Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now as I am sure you are aware Westies are the poster children for skin disease. So many of this breed have troubles with itchy skin which leads to chronic flare-ups, discomfort, and frustration for owners and vets alike (and the dogs surely as well!) And while allergy testing (so you know what is actually triggering his signs --diet proteins, pollens, dust mites, etc. -- and try to address them directly) is ideal, cost can make it prohibitive.
In these situations, where testing to identify the cause is not possible, then we do find ourselves trying to manage these dogs to just keep them comfortably. This can mean the use of antihistamines, topical treatments like Malaseb shampoo, and pulse therapy for antibiotics when infection arises and/or steroids for itchiness.
Now if you are using Malaseb, it is a great topical treatment for dogs with skin issues like Paz. Still even if he wasn't stressed by daily baths, this may still not be the ideal course of action. The reason is because bathing does strip the skin of its natural oils and can lead to the skin drying out (which can cause itchiness and irritation to). So, while it is great for addressing the yeast or bacterial agents starting to harrass the skin, we may want to consider every other or every third day for his baths.
Furthermore, since you are in this financial situation with a poor itchy pup, I would suggest a word with your vet about using a drug called Apoquel (More Info). This is literally a new drug on the market that is designed for tackling the itchiness of these types of dogs (so new that your vet may have to call the drug company to obtain some if they don't stock it already). And where we all cringe when we have to treat too often with steroids (since they do have unwanted side effects), this new drug uses a different mechanism to stop itching and is not associated with those adverse effects. So, this could be an option for keeping Paz comfortable +/- his baths even if we cannot get to the bottom of the cause.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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Hi again Scot,Fuciderm (example) and chlorohexidine spray could be useful to soothe focal areas of skin. The only problem is that often these dogs are itchy all over, which makes topical therapies other then the shampoos often difficult to keep up on. So, if Paz is only itchy in smalls areas (and you can keep him from licking these products off), then these would be a possible avenue to try.In regards XXXXX XXXXX allergies, they are very common. If his signs started after the mixer was added in, then it could be your culprit and you could try him without it (though be aware its residual allergens will stay in skin cells for up to 6 weeks, so it may take time before you see a result from stopping the mixer). Otherwise, your friend is correct that Chappie is surprisingly a low allergen food for dogs (its the diet PDSA vets tend to put their allergy patients when they cannot afford the usual hypoallergenic or low allergen diets). So, you could consider this but I would advise you to be aware that diet trials with a new diet need to be strict (so no treats or tid bits since you won't know what element of his diet could be a factor) and again needs to be fed for at least 4-6 weeks (the time it takes for the older allergens to get out of the skin).