Status June 2013
As usual he eats loads and loads of food at the end of the shedding period. Long before he got SA we always added extra vitamins and minerals to his food during this period as we saw the shedding is tough on a dog.
Feelings of grief but also anger
The spring, early summer has been tough. More for us humans than for Manuel. He has had a tough SA-period during this shedding and I promise you that the feeling of “all of the hair” coming off when shedding – that is nothing compared to this. Just breathing on him made chunks of hair just fall off. Undercoat, hair – everything… It fell off, hair by hair, one by one, not at all like the coat usually drops. Wherever you see there is a thin thin layer of hair on the floor even if you vacuum twice a day.
One positive thing in this “#¤ shit
The “good” thing is that it is easy to treat the skin as even thicker lotions will be possible to apply. The bad thing is that if he just scratches once (behind the collar or something) it leaves marks…
We had a follow-up meeting booked with a veterinarian. He gave us antibiotics just to “help” Manuel’s skin through this tough period as he had a minor skin infection (which he normally wouldn’t treat with antibiotics – if not SA).
Unsure about Atopica
The Atopica gave a clear, to us 100% reply when we started autumn 2012. Now, I am not so sure what the effect is. Would the episode have been worse if not Atopica? Has immune defence started to ignore it? I do not know, and we have decided to continue yet for a while. We believe in doing things during a reasonable period of time so that we have enough information to evaluate it. Anyhow it is really really expensive – but of course Manuel is worth every penny (krona).
Now we regulate the medication ourselves in agreement with the veterinarian. I have decided he will go on full dose for yet a few weeks, since I (and so many other) strongly believe the SA-attack goes hand in hand with the shedding.
As many Akitas has gotten strange diseases after having tic-diseases, of course we want to protect him from ticks.
But as the situation is now we will not use any “drop-on” on his dry “easily absorbing” skin. Currently we check him after every walk but still he has had a few ticks. I will use Frontline spray on those parts of him where he still has a good coat (so that it does not reach his skin) whenever we go to the real forest.
Manuel is in a very good mood. It does itch but not so much that he wants to scratch. He wants us to pet him and help him – so we do. If something is affecting him it is more the summer temperature. Especially now when he a non-functioning coat.
Sun and naked skin
As he has little undercoat to regulate the heat he can stand warm weather better than before. However, he also easliy get a tan on some parts of the skin.
One really e has to take that into consideration when being outside. Now he is in the last phases of the shedding (just according to previous years before the SA) and some of the coat is growing again, but what amount/% of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles that have been permanently destroyed I have no idea of – yet.
He looks very very young and people still approach us calling him “teddy bear”. To me – he is just beautiful!!!
Kari is also SA-shedding right now. And it’s also her normal shedding-period. One thing I don’t do: not to cut her nails under this period. If I do they get very sharp and she damage her skin when she scratch herself.