Caring for a senior dog: preventing and addressing hair loss: Part Two

Part 2

Senior Hair Care

The first defense of a dog against her environment is her hair. The dog’s hair protects her from a very cold weather condition. So it is very important to take care of your dog’s hair.

Caring for a senior dog: preventing and addressing hair loss
Summer, now 13 years old,  is brought to the groomer every week. When it is cold,  her hair is long  to keep her warm. During the hot months, her hair or fur is  short to help cool her body. 

“Groom her gently, removing dead and matted hair, and massage her skin to improve circulation to hair follicles, “ Benson said.

“Use round-tooth grooming tools that do not pull or tangle in hair, “ he added.

“Wash with hypoallergenic or medicated shampoos, rinsing thoroughly to remove residue, and pat or blot dry instead of rubbing wet hair, “ Benson also suggested.  

“Provide her with a therapeutic or orthopedic bed that cushions her body and minimizes sores that cause balding spots,” Benson added.

Though your dog may not regain her young dog coat, she can be comfortable and happy with your help.

She will also have that healthy senior look, Benson added. 

Save ALL has handled dogs with different kinds of skin diseases. It is always best to have a vet do a skin test first before treating your dog with any medicated or herbal soap or shampoo. A dog with a fungal infection will need a different soap. A dog with mange will require a different kind of treatment, soap or shampoo. A dog with hotspot will also need a different kind of medical and bathing regimen, and his food may have to be changed. 

Here are tips from Save ALL which have been effective in managing mange of rescued dogs:

1. Use natural, homemade madre de cacao-VCO mixture.

Get a few leaves of madre de cacao or kakawate, pound the leaves, and mix with virgin coconut oil. Rub the mixture on the body of the dog or on the bald spots. Put an e-collar on your dog if you have to rub some mixture on parts which the dog can reach and lick. Leave the mixture on the dog’s body for 5-10 minutes depending on the dog’s “patience.”  Rinse with water.  You can bathe your dog after with an anti-tick and flea shampoo. Save ALL recommends Sentry, the blue one. 

2.  If you do not have a source of fresh madre de cacao leaves,  you can buy madre de cacao soap. A word of caution: not all madre de cacao soap in the market works. Consult your vet or look for testimonials or check out testimonies of owners who have used the product.  

Whichever you choose– tip number 1 or tip number 2—do this twice a week. If it is raining, use warm water and bathe your dog inside the bathroom. Dry the dog inside the bathroom too. Or skip the bath for this one time if it is too cold.  

3. Save ALL gives vitamin E once a week to all senior dogs, and to dogs with a history of mange flare-ups. 

On managing hotspots, Save ALL, as advised by the vet, bathes the dog with Micocide shampoo, lets it stay for 5 minutes, then rinses the body. Then the dog is bathed with Vetnoderm with madre de cacao, then rinses the dog’s body.  This is also done twice a week if the weather is not too cold. 

Save ALL noticed that dogs with hotspots are dogs who can not tolerate turmeric. As the word implies, hotspots are usually due to too much heat in the body. Thus, you can not bring in more heat by giving turmeric to a dog with a body type that generates more heat than a dog whose body type generates colder or has a normal/regular temperature. 

For a dog with fungal infection as diagnosed by the vet, Save ALL was advised to use a soap called VCO with sulfur. It has worked on a dog prone to fungal infection. This dog tips her bowl always and plays with the water. 

If your household is a multi-dog home or has many dogs, it is advised that the dog who likes to play with water be monitored always, specially the fur which should always be dried to prevent fungal infection. It is best to keep the hair short too. DC

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