Dog treatment

BelassiBelassi Member
edited June 6 in Skin
   I'm working on a treatment for one of my dogs, that has atopic dermatitis.       As follows:
Plantapon LGC Sorb 25% -- mild surfactant
CAPB 15% -- mild surfactant
Urea 5% -- skin softening, penetration enhancer
Aloe Vera x10 extract 5% -- anti inflammatory
Brown licorice extract (12% powder) 2% (phyto estrogenic, skin conditioning)
Calendula extract 5% -- soothing
Tea Tree oil 0.4% -- anti bacterial/yeast, anti itch
Glycerin 5% -- humectant
PEG 7 Glyceryl cocoate 2% -- refattener, skin conditioning
Silsense DW-18 1% -- film former, occlusive
Sodium benzoate 0.4% -- preservative

   The result is not used as-is but is mixed 1:1 with natural sugar-free yoghurt at the time of application. So you can assume that the above concentrations will, in use, be 50% of the listed amount. The yoghurt is because I have no source of lactic acid or lactates.
   The pH of the concentrate was measured at 5.5

   I've tested it on family members with good results and on the dog also, with promising results.

Anything I could usefully add? I'm thinking of increasing the urea to 10% to achieve 5% in-use, also increasing the aloe vera to 100% to achieve 50% in-use. I have spent a lot of time on vet sites researching TTO and 0.2% seems well within the safe zone.
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  • GuntherGunther Member
    Some people get pretty bad allergic reactions to aloe vera. Keep an eye to see if the dog becomes itchy.

    The best proven approaches for AD are:
    -topical steroids and antinflammatories. You can make a spray for ease of application.
    - topical antibiotics that kill Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
    -oral vitamin D supplementation
    -occlusives. An occlusive petrolatum and silicone spray may help, but make sure the emulsifier doesn't make it worse. You can add some glycerin to it.
    -a very mild shampoo. You can try a CAPB-only shampoo.
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    Thanks. I don't want to use steroids, due to the side effects. Already used antibiotics. I'll try vitamin D. The shampoo is already very mild.
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  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    @Belassi: Do I understand it right that you're using some kind of 1:1 shower gel-yoghurt mixture as... shampoo? ointment? cataplasm?

    I do have dogs too. Actually, if you put the 4 lil guys on top of each other, they make up half a real dog :smiley: . Anyway, I'm familiar with skin problems because we have a candidate as well and a friend with an atopic cat. I don't know if you already did everything, but I'm going to unroll your case anyway (I'm a pharmacist, I can't help it):
    1. Did you or the vet diagnose AD?
    2. Has a zinc deficiency been excluded? Blood sample or trial-and-error zinc supplementation?
    3. Have food allergies been excluded? Skin/blood tests, strict exclusion diet?
    Regarding point 2. and 3.: Many if not most inflammatory/pruritic skin diseases in dogs but also cats are caused by either (food) allergies (very often it's cow meat of all things, forage mites, flea, and with cats also perfumes -> ask, if you want to know more or read for example THIS article) and/or zinc deficiency. Zinc-responsive dermatosis is a fairly widespread but often neglected phenomenon and often manifests by causing and/or boosting skin conditions similar to AD, read for example HERE.
    4. Antimicrobial treatments should be done only upon advice of a vet.
    Calendula and TTO are mildly disinfecting and anti-inflammatory and a good thing to try (unless your dog is allergic against one of these). TTO may however worsen AD symptoms (you never know with AD anyway). If it doesn't, you may try up to 5% if it's not used on a large skin area but only for smaller acute patches. Mind, only increase it gradually and try a higher concentration always on a small patch first and don't use it at high concentration day-in-day-out as prevention but for treatment of acute episodes only! 0.5-1% TTO should be fine on a daily basis and on large areas but there's no toxicological data available except IIRC for some oral intoxications.
    5. Yoghurt as is may be beneficial for certain types of AD. Though it's not just the lactic acid inside. If you're only after lactic acid: I would leave it out of the formula and treat my dog separately with A: a mild shampoo without all the fancy stuff except TTO, and probably glycerol and urea (because they're cheap and hydrating and if they don't work, they don't harm either), B: apply the actives as serum/lotion/cream separately, and C: try yoghurt alone on acute patches. Try and see, that's all you can do with AD.

