Itchy Dog® Skin & Coat Formula
How many of the following symptoms did you check for your hunting Dog?
Scratching a lot
Watery eyes or nose
Red, irritated skin
White flakes like dandruff
Chewing on paws
Inside of elbow joint is inflamed
Redness inside earflap
Crustiness around eyes
Redness on chin or lip folds
Crusty skin lesions
If it was even just one symptom, your dog could be suffering from allergies or skin & coat problems. Gun dogs are bred to make them really good at what they do. They work in harsh environments that can be hard on their skin and coats. This same special breeding can also make them more likely to have the problems listed above. According to Dr. Shawn Messionnier, a nationally recognized expert on holistic medicine for animals:
“Although there are many causes of itchiness in dogs, the most common is a genetic inflammatory disease called atopic (allergic) dermatitis, often called skin allergies. If your dog is scratching regularly without signs of skin lesions, chances are he has an allergy.” *
Genetic Causes for Skin & Coat Problems
Genetic causes can mean your gun dog is more prone to skin & coat problems, including itching, inflammation and irritation. You may see things like redness in their ears or on their chins, white dandruff like flakes in their coats, crusty eyes or watery eyes. They may lick themselves until they are raw. This isn’t fun for you or your dog. It can also distract them from their work, breaking their concentration if it gets bad enough.
Treatments for Skin & Coat Problems
There are many ways you can help your dog, with conventional topical treatments, antihistamines and corticosteroids; and with complementary therapies, such as nutritional supplements. It is always a good idea to check with your veterinarian if the problem is serious to make sure you know exactly what is going on with your dog. But, for mild cases of itchiness, a supplement that provides extra nutrients shown to help support healthy skin and coats may be just the thing to help.
Dr. Messionnier supports the use of multiple therapies to help allergic dogs, once an accurate diagnosis has been made. He has many years of experience in treating pets with allergies. Here is what he has to say about just using traditional therapies without considering other options:
“Another thing that is quite troubling to me is that so many pets with chronic allergies are being treated for months or years with potentially harmful medicines, usually steroids and antihistamines, without attempting other safer therapies. The lack of safe, long-term, and effective conventional treatments for allergic pets is the reason I first became interested in complementary therapies. I was frustrated at seeing the same pets in my hospital month after month for their ‘allergy’ shot and a dose of steroid pills. While I could help these pets stop itching for a few weeks, they would always come back for more drugs. I desperately wanted something to decrease their reliance on corticosteroids, which I knew could shorten their lives and was the cause of their side effects of increased appetite, increased intake of food and water, increased urination, and weight gain.*
By getting ‘turned on’ to the many complementary therapies available to pets, I was able to finally offer my patients something other than only conventional medicines that temporarily covered up their symptoms without really addressing the problem and helping the pets heal.” *
* Messionnier,DVM, Shawn, The Allergy Solution for Dogs, Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Breeds with Skin & Coat Problems
Three breeds that have been identified as being prone to genetic allergic dermatitis are Golden Retrievers, Laborador Retrievers and English Setters. While these breeds may be more likely to have problems with itchy skin and allergies, any breed can have allergic dermatitis. The usual age that allergies show up is between 1 to 3 years old according to reports in veterinary literature. This means your gun dog can start to develop allergies at a young age, since the symptoms often show up within 1 to 3 years of exposure to the allergens. But some dogs can show signs at a few months of age, it just depends on the breed and their genetic predisposition to allergies.
Checking the list of symptoms is one way to determine if your gun dog is having problems. The most common symptom will be itching, even if your dog’s skin looks normal. Your dog probably won’t have severe itching at first, it will be more mild or moderate, as a veterinarian would describe it. Severe itching is a more serious problem like mange, fleas or a food allergy, and you should definitely check with your veterinarian for this problem.
If your dog has mild itching and keeps scratching, it can develop into a more serious problem over time. The constant scratching can lead to skin lesions or infections, so you don’t want to ignore even mild scratching. A gun dog that is out in the field or in the water, needs a healthy skin and coat, so don’t let itching put their long-term, optimal health at risk because it can affect their performance. And open wounds or scratches are not a good idea for a dog working outdoors.
Ear and skin infections in dogs can become a problem that doesn’t go away and may get worse. So doing something earlier rather than later is always a better choice for your gun dog.
Click picture to see how antioxidants can help reduce a lick granuloma, after 30 days of use.
There are many things in the environment that can make your gun dog itchy. Just like us they will have problems with pollens, molds, ragweeds and house dust mites. You may see them reacting during the same seasons that your allergies are giving you problems. And since your gun dog will be out in the field, in many different outdoor environments, the chances of them being exposed to allergens is much higher than the family pet that stays inside or in the backyard.
A dog that trains, hunts and often lives outdoors will be exposed to more environmental allergens. Their high activity levels while they are working will also stress their bodies, so extra nutritional support is important.
