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:help: Does anyone know what this is? Or what to do? My wonderful Athena has an odd skin situation under three of her four legs. In the deep part of her underarm area she gets lesions, which eventually clear up. But the whole area loses hair and around the perimeter of the hairless area is skin that has turned black, and the whole area seems to be growing. The hind legs seem free of lesions now, but one of her front legs is now affected. Vet gave her Gentaspray to be used daily, but the bottles are too small to allow me to saturate the areas.

Vet says, "All you need is a spray," but that wasn't so when I first went because her fur got in the way. Now there is no fur there. Now the pink hairless area that developed on each hind leg is at least as big as a saucer. Sometimes there are ulcerations which do heal, but the overall skin condition doesn't heal and the hair doesn't seem to grow back. The Gentaspray comes in little four-ounce bottles. Because my Shepherd is quite a large dog (much larger than most, it seems), I go through these bottles very fast -- maybe in four or five days. That helps for a while, but I don't go back after the medicine is gone because the condition seems improved (not cleared up) and the Gentaspray costs $36 or so for about four ounces -- maybe. So, this looks as though it's going to be costly and time consuming. In addition to that, it is difficult to get her to cooperate with me. She is good once I get her to lie down so I can reach the areas. I have treats I give her afterwards, but if she sees the bottle anywhere near me she runs away. I started hiding the bottle in a rear pants pocket, but she can see me the minute I pick it up. So I have to strategize and pick it up and hide it in a pocket about 20 mins before I'm going to use it. From the time she knows I have it, from then on it's going to be impossible to use it. I can calm her and sweet-talk her and all the rest, but so far hair hasn't started to grow back in the pink hairless area. Some of the white and light lower belly hair surrounding the pink hairless area has sort of gotten stained a brownish color.

Generally, with time, the ulcerated areas do SEEM to get better, but the condition never seems to go away entirely. And I might think a hind leg situation is on the mend, and clear, and ready to regrow hair, and then another ulcer starts back there. The hind legs don't have active ulcerations at the moment, but the front leg has these blackened skin areas around the perimeter or periphery of the affected site where the top layer of skin kind of turns black and then turns scabby or, maybe it's just dead -- it's black. I think that's the stage after the ulcer has "turned the corner" and is going to start going away by itself.

I can remove some of the presumably dead (?) black melted skin if I get a little section of the fur coming out of it between my fingers and give it a gentle tug.

Then the skin underneath it seems okay pink and clean and new. I'm not sure if I should request much larger bottles of Genta spray so I can knock it out once and for all, or, whether that even would happen. Maybe the Genta spray isn't even helping. When I told my vet that Athena is a big dog and the Genta Spray didn't seem to be knocking it out because I could never seem to get enough on her to cover the specific areas, he prescribed two more bottles (instead of one), which then was another $72 bill plus tax. I don't mind paying for her meds, but if I'm going to have to use them, then I want the meds to work. Actually, I'm not even sure the Genta Spray is the right medicine because he looked at the affected area, kind of scratched his head, and acted as though he didn't really know what the cause was. If any other Shepherd owner is familiar with this and knows what I'm talking about, please reply! What worked?

Has anyone witnessed this weird condition?
 

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77MalibuSeaJoule if you could just respond and post a couple more times you'll meet the forum rules to post pictures. Then if you could post a picture or two of the areas it would be helpful.

This could be many things from a yeast infection, bacterial staph or a combination of both are just examples.
We are not vets but many times when these thing crop up they are often helped by a diet change. Often times going to a grain free diet (if not already on one)is helpful; Supporting the immune system with supplements; Special shampoo bathing such as Chlorhexidine can be helpful as well.

Dogs can develop food sensitivities at any time during their life. It's possible your dog has become sensitive to a protein or grain in the food. Pet food manufactures change their formulas often times never telling the consumer as well.

Having a skin scrapping done by your vet would be more helpful guessing. What ever it turns out to be immune support will be helpful in healing.
 

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Here's information of Genta spray. Appears to be for skin bacterial infections. Did he take a scraping that verified the problem was a bacterial infection?

I’ve used this on my GSD. He’s 95lbs and the 4 oz is more than enough for one hot spot. I’ve never used the whole 4oz.
I don’t think you need to saturate the area.

There’s also a powder Neo-Predef but would be tuff to put under her arms.

Your dog must be so uncomfortable : (

Does she wear a harness or backpack?

Does she swim?
 

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Glad to find these posts here -- I realize I'm a few years late in responding, but I didn't realize that my post actually would get response . I'm so glad it did and I thank everyone who responded. I wasn't really used to the site at the time I posted and had many things on my mind. Eventually I switched vets and my new vet validated what many of you said. Part of it was diet -- She probably was allergic to something she was eating, so we switched to a prescription diet. She also prescribed an antibiotic which completely fixed the problem within about 10 days. Athena had NOT gotten into any scrapes with other dogs. That infection just kept spreading until I found the new vet. Since she has been seeing Athena since then, she's noticed that the same problem seems to come up at the same time of year every year and so she thinks it's related to the pollens of the season. The prescription diet is more because she is very old now -- about 11.5 years old -- and was starting to have incontinence issues in her bed. However, the meds fixed that. She is slower now, but still loves to chase birds on the beach and tousle with my one-year-old puppy, a willful, very energetic Portuguese Water Dog. Totally opposite personalities. She's my "good dog," and he also is good, but -- well -- he's a very determined bad little good guy who is becoming trained in spite of himself. Athena was trained when I got her at the pound at the age of 6. She is helping me raise him -- grudgingly. But she is doing her best with him. Very cute to watch the interaction.
 

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P.S. I don't remember if he took a skin scraping or not. I think the new vet did. But neither one of them was 100 percent certain what was causing the problem. She cured it quickly, though, and I was so grateful!
 
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