    Mild anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs as mentioned by @Gunther would be a good trial for human skin inflammatory diseases. But since canine AD is an allergic disease which only resembles human inflammatory skin diseases and shares its name, anti-inflammatory drugs won't do that much unless we're talking strong stuff like cortisone and immunosuppressants which are a last resort choice. On the other hand, anti-allergic drugs such as antihistamines (topical and/or oral) are far better to start with: Talk to your vet! Since I'm not familiar with your case, I don't dare recommending possibly harmful chemicals for your dog. Since human and canine AD aren't comparable and the underlying mechanisms poorly understood, extrapolating from humans to dogs is neither the smartest idea nor very fruitful. For example that vitamin D treatment has no viable basis in dogs.
    AD stands for ATOPIC dermatitis. Atopic is a camouflage-term which makes the doctors look smart although it basically says that we don't know sh** about it. Psoriasis, as much as it sucks, has one good thing AD hasn't: it's pretty much the same in every patient. AD on the other hand is extremely individual, what helps one patient may worsen the symptoms in another. It's always trial and error except for the "restore skin barrier" part, which is the most important thing to do, in human and in canine AD. The HOW on the other hand is, again, different for everyone. Use mild occlusion with as few potentially harmful additives as possible; for some, paraffin and vaseline are great, for others the skin needs to breath and light creams with natural oils work better. For humans and dogs, polyunsaturated fatty acids have proven helpful because they modify inflammatory (in humans) and allergic (in dogs) reactions. Hence, try some "healthy" oils on your dogs food and fur! Ours does very well with black caraway oil (Nigella sativa) as a food supplement. We have to use antihistamines and cortisone as good as never since he get such oils every day (and I was laughing at first about the "Try black caraway, it's trendy and someone on Facebook said it helps"). Linseed, evening primrose and sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) oil and the like work too but are less often used against allergies allegedly due to lacking traditional use (although, allergies have no traditional use). Anyway, there's fair scientific background and vast practical experience by the public and their pets.
    Because of an alleged cortisone-like mode of action, Cardiospermum halicacabu is en vogue right now (HERE's an example which also uses sacha inchi oil). Probably, marketing simply makes people using these usually mild and "label-friendly" creams on a daily basis although they are poorly made from a cosmetic point of view (tacky, occlusive, perfume-free/stinky, no fancy skin feel etc.) and it's simply the good compliance what makes it work and not cardiospermum extracts or even homoeopathic cardiospermum potencies.

    I'm unsure what to think of licorice... I don't know if glycyrrhizin really has pharmacological actions if applied topically (theory say it doesn't). Today, I received a parcel with a vial of licorice extract, what a coincidence. I'm going to try it in a cream for my wife (who doesn't have AD) and never thought of using it on my dogs. I received other stuff too that I'm probably going to try on them (I'm very curious about gamma oryzanol and Plandool MAS).

    Pegylated silicone and oil derivatives: I don't know (I'm honestly biased regarding these cause I'm one of those label-friendly first guys)... you have to try if your dog does better with this or that kind of oil or modified oil. Might work as well as it might not work. For some skin conditions, mineral oil based products are still the first choice. Silicone oils feel great and have unique properties unlike anything else but IMHO are about perception and skin feel rather than therapeutic usefulness. PEG's offer other benefits such as respiration and water-solubility. PEG's should be imitable by polyglyceryl and sugar derivatives but those haven't usually been applied to pharmaceuticals yet... These synthetics are also more stable (less contamination) and usually inert. Me, I'd at least try vegetable oils too. Either alone or in combination with the aforementioned constituents.

    More in a second post, this one is getting too long...
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Here's the rest:

    THE most important thing is to restore skin barrier function! As long as your dog has skin lesions, all kind of dirt, chemicals, allergens, bacteria, and so on will enter/penetrate his skin and hence worsen symptoms. That's why fairly often, strong cortisones are applied for a few days and then paused; such an interval treatment reduces long-term side effects (e.g. reduces skin barrier function) and still suffices to break the vicious cycle of allergy  (dog) or inflammation (human) -> reduced skin barrier -> entering of allergens -> boosted allergy/inflammation -> more/stronger lesions -> and so on.
    From my perspective, your product is all about hydration and not enough occlusion to keep moisture in the skin and the bad stuff out of it. That product is okay to keep a dog from getting all greasy but probably/likely not enough to protect his skin. It might soothe the itching but the effect will neither last nor prevent (especially because you can't/shouldn't wash your dog on a daily basis). Therefore, I would add ingredients which restore skin barrier and not just restore moisture. But, as said before, these may be better applied separately as cream/lotion/serum. Furthermore, you've got way more effect for your money from a concentrated leave-on than a diluted rinse-off product.
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    Thanks for all the information. Have tried diet already (I prepared a wholefood diet using brown rice, beans, carrot, green beans, apple...) - no effect at all.
    Now begun supplementing with omega 3. I'll see if I can get some of that oil you're using. The vets here have little or no idea. The only thing that has been effective is Apoquel which is both expensive and has really worrying side effects.
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  • DoreenDoreen Member
    I'm formulating a cream with vitamin B12 for a family member with atopic dermatitis:

    I'll post updates in my thread. If the results are promising, maybe it could be an idea for you dog as well?

