Skin Conditions

Skin Conditions in dogs and cats treatment options with recommended supplements and herbal remedies have been provided by certified Master Herbalist Philip Reich and certified Canine Nutritionist Maria Reich. Philip and Maria specialize in herbalism and nutrition for animals with issues like skin conditions. Everyone here at The Pet Health and Nutrition Center truly cares and wants to help your pet get better, so give our suggestions a try because we are confident you will be pleased with the results.

Skin Condition Treatment Options for Dogs and Cats

On this protocol page we will talk about your dog or cat's skin condition treatment options, what happens to an animal with this condition, lifestyle changes that can improve the disease, and supplements & remedies for canines and felines that can help with this holistic therapy to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for your family pet with a skin condition.

I. Skin Condition Causes and Symptoms

In many dogs and cats skin conditions can be fairly easily remedied when addressed early, but in some it can become quite the nightmare, especially after prolonged veterinary care that includes steroids and antibiotics. Skin conditions can become difficult because your animal may be suffering from more than one cause and the situation will get worse the longer it goes on without being properly treated. Skin conditions causes and symptoms include:

1). Food Allergies

These symptoms are generally caused by a protein found in one of the ingredients in the food you are feeding. Very often this can be a result of hypochloridia, or low stomach acid, which results in the initial digestion of proteins that begins in the stomach not being done completely. Food allergies can also be related to Leaky Gut Syndrome which occurs when larger proteins cross the intestinal barrier and enter the blood stream causing an immune system reaction. This condition can be related to low stomach acid and/or damage to the lining of the small intestine caused by poor diet or medications.

Symptoms of a food allergy are an immune system response and include itchy skin issues and infections, hives, paw biting, obsessive licking, frequent ear infections, hot spots and sometimes diarrhea or vomiting. These symptoms differ from a food intolerance which displays as mostly digestive distress like gas, bloating, nausea, wet burps, vomiting or diarrhea. It should be noted that many of the symptoms of a food intolerance can be related to low stomach acid or pancreatic insufficiency and could be remedied by a protocol similar to that of one for food allergies.

2). Seasonal/Environmental Allergies

If your dog or cat gets itchy during spring, summer or fall, they're probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens. If their symptoms continue year-round, it's more likely the sensitivity is to something more constant in the environment, or an allergy to something in the diet which can complicate how this is addressed. Symptoms of seasonal allergies in animals more often take the form of skin irritation or inflammation, a condition called allergic dermatitis, rather than effecting the respiratory tract as in humans. Although, a running nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing can occur in our four-legged friends as well.

As the cycle of itching and scratching continues, the skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch and may result in areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing. This is when hot spots and itchy, inflamed ears may occur. Some of these symptoms can mimic food allergies confusing the protocol we may suggest. However, a way to make a distinction between food and seasonal/environmental allergies is that symptoms of food allergies often intensify shortly after meals and range in severity depending on what food you are feeding and as with seasonal allergies do not correlate with seasonal changes.

3). Autoimmune

Some of the most difficult cases that do not respond as usual we consider to be an autoimmune response. These cases of chronic itching when animals basically tear themselves apart often occurs shortly after a vaccination or application of a topical pesticide product. These strong chemicals cause an immediate and powerful reaction by the immune system. Sometimes it is difficult to control after that and these animals suffer a lifetime with chronic dermatitis.

In these cases it is important to start a natural protocol as soon as possible to be able to resolve the issue. More often this issue occurs in dogs because they are subject to the most vaccinations, and if left to standard veterinary care being treated with corticosteroids and/or antibiotics for too long the issue becomes deeply ingrained and is hard to reverse.

II. Standard Veterinary Treatment

Veterinary treatment for skin conditions primarily consists of treatment with a corticosteroid drug like prednisone. This is done to suppress the immune system resulting in less itching or other symptoms related to an immune reaction. This is sometimes accompanied by antibiotics as a precaution or in response to an infection on the skin or in the ears.

This course of treatment is very short sighted and will result in side effects related to steroid use such as adrenal gland injury, liver damage, heart issues and a suppressed immune system that can leave the animal susceptible to illness. Overuse of antibiotics will eventually weaken the immune system and leave it unable to function properly.

Studies have shown that individuals that more often use antibiotics are more prone to infection, not to mention the very scary antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria we are now starting to witness that are a result of the misuse of these drugs. The end result of this veterinary protocol is usually an immune suppressing drug like Atopica - not good!

