Persistent Conjunctivitis, Plus Dandruff and Itching
We are having a heck of a time getting conjunctivitis (if that is all it is) out of our house. We have two GSDs, Lefty and Greta. We adopted Greta 11/22. She had some eye discharge at the time and I had the vet take a look on 11/26. They performed an eye stain which showed no damage so we started her on ointment (I donít have the name of that one on me). Her eyes started to clear up within a couple of days. Of course then Lefty developed goopy red eyes. To be safe, we brought him in on 12/5 for an exam. His eye stain showed no issues and he was prescribed a different ointment (NeoPolyDex). The vet said we could cease using it after a few days if it seemed to clear up. We kept up with Gretaís ointment while treating Lefty, just to be safe.
Leftyís eyes appeared to clear up and we ceased the ointment. They got goopy again and we restarted again for a few days. It did not seem to be working so I called and asked to put him on the ointment Greta was prescribed as that seemed to work better. We did that for a full 10 days (or really close) and all seemed well with both pups. We did not retreat Greta at that time, which Iím kicking myself for. Both pups eyes looked great, so we thought we were free of the problem.
Now weeks later, we are seeing both pups with the same discharge and red eyes again. Gretaís eyes started to show some discharge first (just a few days ago), then Lefty followed soon after. I have a call into my vet to see what we should do. I assume we should restart ointment on both pups and continue for an extended period, or at least 10 days. I assume we messed up by not having them both on the ointment at the same time for the full 10 days. Is conjunctivitis this difficult to get rid of?
The other thing is that Greta has dry skin (lots of dandruff comes off during brushing) and has been itchy. Iíve started her on salmon oil and coconut oil and am making sure all her training treats are grain free and transitioning off a chicken based food, just in case. I started her on digestive enzymes with prebiotics and probiotics included. Iím also trying to remove the dead/dry fur by grooming. I have not had the vet examine her for the dry skin yet as there are so many environmental factors (dry in the house, diet, stress of recent adoption, etc.) and the itching is not incessant. I donít see anything that looks like fleas, infection, or irritation on her skin, but could it be that she has something else going on that is causing her to have more trouble kicking the conjunctivitis? The dandruff does appear to be getting worse, not better, but we only started the oils and diet transition a couple of weeks ago. We are finishing up the chicken based food (NV Instinct) going to LID lamb and doing a slow switch to Earthborn as Iím no longer impressed by the NVI, but that is another story.
Lefty does not appear to have any dandruff issues and did not have eye irritation prior to Greta. His coat is soft and beautiful and he is not itchy. Gretaís coat is very shiny, but dry feeling and the flakes are becoming more obvious (she is black, Lefty is a black and tan). She was very thin when rescued and is just getting up to weight now (her hips are still bony, but she's within a couple of pounds of perfect and slim).
If anyone has experience with one or both issues, I would love to get your thoughts and input! Thank you in advance for any help.
I did have a problem with eye discharge, but it was in combination with other issues (ears, anal glands) that my vet attributed to seasonal allergies. I also suspected a food intolerance (chicken) and after switching to a fish based food, this fall we had other problems instead (hot spots). But the other problems didn't reoccur, yay.
It takes awhile for a food switch to show results. And it's always a guessing game too, to try to figure out what's causing what. They can be very sensitive to things like detergents, so it might even be your laundry soap causing the problems. I've only ever used hypoallergenic products in my home, since I have a problem with these myself. Good luck figuring out what will work for your sweeties :)
Probiotics, a good diet and some humidity in the house can help with your dogs issues.
You may have to get some antibiotic eye drops for the conjuctivitis...it is highly contagious. The diet you chose sounds perfect~unless you decide to go raw!
Here is an inexpensive, natural remedy to try on your dogís for their eyes and coats!
1.Mix equal parts of Apple Cider Vinegar and purified water in a spray or squirt bottle. Apply this to a medium size area on the back of his/her neck, wetting the spot of hair thoroughly. Apply this 2 times daily. Also wipe eyes and face with plain warm water and clean cloth, 2 times daily, right after vinegar is applied to the back of his neck. Most people see the eye conjunctivitis disappear or, at least a reduction, within a few days, but others have seen results within hours!
2.Work up to amount below of Apple Cider Vinegar added to the dogsí food twice daily. ACV has multiple uses such as for allergies, hot spots, skin problems, digestion issues, ear infections, tear stains, arthritis and many other ailments! ACV is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral.
25# to 50# = 1 teaspoon per day divided
50# to 75# = 2 teaspoons per day divided
75# to 100# = 1 Tablespoon per day divided
3.After bathing dog, mix equal parts of Apple Cider Vinegar with water, work into fur/skin (in small areas) covering entire dog. DO NOT rinse off. Let drip dry.
*When bathing, choose a natural shampoo without any chemicals such as
*Some shampoos say that they use a "Natural Coconut Shampoo Base". This is deceiving to most pet parents as they do not realize that the "coconut base", which sounds like a "natural" ingredient, is actually a synthetic surfactant (made from the coconut oil) called CAPB or Cocamidopropyl Betaine which "has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it, such as 3-dimethylaminopropylamine and has a hazard score of 5 (out of 10, with 10 being the most hazardous)." per Deep Skin Data Base.
