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This is Dr. Christian. Welcome to JustAnswer. A few questions will help me get a clearer picture of the situation:
How long has she had the problem?
How much does she weigh?
Does she itch or chew at the areas?
Is there any oozing or bleeding?
Does she take any other medications or have other medical conditions?
26lbs, she can't reach to area to itch it (she's a long dog)No oozing or bleeding,
she is in the woods a lot for walks
They seem to be increasing in number over the last few weeks
all about dime sized
Have you noticed any fleas?
don't really know what fleas look like, but we have her on frontline
she is biting areas on her a fair amount
but not the affected area in question
That's good. The frontline should take care of that. The most likely cause is allergies or a skin infection at this age. Allergies cause itching, scaly areas, hair loss and infection. Allergies can occur to anything in the environment (food, dust, pollen, grass, trees, cats, etc.). Unfortunately, these allergies can occur at any age and can be difficult to determine what they are allergic to without testing. In most cases medications are necessary to control the symptoms so that infection and hair loss does not occur. Here are some things to try:
Omega 3 fatty acids supplements- these are usually available in veterinary clinics, pet stores or online. One daily for life is very safe and can help the skin.
Antihistamines- Benadryl is a good starting point and very safe. It may make him sleepy and does not always work. Other antihistamines can be tried if the benadryl does not work. You could try 25mg of benadryl every 8 to 12 hours for the itching.Aloe and Oatmeal shampoos for relief of itchy skin. There are also prescription shampoos that can be very effective.
If antihistamines do not work then steroid from your vet may be necessary for temporary relief. Long term steroids can be detrimental so you want to use this as little as possible.
If his feet itch then consider washing them when he comes in from outside. This can remove pollen, dust, etc. that will cause the itching.
Allergy testing can be done to determine what exactly he is allergic to and then a series of shots can be given over a period of months to reduce the severity of his allergies. While a little more costly (you can check with your vet about the cost) in the long run it is safer than steroids and can be very effective.
Cyclosporine is a drug that has been proven to give some good relief for allergies and many times a dog can be taken off steroids all together. You can ask your vet about it.
The key is to remember that allergies are never cured, only controlled. Here are some links about allergies:
I think her food currently has Omega's in it
should we give her extra?
It won't hurt and will only help so I would definitely still give it to her.
any chance it is ring worm?
It is unlikely since it isn't common in dogs. If it worsens then have it checked.
what about mites/mange?
Mange is very uncommon in adult dogs since their immune system is good at fighting the mange mite. It is possible but allergies are much, much more common.
so you'd recommend trying the things you suggested before visiting the vet?
I don't think there is any harm in trying these things first. If the benadryl doesn't control the itching then have her seen. If the benadryl does control the itching but the spots don't improve in several days then have her checked.
and this is just regular people benadryl?
The same stuff you get in the pharmacy (also called diphenhydramine)
Have a good night and good luck. If I've been helpful please remember to hit the accept button.