III. Our Natural Skin Condition Protocol

Core Recommendations

Our "Core Recommendations" form the backbone of our Natural Skin Conditions Protocol. They consist of the supplement recommendations we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for this condition. They are displayed at the bottom of this page along with other Highly Recommended products from which you may make additional selections. Pet foods can be purchased at your finer, local pet stores. If you desire more individualized attention please feel free to use our Consultation Form to provide detailed information about your dog or cat so we can better help you.

 

Natural Vitamin for Dog with Skin Condition

Core Recommendation #2 - Daily Multi Plus OR

Daily Multi Plus is formulated with natural and organic whole foods to form the foundation of an animals' nutritional needs. Combined with a high-quality diet it provides the digestive enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, glandular support, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients needed to support the body's daily maintenance and repair needs for healthy aging - in a natural, whole food form!

Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics for Skin Conditions in Dogs and Cats

  Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics

*For those clients who have an animal with extreme sensitivities you may wish to start with our Digestive Enzyme and Probiotic formula that has simpler ingredients and move up to the Daily Multi Plus as your animal's situation improves.


Natural Allergy Remedy for Dogs & Cats with a Skin Condition

  Core Recommendation #2 - Allergy Relief Formula

Our Allergy Relief formula has helped hundreds of dogs and cats around the country with their skin condition symptoms. It is an alcohol-free formula that contains a blend of USDA certified organic herbs in organic glycerin. This effective formula will help to moderate the response to the inflammatory chemicals, like histamine, circulating in your animal's bloodstream that contribute to their allergy symptoms. In addition, it also supplies numerous vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids that support the health of the mucous membranes and skin.

Systemic Enzymes for Skin Condition in Dogs and Cats

Core Recommendation #3 - Systemic Enzyme Formula

*We recommend these enzymes for dogs only because they are in capsule form and must be taken whole making them inconvenient for cats.

Systemic Enzymes are taken on an empty stomach so they can enter the bloodstream to work their magic. Featuring 11 different enzymes like bromelain and papain, along with an antioxidant enzyme and a bioflavonoid, these enzymes are extremely efficient at reducing inflammation in the body.

In addition, the proteases found in this formula have been shown in studies to break apart the immune complexes that can be contributing to your dog's skin condition symptoms. As if that wasn't enough, this formula also contains enzymes that can help rid the body of yeasts like Candida albicans that can be contributing to your dog's itchy skin and ears. We highly recommend systemic enzymes for all dogs because of their numerous health benefits.

Digestive Tonic for Skin Condition in Dogs

  Core Recommendation #4 - Herbal Digestive Tonic

*We recommend this formula for those that feel their animal's condition is related to a food allergy. Those with seasonal or environmental allergies may still use this product if you choose to because it is very beneficial for digestion. We feel it is for dogs only because of the taste that many dogs like but may not be appreciated by more finicky felines.

Our Herbal Digestive Tonic is the answer to sluggish digestion that contributes to gas, wet burps and other symptoms of food sensitivities and incomplete digestion. It features USDA organic herbs, that are often referred to as "bitters", infused in organic apple cider vinegar. It accelerates digestion beginning in the stomach and causes the intestinal cells, liver and gallbladder to secrete more digestive juices for more efficient digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These food molecules, if not digested thoroughly, can lead to allergies and skin conditions.

Highly Recommended

Best Diet for Dog with Skin Condition

  Whole Food Nutrition

With skin conditions, in which the body needs the highest value nutrition possible so it has the energy necessary to rebalance itself, we highly recommend a whole food diet. Whole food is how carnivores, like canines and felines, have evolved to eat and they do best on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. This is, unfortunately, the opposite of how most pets are fed since the majority of commercial diets are low protein with 50% or more carbohydrates.

In addition, kibble diets are harder for an animal to digest and even the simpler diets contain ingredients that you can't control, like the soy found in chelated minerals used in processed pet foods. Potential allergens hidden in ingredients in commercial pet foods can be a real problem for the allergic animal. Also, since poor digestion can be contributing to your animal's symptoms, without the right nutrition that is easily digested, absorbed and metabolized your animal will have a more difficult time getting better. For more information read our articles How to Feed Your Dog or How to Feed Your Cat that can be found in our Education section.

Natural Leaky Gut Remedy for Dog with Skin Condition

  Repair and Strengthen

Often dogs and cats suffering with skin conditions have been put through the mill. By this I mean they have seen it all, numerous courses of antibiotics and those "Good for all that ails you" corticosteroid drugs. These drugs, along with poor digestion, contribute to destruction of the mucous membrane that lines the digestive tract resulting in a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. When this occurs, larger than normal particles, whether food or organisms like bacteria and fungi, are allowed to slip through the GI tract and into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation throughout the body. It is important to fix this in a safe and natural manner and the way we do that is by supplementing with a product specifically formulated for this purpose called Repair and Strengthen.