I have a homemade natural shampoo recipe if you are interested.;)
Hope your Fur Babies get better!
Thank you so much for the replies!
Moms, I will definitely pick up some apple cider vinegar today. That is a fantastic tip! I much prefer to use a natural remedy if possible, especially since we don't know if there is some environmental irritant that could be the culprit.
I have held off on bathing Greta as I've been fearful of making the dry skin and coat worse. I would very much appreciate if you could pass on your shampoo recipe. I don't want to risk adding irritants with a commercial shampoo.
I'm going to pick up a humidifier too. Our house is very dry right now and that is certainly not helping things.
I know it sounds a little odd, but when I read about using ACV for this a few years ago, more often than not it cured the dogs and cats it was used on for the conjunctivitis!
When absorbed by the skin, the ACV circulates through the system allowing its properties (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral) to work on the body!
I would also recommend getting the Organic ACV from a health food store for the skin application and adding to food as pasteurization of regular vinegar causes it to loose its' medicinal properties. To save $$, you can use store bought ACV for the after bath rinse since you will use quite a bit of it.
If you are using a flea/tick topical, I would recommend stopping it.....ya never know if the toxins the product contains has negative effects in the body for a particular dog. Dr. Dobozy of the EPAís Pesticide Division took a look at Fipronil (I would imagine that this would ring true of the other ingredients found in topicals') and found that it does in fact enter the body and was contained in the fat, organs, urine and feces of dogs. Laboratory tests have shown that with long term exposure at low doses, fipronil has the potential for nervous system and thyroid toxicity, thyroid cancer, altered thyroid hormone levels, liver toxicity, kidney damage, convulsions, whining, barking, crying, loss of appetite, locomotor difficulty, reduced fertility, fetus mortality, smaller offspring, loss of hair at or beyond the point of application, moist inflammation, chemical burn and itching. Read the whole article on page 24 here: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/2012/May2012.pdf
1/2 Cup Castile Soap
1/2 Cup Vegetable Glycerin (this amount can be increased if your dog has a dry a coat or flakey skin)
1 Cup Water (non-floride)
OPTIONAL: 10 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or your choice of EO) You can use the EOís even if the Castile Soap is already scented.
Using a funnel, measure and pour water into the empty shampoo bottle or water bottle. Then add Castile Soap, and Glycerin. Add drops of Essential Oils (your discretion as to how much) directly into shampoo bottle. Turn bottle upside down slowly a few times before each use. Keep away from eyes during use.
For a rinse: mix Ĺ cup apple cider vinegar (not other vinegars') to 1 quart of water. You can even mix it half and half if you choose. Keep away from eyes during use.
Just FYI: If you've chosen the "Large Breed" Earthborn, it contains chicken fat (you were suspect of chicken being a problem).
Hope this helps!;)
Make sure you update this thread after a couple of weeks, as I'm sure others would be interested in learning if it worked for your dog's or not!
Feel free to pm me if you need any specifics.
Awesome, thanks Moms! We are feeding the Meadowfeast Earthborn Holistics, which is chicken free, but thank you for the warning. I have no idea if we have a chicken problem, but I figured I might as well start there.
I did our first application of ACV tonight. I will be sure to update everyone on how it goes!
Quick question though, does the ACV for the conjunctivitis/supplement have to be unpasteurized? I bought organic but it is pasteurized.
Nevermind, I googled it and looks like I need to head back to the store for the raw, unpasteurized. Tonight's application was just practice then! :)
From Braggs: Natural (undistilled) organic, raw ACV can really be called one of Mother Nature's most perfect foods. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then allowed to mature naturally in wooden barrels, as wood seems to "boost" the natural fermentation. Natural ACV should be rich, brownish color and if held to the light you might see a tiny formation of "cobweb-like" substances that we call the "mother." Usually some "mother" will show in the bottom of the ACV bottle the more it ages. It never needs refrigeration.
Certified Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized and 5% acidity. Contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules.
Yes, please let us know!
Time for an update! We tried the ACV remedy for about four days and it definitely made a difference. Both pups eyes seemed brighter and less irritated. They did still have discharge though and so I started them on ointment from the vet to be safe. I stopped the topical treatment of ACV, but did start adding a little ACV to their meals. Hopefully we can knock out this conjunctivitis issue and keep it gone with this treatment plan.
I haven't yet found the right humidifier (the house is a large, open floor plan, so I need something mega), but I'm seeing huge improvements in Greta's coat. I can't say if it is the salmon oil (we do supp with vit. E too), coconut oil, diet change, brushing, or all of the above, but her dandruff is practically gone, she is scratching less, and her coat feels much softer. I still don't know if we have a chicken issue or not, but for now I'm going to be safe and stay clear of the chicken and keep up with the supplements. I'm so happy we seem to be on the right track.
Thank you so much to everyone that replied and especially Moms for the awesome ACV tip!
If we continue to have eye complications I'll update again. Fingers crossed we are done with that though!
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