And here we go again
Since last report we have managed the autumn attacks.
As expected this relapse was starting in connection to when the “normal autumn shedding” was to start.
Mid August, just a few days after our summer-report here on AU – the hair started to come off his forehead (where his normal shedding never starts) so we immediately started with normal dose of Atopica again.(200 mg once a day – based on his weight).
One week later he showed me that his neck was itching. I had a closer look and the skin was all dry and when I pulled the hair – everything came out. Hairs that were due, but also hairs that normally should have waited (so their roots were still thick and coarse but still – came out).
As Manuel never, ever itches without a reason (even though the reason could be mosquito or a something stuck in the coat) I could find the tail-issues early even though it didn’t really show if not taking a very close look.
Typical SA-hair with dead dark hair follicles.
As I wrote in an earlier post – we now understand that there had been signs long before we reacted.
The really, really, early SA-signs were as follows:
- him being very greasy inside his ears
- him wanting to put his head in our crotches (as the inside of the ears itched as the mucous membranes of the ears started becom very very dry as more and more sebaceous glands “died”)
During the whole of September and half October we had double shedding. Both SA-shedding and normal shedding. Except for the hair everywhere – and now we are talking not normal Akita-shedding, but also SA-shedding where the hairs come off one by one covering everything in a thin thin hair-layer (everything except the Akita).
- If the skin becomes very dry it itches.
- If the skin itches the dog will bite, lick and scratch.
- If the fragile skin is injured and in contact with bacteria it will easily become infected or/and get a fungal infection.
Manuel has been eating double portions during two weeks (yes it is true, he has always done that during shedding).
- I have given him extra of salmon, AE-oil and extra nutritious food.
- I have helped him with his skin using both oil and moisturizer depending on the need.
- I have helped him with the ears that become very very itchy on the inside as the dry skin can not transport the dirt an the inner ear can become super crusty. Using neutral oil (for Manuel almond-oil works fine). The skin is so dry so dry and absorbs to much so even “normal” cleansing liquids could cause major irritation.
- I have treated the spots with high risk for fungal infection (keeping clean).
Rain – a huge problem
When the skin is in the bad bad dry condition water is so bad so bad – it makes the skin crack as well as it feels very strange to Manuel as he is used to having this multi-functional coat protecting against rain. Now when in a bad condition the rain drops hit hard on his back. We know he would hate, hate a rain coat but I believe it is a necessarily to have during the worst periods. I will ask a friend to help me creating one as the Akita not have “average” measurements.
When we had a poodle when I was a child, the grey coat turned black wherever he had had a tic. Now I see the same pattern for Manuel where the SA has struck him the hardest.
The hair grows now in a new colour. Where SA hit the hardest the hair grows out all black.
End of October the SA-shedding finally stopped and now we just have some minor parts left of the normal shedding, such as paws and chest (the last check-points for Manuel’s normal shedding). The skin is still slightly dry but I am sure this attack is over.
Decreasing Atopica dose
Yes, I have started to decrease the dose again. The goal is to test being totally off the Atopica for a short while during (probably) December and January. Then his shedding usually starts in March again so I guess if everything goes according to plans we will start again mid February. Those are the plans, but reality will of course navigate our actions – the purpose is to make Manuel feel as good as possible.