    Have you tried oatmeal? You could make an oatmeal 'bath' for example.
    Or in a cream (Graham's Eczema cream contains 2.5% colloidal oatmeal).
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    Interesting, why B12? Yes, I did try oatmeal...
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  • DoreenDoreen Member
    I read about it being used topically for atopic dermatitis.
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    Thank you. Next: obtain vitamin B12...
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  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited June 8
    If you're in for a lengthy reading, click HERE.
    Apart from pharmaceutical drugs, they repeatedly mention polyunsaturated fatty acids and restoring skin barrier by applying ceramide, cholesterol, and (polyunsaturated) fatty acids (3:1:1). They also mention vitamin E and D and lactobacilli as well.

    Regarding your quote "Have tried diet already (I prepared a wholefood diet using brown rice, beans, carrot, green beans, apple...) - no effect at all."
    I'm talking strict exclusion diet and that's not it, that's a healthy diet but here, it's not about health but exclusion of ANYTHING food-related which could cause an allergy. It means feeding your dog something he/she never had before, like kangaroo and amaranth or elk and quinoa (obviously plus a full-spectrum multivitamin/mineral preparation because it's not an equilibrated diet, just calories) for at least 2 weeks, that's what I mean. It's a PITA to do and most mess up at some point. An full-panel allergy test seems easier for most. Such a test can help but often doesn't.
    You probably had some bloodwork done; if you'd like me to have a look at them... can't promise that I'll see something new (I probably don't) but I have a different way of looking at things and I'm personally interested seeing them.
  • BelassiBelassi Member
    I did have a blood analysis done but it was for infections, also a skin lab analysis which just showed the usual. I am not very impressed with the vets here. The dog was fine until a year ago when I used a Harz shampoo on her that contained isothiazolinones. Later I discovered thousands of consumer complaints against that company. That preservative needs to be banned.
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  • bigziombigziom Member
    I have read somewhere that dog skin pH is higher than ours. And that it differs between races of dogs. So maybe ph of 5,5 is to low for dog's skin?

    Btw is there any other way of increasing ph than using bases like NaOH? Is it possible to use other ingredients like bentonite clay or something else?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited June 11
    It's more of a myth than reality that dogs and cats have a higher skin pH than humans. Some studies show higher, others lower values for all three species.
    As it seems, pets have a broader pH range than humans.
    On the other hand, studies (and theory) show that the acid mantle is actually a good thing but some pets may not have an adequate one. "Acid treatment" of dogs for example by applying acidic foam or shampoo actually reduces skin inflammation and reduces "bad" bacteria.
    There is, however, an alkaline treatment which at least here around is getting a forgotten art and people only find back to it if nothing else works. The product we use is called pasta cerata, it's a paste based on saponified bees wax and occlusive oils (click HERE for some recipes which are still hand made in pharmacies).
    Increasing pH requires a base (NaOH, KOH, TEA) or an alkaline salt (e.g. tripotassium citrate). In the end, the latter is the same as if KOH would be used. Bentonite won't work, it's not alkaline enough (if at all) unless chemically treated and then, again, as good as a standard base.
  • bigziombigziom Member
    Thank you very much! But in the end is there anything like a "gold standard" for making dog or cat products when it comes to pH? Let's say i would like to make a dog shampoo - what is a standard pH for this kind of product? I checked one shampoo at home and its pH was 6.
  • @Pharma WOW! I had no idea dog questions would be on this forum, naive on my part, brand new here and to the world of hand making skincare. Thank you for the time you took to share so much knowledge and related articles. My Yorkis has been miserable and I felt like I had tried everything besides creating something myself. And thank you @Belassi for posing the question and all of your personal insight!
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Nope, unfortunately there is no standard at all ;( . Due to less regulations, you find a lot more junk in pet products (if they even care putting something useful on the label). Some simply put anything in there because it's cheap and efficient (e.g. BHT, thiazolidinones, SDS and other "bad" guys with high irritation/allergic potential, cause by law, a pet is too often just an object), because they don't care, because they don't know anything about pets (except "I loooove cuuute ciiiitiiies!!!! <3") or anything about cosmetics/veterinary medicine...
    Some "eco-organic-vegan" pet shampoos are too acidic because eco-friendly preservatives require a low pH, others are too alkaline because they *upps* I should have had that detergent neutralised???? If you want a "clean" shampoo for your pet but don't want to dissect the label, measure pH and all that, simply buy a baby shampoo.
    You're welcome!
  • bigziombigziom Member
    Yes, I was also shocked when i checked the EU regulations regarding pet products and basically there was nothing there. No need for safety assesments and all the other stuff. They only say, that pet products must be safe for humans that have contact with those products.

  • BelassiBelassi Member
    Here in Mexico they don't even list the ingredients. A disgrace.
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