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Old 11-08-2011, 07:32 PM
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Default Weird skin issue... anyone experience it before?

Ripley has a weird skin/coat thing going on, and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what it might be. It started near the base of his tail, and has gradually moved up his whole back. His skin looks super dry and flaky in a not-dandruffy kind of way. He has a weird icky smell and the flakes are kind of greyish brown and while not huge, they're relatively big compared to normal dandruff. His coat feels kind of greasy to the touch as well in those areas, and his hair looks thinner to me (but likely wouldn't to somebody who doesn't see him everyday). I first noticed it a couple of weeks ago and I gave him a bath because he smelled disgusting (kind of sweaty feet like I guess), which probably made him drier, but I couldn't stand the smell anymore. He's been really itchy too in not only that area, but also his chest, flanks and armpits (though there is no visible problem there). He could just be scratching those areas because he's frustrated and can't reach his back properly.

The only thing that's changed is that I started giving him fish oil at the end of September, but I've given it to him in the past and I think he was fine (it was a different kind though). Do you think it could be an allergy or something to that? I've stopped giving it to him now to see if it clears up, but it's been a few days and there is no noticeable change yet. I've made him a vet appointment for next Thursday as I am stumped as to what this could be. I've seen dry skin before, and this just doesn't seem quite like dry skin. And the smell that comes with it is weird if it was just dry skin too I would think. My mom thinks maybe it's a yeast infection, but I thought those mainly affected ears and bum areas and he is fine in those areas. I don't normally go to the vet for every little thing, but this is gross and I don't know what to do to clear it up. Has anyone else heard of anything like this before or experienced it for themselves? I remember when he was about 9 or 10 months old he had something similar but it was accompanied with hives and a rash, and it cleared up with a food/protein source change. Other than that particular instance, we've never had dogs with skin issues until now so I am pretty clueless.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:07 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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My parents last two GSDs had something that sounds very similar. They called it seborrhea though I don't think it was ever officially diagnosed as such. Can't hurt to try a shampoo designed for seborrhea on it, though.

Logan gets a flaky butt when he sheds (sooooo...right now) but it clears up when he's done shedding.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:33 PM
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It sounds like yeast but it also could be that walking dandruff nastiness or a variety of other gummy skin flora or fauna. Odds are they'll do a skin scraping and give you a shampoo or two.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:05 PM
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Thanks guys. Somebody else on my doberman board suggested Seborrhea, and the symptoms do sound similar, but Ripley is not nearly as extreme as the cases I've found online. Yeast could definitely be a possibility as well, and someone else mentioned thyroid. Here's hoping it's nothing too serious and can be fixed easily enough. I guess we shall see what the vet says next week! At least he doesn't seem too miserable or anything. A little itchy, but I think it bothers my mom and I more than it bothers him.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:58 PM
WookieePups WookieePups is offline
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My dog (Dre) has similar flakes that run throughout the sides of his body, but it's not that extreme. I took him in and the vet checked his thyroid as well as ran blood tests. Unfortunately, they couldn't figure out what it was or what caused it because he was healthy, otherwise. Our vet gave us a special shampoo from (Virbac brand) that treats both Seborrhea and other related skin conditions.. meanwhile, i started adding flax seed oil to his food to up his OMEGA fatty acids in-take (similar to you giving Ripley fish oil)... this has gone on for the past 4 years that I have had Dre.. I've noticed that sometimes, it calms down.. and some times, it flares back up again.. I don't really know... but, have you checked with your vet? I would LOVE to find a solution to this too!!!
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