Roccos’s story


Rocco is a seven year old white Japanese Akita.

Previously owned by another family member we had been in contact with him since he was a pup and began to care for him in 2011 when his symptoms first started and took full ownership of him in late 2012.

 1- 6 years

Rocco didn’t show any signs of allergies or skin conditions until he was 6, previously to that he was a healthy happy boy.

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2011 – 2012

His symptoms began with an eye infection, very watery eyes and swollen to the point he was struggling to open his left eye. Trip to the vet for antibiotics and eye drops, this seemed to clear up infection at first however other symptoms started to show. Hair loss at the tip of his ears was quite considerable, small clumps would come off at once, then hair loss across his whole body began and he rapidly lost all of his undercoat. Scabs began to appear and his skin seemed to be covered in a dark brown flaky substance. After numerous trips to a variety of vets Rocco was diagnosed with food allergies wheat, beef, chicken, rice, pork etc basically everything he was used to eating.

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He was prescribed:

– hypo allergenic dog food

– Antibiotics (three a day)

– Medicated shampoo (we were instructed to bath him once a week)

– Steroid tablets (1 per day)

– Steroid eye drop (daily)

We began to put him on this course and lasted approx 4 months, I saw absolutely no improvement in his skin or health although I am not sure about the improvements internally to his system. The eye drops did help with drying out his eyes as they water excessively and are itchy.

As you can imagine we weren’t very happy with giving him this amount of tablets however wanted to do what was best for him (or so we thought). It came to the point that we weren’t able to administer the anti-biotics or steroids as Rocco hated them (had a very strong smell) as his diet didn’t allow us to conceal the tablets in food (his food is dried) it became near enough impossible to get him to take them.

We decided to take him off this course of medication

(Keep him on the food and baths) and find a more gentle alternative.

During this period Rocco developed what resembled blood blisters on his paws, I would treat these by bathing his feet in a medicated shampoo at night, I believe these are caused due to him licking and biting his paws because of his allergies (they become very itchy).

After doing considerable research on-line I found Akita owners were giving their dogs oil baths to treat a condition known as sebaceous adenitis a disease which had never been suggest to us by our vet and that had never been looked into despite Rocco displaying all of the symptoms.

I gave him his first oil bath (to his disliking) in August 2012, during this bath a was able to dissolve all of the scabs which had attached themselves to his skin and which normal shampooing were unable to remove. You could also see the dark crusty covering on his skin loosening and took along all of the dead hair with it. One thing I would say is that don’t be afraid to really untangle the scabs from the hair, it did leave Rocco a little raw in areas however was best for him that they were removed (I cut off some where possible with scissors as well).

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We immediately began to see results and his hair slowly but surely began to grow back, his tail which was once bare and covered in a large scab (which he would bite and then it would bleed) was now sprouting new hair!

I couldn’t believe it – something as simple as an oil bath could give these results!

We used extra virgin olive oil and even though the first time he did come out in red spots in places I think it was just an initial reaction and he hasn’t got them since.

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I now give Rocco oil baths every 4 weeks although at the moment I may move this to every 3 weeks as the brown flaking dandruff subsistence seems to be growing back quicker at the moment, I also find it builds up around his nipples and down the front of his legs quicker. I go through his full coat with a comb and rub the oil into the roots, this process takes approx 3 hours to administer the oil, wash it off with medicated shampoo (two times) and then dry him.

It is now March 2013, 7 months after his first bath and approx 2 years since first symptoms and although his coat is nowhere near completely restored (don’t think it ever will be) he now has a slight undercoat and is looking wonderful.

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I am still not sure as to the extent of Rocco’s allergies however I find he sneezes and scratches his eyes a lot and so we are currently looking into doing something that will ease this irritation. You will see from the above images that he has considerable staining on his face due to watering eyes, I clean this area twice a day as I find the skin underneath becomes very crusty and flaky. I also find he has a built up of wax in his ears however in some areas resembles the brown flaky dandruff like it is blocking the pours in his ears as well – also in the process of trying to treat this.

We seem to be keeping the SA at bay for the time being.

Thank you for reading
Karla

 

 

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