Our little Papillon, a long-haired breed, has developed summer itch despite the fact that we have given her a crew cut and lots of attention to keeping her cool including visits to the beach and salty swims. There were patches of painful, weepy crustiness on the saddle and hips of her back and tufts of hair were falling out. I don’t want to get into cortisone treatments for her as she is fifteen years old but it has been painful for her to be brushed (though she is incredibly patient). She has never had fleas in her life and is a fastidious little dog.
Having surfed the web for cures I found that this combo seems to work:
Put her on a chicken/fish-oil/oatmeal mixture for dinner. She already has oatmeal and mangoes/pawpaw for breakfast. No more red meat. Break a capsule of fish-oil over the food plate and stir it in.
Bathe her in purified water (no chlorine though) and half cap of ti-tree oil per bucket of water. No shampoo. Gently brush with a soft bristled hair removing comb until all crustiness has been removed and skin is freed up to breathe. (I made her sit in the water for at least 20 minutes and one bucket is perfect for her).
Rub her dry gently with a towel. DO NOT use a hairdryer.
Throw the doggie water onto your garden to dissuade pests!
Repeat this procedure whenever the crustiness reappears. Keep the dog cool but don’t bother with creams as most do not work. Wash the bedding in a similar mix and make sure that mossies, fleas and gnats do not infest your dog. The ti-tree oil does, to come extent, keep insects away but if you live in a tick area, you may be considering Frontline or one of those repellents. I hate these, as anything that strong can’t be good either for the dog or the owner picking it up and cuddling it! But the threat of ticks could be worse. So you need something strong. Apparently all those insects – ticks, gnats, mossies, fleas – hate garlic. I found this garlic based mix advertised on the net and have yet to try it. This is sprayed around the house.
And what you could do is add some garlic to your doggie bath with the ti-tree oil. Or put a couple of cloves of garlic into a little purse sewn onto the dog’s collar. Change this one daily.
DO NOT allow your dog to eat garlic or onion as it gives them anaemia. (You can check for this by looking at the colour of your dog’s gums – if pale, they are not getting enough iron.)
A friend also suggested a weak peroxide solution but I think that is too severe for her soft skin.
I will keep you posted on the long-term efficacy of the remedy above but it is magic so far.