My dog is red all over, itchy, chewing at herself, and losing hair in mass amounts. I thought it may be a yeast infection because she has had a problem before in her ears. The redness began on her stomach but now she has a red spot on her back near her tail and red spots have appeared on her paws? Also, her anal area is red and looks swollen below it.
Type of Animal: Dog
Name of Dog: Mina
We have cleaned her ears. We have tried the spray with hydrocortizone to relieve itching on her body. We have switched her Dog Food to Blue Buffalo, skin allergy formula.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael SalkinMina may certainly be dealing with yeast but please note that yeast infections are usually found secondary to allergic skin disease in our dogs. Her previous ear problems likely were what we called "reactive ears" - ears that become inflamed, itchy and often ceruminous (waxy) and then yeast overgrew in the rancid wax. This is most often seen secondary to inhalant allergies (allergies to pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, e.g., but also seen with food allergies. She is developing "hot spots" all over secondary to her traumatizing her own skin because of the intense pruritis (itchiness) she's currently suffering. She needs to have her "allergy attack" broken up by the administration of a corticosteroid such as prednisone. Antihistamines are not reliably effective in dogs such as Mina. Topical hydrocortisone may be helpful but isn't expected to be potent enough for Mina at this time. If Mina's vet finds that her skin is secondarily infected by either yeast or bacteria, she may be placed on antibiotics and/or anti-yeast drugs as well as the prednisone. Rigorous flea control is also essential at this time in case fleas may be contributory to her allergic skin disease.Summer and autumn can be a very difficult time for allergic dogs. The first step in addressing her skin condition is to stop her from self-traumatizing herself...and we do that will the judicious use of a corticosteroid, tranquilizers if necessary, and even the dreaded "cone of shame" (an Elizabethan collar) that prevents her from reaching certain areas on herself that she has injured.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Our family budget is tight. Is there any over the counter remedy or natural remedy you could recommend? Or is seeking a local vet a necessary step at this time?
I'm afraid that there's nothing potent enough over the counter that will reliably work. You can try diphenhydramine (Benadryl) at a dose of 2mg/lb (maximum dose 50mg) repeated in 8-12 hours. As I mentioned above, antihistamines such as Benadryl aren't reliably effective but certainly worth trying in a pinch. Cool water bathing can afford temporary relief and keeping Mina away from uncultivated areas should reduce her exposure to environmental allergens. Continue dousing her with hydrocortisone spray and ointment for the angriest areas. I really wish I had some magic for dogs such as she. I'm not fond of using corticosteroids such as prednisone unless really necessary to do so but when my patients are harming themselves I don't hesitate in using these drugs at the lowest effective dose. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
UC Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 years of experience
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll check back with you in a week for an update.