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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7373
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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My dog has a recurring fungal infection on s back

Customer Question

My dog has a recurring fungal infection on his back
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a 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.
Can you better describe the lesions that you are seeing on Buster's back?
How was it diagnosed as a yeast infection? Was a skin cytology performed?
Has Buster been examined by a veterinarian yet for this current breakout?
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 2 years ago.
They start out like little bumps, he bites ar them, losing hair where they not yet to the vet for this outbreak...been spraying with teetree oil
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, the lesions that you describe are not specific for any one type of dermatitis and it is really impossible to tell if they are caused by bacteria, yeast or simply a manifestation of a condition known as atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema is a long-lasting (chronic) condition that causes itchy inflammation of the skin and/or 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.

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 as you describe. 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.

Since AD symptoms can be a seasonal or year round problem, treating them or the secondary infections at any given time, does not mean the signs are gone for good and the symptoms may recur throughout the year. Although there is no cure for AD, it’s symptoms can be treated with a variety of therapies/medications. If recurrences are frequent, the focus must shift to identifying the specific triggers of the allergic reactions with things like skin testing or food trials and then practicing avoidance as best possible.

Treatment for all animals with AD should include:

{C}· 1. Bathing and clipping the hair coat to a short length which helps to decrease exposure and contact to environmental triggers. Bathing with appropriate veterinary shampoos will not dry out the skin and follow up with a humectant like Humilac® to protect skin moisture: Humilac

{C}· 2. Restore the skin's barrier function with nutrients and topical products. A few of the newest topical products that show promise are:

1) Dermoscent® - helps to restore the lipid layer of the skin and helps to maintain it's hydration and normal skin defenses against allergens, especially the barrier function.

2) Allerderm Spot On® - help repair and restore the epidermal (skin) barrier in canine and feline patients suffering from skin disease.

3) Sogeval® DOUXO® Seborrhea Spot-on - helps to restructure the epidermal barrier and control inflammation.

If the tea tree oil is not helping, it would be advisable to have Buster examined so that a diagnosis can be made and an appropriate medication prescribed. IF there is a yeast infection, anti-fungal medications are needed. If a bacterial infection, antibiotics or medicated shampoos can be effective. Since he seems to be experiencing recurrences, care should be taken to make sure whatever is found is treated to resolution and then perhaps focusing on identifying the specific trigger may be helpful to prevent recurrences.

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.

Dr Z

Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Buster. How is everything going?
Dr Z