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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19456
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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what can i do for my pit bull with a really bad skin rash ...

Customer Question

what can i do for my pit bull with a really bad skin rash (wrinkly,red ,scabing ,dead skin ,rotting flesh smell skin falling off in flakes ) his skin problem is on his neck belly and whole underside he doesnt like going out side anymore someone told me he could be allergic to grass i love him verry much and dont want him to suffer any more he use too be a verry loving active dog but since the rash he is verry lazzy now he just lays there scratching and bitting himself till he bleeds i would really like to heal his rash and get him back to his happy self i have a new born baby 4 months old so money is really tight right now so i dont have much $ to cure him but we would really love to get him better so if you have any ideas we would really really apprechate it very much cause with the dog making a mess all over the floor i may not be able to keep him when the baby starts cralwing around but me and my wife really love him dont want to get rid of him please help us
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
HiCustomer

Unfortunately, there are many conditions that can cause a dog to experience hair loss including ringworm, mange, hypothyroidism, cushing disease and allergies.

Ringworm can have a scaly reddish rash around the edges of the bare patches though there can be a rash in the bare area as well. Any over the counter antifungal cream for ringworm will work on this. The cream should be applied to an area slightly larger and for about a week after it appears to have cleared up. There are two types of mange and mange is actually caused by mites. Usually hair loss starts in specific areas of the body before spreading to other areas. Allergies are a frequent cause of scratching and hair loss and an be caused by many different things. Treating any problem without knowing for sure what it is causes a delay in the treatment of the real problem if your first guess is wrong. I really suggest you have your Vet examine the areas and diagnose this. Below are websites that will go into more detail on these conditions.

Here is a website on Ringworm:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ringworm.html
Here is two on Mange.
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_demodectic_mange.html
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_sarcoptic_mange.html
Hypothyroidism and cushing on these pages:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hypothyroidism-in-dogs/page1.aspx
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hyperadrenocorticism-cushing-s-syndrome-in-dogs/page1.aspx
You can read up on allergies here:
http://www.nhahonline.com/k9allergies.htm
http://www.lbah.com/allergy.htm

If you suspect an allergy condition is to blame, you can give your dog Benadryl up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours.

There might be a secondary skin condition in addition to the allergy such as staph dermatitis or yeast dermatitis. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief until your pet can see a Vet.

There is also a condition called alopecia which is basically hair loss. You can read all about it in this article:
http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=7250

Some treatment methods for this are discussed on the following site. You might want to discuss this possibility with your vet.
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2004&PID=8629&O=Generic

I hope this information is helpful and the treatments help your dog regrow some of his coat.