Curing dandruff on Golden Retriever

We train service dogs, and every once in a while we get a Golden Retriever that has the gene called GR ICH1 (a PNPLA1 mutation). This gene causes bad dandruff, also known as Ichthyosis. We have tried vitamin E, cod liver oil, and several kinds of medicated shampoos. Here's what finally worked. The shampoo is from the veterinarian and is a combination of Chlorhexidine Gluconate USP and Miconozole Nitro USP. Perhaps other dog shampoos work, too, because I'm told it was the process as much as the shampoo that was important. Note that it was a client family who figured out this complete process, and the kudos go to them for figuring this out! :-)

Here's the process, which involves shampooing the dog weekly (forever). Since you have to treat the dog forever, it's actually a treatment and not a cure, but the important thing is, IT WORKS.

First shampoo:

  • Shampoo the dog the first time. Take about 15 minutes to shampoo the pup because it takes a while for the medication to get down to the dog's skin. It also takes a while for the med to work, so by taking about 15 minutes to shampoo the dog, you'll make sure the dog's skin gets coated for a good amount of time.
  • The first week after the shampoo, the dandruff will actually be WORSE. Brushing the dog doesn't really help. The dandruff is black and flaky and sort of looks like dried leaves. It will be all over the fur and will stick to the fur like crazy. It might even clump up, which looks terrible.
  • But don't worry--in a few weeks of weekly shampoos, the dog's skin will be terrific and as long as you continue weekly shampoos, you won't have to worry about dandruff any more!

2nd shampoo (one week after the first one):

  • Shampoo the dog a second time. Always take 15 minutes to do it.
  • That second week, again, the dandruff will be pretty bad.

3rd shampoo (a week later):

  • After this shampoo, you'll notice the dandruff is a little better.

4th shampoo (and all later weekly shampoos)

  • Now, finally, there really won't be any dandruff, and as long as you continue the weekly shampoos, the dandruff will be totally gone. Yay!!!