How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rosie_MRCVS Your Own Question

Rosie_MRCVS
Rosie_MRCVS, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 809
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of eight years in small animal practice in England
40862463
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Rosie_MRCVS is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog has develop dry, scaly patches all over its body. She

Resolved Question:

My dog has develop dry, scaly patches all over its body. She has been to the vet & been diagnosed as possible auto immune disease. The next step is to have her put to sleep and a swab taken. As this is going to be quite costly I have researched alternatives and in America they sell a product called Immugen which helps the dog's immune system. I am unable to buy them unless I live in America. Is there an alternative to this available in Aust or do you have any other advice.
\
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you. Skin diseases can be one of the most frustrating things to treat so I can certainly understand how you feel about your little one.

As with most things there are a number of ways to treat your dogs condition. As a general rule, the sort of skin disease that causes dry scaly patches are caused by one of three things - infection, parasites or allergy. Patients can be allergic to pretty much anything, but the main culprits are pollens, housedust mites, food and fleas. Flea allergy tends to be around the tail area, but apart from that all of them can look the same - which is one of the most frustrating things about skin conditions. A rather rare condition, which I think may be the one your vet is referring to, is pemphigus. This is where the patient's own immune system attacks their skin, causing problems. This is a rare condition.

While the best practice is to get a concrete diagnosis, and swabbing would be part of that, if you want to avoid the cost of this (which I certainly understand) then there are other things which you can do. Skin infections need long courses of antibiotics, sometimes stretching into two months worth of treatment. One option would be to treat your little one with a longer course of antibiotics to see if that helps. As you wouldn't know for sure the cause of the problem without a swab this may not work, but it is something I would definitely be discussing with you if I saw you at my clinic.

I would combine this with a parasite treatment (usually selamectin, which is either called Stronghold or Revolution depending on which country you are in). Before you use it you must be sure that your little one doesn't have heartworm.

If it is an allergy (or pemphigus for that matter) then these usually respond very well to steroids. Best practice would be to identify what your little one is allergic to (usually with blood tests or tests on the skin itself) so you can either avoid it or start desensitisation. However, this can be an expensive route and quite a lot of my clients cannot afford this. For these patients, a short course of steroids (usually prednisolone) can help. There are side effects associated with this so the aim is to use a short a course as possible. If the clinical signs return once the steroids have finished then you (and your vet) need to find the lowest effective dose, and keep your little one on that.

I know that there isn't any information about Immugen in this answer, but in my experience products like that aren't particularly effective. I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just hit 'reply' and I will get them and get back to you. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please click 'accept'. Good luck, Rosie.
Rosie_MRCVS, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 809
Experience: BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of eight years in small animal practice in England
Rosie_MRCVS and 6 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1656
    12 years of small animal veterinary medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1451
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1306
    35 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1889
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • /img/icons/shirt.jpg Dr. Jenn's Avatar

    Dr. Jenn

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1225
    Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.