Help! My dog has itchy, flaky skin!!!

Bathe more, bathe less, change the diet, get more sun, brush more often, use vegetable oil in food once a week - all of these are suggestions for getting rid of flaky dry skin and/or "the itchies", but if all else has failed, pay close attention to these two posts!

Your puppy could have a case of dander mites. Take it into the vet for a look-see.  This is a nasty problem that makes the dog itch like crazy and have huge flakes of dandruff, especially in front on the tail.  Dander mites, more properly known as Cheyletiella, and also known as "walking dandruff", are fairly large (for mites) and are a creamy-yellow in color.  It is easiest to spot them in sunlight or under a bright light, particularly between the eyes. They are about the size of a spider mite (if you garden), maybe a tish bit larger, and are fairly slow moving.  This is a fun thing to try and get rid of....a bit like having head lice on a child.  It requires using pesticides SEVERAL times on the dog (wear gloves), and washing and vacuuming everything the dog has ever come in contact with or that the mites could have been carried to.  This is easily spread from dog to dog.  Some vets treat the dogs with ivermectin, but successful treatment to eliminate this parasite takes anywhere from six to eight weeks.

Karen Brittan


Does your puppy have a lot of "dandruff" flakes?  Could be Cheyletiella Mange mites. Or sometimes called walking dandruff.  If there are a lot of flakes, take the pup to thevet where they will take several samples and look under a microscope to see if there are mites or mite eggs.  It is highly contagious.  So if you have other pets, beware.  This can be treated with ivermectin internally and with bathing the puppy with a special shampoo (which you leave on for five minutes before rinsing) once a week for 3 weeks, and then have the pup rechecked to be sure they are gone.  They are really easier to get rid of than fleas.  The mite only lives a few hours off the host, so a good vacuuming and washing all puppy bedding should do it.  If it is mites, they could have come from the yard where rabbits and squirrels have been, or another pet or possibly from the place you bought your puppy.  My one experience with mites (never did determine where they came from, but I do have a good suspicion) was when my then litter was 7 weeks old.

They were all sold and gone by 9 and 10 weeks with the information given to the buyers to have them checked for mites when they took their pup in for a vet exam and they all checked out free of the mites.  A dip is sometimes recommended, but my pups were too young for that.  The special shampoo I got from the vet worked just fine.  The hard part was not rinsing for 5 minutes.  I wrapped each one in a towel and cuddled them until they stopped shivering.

But, minis do have skin problems too.  Lambert Kay makes a shampoo called "No More Dry" to help dry flaky skin.  Your vet may have a suggestion for shampoo also. Make sure you rinse well.  A residue of the shampoo could also be the culprit. Also, a conditioning rinse might help.  Use dog shampoo because it is supposed to have the proper Ph balance.

Marge Moenter