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Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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My dog is red all over and ichy

Customer Question

My dog is red all over and ichy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your boy. How long has he been red and itchy for? What has he been doing today if this occurred all of a sudden?

I will wait to hear from you.

Dr E

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's been an ongoing thing since he turned 1. I took him to the vet and they gave me shampoo and steroids then it comes back. I took him to the animal hospital because he scratched his eye and the told me to take him to a dermatologist for dogs they want $500. He does not have any bugs and has not been anywhere.
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thanks for your reply. There are a number of possible causes for his redness and itchiness and I'll run you through some of these. We also have to consider external parasites even though you can't see them. I am typing up a response now and will have this with you in the next 5 minutes or so.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was tested with a skin scrape and there is no sign of that. And he smells sour
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Great to hear he has had a skin scrape. I will still recommend ongoing flea prevention. The sour smell could be yeast or bacterial. I will have a reply with you in 5 minutes or so.

Dr E

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you able to give meds?
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Can I prescribe meds? No - you need to see your local vet for this. I will mention a couple of over the counter products you can try in the meantime however.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know of a service that I can talk to and that can give meds
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again - to get a prescription for your dog, a full physical examination must be undertaken, so there isn't anywhere online that will legally do this for you.

Did you want me to complete an answer with over the counter ideas?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. As above - no prescriptions can be given out for dogs without a full veterinary examination, so you will definitely need to follow up with your local vet again. This will give you some ideas on what to follow up on however. Your boy's skin sounds very red, very itchy and it must be pretty frustrating for the both of you. As you may have already discussed with your local vet, there are a number of possible causes for this and we definitely have to consider the possibility of an allergy of some description here.

Firstly - you need to make sure that your boy is definitely up to date with flea control. Make sure you are using a flea product appropriate for his weight. Even if you cannot see any fleas on him doesn't mean there are one or two lurking and oftentimes this is all it takes for a dog with flea allergy dermatitis. In your boy's case it does sounds like he may have an underlying allergy of some sort with secondary infection, however this could also be caused by parasites or fungi (ringworm or yeast).

Basically dogs are allergic to four main things - food, fleas, grasses/plants (contact allergy) or environmental allergens (canine atopy - the dog version of ezcema). Flea allergies are avoided by strict flea control - every 4 weeks with Advantage or Advantage Multi or every 6 weeks with Frontline. You must also ensure any other cats or dogs in the household are treated at the same time. It is great you have had a skin scraping done as that will rule out mites, however I would still recommend ongoing monthly treatment with an appropriate flea/mite treatment as a preventative, particularly so in case your boy is allergic to flea saliva (flea bite allergy dermatitis).

Contact allergies are best treated by avoidance of the plants that are to blame, but identifying the exact cause of a contact allergy can be very hard. A referral to a canine skin specialist may be the way to go in your dog's case for either a skin patch test or a blood allergen test. It sounds like your vet has already recommended this, and while it is expensive, given your boy's age and degree of symptoms, this really is a possibility here.

As above, the skin scrape your vet has done has thankfully helped to rule out both Demodex (less itchy) or Sarcoptes mites (VERY itchy). Do continue ongoing with a flea/mite treatment as discussed above.

Ongoing, you should also use a medicated shampoo that will deal with both yeast and bacteria, and the product Malaseb is the most ideally suited for this. Given the smell you are getting from your boy, a superficial yeast and or bacterial infection is more than likely. The Malaseb requires you to make a lather and leave this lather on for 10 minutes before washing off! For many clients this is easier said that done, but it is SO important. You should be able to get this shampoo from your local vet without an issue and it will help with the smell. If there is a bad infection present, then your boy likely will need some antibiotics, and to get these you will need to have a consultation with your local vet in order to see if there is bacteria present (via cytology) and if so - which antibiotic is the most suitable. Finally - you could try some benadryl for your boy. The typical dose is 1mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. This is effective in around 40 - 50% of dogs with this type of symptom. You can read more about the use of benadryl in dogs online here: http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/diphenhydramine-benadryl/page1.aspx

I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already done all of that. He does not have fleas your answer was not helpful at all.
http://f01.justanswer.com.s3.amazonaws.com/fiD11N6A/1474261021333-1775924256.jpg
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all. I'll opt out so someone else can help you.

Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear that your dog is uncomfortable and I am glad you are taking care of fleas as my colleague mentioned this is a common reason that dogs can be itchy and uncomfortable. Another common reason is allergies. Just like people, dogs can have indoor and outdoor allergies and the best recommendation that I can make is one you;ve already heard- consult a veterinary dermatologist. In the meantime, you can try an over the counter antihistamine such as benadryl (1-2 milligrams per pound orally up to three times a day) to see if this helps. Other medications used for allergies are steroids which must be prescribed by your veterinarian as the can have significant side effects and should be monitored carefully. If there is a seasonality to the itchiness then he most likely has environmental allergies, if there is not then he probably has both indoor and outdoor allergies.

Another type of allergies that he may have are food allergies and most dogs with this issue will have a combination of indoor, outdoor and food allergies.

Food allergies can be tricky to figure out unless you have him tested but there are several limits ingredient diets out there that can be used. He should be put on a diet that has a single carbohydrate and single protein source and fed this diet and only this diet for 8-12 weeks. It can take this long for his system to clear the allegens and for the reaction to go away. Another option is a hydrolyzed diet such as z/d or HA but these re available by prescription through your veterinarian.

He may also have a contact allergy and be reacting to something he is coming into contact with such as laundry detergent, a certain fabric (polyester, wool, etc) or cleaning products. I had a dog that was allergic to wool once and when I figured it out and took the wool blankets away, his skin rash cleared up.

Does this help you a little?