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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My St. Bernard is 6 years old. We just rescued her a few

Customer Question

My St. Bernard is 6 years old. We just rescued her a few months ago from a bad situation and she keeps getting skin infections around her neck. We have cleared those up, now it's in top of her head. She scratches it until it's all bloody. I have her on nutro max sensitive food and treats. I have her from professionally about every 3-4 weeks because she is so smelly from the infections. She does go for about a week, then something new. I clean her area every week with bleach and water to make sure it's all safe again. I don't know what to do anymore.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 month ago.

This is surely going to be an underlying allergy. Allergies can lead to recurrent skin infections. These can be bacterial or fungal (yeast). It's the fungal part that smells really bad.

Things like antibiotics, anti-fungals, steroids and Benadryl can help the signs. You really need to get to the bottom of the allergies if you want to stop it from coming back.

To diagnose allergies, you do skin allergy testing. This is usually with a veterinary dermatologist. From there, you make a serum of diluted allergens that you inject or give under the tongue at a slowly increasing amount. This de-sensitizes the body to allergens. It's called allergy immunotherapy.

In the mean time, you can use topical soap/ water. Something like dawn dish soap would be fine. I would not use bleach on the skin anymore. You can also use Benadryl for itching at a dose of 1-2 mg per lb body weight every 6-8 hours.

Here is some good information on allergy immunotherapy to read over before going to a dermatologist:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2430

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sorry....I meant bleach and water to clean up her pin, not her skin. Yikes.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 month ago.

Ok, just making sure!