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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28930
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My great dane has sores all over her mouth area and a red area

Customer Question

My great dane has sores all over her mouth area and a red area in her pit. What could it be?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
and on one of her paws
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Can you upload photos of representative skin to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as or I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is her front left pit, front left paw and left side of her face.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And I have her in a cone bc I'm afraid her licking will make it worse.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
okay stand by
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the excellent photos. Atopic dermatitis is most likely because of the areas that are affected - her axilla (armpit) muzzle, and face. I suspect that she has been excoriating those areas by rubbing her face on carpet and scratching her axilla with her hind leg. Atopy describes allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites and can be addressed with a prescription corticosteroid such as prednisone or the new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) which works as well as a steroid but without a steroid's adverse effects. Most of these skin lesions will be secondarily infected by bacteria and/or yeast and so it's not unusual for me to prescribe either a systemic antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin for a minimum of 3-4 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs and/or ketoconazole for a month, respectively, as well. To complicate the diagnosis a bit, it's important to note that a food intolerance will cause identical symptoms. Food intolerance isn't nearly as common as atopy, however. For completeness sake, food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. I understand that you didn't come to the site to be told that she needs to see her vet but I don't see any alternative to getting those drugs I mentioned. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay. So my next step should be a live vet for an RX and you think I shoukd switch her food as well? Right now I have her on a raw diet bc that's what I assumed might of been happening.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You can certainly start with a hydrolyzed protein diet and see how it affects her. Food intolerance isn't predicated upon whether the diet is cooked or raw. Intolerance arises due to a specific food allergen. Beef, chicken, corn, wheat, eggs, rice, and soy are the most common of the offending food allergens in dogs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh I see! Okay. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I appreciate it! No need to reply at this time.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin