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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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From the base of my dogs tail up the center of his back he

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From the base of my dog's tail up the center of his back he has small hard bumps. The bumps, or skin around them get flaky. He chews to the point he is losing his hair. He also has a horrible smell. Does this sound like a fungal infection? Using listerine, water, and babyoil seems to help. (a home made fungal treatment I found on the internet)

He has this condition all year but, it appears to get worse in the wamer months. I have econazole nitrate 1% and cicloprox .077%. Would either of these be safe to use on him?

Dr. Scarlett :


Dr. Scarlett :

Are you using any flea preventative on Bailey?


yes. I am using flea shampoo and spray. I probably don't spray him often enough.

The scabs and scratching on his back end certainly points to a flea allergy dermatitis. One flea bite in a dog with an allergy to them is enough to cause a lot of scratching, hairloss, and skin infection (the scabs). Often antibiotics are needed to clear up the infection and a short course of steroids to get the skin healing up and the dog to stop scratching.

As far as the fleas, sprays, collars, and shampoos aren't terribly effective. It is much better to use a monthly topical preventative, like Frontline Plus or Vectra. There are also monthly oral medications like Comfortis or Trifexis (which also contains a heartworm preventative). You should use these products religiously each month and treat all the animals in the household too, as they can certainly bring in fleas even if they aren't showing any signs.

Do you have carpets in your house? If so, get some Mule Team Borax--a dry laundry detergent you can find most places. Sprinkle it liberally on the carpets, then work it in with a stiff-backed broom. Vacuum, then discard the vacuum cleaner bag or clean the canister with very hot, soapy water.

Be sure to wash all bedding that Bailey sleeps on and toss any beds that can't be washed. You will need to do the washing weekly and I would repeat the borax treatment every 3 weeks for a couple months.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We used Frontline on him last year with not much difference. Is Vectra more effective? I use a spray for the furniture. Would the Borax work better. I also spray his bedding and wash it monthly.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my husband wants to know if giving him Benedryl will stop the allergic reaction?

If you used Frontline on him each month for at least 3 months and didn't notice much improvement, then I would try Vectra. It is a different insecticide and might be more effective. Not sure if you have other pets in the house (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc), but they ALL need to be treated for fleas at the same time. I would also ask your vet about Trifexis or Comfortis--they are very effective against fleas, too.

Borax is great for drying up emerging larvae in the carpet. I don't think it would do much on furniture. I would wash the bedding in very hot water, ideally with bleach, WEEKLY, instead of once a month. I might even just throw it away and get a new bed that can be washed instead. As far as the furniture--I would put down sheets and towels where Bailey sleeps so that they can be washed, rather than letting him go on the furniture that can't be easily washed.

You can certainly give him benadryl--1 mg per pound body weight every 8 hours. It isn't very effective in a really itchy dog--for that he would need oral prednisone. But for now, until you can get him to your regular vet, it is certainly worth a try.
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