Biopreparation for Dog and Cat Skin Condition  Biopreparation

This is a highly researched blend of four different microalgae developed by Dr. Michael Chiriac. In response to malnutrition in the former Soviet Union, thousands of man hours were spent to develop this amazing supplement. Grown in a controlled hydroponic environment away from pollutants, it contains thousands of natural, wholefood nutrients that are easily assimilated because they require little energy for digestion and so provide powerful cellular nutrition. We have had tremendous success using this product for a range of issues and it is highly recommended.

Organic Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Dog with Skin Condition

Chia Seed Oil

Skin condition symptoms are the result of inflammation and research shows that the omega 3 fatty acids found in chia seed oil help reduce this inflammation in the body. Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory as opposed to inflammatory omega 6's and 9's found in grains and factory farmed meat (used in most pet food).

Keys Metaclean Shampoo for Dog and Cat Skin Condition

Keys MetaClean Shampoo

Often clients want to continuously bathe their dog or cat thinking this will offer relief from incessant itching and scratching. The problem is that bathing too frequently can disturb the natural balance of the skin, especially if the shampoo contains chemical desensitizing agents or corticosteroids. Once this is done skin problems can often become a chronic condition that get worse and worse. Compounding this issue is the misleading use of the word "natural" when companies market their products. Often these shampoos contain parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate that are considered to be natural ingredients but have damaging effects on the skin. Sometimes these ingredients are even left off the label. The best thing for your animal is to use a truly natural, chemical free shampoo with skin healing ingredients like MetaClean, or you may just be making matters worse.

Skin Healing Rinse

For animals with skin issues our Healing Skin Rinse can really be of great benefit. It contains a blend of certified USDA organic herbs that provide anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and accelerated healing attributes. Just follow the easy preparation directions and then pour over and massage into the skin of your dog or cat after a bath or anytime for itch relieving and skin healing benefits.

Avoid all Chemicals

Whether from household chemicals, lawn chemicals, topical flea and tick products, chemicals in your water (we recommend a high quality carbon filter) or vaccinations, any and all chemicals are going to have a much larger impact on the allergic animal than may be apparent for other animals.

Vaccinations especially can be extremely dangerous for the allergic animal as they may have been the cause of your dog or cat's condition in the first place. Because allergies are an immune system response, it's important to keep your pet's immune function optimal. This means avoiding unnecessary vaccinations and drugs. Many caring and knowledgable holistic vets do not recommend you vaccinate your pet during a systemic inflammatory response. Vaccines stimulate the immune system which is the last thing your pet with an allergic or inflammatory condition needs. Talk to your holistic vet about titers to measure your pet's immunity to core diseases as an alternative to automatically vaccinating and consider obtaining an exemption for the rabies vaccination if possible in your area. Read our article: Are You Over Vaccinating Your Dog or Cat.

