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Old 05-23-2015, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Skin - What's This Look Like?

I've been treating my 3 y/o male for 2 yrs as if he's had localized demodectic mange, using 2x wkly peroxide shampoo and sulphur/lime dip on the affected region. His diet is NW Naturals raw, Blue Dog Bakery biscuits, and he helps pre-clean the human food dishes. I got him at 1.4 years old w/history of sores on lower back that started out as red blotches that got bigger and erupted into bloody messes with some help from the dog due to itching. Due to the nature of demodective mange mites living in hair follicles and periodically erupting from overpopulation, I concluded the process was mange related. The PO thought he had fleas, but never any fleas or dirt visible. Dog has had no testing, but vet's eyeball eval was "allergies, but who knows?". Definite mange-type smell (kind of yeasty) in room where he sleeps, worse when the lower back was more involved. Originally, when the lower back was affected, the skin turned black, and he got a spot on his rear leg that also turned black.

The lower back has improved (skin has returned to healthy natural color), but now the mid-back is getting the red spots shown in the pics. For those who have seen these red hard spots, and with the above history and treatment in mind, what do you think might be going on? Mange? Food or airborne allergens? He lives with another dog who's on the same diet, shares the same environment, and is not affected.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh, goodness, that looks so awful. Poor dog!

I know exactly how it feels to have a dog that has constant skin problems.

At first glance, I immediately thought flea allergy.

The lower back is a classic place where this manifests itself.

All it takes is one flea bite, and one bite turns into the kind of sores you described and that are visible on the dog. Those are now infected, because they are itchy and so the dog will not leave them alone, and you have a full blown chain reaction, even if the flea is long gone.

The first thing I would do is stop the allergic reaction. I would put the dog on Zyrtec, once a day, for at least two weeks or until this calms down.

Topically, it needs to be kept clean and dry, so that the infection, whether it is fungal or bacterial, subsides and the dog can regrow his hair. The best shampoo I have found, and I think I've tried at least 10, is Malaseb.

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Malaseb is good because it doesn't matter whether the infection is bacterial or fungal, it will take care of either.

The shampoo needs to be applied every other day, and left on each time for 15 minutes before being rinsed off with an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Because it is difficult to do a regular shampoo, I put about a teaspoon or two and just enough water to make a soapy solution, Then I dip a clean washcloth in this solution and put it on the dog's skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, then come back with a clean washcloth dipped in a solution of a pint of water to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Do this until the soap is gone. Dry the skin thoroughly.
Microfiber towel works best.

Now you need to apply something to treat the sores. I have had a really good results lately with Wonder Dust. It seems to feel really good, because I get the swishing wagging tail when I apply it. Keep in mind that it is gray in color, so be careful not to mess up your carpet when you put it on. This says ointment, but it's a powder.

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Also, Tough Seal is wonderful to seal the wounds, and something about it makes the dog leave it alone. I use this at night.
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This will not go away quickly, but given that you have been working on it for two years, perhaps trying a different regimen might make a difference.
I watch my dog's skin very carefully, and treat things as they pop up, and I pretty much have given up the idea that his problems will ever go away. It is an ongoing process, but I do my best to manage it and hopefully you, too, will be able to keep it under control.

Last edited by Sunflowers; 05-23-2015 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First, you need to do testing. Confirm, with multiple scrapings multiple times if there are Demodex or Sarcoptic mites. Don't treat for something that's not there. If it is confirmed, with that severity, your boy needs ivermectin daily, for most likely a few months.

Again, if confirmed, you need to be supporting his immune system so that his own body can fight them off. Apple Cider Vinegar, probiotics.

If it's not mange, then you need to find the cause. Flea allergy dermatitis can be caused by a single flea bite. So he needs to be on regular flea prevention. All the while supporting his immune system.

But that looks infected. He may need antibiotics to clear the infection.

Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like mange, could be hot spots too

Either way you can use neem oil, disinfectant/anti viral. Just rub it on there every 2 -3 days.

Research neem. It has side effects and can be used as a birth control, so i'd use gloves. It does cure mange and hotspots though. I've used it on my dogs, and cats for fleas/tics/mange and hotspots and ear mites.

