I love dogs, and can't imagine how difficult it must be to watch this
puppy suffer like this. I dragged up information on the two most
common types of insulation. The first is more common for air
conditioner ductwork, as well as noise reduction and gap filling. I
believe it is most likely the type of insulation the dog was sleeping
on. It is very difficult to say what effect insulation would have on
an animal's skin. It would depend mainly on what the insulation was
For instance, standard wall insulation (the pink stuff in your walls)
is made of spun fiberglass. This type of insulation is used commonly
to insulate as well as reduce noise. It is made from sand and
limestone and other natural items which are heated and forced through
jets to form thin hair like threads.
"Fiberglass can cause itching due to mechanical irritation from the fibers."
American Lung Association
"Taking a cold shower after working with insulation helps remove tiny
fibers that make their way to your skin. Don't take a hot shower.
Doing so opens the pores of your skin and allows the pesky fibers more
opportunity to make you uncomfortable."
Google search terms: fiberglass insulation skin reaction
Rock or Slag wool is another type of insulation which doesn't cause
skin irritation. It looks more like dryer lint, and even has a
somewhat dusty appearance when handled. Rock wool and Slag wool are
made a similar heating and jetting process, but replacing the sand and
limestone is basalt and diabase for rock wool, and iron ore blast
furnace slag in slag wool.
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Google search terms: rock wool skin irritation
I did find information about dog skin conditions based on feeding habits.
"Dogs can have these types of problems due to food allergies or poor
nutrition. You did not mention what you are feeding the dog. Do not
feed him a cheap dry dog food. Most of these consist of corn husk for
filler which just passes through and does nothing to give the dog the
nutrition it needs. I suggest you start feeding this dog raw organ
meat, beef, poultry or whatever. Liver and heart come to mind. Also
raw free range eggs and raw milk if they are available. A good quality
dog food usually costs a minimum of $1.00 a pound (Biljac or Eagle
Pack are high quality). Many of the organ meats can be purchased for
There are several home remedy solutions on this website forum as well.
Keeping in mind these are not veterinarians, but owners and pet
"My old cocker spaniel itched a lot due to naturally dry skin. It was
always worse during the summer, and I finally had to start bathing her
in a tub that had had a cooled pan of oatmeal (about 6 servings) added
to the warm water and mixed in."
Homesteading today forums
Google search terms: dog irritated skin
Based on the differing results from different insulations types, I
wouldn't want to immediately point to the insulation as a cause. I can
tell you as a dog owner that a dog with an itch will rip its skin raw
to get to the source. I had a lovely bull terrier mix who if given a
fleabite would remove the hair surrounding the bite and had to be held
to keep from ripping at it. The vet gave us a lotion to put on the
dog, which basically gave off a bad taste to reduce irritating the
affected area since dogs will continue to scratch even when the itch
is gone, based on the new irritation from scratching.
I have installed and rolled around in and have been covered in
fiberglass insulation, it is extremely annoying. It will create a
violent itching sensation. Perhaps we can add a few items together and
see where the irritation and subsequent mange like rash comes from.
The poor diet, matched with insulation itch gives the dog reason to
scratch violently at dry itchy skin which becomes a red surface wound
Please feel free to request clarification before rating this answer.
Hope this helps, and best of luck with your new best friend,
Clarification of Answer by
15 Jul 2004 13:10 PDT
I should have been more clear in my opening paragraph about the
fiberglass insulation being used for Air Conditioners. They wrap the
duct work itself in fiberglass insulation, as well as stuff gaps in
wall spaces where duct work and air conditioner units are placed to
Here is an example of professional grade Air Conditioner insulation:
Pacor inc. Insulation Specialists
Google search terms: air conditioner fiberglass insulation
This type of fiberglass insulation would cause skin irritation which
would become unbearable in an adult human who understands why they are
itching, I can't imagine sleeping on it every night.
As you can see here, DIY.net reccomends a great deal of safety
clothing while dealing with fiberglass.
DIY.net The Do It Yourself Network
According to the center for disease control, fiberglass also has some
more long term skin irritation issues,
"1. What symptoms can you get if you work around fiberglass?
Skin and eye contact: In addition to itching, fiberglass can cause
skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Some people get ?fiberglass
warts,? a type of skin inflammation. The fibers can also irritate your
eyes and even cause serious eye injury if you don?t get proper
Center for Disease Control
I hope this is the information you were seeking, please feel free to
continue to request clarifications until your question is completely