog was a bad smell!