|Barked: Tue May 10, '11 1:44pm PST |
|Yep. Vance started showing signs last July. Itching, sensitive skin, dull, brownish coat, shedding constantly, losing weight, breaking nails that would not heal. He was 8 years old at the time, which is late for ZRD to appear from what I've heard and seen. He's always had a cruddy digestive system, though, and I think it's probably related in his case.
I hear there are blood tests to confirm zinc deficiency in humans, but with dogs it seems to be a matter of putting them on zinc and seeing what happens. Definitely don't wait for your vet to decide this is ZRD - most of them have NOT heard of it, and there is no reason for an otherwise healthy dog on a balanced diet to suddenly become zinc deficient. Of the three vets I see regularly, the only one who knew about the condition has Huskies herself.
There was another Husky whose owners I advised to start supplementing zinc after months of hot spots, extreme itching, dull coat and hair loss. They had been to the vet repeatedly and all tests (bloodwork, skin scrapings, etc) had been normal. When they went back to the vet to ask about supplementing zinc, the vet actually argued with them. The vet said that since their Husky didn't have any broken nails or sores on it's pads, it could not possibly be zinc-related. Thankfully they worked something out and the dog is now on zinc. I've met another Husky whose back pads rotted away before anyone figured out what was wrong - he has to wear boots all the time now.
In all cases I've known of, it takes a few weeks for the zinc to get back into their system. Once it does, the change is almost instant and it's like there was never a problem at all.
ETA: As to your photos, there are general sets of symptoms, but they won't all necessarily be present in every dog. Plus, all symptoms can be signs of something else - part of what makes dealing with vets who are not familiar with ZRD difficult.
He could absolutely have ZRD - especially having sores as well, but for what it's worth I have seen abrasions around the nose like that caused by plastic dishes, or rubbing against chew toys.
Edited by author Tue May 10, '11 1:49pm PST
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