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Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this before... My German Shepherd Milly (11 month old) has had some kind of allergic reaction we believe. When we would try to pet her back she would flinch really bad and let out a cry. We took her to the vet and they noticed under her fur was really bad bumps. They shaved her back (which was too painful) and these bumps are up and down her back, the middle of her back is worse than the rest.

Shes on medication for now, but had to take her back in because the bumps started oozing and bleeding. They switched out deramaxx with another pain medication and we go back for a check up on Tuesday if not, Monday if it gets worse. I will attach a photo of her back and maybe one of you guys has had this issue before? Milly does like to chew up and get into a lot of thing so it could be something she consumed, or possibly the shampoo we used just 3 days before this happened. The vets "think" its dermatitis but it's hard to say what is causing it, and I just want her to heal!
 

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Did they do a skin scrape? If so, what did it find?

It looks to me like it *could* have a bacterial component (like staph, etc.) --did they send you home with something like cephalexin? If so, the one thing to watch is sometimes vets don't keep the dog on it long enough if there's deeply colonized staph and you end up fighting it a long time (and creating abx resistance potentially). So at the end of your meds, if the dog isn't WAY better, go back and talk about whether to extend meds. The breed rescue I work with has sometimes had to have dogs on it for as long as 30 days to totally knock out a deeply colonized staph infection -- and we bathed in medicated antimicrobial shampoo designed for this 1 to 2 times per week (that's as important as the meds IMHO).

Keep in mind that bacterial and fungal infections can be secondary to allergies or even parasites, as the bad microbes loves to set up house where there's already some other problem (inflammation), so you often end up with layers of problems to solve. If there's an allergy component, meds like Apoquel or Cytopoint can really help. If there's a parasite component, you have to stay on top of it and get it fixed -- a dog with a flea allergy can erupt after a single bite.

I would only use a vet shampoo that's antimicrobial and intended for skin with a disease process going on -- talk to your vet about this! My vets either have us use chlorhexidene 4% shampoo or a chlorhex/ketoconzozole combo if fungus is suspected. Most vets sell it, but if your vet wants you using it, it's cheaper to buy OTC -- like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Dechra-TrizChlor-4-Shampoo-8-Ounce/dp/B00K4X8TF6
(Notice what the reviews say about it helping itching--just by knocking down the opportunistic bad microbes and removing any contact allergen, the itching goes down. It doesn't dry out the skin and doesn't foam much, so it's fine to use weekly. Just remember to follow the bottle directions EXACTLY -- the amount of contact time, keeping the product away from the head/eyes, etc.)

If this doesn't clear up quickly, I would get to a vet dermatologist. When a general practice vet says "it's hard to say what's causing it," it's time to consult with a skin specialist -- you'll save time, aggravation, and probably money over the long term by getting to the root cause more quickly.
 
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