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Connection between dandruff and diabetes?

Species: Dog
Breed: Labrador retriever-C
Age: 8-11 years
My pet has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes. She is on 5 units of insulin 2x day. She is on a high fiber-low fat diet to maintain current weight. Her dog food is 7% fat 2-1/2 c. and 1/2c. of 9% fat daily trying to maintain her current weight( She had lost about 16lbs in about 4 months and was continuing to lose). She is also getting 2teas. of Salmon oil for her coat. She is shedding a lot and has dry flaky skin. My regular Vet attributes it to the Diabetes. What are your thoughts and what else can I do for her?
Thank You,
Dianne Fehl


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Dianne and thanks for your question!

It sounds like you are doing a very good job. It is sometimes hard to maintain a dog with diabetes.

I have seen a number of dogs with diabetes who have flaky skin. However, I usually find that once we have the diabetes well controlled with insulin the coat gets better.

Another thing you could ask your vet about is to test Mariah for hypothyroidism. This condition is very common in Labs and can cause flakiness in her skin. If she is hypothyroid most dogs are controlled quite well with medication.

Another thing to test for is to have your vet do a fecal exam to look for roundworms. It would be uncommon for a dog of this age to have roundworms but these parasites can be a cause of flaky skin.

And one other possibility is cushing's disease. Dogs with cushing's can have similar symptoms to dogs with diabetes (increase in thirst and urination and increased appetite) and can have skin problems as well. Hopefully it is not cushing's as it is often hard to manage a dog who has cushing's plus diabetes. The test for cushing's is a day long blood test that can be a little expensive. However, a less expensive screening test is the urine cortisol creatinine test which is relatively good in telling us if Cushing's is there.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank You Dr. Marie,
She was tested for hypothyroidism and kidney,liver problems,also fecal. All negative. I think also she has been tested for cortisol creatinine and no evidence of Cushing's but I will verify this with my Vet.
Thank You so much,
Dianne Fehl


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It sounds like your vet is doing a very thorough job! If all of these things are normal then I am afraid there may not be much more you can do.

However, I am just thinking of a product we sell at our practice and the name escapes me right now. It is a topical product that you apply a few drops to the skin and it supposedly helps with a dry coat. I have not prescribed much of it but my employer sells lots of it.

I am on vacation this week but I will look up the name of it when I get back and then respond to you.

Hope all goes welL!

Dr. Marie.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks so much for the bonus Dianne! It is greatly appreciated! I'll let you know when I find out the name of that product. It certainly won't hurt to try it!



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Dianne...the product that I was thinking of is called Dermoscent. You can see if your vet can order it in for you!

Hope all is well.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Thank you,Dr. Marie for the ame of that product. I will ask my Vet.
Dianne Fehl


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.