IV. Natural Remedies

Allergy Blend for Dogs and Cats
Allergy Blend for dogs and cats is the premier seasonal allergy remedy for animals formulated using USDA ORGANIC HERBS and USP ORGANIC VEGETABLE GLYCERIN with NO added ingredients like chemical flavorings. Formulated by a certified Master Herbalist to support the...
from $24.95
Anxiety Blend for Dogs and Cats
Anxiety Blend for dogs and cats is the premier stress relief remedy for animals formulated using USDA ORGANIC HERBS and USP ORGANIC VEGETABLE GLYCERIN with NO added ingredients like chemical flavorings. Formulated by a certified Master Herbalist this herbal remedy...
from $24.95
BioPreparation F2 F3 for Dogs and Cats
BioPreparation is more than just a spirulina supplement for dogs and cats. It is a blend a FOUR microalgae strains, chosen from thousands, that make this supplement FAR superior to ordinary synthesized vitamin & isolated mineral supplements(1)! Biopreparation F2 Core...
from $29.95
Chia Seed Oil for Dogs and Cats
Organic Chia Seed Oil for dogs and cats is the perfect choice for providing omega-3 fatty acids from an organic, sustainable source. Chia seed oil has become our preferred method for supplying anti-inflammatory, essential omega-3 fatty acids(1) that are very...
$18.99
Collagen for Dogs and Cats
Collagen for dogs and cats is comprised of hydrolyzed collagen peptides that provide both types I and III collagen which are major components of skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes and blood vessels. This is the...
$28.95
Colostrum Powder for Dogs and Cats
Our Colostrum Powder for dogs and cats is the finest 100% human-grade colostrum available for your animal. Certified true colostrum by Cornell University, it is 6-hour, first-milking colostrum. This is far superior to many other similar products that are often...
from $24.95
Daily Multi Plus for Dogs and Cats
Our Daily Multi Plus is a premier supplement for dogs and cats featuring organic, whole food nutrition. This 3-supplements-in-1 formula was created in response to our clients’ requests to simplify their animal’s supplement regimen and is sure to exceed even...
from $26.95
Detox Blend for Dogs and Cats
Detox Blend for dogs and cats is an herbal remedy that supports the body's ability to detoxify efficiently*. This formula contains USDA organic herbs herbs that assist the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system in removing toxins that can otherwise build...
$24.95
Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs and Cats
We provide you with the finest food-grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder for your dog or cat. Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called diatoms. Our food grade diatomaceous earth comes from the finest...
$15.95
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics for Dogs and Cats
Our Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics is a high-potency formula created specifically for dogs and cats. Formulated with higher amounts of plant enzymes and probiotics needed to help your animals properly digest raw food, kibble, canned and home-prepared diets. Most other...
from $19.95
Echinacea Root for Dogs and Cats
Echinacea for dogs and cats is used to support optimal immune system activity*. Formulated by a certified Master Herbalist using USDA certified organic herbs and USP organic glycerin, this formula will help to support healthy levels of phagocytic white blood...
$24.95
Herbal Digestive Tonic for Dogs and Cats
Our Herbal Digestive Tonic is a wonderful digestive aid that can really help improve digestion and reduce inflammatory conditions within the digestive tract. It uses organic herbal bitters tinctured in a menstruum of organic apple cider vinegar to stimulate gastric...
$19.95
Keys MetaClean Shampoo
Keys MetaClean Shampoo is an all-natural, chemical-free healing shampoo. MetaClean makes the finest multipurpose dog shampoo but was developed to provide relief from itching related to allergies, irritations and hot spots. Keys MetaClean will help with dog skin irritations related...
$22.95
Keys OmniCare Healing Spray
Keys OmniCare Healing Spray for Dogs is an all natural, chemical-free healing spray for skin disorders, allergies & irritations that also repels fleas, ticks, flies, mites & mosquitoes! Keys OmniCare was developed for dogs and their handlers returning from Hurricane...
$19.95
Licorice Root for Dogs and Cats
Licorice Root for dogs and cats is a natural, herbal remedy beneficial for numerous health challenges your pet may experience. Licorice contains a constituent called glycyrrhizin that has similar properties to the adrenal cortex hormones such as cortisol. Because of...
$24.95
Liver Tonic for Dogs and Cats
Liver Tonic for dogs and cats is the premier hepatic remedy for animals formulated using USDA ORGANIC HERBS and USP ORGANIC VEGETABLE GLYCERIN with NO added ingredients like chemical flavorings. Formulated by a certified Master Herbalist to support proper liver...
from $24.95
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement for Pets provides the health-promoting and anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA derived from 100% wild anchovies and sardines exclusively from the Norwegian Sea to the Southern Pacific Ocean depending on their...
from $14.95
Pet Magic Shampoo
Pet Magic Dog Shampoo is an organic shampoo that makes a wonderful, safe and non-toxic alternative to detergent and chemical pet shampoos. This dog shampoo is perfect for sensitive pets because it is free of chemical dyes, fragrances, detergents, sulfates,...
$15.95
Skin Healing Rinse for Dogs and Cats
Our Skin Healing Rinse for dogs and cats is a special blend of USDA organic herbs prized for their beneficial effects on the skin. Formulated by a certified Master Herbalist especially for animals, this rinse will help to reduce inflammation, irritation...
$28.95
Systemic Enzyme Formula for Dogs
Our Systemic Enzyme Formula for dogs is a unique enzyme blend developed to help relieve a number of very common imbalances your canine may experience during the course of his lifetime. Systemic enzymes are taken between meals providing anti-inflammatory, detoxifying,...
from $19.95
Topical Probiotic Spray for Dogs and Cats
Topical Probiotic Spray has numerous beneficial uses for your dog and cat. Comprised of a unique blend of live and active probiotic cultures, this formula uses its beneficial bacterial ingredients to help eliminate pathogenic bacteria for numerous applications. We have...
$24.95
Turmeric Root for Dogs and Cats
Turmeric Root for dogs and cats is an herbal formula with many beneficial uses. The active constituent curcumin that is found in turmeric has shown promising results in numerous studies to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-tumor and immune supporting qualities that...
from $24.95
Willard Water Ultimate Concentrate
Willard Water is a modified form of water produced from regular water to which the catalyst micelle has been added resulting in catalyst altered water. The altered molecular structure of Willard Water gives it the amazing increased ability to absorb...
$20.95
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