Help for Itchy Dogs
We have already talked about seeing your veterinarian if your gun dog has severe itching. Dr. Messionnier talked about complementary therapies for allergies. What are these? You may have heard about using fish oil or essential fatty acids (EFAs) for your dog’s skin & coat health. This is a good idea, but there is more that you can do. Antioxidants are very beneficial. Green foods like spirulina, alfalfa and barley grass have also shown some positive results, probably because they contain so many helpful nutrients like antioxidants. There are also some herbal products that may help reduce histamine production, such as OPC antioxidants. We talked about these in the section on Hunt Dog Hunt formula.
The Itchy Dog Formula was developed to provide many different ingredients that are known to be beneficial for skin and coat health. The ingredients and their benefits are listed below.
1. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Fish oil is a common source of EFAs. Veterinary research has shown that fish oil supplements were effective in reducing itching and inflammation in 11 to 27 percent of allergic dogs. EFAs are often recommended for dry flaky skin and dull coats. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important for dogs with skin and coat problems. Many veterinarians recommend using EFAs along with other supplements for best results.
2. OPC Antioxidants: OPCs are very strong water-soluble antioxidants. They have been shown in research to be 20 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times stronger than vitamin E. Antioxidants help the body control free radicals that can cause inflammation and cellular damage. When the body is exposed to an allergen, histamines are released and an allergic reaction may follow. This is why antihistamines are recommended for allergies. OPCs have been shown to reduce the production of histamine-forming enzymes.
3. Vitamin A: An important fat-soluble antioxidant that is needed to maintain normal epithelial tissues (skin, mucous membranes). Also important for cell maturation, tissue building/repair and immune system health. It is used to treat skin disorders, among many other benefits, and is important for protein utilization. A deficiency can cause skin lesions, dryness, abscesses and cracking.
4. Vitamin E: An important fat-soluble antioxidant with a great deal of research on its benefits. Essential to cell membrane health and survival, this antioxidant promotes healthy skin and coat. Inhibits leukotrienes, which is a biochemical in the body that can cause inflammation. Supports a healthy immune system and stops cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of fats from free radicals. Veterinarians have reported low blood serum levels of vitamin E in dogs with demodectic mange. It is recommended, along with other antioxidants, for this condition by veterinarians.
5. Zinc: An antioxidant that is an essential nutrient for the synthesis of bone, healthy skin and resistance to disease. Zinc is an important mineral that is found in every cell in the body. Linked to a healthy immune system. Important for protein synthesis and metabolizing carbohydrates. Two rare skin disorders have been linked to zinc deficiency, and supplemental zinc is recommended by veterinarians as treatment.
6. Alpha lipoic acid: A unique antioxidant with its own benefits that also helps restore and recycle other antioxidants like vitamin C, E and glutathione. Its ability to fight both water-soluble and fat-soluble free radicals makes it especially beneficial. Free radical damage to cells has been linked to inflammation. Alpha lipoic acid is an important part of the process that turns carbohydrates into energy in the body. For active working dogs this benefit is crucial.
7. Dried seaweed meal: A green food that contains many essential amino acids, antioxidants, mineral B and E vitamins, choline and essential fatty acids. It is a good source of beta-carotene and is a highly bioavailable (absorbed easily in the digestive tract) free radical fighter.
Itchy Dog Skin & Coat Formula will help keep your gun dog’s skin and coat in great condition, letting your dog focus on hunting, not scratching. The antioxidants and EFAs may also support their immune system for optimal health overall.
|1-25 lbs||1/2 tablet per day|
|26-50 lbs||1 tablet per day|
|51-80 lbs||2 tablets per day|
|Over 80 lbs||3 tablets per day|
Initial usage: Double the maintenance usage for the first 5 days. Administration may be divided into a.m. and p.m., if desired.
*Based on user feedback, we will be changing our labels to reflect this new dosing.
If you think your pet has overdosed on one of our products, click here.
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Itchy Dog 180 Tablet Bottles
Gulf Coast Jackson (Jack) 2009
Jack uses Itchy Dog
everyday to maintain
optimum skin and coat
health. Having a healthy
coat allows Jack to focus
on training and winning,
not scratching. The daily
training that is required
to be a champion involves
different weather & field
conditions that can
compromise a dog’s natural
ability to keep their skin &
coat healthy. Itchy Dog
keeps Jack’s coat in top
condition. What can it do
for your dog?
Daisy - Owner: Gene Karbo
Dale Merritt of Bearpoint
Kennels reported improvement
in the skin and coats of nursing
Labs that take Itchy Dog. Post-
partum hair loss is related to
hormonal shifts and is common
in Labradors, especially along
the belly. It can be stress-
related, but can also be
attributed to loss of nutrients
being passed on to the pups.
The nutritive value of Itchy Dog
appears to be replenishing
those nutrients that are
beneficial for the skin and coat.