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Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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My 10 year lab mix has been scratching back hip/flank

Customer Question

My 10 year lab mix has been scratching back hip/flank for a while. Petting today it felt like clumps. I could comb with my fingers and clumps of hair would come out with thick dandruff stuff stuck to it. I combed the area and more hair than normal came out. The skin is red in this area. Smaller than the size of my fist. I swabbed it with 1/2 apple cider vinegar and water mixture.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog 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 and Eddie. I'm sorry that she is an itchy little person at the moment.
Generally what you are describing (the clumps of hair and dandruff) sound very much like what is commonly described as 'paintbrush lesions', basically because when the hair is removed in this way it looks like a mini paintbrush. This is classically the sign of a skin infection, usually bacterial. Skin infections with dogs can be tricky - sometimes they are just that, a skin infection. Sometimes they are secondary to something else - meaning the patient has an underlying condition (for example parasites), they have started scratching, and the skin infection has appeared and caused another problem. Usually we have to treat the skin infection (I usually treat for parasites as well as this is a such a simple treatment) and see what we're left with, if that makes sense.
I think that you definitely need to get some treatment going for Eddie. Starting simple it may be worthwhile bathing the area with an antibacterial shampoo. Sometimes they respond to it nicely, but sometimes you do need to use antibiotic tablets as well - it depends on how deep rooted the infection is. You should be able to get some antibacterial shampoo over the counter at your vets (I would trust this more than the pet store). If possible, I would get a product called Allermyl (but this may be prescription). If you want to avoid a vet visit then ask them for a shampoo that contains Chlorhexidine - they should be able to provide one. I would bathe the area in a dilute solution with the shampoo at least three times a week. Dog shampoos don't lather, so don't expect it to. The key with this type of shampoo is to leave it on the area for between five and ten minutes to let it work before rinsing it off.
I would give it at least a couple of weeks on the shampoo to see if you're getting anywhere. It won't be 100% at the end of the two weeks (skin infections can take a long time to clear) but you should be able to see if it is improving or not. I would also, depending on what parasite control Eddie is on already, treat her with a product that does fleas and mites - Revolution is a good one. To make things complicated, don't bathe her for a couple of days after applying it. If you're not getting anywhere after a couple of weeks I would head to the vets as she probably needs some antibiotic tablets at that point.
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 feel I have helped, please leave a positive rating so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.