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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I have a Pembroke welsh corgi. We have had her to several

Customer Question

I have a Pembroke welsh corgi. We have had her to several vets and specialist. No one can give us an answer as to what is wrong with her. Favorite cope out is "Allergies". Of course to what, they never know or can figure out even after testing. We will begin to see clumps of hair around the house. Upon inspecting her, round spots, small to large, where the hair is coming out and dry flaky like scabs. Where the flakes have fallen off the skin is wet and kind of raw. We clean it and have put on numerous recommended lotions/ointments. Some work better than others but it ALWAYS comes back. Right now she has two and I just found a third. If you don't think you can answer, please just say so.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

so you have had allergy testing done?

Was it done through blood or contact?

Has skin scrapings been done?

What medications have been tried?

Is she scratching or biting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no rhyme or reason as to where or when these spots occur. Allergy testing was done at Univ of Missouri Columbia. The testing was contact where they shaved part of her hair and did the injections. Skin scrapings have been done several times by the primary vet as well as 2nd and 3rd opinions. She has been on oral antibiotics/medications and topically, she has been on the following: Genesis topical spray; Pramoderm HC spray; Hexadene medicated shampoo; Resi KetoChlor leave-on lotion; Vetericyn VF wound and skin care; Cort/Astrin solution; Quadritop ointment. When these did not work, I started using peroxide followed by Mupirocin ointment, which seem to have worked the best, ***** ***** does not prevent. She is not biting as she cannot reach the areas; however, there is some scratching. Thank you.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. I'm not sure I would have enough suggestions to really help, so I'm going to opt out and see if one of our vets wants to see if they have any additional treatments that they might want to try. Please do not rate my responses as I didn't give you any answer.

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there - thanks for getting us started with that great information! I'm Dr. Sara - I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats.

Round spots of hair loss with crusting like that first strike me as bacterial. This would be especially true if the lesions respond to antibiotic medication. A bacterial skin infection is usually a symptom of either allergic or hormonal disease, and it will often recur after treatment if the primary underlying disease isn't treated. So if we have allergies but we aren't getting any maintenance allergy medication (like Atopica or Apoquel) or allergy shots, the pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) will continue to recur. Allergy testing is only the first step toward sorting out these troubles - once we know what they are allergic to, we formulate a vaccine to desensitize them and dampen future allergic reactions and decrease the frequency and severity of secondary infections. I also mentioned hormonal - both hypothyroidism (low thyroid) and Cushing's syndrome can cause recurrent bacterial skin infections. They are best diagnosed with blood work to check the thyroid, liver, and cortisol levels and function. If we manage the hormonal disease, we can reduce the occurrence of bacterial overgrowths.

By far and away, bacterial pyoderma would be my highest suspicion for any round crusting lesion, however, there are a few others to note. Fungal infections (ringworm) can cause very similar lesions and can be difficult to differentiate from bacterial without some testing. A fungal culture is usually easily performed at any vet's office. Another disease I see that causes round crusting lesions with exudate (pus) under the crusts would be an autoimmune disease like lupus or pemphigus. These diseases are far less common but they can be quite striking and severe. Some are easily controlled with steroids while others are more difficult. These are diagnosed by taking surgical biopsies of the lesions and sending them out to the lab for dermatohistopathology. This may cost hundreds of dollars, but it may need to be done to diagnose the problem. In a financial pinch, some vets will do a trial course of steroids to see if the lesions respond, however, steroids would also treat allergies, so it would be difficult to tell what disease we had - it could still be either.

So if these are really bacterial lesions, your vet should easily be able to put forth a diagnostic plan to check for hormonal issues and an allergy maintenance plan. If they don't look bacterial to the vet, skin biopsies are likely your next step.

I sure hope that all of this information helps - please let me know what other questions I can handle for you.

~Dr. Sara