As we get older, our skin starts showing up age-related issues visibly; unless you have the immunity of a superhuman. It is the same with our aged dogs. However, they can't do much about these problems on their own. It is up to us to recognize them and provide the best dog supplement for old dogs. Let's take a look at some of the most common skin conditions in old dogs.
1. Atopic Dermatitis
There are a surprising number of skin diseases that can attack dogs. The most common one for older dogs is atopic dermatitis. This is an allergic reaction. While it isn't catching, humans can develop this same type of allergy.
The symptoms may be so mild at first that they aren't noticed. However, after about one year of having the problem the dog will experience severe itchiness. You may notice that hair is coming out from repeated scratching, especially around the groin, ankles, ears and underarms.
Treatment for this disorder depends on what is causing the allergy. Some of the things that can be a cause include dust mites, pollen, mold spores and animal dander… including their own. Once the source is known, then treatment can begin.
There are a couple of things that a veterinarian may suggest doing for this problem. As with humans, desensitizing shots may be recommended. This does take several months to achieve some success. It works for between sixty and eight percent of dogs. Corticosteroids and antihistamines are also a part of this treatment.
2. Demodectic Mites
Mites are another problem dogs may face, especially as they get older. These mites live at the base of the hair and feed on both the oils and the hair follicle itself. It is diagnosed by plucking a hair in the affected area and examining it under a microscope. The mites are too tiny to see with the naked eye, but can be seen with a stronger lens.
Part of the reason that this can be a problem with older dogs is because their immune system is weaker. A lot of dogs are born with a resistance to these mites, and their bodies will prevent an infestation from starting. However, as that natural immunity weakens, they can develop them.
Developing this disorder in an older dog tells the veterinarian that something is very wrong elsewhere. It could be hypothyroidism, an adrenal gland problem or something more serious. There will be a good deal of testing done to pinpoint the problem in order to build the dog's immune system back up.
Hypothyroidism in itself can cause skin problems for older dogs. When the thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones, it can cause lethargy, weight gain and infections. Some of the infections cause itching. It will also dull the coat of the dogs and cause hair loss.
There are other diseases that older dogs face that can lead to these problems. Cancer is a major cause and can be swiftly aggressive. Cushing's and liver disease may do the same. Therefore it is wise to tend to the dogs' skincare long before any of these problems show up.
VetGen Pharmaceuticals, a well-known dog skin & joint supplement brand, suggests that in order to find the best supplement for skin issues, take a good look at the ingredients. There might be some ingredients that your dog is specifically allergic to. It takes a good deal of trial and error to find that one brand that suits your dog's needs and taste. You can check out their Maximum Skin & Coat Supplement to help your dog's skin health overall.
Essential Elements For A Good Dog Skin Supplement:
Alpha-linoleic Acid is necessary for a lot of systems in the body, both humans' and animals. The body can't make this acid on its own, so it has to be consumed. It is a fatty acid, similar to Omega-3s. It is an Omega-6 fatty acid, which is needed in small amounts.
Vitamin E is essential for many things, as well. It is a valuable antioxidant, which will help keep your dog healthy by scavenging free radicals. It is also essential for fur and skin care. The natural oil nurtures the scalp and in some studies it helps to reduce hair loss.
It will also help balance oil production of the skin and increase circulation to this vital aspect of a dog's skincare. If your dog's coat has lost its shine, Vitamin E is one of the best ways to get it back.
Most people are aware of Vitamin C's importance for the immune system. However, it is just as important for the skin and coat of dogs. As mentioned above, some of the problems older dogs are subject to are allergy related. Vitamin C is an important aspect of countering these allergies. This will go along well with the treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
Biotin is a rather controversial addition to dog supplements. That is because younger dogs get plenty of it in their food, and don't particularly need it in their supplements. However, older dogs may not eat enough to get the amount needed.
Symptoms of biotin deficiency include a thin coat and dry, flaky, itchy skin. The dog will probably be scratching furiously and may develop sores from the excessive scratching. The addition of biotin in the supplement will ensure that the dog is getting what it needs to stay healthy.
Reputation of the Brand
Naturally, all of these supplements should come from a reputable source. There are many different ways to get supplements for pets, and not all of them are equal. As an example, going to a Botanica for supplements may be unwise, due to the lack of information on precisely what is being purchased.
Some companies synthesize their vitamin supplements. That can be a serious problem as that means that the nutrients are less available for the body to use. A dog's body responds best to natural products found in foods rather than in chemicals found in test tubes.
There is also the danger of choking. Pilling any pet can be a problem, especially if it doesn't taste good. They will cheek pouch it and spit it out or they will clinch their jaws closed. A chew-able skin & coat supplement for dog that tastes good is a much better way to go.
Take a look at some of the very useful preventive measures suggested by TopDogTips.com
Overall, it is vital to groom your pet regularly, feed a good-quality and well-balanced diet, and regularly check your dog’s skin for any changes. If you notice any color or texture changes, or anything unusual at all, visit the vet to get a diagnosis.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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