What about itching and scratching?
SA as such does not seem to itch but many of the issues caused by SA i.e. secondary issues such as:
- dry skin (due to SA or just due to shedding)
- bacteria infection after licking on the dry skin
Shedding/dropping coat – in a normal state
Ever since Manuel’s first shedding he has been scratching himself during that period (of course that must itch). Then he had a perfect coat which served as a perfect padding from his claws.
Scatching the wrong area
The only thing was that he sometimes had a hard time reaching a spot – if so – the itching meant for that spot – always ended up on the top of his shoulder. (If so I always try help him locating the correct spot, giving him a nice massage there which he really likes). I learnt during those 6 years Manuel had no signs of SA, to really help him when he was shedding, by brushing him carefully very often.
Shedding/dropping coat – when SA
Manuel has areas with still perfect coat, but also areas without any under-coat at all. Imagine what happens when he scratches one full-coated area and the paw continues into the “un-padded” area – ouch!
Here you see a picture of Manuel totally wet, which reveals the areas that are hardest affected.
Rain on his SA- affected skin/coat
We went for a walk, and had no rain-coat. It was raining cats and dogs and we all became soaking wet – including Manuel.
- His “normal coat” was as functional as usual – two sets of “shaking the whole body” (close to his human of course ) and those areas were almost dry again.
- His “SA-areas” were soaking wet and I used a towel to make them as dry as possible.
Some hours later, the skin is all dry and brittle and what is left of the coat is stiff and “glued” to the skin, creating a tough sticky surface that pulls the skin for every movement he makes – totally annoying to him!
What to do? Obviously it hurts if a use a normal dog-brush or “rake”. I carefully slowly use a soft brush to separate the hairs from each other and from the skin and then I wanted to moisturize the brittle skin. I am not scared of hair falling of anymore, but if you pull the hair when wet/sticky – it actually ALL comes off even if then “OK” when dry – so don’t YOU be a WORSE hair-loss reason than the actual SA.
So far we have been blessed from major bacterial infections (which also of course can be a major reason for itching). I hope and believe that is a are result of all the experience that has been shared with me by previous owners of SA-dogs, but it can also be pure luck – for now.
Skin-lotion – experiment time
I bought an unperfumed skin lotion for humans at the pharmacy, created for very very sensitive skin where I chose carbamide as the active substance instead of glycerol (which more puts a protecting surface on top of the skin, I wanted something that really the skin absorbs).
Previously I found a great cream but it was just too thick to apply on a “furry friend”. This one works much better.
I did it yesterday, and no negative reaction at all, neither from the skin, nor from Manuel. He felt comfortable immediately and has not scratched at all since I applied it.