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petdrz.
petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7267
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My 9 month old golden is having a similar issue with s under

Customer Question

Hi...My 9 month old golden is having a similar issue with his under belly. It is a rash type of raised pustules. Some look like a pimple in the center, others are still just a bump. Mainly concentrated on his inner thighs up to his groin. I found a dime size area by his arm under arm that has scabbed. Problem is there are so many possibilities for exposures. I just noticed it the other day, but I don't know how long it has been there. If I had to guess, I did notice his start to bite and chew at the area shortly after beginning to swim. His first time in a pool. I figured the chlorine was an irritant so I bathed him..seemed to help but who knows. There is a morning glory bush in the same yard as pool that he loves to rub his entire body on. He eats just about anything he can find..including cat feces. So it is hard to pin point anything. He seems to be lethargic (frequent naps) a lot of days..but it could be normal tiredness. He has had two ear infections. Just treated the second one this week. Could be food. I have been switching his food a lot lately trying to find the perfect food for him and my 13 week old golden to eat together. He seems to have at least an intolerance to chicken..when he was just a pup, for months he had diarrhea. A bland diet of chicken and rice made it worse, I just deduced eventually, it may be chicken..but who knows. He is now eating bison, sweet potatoes, and lamb. The pup is the bison and his is the lamb, but they eat each others. She likes his and he likes hers. I give them eggs sometimes. I have a pine tree in my yard and thus pine needles and pine cones all over. He eats the sticks and pine cones. We go to the dog park almost daily, but always have, and the rash is new. So, not sure? That is all I can think of at the moment. I can provide a close up picture, as well.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Toby today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Did Toby have these lesions when he was seen by your veterinarian for the most recent ear infection?

Does he seem itchy in the area where the lesions are?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He only saw the vet for his first ear infection a couple months ago. I don't believe she would have even noticed them if she did look at his stomach...which I don't recall her doing. I treated his second eat infection with an over the counter. He chews/bites at the area, but not that often...maybe 1-2 times a day.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the reply and I am sorry that you have had to wait for a response. I must have logged off just before you replied.

I am very concerned that Toby is manifesting early signs of a condition called atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema is a long-lasting (chronic) condition that causes itchy inflammation of the skin and ears. It may affect any area, but it is usually affects the face, feet, armpits, trunk, and abdomen. It may be persistent or it may flare periodically and then subside. These can make a dog's skin itch and there may or may not be other skin lesions visible. Itching problems in pets can be difficult to diagnose and the history and response to medications tried are a very important part of figuring out the cause. I know that he is young and you don't have a history of recurrent ear and skin problems yet, but when I see a young dog with a history of 2 ear infections already and now a pyoderma (skin infection), I will definitely warn the owner that this may be a sign of things to come.

Animals with AD have two main problems. The first is an abnormal skin surface (barrier) which leads to sensitive skin. The second is an overactive immune system that reacts to a variety of flare factors. Recognized flare factors include: dry skin, food allergens, parasites (fleas), infection (bacterial or yeast), and environmental allergens, like dust, pollen, molds, etc . When a flare occurs, your pet will itch more and may develop red, flaky, and/or infected skin or ears, as these areas are then invaded by bacteria or yeast. When these bacteria or yeast live there for a long time, the skin can develop secondary lesions and even become blackened and thickened. These secondary infections require a specific treatment to resolve and is separate from therapy to manage the AD. A test called a skin cytology can be done to look for these organisms that cause infection. There are other things to look for on the skin that can make a dog itch and cause skin changes like mange mites and ringworm. Mange mites, particularly demodex, can be a problem in young dogs, so I wuld definitely request your vet to do a skin scraping of those lesions on his belly.

Since he is young, and food allergy has to be a consideration, I would not be making a lot of food changes at this time. A true "elimination diet" to prove a food allergy requires feeding him something he has never seen before. If you offer too many alternatives before a food trial, you may be setting him up for trial failure. My suggestion at this time is to have your vet evaluate his current lesions. If there is bacterial infection, as it sounds like there is, get a skin scrape to rule out demodex and treat with the appropriate antibiotic (oral or topical). Depending or response to treatment and seasonality of his itch or skin lesions, it can be decided if food or environmental allergen trigger needs to be ruled out next.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Would a picture be helpful?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can he just have Staphylococcal Dermatitis & Hypersensitivity caused by a food allergy or perhaps high chlorine from the pool which irritated his skin causing him to lick and bite the area, thus allowing the pathogen to invade in the area. And the ear infections could possibly be unrelated? He does indeed get a lot of baths and swims, which could have allowed excess water in the ear. Or even food allergy, such as corn, can cause ear infections. He doesn't seem to be bothered much by the skin condition, and it is a mild outbreak, and seems to be clearing up. I am just hoping it is an isolated incident.

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