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Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Owner of a small animal clinic and an ear/skin clinic 35 years
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My 13 year old collie/golden mix has been having skin problems

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My 13 year old collie/golden mix has been having skin problems for over a year. She has been to the vet several times and prescribed antibiotics and a steroid. The skin will begin to clear while on antibiotics, but as soon as they are finished, the rash comes back. She is missing large patches of fur on her sides and underbelly. At the current time, she has a red rash in all areas with some dry skin and healing lesions on her sides. Any suggestions?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Hi. I'm Dr. Gotthelf. I have been a vet for 35 years and I would like to use my experience to help you with your pet's medical problem.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

At her age, there may be some type of problem in her immune system causing this recurrent skin infection. Sometimes this is caused from a food sensitivity. Ask your vet if a hypoallergenic food trial for 6 weeks would be helpful.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

There are some dogs that just have a bacterial infection of the skin without us knowing why. In many of these dogs, we will use long term antibiotics (for months) as well as pulsing the antibiotic therapy (giving it on the weekends only or on a week on-week off basis). There are many veterinary dermatologists that are using topical disinfectants more and more. Chlorhexidine sprays and even bleach solutions (1:30 dilution) really help to disinfect the skin without having to use so many antibiotics.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

SOme dogs that are on steroids will keep a chronic infection of the skin. If that is the case, an alternative drug, like cyclosporine, may be needed.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Sometimes, the vet will want to do a bacterial culture and antibiotic susceptibility test. This will tell them if the antibiotic that they are using is killing the bacteria or if it is just slowing the growth. If there are more than one bacteria causing the skin infection, one antibiotic may not be as good as using 2 antibiotics specifically to kill each of the bacteria.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Susan,

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

Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I will follow- up with vet. In the meantime, I have changed her diet to hypoallergenic for a trial period. Thanks for your help.
Keep me posted and I will answer any follow up questions you may have.