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Old 11.11.2015, 15:29
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Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

Hello,

We have a pug, and she normally sheds. And, she just began shedding A LOT. So, I thought her shedding cycle for the winter began. But, her shedding looked little different this time, and I began noticing multiple patches developing on her back. I started brushing her to get the loose hair out and saw some flakes coming off with the hair. I look closely to her skin, and it's all flaky with unpleasant odor. Her hair's falling in big chunks in this area.

Only time we had this problem with her was several years ago when we found out she was getting allergic to meat and grains. Once we changed her diet, we didn't have the problem. It's been almost 2 months since we moved to Switzerland, and we didn't change anything in her diet.

Only thing that's changed is the water. In the U.S., I fed her spring water because my neighbour's pugs developed kidney problems after drinking tap water. Mine doesn't have any kidney problem as far as I know, but I wanted to be safe. Here, I fed her tap water, because that's what we've been drinking as well (as everyone advised that Swiss tap water is better quality than the spring water you buy). Now I am wondering if it has something to do with the water.

Has anyone had this problem with their dogs?

My husband and I actually have been having skin problems as well since we got here - constant break outs. So, I was planning to get a Brita. I am hoping it would help us and our dog's skin conditions.

Last edited by arincoc; 11.11.2015 at 16:29.
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:05
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

I would suggest a visit to the vet, soon!

It might be the water but then again it could be a multitude of things; stress form the move, mites or fleas, or even the food if you are now sourcing it in Switzerland. It might be the same make but manufactured in a different country with ingredients sourced from a different country.

The Tierspital in Zurich is very good and you will find many English speaking specialists there.

Hope you find the cause soon, it must be so uncomfortable for your little friend.
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:20
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

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I would suggest a visit to the vet, soon!

It might be the water but then again it could be a multitude of things; stress form the move, mites or fleas, or even the food if you are now sourcing it in Switzerland. It might be the same make but manufactured in a different country with ingredients sourced from a different country.
I've been checking for fleas, but I don't see any. We've had to deal with them before, but not this time. We've been feeding her the food that we brought from the U.S. - exactly the same thing she's been eating for past several years. So, probably not the food.

But, yes, we should visit the vet. Thank you for your recommendation!
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:32
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

I'll second CB's suggestion to see the vet. Skin problems can result from so many things, from food sensitivities, environmental sensitivities, stress, hormone-related conditions, parasites, ets - as well as some serious illnesses. You would be wise to follow through with your vet.

(I do tend to see the vet sooner rather than later; and I'm always happy to pay for 'good news'. )

Diagnosing skin/coat problems can be frustrating, sometimes involving exclusion testing, which admittedly can be expensive. When you see the vet, talk about possibilities, ask what makes sense in his/her opinion to rule on the usual suspects. If you do need to start doing a range of tests to exclude conditions on the way to diagnosis, don't be afraid to ask about costs upfront.

By the way, here are several good veterinary dermatologists in the ZH area if necessary. (Melon saw the dermatologist at the Tierspital, albeit this was many years ago.)

Hope your pup starts to feel better soon.
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Old 11.11.2015, 18:52
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

My question is, should I take her directly to Tierspital or bring her to a vet office first? Would she end up visiting the hospital anyways if the vet requires exams to be done? I've never been to a hospital with my dog before as she's never had any serious illness/injury, thankfully, so I thought I would just take her to a vet for a check-up.
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Old 11.11.2015, 19:59
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

Start with your usual vet, assuming you have found a vet here that you and your pug like.

A general practice vet can handle most of what one needs - and when something arises where the vet does not have the 'big guns' equipment needed or where he/she believes that specialist expertise is required the vet will then refer you, either to the Tierspital or to one of the larger clinics in the area.

The Tierspital is fantastic, no doubt. I think the world of them. They run a general clinic in addition to specialist care, so yes they can indeed take care of routine visits. But it is a very large clinic - and because of it's size it might be daunting if your dog is at all uncomfortable in a clinic atmosphere. Also, I have found that it is much easier if I go in with a referral from my vet, I get to see the appropriate professor right away.

(I get the best of both worlds - my 'Haus' vet is an internal medicine specialist, his partner is a specialist surgeon - so much of what I need is in-house at his practice. But when necessary, he sends me wherever and to whomever he thinks is best for my dog.)

Hope you get to the bottom of this soon.
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Old 16.11.2015, 19:39
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

My dog's skin condition started getting better on its own, but I still took her to a vet. The vet concluded that it's an allergic reaction probably to the environment that's been frequently changing since we've left the U.S. She said dogs already allergic to food can be very sensitive to environmental changes. The smell is gone, and new hair's growing, so she's good now.
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Old 17.11.2015, 00:22
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Re: Dog's skin problem... Can it be the water?

If to recurs, or if anyone else has a pet with a dermatological / skin problem, the animal dermatologists in Münchenstein near Basel is superb:

http://www.tierdermatologie.ch/Derm/Spezialisten_e.html

They speak excellent English, having lived in the US for years. They are super friendly too, and helped our pooch with her skin troubles. Highly recommended. (I have no affiliation with them other than as a satisfied patient customer)
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