I am no expert and have just started adding oil to Ally's food but can share what my vet told me. He recommended Spring Valley Omega 3 Fish Oil in the 1200 mg softgels. He said it is one of the few that is verified by the US Pharmeacopeia and 100% fish oil. He told me he gives it to his own dogs. At least for Ally, he recommended 3 softgels a day to begin with, then as her coat gets better cut back to 2. However, I am also adding 2 teaspoons of 100% sunflower oil to her food daily. So I will be interested in how much/what quantity other people say they give. It has only been a week but I can already see a difference in her coat. It is shinier. I am still waiting for the results of the blood work on Ally to see if the cause of her hair loss in spots is due to hypothyroid disease or not. The good news is that it does not seem to have gotten any worse in the last week.
FWIW all three of my hounds have the best coat ever after switching to Eagle power. We suppliment with meat and Impact of course, but I've been amazed at how just the kibble kept them through the summer.
Tonight they got BIG old freezer burned chicken breasts (skin on) with their kibble. Only Dulcie is strange about raw meat... she may not eat it. I'm kind of staying away from the utility room and will check on her in a minute, but if she turns up her nose at it her brother will be more than happy to inhale it for her....
Sorry to hear and see your gsp's skin problem. First of all I dont think you mean Advantage when you mention changing from Heartgard/Frontline. I think you mean Revolution, as that will do mites and heartworm. Advantage is just a topical for fleas/ticks.
She does look hypothyroid, but that said, she could have intestinal parasites. I would give her a good broad spectrum de worming such as Panacur. then get her on a premium dog food that is higher in fat, or get her on a good fatty acid supplement such as Derm Caps ES. Also there are topical leave in products for dry flaking skin. Sometimes the dry heat in the house contributes to this, just like us, so they scratch and tear out hair. We use more moisterizers in the winter, the dogs need them as well, espec. if you have forced air heat/woodstoves etc. If you are dry, she is dry. Cephalex. is a good skin antibiotic, watch for GI upsets Give it with food to try to avoid that.
Is she spayed? if not and she just either came out of heat/had puppies, she could be blowing coat from that.
Skin problems are complex. Not easily fixed over the internet or in the vets office. Just keep plugging away at everyones suggestions and hopefully resolve her issues. good luck to you.
Thanks for the suggestions. But actually it is Advantage and not Revolution that I switched to. It is called Advantage Multi. Maybe it is new. It contains both imidacloprid and moxidectin. It is for heartworm but also controls hookworm, roundworm, and whipworms as well as treats for fleas. The box does not say it but the vet said it would also be good for some types of skin mites/parasites. That is why he suggested the switch. The downside is that it does not treat for ticks but given the time of year it is I think we're okay.
I'm still waiting for the results of her blood test to see if it might be problems with her thyroid. But from what I have read, the hair loss seems to be her only symptom. I am hoping the test proves me right and that it is not hypothyroid disease and instead something less severe.
Thanks again for everybody's suggestions. I really do appreciate the information as well as people sharing about their own dogs.
Hopefully I will have good news for my next post!
Everyone take care,
Ok..that makes more sense. Advantage is one product and the Advantage Multi is a whole nother ball game/similar to Revolution. I sure hope she gets better for you. Good luck.
Just wanted to share an update on Ally. We went back to the vet yesterday to get the results of the blood test. It was negative for hypothyroid disease which is very good news. However even after two weeks of antibiotics and adding the fish and sunflower oil to her food, the thinning hair had not gotten any better, nor had the small sore on her left hip. After discussing several other possibilites ranging from resistant staph to some form of skin cancer, the vet finally decided to take a sample of cells from the sore and look at it under the microscope. He was looking for any signs of a mass cell tumor (Ally had one removed in Feb. 2007). After looking at the sample he came back and took a piece of clear tape and layed it over the spot where her hair was thinning. He then looked at that under the microscope. Diagnosis....malassezia. It is a yeast infection that affects the skin. While all dogs have some yeast on their skin, with malassezia they grow at an abnormal rate and attack the skin. He actually let me look at the samples under the microscope. The yeast looked like little purple spots. The vet said the antifungal/antibacterial shampoo as well as the antibiotics have all helped a little but have not really been strong enough to help her get over it. So he prescribed ketoconazole. It is a human medication but supposed to be very effective at treating malassezia. The vet seemed very confident in his diagnosis and the treatment plan. I am keeping my fingers crossed.