9 steps to improve your dog's skin conditions
Fido is a lucky dog. He is loved, taken for at least two dog walks a day and gets the best natural raw diet available. But life is not that rosy for Fido. For years he has been on a rollercoaster of skin problems, which his vet and specialists diagnosed as allergies. With each outbreak he gets another prescription for antibiotics, or corticosteroids, and each time the relief is shorter and the doses need to be higher. This causes serious side-effects. Fido lives in Saudi Arabia and after years of struggle and all the local options were exhausted, his mom flew him to Canada to see a dermatology specialist.
After eight months on one type of protein, a battery of allergy tests and more drugs, Fido was still scratching. That was when I got a call from Fido’s mom and two months later his skin condition was gone.
The purpose of this article is not to give you the impression that every skin condition is easy to treat. However, with a little bit of luck, there is about a nine out of 10 chance that your dog will be skin-disease free.
For years I too struggled with treating skin problems in dogs. I was following textbooks to the T, doing diet elimination trials and allergy tests and chasing hormonal conditions, yeast, bacteria and parasites with minimal results. It took some time for me to realize that things are not what they appear and treatments, such as steroids and antibiotics, didn't work. In fact, they give us an illusion of improvement while deep inside the patient gets worse. This wasn't easy to accept. I felt like I failed my clients and their dogs, my patients.
Eventually, I found the answers to most common skin conditions and they were completely unexpected. I have learned that:
- If your dog’s skin condition is localized to certain areas - such as the paws, flanks and the abdomen, and the skin condition is not generalized, allergies are highly unlikely.
- The distribution of the affected skin areas most commonly relates to energy lines that originate from the spinal nerves that supply the areas of diseased skin.
Here are a few examples:
- The fore feet energy lines originate from the mid-neck and so does the skin of the ears, eyes and the head.
- The armpits and forearms get their energy supply from the lower neck and the front portion of the chest.
- The abdomen gets the energy supply from caudal (rear) portion of the thoracic spine and the front portion of the lumbar spine.
- The hind feet are related to the lumbar region and the hips, tail and the area around the anus is supplied by the sacral lumbar region.
The logical question
Naturally, one would ask, how do skin conditions relate to the spine? At first glance, one would think all that is going on is just about the skin, but that's not true.
Let’s forget about dogs for a moment and imagine a beautiful vegetable garden that has several patches. There is a path in the middle and also paths that divide the garden beds on each side. The watering system follows these paths and it is set up on auto-watering while you are on holidays. Two weeks later, you come back and realize that the garden is beautifully green except one garden bed is dry and the plants are barely surviving… You immediately clue in. The watering system in that area is broken!
The body is no different than a garden
It has energy channels and lines and the main pipe is the spine. It conducts energy to the different 'garden patches,' or the organs and skin segments. Our dogs are no different than humans. They lead their life, play, chase the ball and get injured. These injuries lead to tightness of the muscles that run along the spine and the energy flow decreases. In the case of the garden, no water flow means dying plants. In the case of dogs, no energy flow to certain areas of skin results in rashes, missing hair and symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as allergies.
That is not to say that allergies do not exist! In my opinion, only a relatively small portion of all skin conditions are allergies or hormonal problems.
I can already hear you saying, but my vet said that my dog has a Staph infection or yeast or fungal disease. Yes, this may be true, but even conventional textbooks often acknowledge that they are secondary. When the garden is dry it will be more prone to insects and disease. When your dog’s skin doesn’t get the nourishment and energy it needs, it will get diseased.
Step by step plan for your dog's skin problems
- Ensure that your dog is toxin-free by doing a hair test for heavy and toxic metals.
- This hair test will also give you information about any deficiencies. Most dogs are depleted of essential nutrients because of depletion of nutrients in the soil, which reflects in the whole food chain. I've learned that even naturally fed dogs are depleted of nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and amino-acids. Food is simply not what it used to be.
- If your dog has been on a lot of drugs or is middle-aged and older do a liver cleanse and repeat it every six months or so.
- Feed your dog a natural diet - raw or cooked. Kibble, even when labeled natural, is like using diesel for your gasoline car. It will keep breaking down. You can sign up to get a free raw and cooked diet course here.
- Give your dog essential supplements, whole food and ideally certified organic multivitamins, plant-based broad spectrum minerals and amino-acids, essential omega oils. Avoid fish oil blends or sardine oils as they often contain heavy metals.
- If your dog has skin lesions in a particular region, refer to the chart below to see what spinal segments need to be checked.
- The most common injuries are caused by collars, by slipping or sliding, excessive or obsessive one-sided exercises, such as digging or swimming (armpits, triceps and shoulder), ball or frisbee chasing (lumbar region).
- Run your thumbs on each side of the spine and press fairly strongly on each side of the intervertebral dip. You will see that the sensitive spots will be easy to recognize.
- Find a physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist experienced in muscular skeletal injuries. If you do not have anyone like this nearby, use a rubber massage brush and gently rub your dog's spine - especially in the tight region.
Most skin lesions, with the exception of conditions such as fleas, thyroid, auto-immune or adrenal issues are related either to undetected spinal injuries, over-exercise or sprained muscles. Dogs can’t tell us how they feel so the only thing they can do is scratch! Similar to the garden, the skin will be visibly different, hair may be missing or there may be bumps or lumps in the areas.
If you apply the steps above, stop or reduce the injurious activities and apply herbal Skin Spray to the affected area, there is more than a 90 percent chance that your dog will be problem-free or much improved.