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Undiagnosed skin problem in female dog
An_221133 posted:
My 5 year old female Chihuahua/Tibetan Spaniel has been having strange red sores on her belly and chest area, on and off, for about a year now. In the beginning, she used to have these itchy sores on her back as well. Her fur usually thins out or completely balds in the area that is affected. I've taken her to the vet on numerous occasions and spent well over a thousand dollars on medical expenses, just to be told that they cannot figure out exactly what the problem is. I've been told that it may be allergies, so I put her on a very simple home made diet of rice, carrots, potatoes, and bits of meat. I've also put her on a all raw diet. I feel her salmon oil daily. She's being bathed with medicated shampoo (Metacam, I believe is the name). Occasionally, I put aloe vera on the sores. I've also been told that it may be a yeast infection. They've put her on Simplicef and Temaril. These oral medications, together with the medicated shampoo, seemed to worked for a few months. However, the sores have returned. She is extremely bothered by these sores, as she is constantly licking them and I have to put an E-collar on her every night, so she doesn't worsen them. I'm fresh out of ideas. I have pictures if needed to better diagnose this terrible and very tiring disease. Any information to better my pet will be gladly welcomed.
gskim1024 responded:
The sores are scabbed at first. They're usually round, but some take different shapes. After they peel off, they're lighter in appearance. Her skin seems to have darkened a bit all over, except on these affected areas. Her skin turns scaly all over. They're extremely itchy. And they're concentrated on her belly at this point.
Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Dear Anon
I like the idea the diagnosis might be allergies which you mention in your description of your dog's condtion. Allergies keep coming back like this problem since antihistamines only mask the signs which return when medication is discontinued. When I have one of these chronic itchers, I call in my dermatology colleague to develop a long term management plan. Did you know dogs can get allergy shots just like people? For some pets this is a huge life improving treatment. See if your vet can help arrange a specialist visit for you.

Ann Hohenhaus


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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