Thursday, April 21, 2016

Found Some Trends In Heidi's Skin Changes

Late last night I could hear the rain lightly hitting the leaves of the trees. Every time I woke up, it was raining lightly ... great sleeping weather.

With rain Heidi heads out behind the yews under the overhang to relieve herself while the bloodhounds attempt to go to the field. Depending if it is raining they don't always go out into the field.

They will stand at the edge of the carport and observe, then venture out for some inspection if it is not raining hard. This morning the rain had just stopped for them to go outside. This morning Sadie went to the field only because it had stopped raining. As soon as Stella feels a lot of wet ground under her feet she is not interested in going anywhere. She stood almost like a statue until I went back inside, then she sprinted for the door.

With the on and off rains today the daily walk may be cancelled. I am willing to do the walk if the rain stops as it has not saturated the ground like a hard rain would do. Of course if Stella will not go into the field, the walk will be cancelled. The radar looks pretty clear though for the rest of the afternoon.

While they slept this morning, I lined up some of the best photos of Heidi's skin since January and then added my notes with dates in between the dated photos. I found some trends I think, although looking back through 18 months of photos -- really not a lot of change in her skin condition.

Her skin will have periods of improvement but just as fast as I noted that improvement it flares up again like nothing has worked. If you click on the label on the lower right sidebar, named Heidi's treatment, it will show all of the blog posts I made last year with 4 different vet ideas, different shots, lotions, pills, etc.

The major trends I noticed from my notes compared to her photos happened to be fairly noticeable in the photos:

  1. Putting Winston down on January 5th
  2. Giving her pieces of my steak and steak fat
  3. Giving her bacon grease
  4. Could be season related with grass & pollens in air
  5. Epsom Salt soaks for 20 minutes with a water rinse helped every time
Right after Winston was gone, there wasn't any change in her appetite. She is usually low energy so I didn't notice any change in her moods. She didn't pace the house looking for him like I have had some hounds do in the past. yet for the next three days she skin flared up with redness, inflammation and chewed spots.

I gave her the steak and bacon grease in early March when I thought that "fat" might help her skin. She has not been given any since and will not be given any. Once again during a 2-3 period her skin became inflamed redness and she had chewed different spots.

As far as pollens, grass or farm field chemicals in the air ... I don't have much choice on that unless I sell the house and move. I am surround by fields that are planted annually with fertilizer applied on those fields. Yesterday when the neighbor was mowing their yard, it was windy and my sinuses inside the house with the windows up, plugged up. So grass may also be a reason for her skin issue.

Some have thought stress is her problem. Yet, when we traveled for 8 days in June 2015 feeding her Fromm's Classic chicken/rice basic dog food ... her skin actually improved. During those 8 days she never ate at the same time every day because it depended when camp was set up or where the next Rest Area was as we drove down the freeway. When Stella showed up on August 30, 2015 there was no noted change in Heidi's skin.

The most likely cause isn't the food she eats, as Vet #3 said ... it's environmental. Her skin flared up last week when my sinuses decided to go crazy after mowing the yard. It was the 4th mowing this spring but the 1st time my sinuses went nuts.

Notes and photos show that last April to the middle of May her skin looked just as bad as it does today. Yet by June to the middle of July her skin looked much better.

So it's just as confusing as ever. 

This is Day 2 of the Wounded Warrior Ointment where it is claimed it helps with skin issues, cuts or hotspots on the dogs that are used or were used overseas in combat situations.

I will give her a fresh dose every 4 hours during the day and right before she goes to sleep for the night. Since she tried licking her paws after I put the ointment on, she is back to wearing baby socks that not only cover her paws but her legs. Unlike February 2014, she has not tore off the socks this time.

I should see some skin improvement within the next 2-3 days based on what the seller told my friend that bought it in North Carolina for me.

The radar may be clear but the sky sure looks like another storm is near here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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