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Hi all, does anyone have any tried and tested suggestions for regaining coat condition.

I have an old boy who's almost 13 years old and these past few months I've noticed he has completely lost coat condition and is shedding in a very big way. His skin is dry and flaky and he doesn't feel nice to stroke. Although he is entire, he looks like castrated dogs look.

He needs a bath, but baths always stress him out and I'm afraid it might finish him off so I've avoided that recently. I'm hoping for some warm sunshine this weekend and maybe I'll give him a do in the garden.

I've been looking at commercial feed supplements, but what to choose? Any advice?

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Thanks Barbara, I feed Rory the younger boy on Arden Grange and I was just looking at their website checking the oil content of some of their other stuff.

At the moment Bailey the older dog is on Burgess Supadog Sensitive, which agrees very well with his digestive system, but maybe it's on the low side for oils. So I thought the Arden Grange Salmon, or perhaps the White Fish recipes. I'll have to something, the poor lad looks so dishevelled. When I think how glorious he looked in his youth..........
I would be wondering why, at 13, he has undergone a sudden coat change - could there be something else going on? A dull, dry coat and flaky skin could be a symptom of something more (eg dare I say failing kidneys)...or it could just be a sign of aging. I would recommend a "peace-of-mind" visit to the vet.

Flax seed oil is great for dry skin and coats as it contains both Omega 3 and 6 (and 9? can't remember!). 1 capsule a day, or 1 every 2 days. Also, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your dog's drinking water can help with flaky skin. I would steer clear of Tea Tree Oil, as I heard that it can be toxic to some dogs, and at his age, I wouldn't be risking a reaction. Maybe also get your vet to recommend a vitamin supplement, as he might simply be having trouble getting all he needs from his meals these days.

Do you have a bath-tub or somewhere inside where you can bath him? We use our bath, and have a hose attachment. The dogs get nice, warm water and enjoy it so much they hop into the bath by themselves. You could try an oatmeal-based shampoo specially made for dogs with dry skin. It is also possible that he's rolled in something or is reacting to something seasonal, and a bath might make him feel better (at least, after the fact!).

Good luck with him. He sounds like a lovely, special old man!
Thanks everyone, there is some interesting advice to consider here.

I already had half a thought about the Thyroid thing as I have an American Cocker with an underactive thyroid. Her symptoms were a little bit different, but I think I'll get him off to the vet for an opinion and some bloods. I have one of the other Yankees at the vet this morning, so I'll make him an appointment.

I do usually bath mine in the house, but Bailey freaks out and he's just too old to worry him that much, so the watering can and a bucket with warm water is a better option for him I think. He is just as you say Melinda, a very special old boy, and I'd love to restore him to his former glory........pity I can't make him into a three year old again!!
Hi Dawn!

I give my dogs salmon oil, quite expensive but really worth it. My twelve year old boy has also this kind of coat, but he is old, and oldies don´t have the same shiny and healthy coat as when he was younger, think that is a part when they are growing old.

Good luck//Kristina
I've made an appointment for Bailey at the Vets on Wednesday. I'm going to be making some changes to his diet anyway, and I'll be giving the Salmon oil a try too.

I think you are right about the fish diet Arni, Bailey will be having a fish based food.

He doesn't know it yet, but tomorrow is also bath day for Bailey.

Thanks everyone, for all the input, it's given me food for thought and confirmed some of my own ideas too. I'll post an update after the Vet visit.
some do - but okey, it is a girl :-)))
Hi Dawn, Some pointer friends of mine were extolling the virtues of 'KEEPERS MIX' .It is made by DORWEST HERBS LTD
www.dorwest.com.They advertise it as "The 'Total' herbal conditioning supplement". It contains kelp seaweed ,celery seed ,lucerne,nettles,rosmary,psyllium husks,clivers and wild yam.It is currently being advertised on the front page of our dogs and dog world 22/5/09.
I have not tried it out for myself yet though my friends related how the black on their pointers gleamed since using it..
Hi Colette, thanks for the information.

I've been looking at supplements, but first I really want Bailey Vet checked. So if he gets the all clear then I'll look again. I have been giving him something called ''Ultimate'' by Petcetera, for about six months, but it's had no effect I'm afraid and it's choc full of oils and Omega watsits.
If Bailey gets the all clear or not herbal conditioning might help. Keepers Mix has been tried and tested by a few people I know but I gave it a try on my own dogs and they will not then eat their food as it is a strong smelling powder. A dry dull coat will need to moult and be replaced by new growth before it returns to it's former glory so even once you have found the cause of it it will be some time before it gets back to normal. Good luck at the vets.
Zinpro is a product used for zinc responsive dermititis which I had a Brittany that had this condition later in life. It is safe to use and does help coat condition very well. Regrew his in fact. You can just get their buiscuts online if you wanted to add some to the diet. It has no side effects and safe, totally safe to use. Check it out. Zinc is what helps with the cell structure which allows the hair to grow or not grow. My dog stopped absorbing it in his diet, so we had to supplement. This is the only form of Zinc which wouldn't be toxic at higher level. You can research it online if you like. Our vet dermatologist prescribed it to our dog. They also make dog food with it. Many snow breeds are born with this genetic defect where they can not absorb zinc in the regular dog foods. So they also use this. But you can read how many are told to try it for improvement in coat condition. It is thought that as dog age they do lose the ability to properly absorb zinc, and this also helps with hot spots too. It claims to improve shedding which I have no clue about though..Wouldn't that be lovely though! Here is one website with their products for sale, Lincoln Biotech is the company that makes it. http://www.dogfooddirect.com/ZinproDogFoodandZincSupplements.htm?gc...
OK, an update as promised. I had Bailey at the Vet this morning and she gave him a thorough examination from top to tail. She checked his protate, took his temperature, looked at his teeth, ears and skin, checked his heart rate and took blood.

Turns out, his thyroid is underactive. (Just what I had thought) Well, strange as it may seem, I'm actually glad she found something, that is easily treatable. So he started on his medication this evening, and as I said before, I have another dog (American Cocker Spaniel) that has the same thing and I saw an improvement in her within two days, so I'm hoping for the same with Bailey.

I'll let you all know how he gets on.
As you say, very good the vet found out the problem. Starting the treatment will make him better soon, wishing you best of luck with your boy.




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