Epidermal Dysplasia and Westies

October 14th, 2021

Epidermal dysplasia is something I only learned about recently if I’m honest. I had seen it in quite a few Westies over the years but I didn’t know it’s Epidermal Dysplasia and what’s the cause.

What is Epidermal Dysplasia?

Epidermal dysplasia refers to a skin condition that affects West Highland White Terriers. Also known as Westie Armadillo Syndrome, this abnormal skin growth results in itchy and thickened skin that can cause skin folds in various areas of the body. It’s a disease that’s unique to the breed and occurs in the young of Westies on reaching the age of 6-12 months. However, puppies as young as 5-6 weeks have also been known to be affected.

In the early stages, dogs with epidermal dysplasia have hyperpigmentation (increased pigment) of the ear flaps and underarms. Eventually, the skin of the chest and abdomen will get the most affected. The legs will also become hyperpigmented and you’ll also notice thickened skin with redness, scaling and permanent hair loss. Intense itchiness is a standard characteristic.  Excessive yeast and bacteria on the skin are always a complicating factor.

Meet Kez

Kez is an 11 years young Westie and I’ve known him for years. He always had a short, easily manageable hairstyle suitable for his busy lifestyle. Like many other clients I’ve seen, he developed skin problems over the years. After I stopped grooming, I hadn’t seen him for some time but then one day saw him in the salon while Lizzie was grooming him. Poor Kez had black scabs around his eyes and on his chest and his itchy skin was bothering him. He was diagnosed with epidermal dysplasia 5 years ago and has blood tests once a year because of the Apoquel he takes. At the moment, he is on 1/2 Apoquel daily. 

How Skin Relief Shampoo helped Kez

Epidermal Dysplasia, Westies and Skin Relief Shampoo

When I launched Skin Relief Shampoo I asked Kez’s mum June if she’d like to try the shampoo on Kez. She agreed and Kez started to come pretty regularly for his weekly bath. It was only interrupted with a few gaps because of his knee surgery and my recent frequent travels to Slovakia. Since we started using the shampoo on Kez, the improvement of his skin has been remarkable and after his 4th bath.

Feedback from Kez’s mum June:

“Jitka, you have been bathing Kez in your new shampoo for a few weeks now, and I would like to say how much his skin had improved when you started; he has nasty little black scabs on his chest, and around his eyes, these have all gone he no longer scratches his face on things so thank you for helping him. Also, he had a health check last week, and the vet is so pleased with his condition that he is now on half a dose instead of one tablet a day to see if we can wean him off! 

 I’m so grateful! June x

I think even Kez knows it’s doing him well because he trots into the salon for his weekly bath more happily 😀. I couldn’t wish for more!

Jitka xx

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What People Say...

Hi Jitka, I contacted you about your Skin Relief Spray and your Hand Butter about a week ago as my 89-year-old mum suffers from terribly itchy skin. We’ve tried almost every skin product from the usual chemists and have resorted to antihistamines after checking they are okay with mums other atrial fibrillation tabs.

Unfortunately, these can cause nose bleeds so a new remedy was required. We’ve been using the Vita Canis Soothing Antiseptic Spray for thee days and her back is no longer driving her mad with itching. The Hand Butter has been applied to her feet with the same excellent results. We will continue using the spray and butter and I will give you another update next week but things are looking promising.
Jenni Owen