The recurring pattern for and SA relapse/flare
By relapse/flare I mean a period where the SA is active. During this period there are different levels of how tough the attacks from his own immune system is.
- The sebaceous glands become attacked and they react by overproducing sebum.This step is easy to miss out, especially if the dog has a great undercoat (as Manuel had) which absorbs both the colour and the smell. It is easier to find when the dog is in the middle of dropping coat, or attacked in an area with not so much undercoat. Then you can see the slight change of colour (to a red or white dog). The colour change is in the beginning based on the colour of the rancid sebum. Then due to saliva (licking) from the dog the PH will change enabling fungus to grow, colouring the coat brownish red.
- The undercoat is beginning to drop and the roots come out in one or another way. It itches and Manuel wants to rub his head towards our legs. Now you can smell the sebum.
- The skin gets heavily inflamed, all pink, sore and it hurts. If Manuel tries to scratch (his only way of dealing with it) they claws can cause terrible marks in the skin.
For Manuel, Atopica has so far removed this step which is a great relief for him. We have no idea what it will look like when we try to decrease the dose later on. The inflammation smells, and in combination with the rancid sebum it is easy to recognize. If you have other Akitas in the house, they will have pointed out the smell for you already.
- After the inflammation the skin becomes hard, dry, inflexible, rough and flaky.(So far only on parts of his tail since we hadn’t noticed that the tail was affected at the beginning).
Different kinds of help
Different kinds of help is needed, depending on if we are dealing with:
- and more
Currently we have spots on his body that are in different phases.
Scratching already sensitive skin = devastating
He just wanted to scratch his ear and that went well. However when the paw reach this bold area there was no wool to protect the skin. Of course you cannot stop a dog from scratching itself without providing help that removes the reason for the scratching.
Next image shows a picture of how typical SA-hair looks like after the SA has been in a full active stage. Now not only the hair falls off, but also the now dead hair-follicles.
Ho much does an Akita cost?
People often ask me. Then I reply; “to purchase or to maintain?”. By the way, Manuel is worth EVERY penny!
We will cover costs in another blog-post.