I'd also start washing the dog every 2 weeks. Check the ears too, as the smell may be coming from there. You can clean them with a few drops of oil (olive as base) followed 10 minutes later with a few drops of diluted org cidervinegar and then clean with cotton wool or buds 5 mins later. Dog doesn't like the vinegar but it makes any gunk and oil come out when dog shakes.

Organic cider vinegar will prob work for the mange too.
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I should note that I clipped the hair from the affected area - that's not hair loss. The pics were taken right after this morning's peroxide/sulphur treatment and the red pumps are now significantly reduced. And these are simply raised red bumps at this stage, not infected - looks almost like an allergic reaction that's subsided. If I let them progress without the peroxide/sulphur, they'd eventually develop a crust on top that the dog would open with itching. In this red bump stage, he only occasionally reaches around with his mouth to bite at them. It's because of the red bump-to-crust progression that I suspect demo mange.

Re: Flea - this issue doesn't arise anywhere on his belly or chest, only on the (first) lower back, (now) mid-back, and twice on his left leg (outside). Certainly it could be a flea bite. I haven't tried Zyrtec, but went through a benadryl drill when it first started happening, with no change. I'll try the zyrtec. As for regular flea preventative, I'm afraid I can't do that at this point - the cure could be worse than the disease. His current situation is quite manageable without systemics that might harm him.

Re: Testing - the vet said testing for demodectic mange wasn't very accurate given the high rate of false negatives (the mites are actually down in the hair follicles, where they avoid being scraped). I'll try a scraping for scabies. Scabies is very contagious, however, and the other dog, using the same beds, is unbothered.

Re: Ivermectin - I think that's my next step, so I've ordered a kit I can use to determine if my dog is genetically OK for its safe(ish) use. I've avoided it until now because of the potential for neurological side effects/death.

Re: Probiotics - He eats well, walks 3+ miles a day, and has a no-stress life, plus I had him on Kiefer for several months with no noticeable change. I'll look more at immune system support, though.

Re: Neem - Not heard of it so I'll check that out. Ears look/smell great. Dog is otherwise in peak health.

I think the universe is limited to parasites, allergens (inhaled or contact), or food sensitivity. Given his symptom set I'm leaning to parasites, but if anyone has input on Nutriscan that might apply here, please advise.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You mentioned the skin turning black--does it get kind of leathery? That with the ears involved makes me wonder whether it might be a yeast infection.

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Old 05-23-2015, 07:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan_GSD_mom View Post
You mentioned the skin turning black--does it get kind of leathery? That with the ears involved makes me wonder whether it might be a yeast infection.

Susan
The skin on the lower back, and the dollar coin-sized circle on the left leg, both turned black and leathery looking (which I've read is a sign of scabies). Since I've started the shampoo/sulphur, the lower back skin returned to normal, and the leg circle appears to be getting lighter. The upper back area now affected by the red bumps is not black (at least not yet). His ears are not involved that I can tell. Someone else mentioned that. The smell is kind of yeasty, though.
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I very very rarely say vets are wrong. But yours is. Demodex is super easy to find on scraping. Especially if it is so generalized. Sarcops(scabies) is very very hard to find. But to be honest. It's the same scraping procedure. So scrape for one scrape for both.

Flea allergy dermatitis usually localized right where your dogs lesions are.

Maybe it's time to talk to a dermatologist.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
I very very rarely say vets are wrong. But yours is. Demodex is super easy to find on scraping. Especially if it is so generalized. Sarcops(scabies) is very very hard to find. But to be honest. It's the same scraping procedure. So scrape for one scrape for both.

Flea allergy dermatitis usually localized right where your dogs lesions are.

Maybe it's time to talk to a dermatologist.
Probably right about the dermo. I'll try the scraping first to hopefully confirm need for ivermectin, get dna results to confirm OK w/ivermectin, then see how things go with the ivermectin (even if scrapings are negative). If these episodes continue in the meantime with the ivermectin, I'll schedule the dermo.

Just got back from the 3 miles off-leash through the woods and those bumps aren't red or as raised as in the pic. They quiet right down after the peroxide/sulphur. I have a feeling this i$$ue is why the PO gave him up (Craigslist). Too bad for the PO - great dog otherwise.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The thing is, if you have been using this peroxide sulfur for two years and there still is a problem, why keep doing the same thing?

I am very familiar with those raised red bumps. They are hives. At least in our case they are. Put the dog on Zyrtec, one every 24 hours. Benadryl has done nothing for us either.
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