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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4700
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Good afternoon! My dog Lila (134 lbs) has had a rash under

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Good afternoon! My dog Lila (134 lbs) has had a rash under her armpits and belly for the past three months. At first we thought she had gotten into poison ivy in the back yard, but that area is now blocked, so she cannot get to it.

She has been treated with steroid shots and pills, which she is on now every other day and is still on antibiotics as well. She “was” doing much better for weeks and that rash completely disappeared and now the rash is coming back even while on the medicine. I had recently put her Vectra flea and tic medicine on. Could that be making her skin worse again?

I am concerned about all of the medication she has been on for such a lengthy period of time. Is there another alternative to all of the medications? A lotion or cream that would help? The vet had said not to change her food yet, but I am tempted to now do so.

Thank you for your help!

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.


Dr. Joey :

I am doubtful it is the Vectra causing the rash. Instead, this is most likely related to an underlying skin allergy such as to an ingredient in the food or to something in her environment (called atopic dermatitis). This is a very tough time of the year for dogs with allergies.

Dr. Joey :

Many dogs with severe allergic skin disease are on almost continuous medications, but if and when this happens then it is time to start exploring the underlying allergy (I hope you have already had this conversation with your vet). The first step in this process is to do a 2-month hypoallergenic food trial with a prescription diet that offer novel ingredients your dog has never seen before (such as fish/potato or venison/potato). If there is no improvement after this (and during that trial your dog's secondary infections would still be treated...antibiotics/antifungals/steroids). If this fails to help then you must make a decision to either 1)See a dermatologist, 2)Allergy testing with allergy shots or 3)do a trial with a drug called Atopica.

Dr. Joey :

But you asked about a lotion/cream? I doubt there is one that is going to resolve this.She has probably got another bacterial skin infection that needs antibiotics. Or she has a yeast infection and needs an antifungal. You are welcome to try using OTC hydrocortisone cream as made for people applied twice daily. This might help the itching a bit. The problem with lotions/creams is that anything you put on she is going to lick off. They just don't work. As well they often cannot penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin to clear the infection.

Customer:

Thank you. Is there a hypoallergenic food that I can purchase over the counter?

Dr. Joey :

There are knock-off products that claim to have ingredients similiar to the veterinary prescription hypoallergenics but they are not "pure" diets. It is a lot like people with peanut allergies. They might contain contaminants of other proteins (like chicken or fish) depending on what was processed on the line before that food went through. So, in my opinion, if you are interested in a hypoallergenic diet trial I recommend you do it with your vet and get the food through your vet.

Dr. Joey :

But if you are adamant to do this on your own, then you could try the Nature's Recipe Vetegarian diet or find a good venison/potato diet...but carefullly read the ingredient list. As well during the two weeks of using this diet you canNOT give any item outside this trial (no chew treats or rawhides, no people foods and no chewable heartworm preventive;you must convert to topical or non-chewable heartworm preventive).

Dr. Joey :

And a side comment that a "grain free" diet will not work for this. That is purely a marketing ploy. There is absolutely no evidence that dogs are allergic to grains.

Customer:

Thank you... Great information to have! I am waiting for a call back from my vet this afternoon. You have given me more questions to ask him as well!

Dr. Joey :

Excellent. Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can always reply to our conversation ,even after our live chat ends. Kindly submit a rating as you exit.

Customer:

Thank you so very much!

Dr. Joey and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lila. How is everything going?

Dr. Joey
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

About the same. Our family vet gave me Clemastine and a spray and I have changed her food. I have heard from others that she could be allergic to the grass! So I am wiping her paws after she comes in the house. Very frustrating. Thanks for checking in!

I am sad to hear she is no better, but I do not find that this particular antihistamine works very well in dogs. If you are to try an anthistamine then instead I recommend claritin at a tablet every 12 to 24 hours. Seems to have a better effect. But antihistamines in general only help skin itching about 25%. You would need something stronger to get it to stop. In addition if she has a secondary infection (any evidence of rashes, scabs, etc) then she must get those treated appropriately.

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