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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16873
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 10-month old dachshund has a pin that has a red ring

Customer Question

My 10-month old dachshund has a pin prick mark that has a red ring around it. It is itchy, but not driving her crazy. She spent a lot of time outside with me yesterday in leaves and among bushes and trees. No fever, behavior normal, eating and drinking normal. How should I treat?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

I understand that you are concerned about an itchy pinprick itchy mark Abby has on her after playing outside yesterday.

Does your pup's lesion look like those in the link below?

If so this sounds very much like a surface pyoderma or skin infection lesion. It may be secondary to an allergy or a surface wound that became infected. Certainly flea allergy or a reaction to an insect/spider bite or sting could cause these type of lesion too.

If she isn't on any type of flea and tick control she should be this time of year as fleas are looking for a warm animal to catch a ride on. Frontline Plus, Advantix or the new Seresto flea and tick collar are excellent. Don't use over the counter products, especially Hartz or Sargents, as most are ineffective if not toxic.

Other less possible causes would be a fungal infection or, a demodex or sarcoptic mite infection.

If she is licking a lot I would recommend placing an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking the area so she cannot further traumatize her skin.

You can also shave the involved area if there is a lot of hair in the area as that will allow it to dry out better.

In case this is an allergy related skin problem to relieve the itchy skin you can give:

1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with acetaminophen or decongestants as they can be toxic to dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one half of a 25mg capsule per 8-15 pounds of dog orally every 8 hours.

OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 25 pound dog once or twice daily.

OR 3)Hydroxyzine at 1mg per pound orally every 8 hours.

OR 4) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily.

OR 5) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at 1/2 mg per pound of body weight orally every 24 hours. That would be one 10mg tablet per 20 pounds of body weight. Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because dogs cannot tolerate decongestants.

Some dogs do better on one antihistamine rather than another. You'll have to see which one works. Give whichever one you pick a week to 10 day trial and if it isn't working try another. Be aware antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.

Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give her 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example a 10 pound dog could take 100mg of EPA per day.

Use a solution mix of Betadine solution (povidine iodine solution) and warm water, made to look like weak tea, and clean the affected area twice daily. This is an antibacterial and will dry the lesion out to allow them to heal. It does stain horribly though so you probably want to do this outside or in a laundry tub. Betadine solution is available over the counter at the drug store, if in doubt ask the pharmacist for help.

If she is no better in 4 to 5 days then she really must see a veterinarian for an examination, some diagnostics and possibly some oral antibiotics.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.
Hi Georgia,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Abby. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My Abby is doing fine. The ring went away. She's been on both Frontline Advance and heart guard. She's my baby and I'm more than a little protective. I tend to over worry about any little thing with her because she's so my BFF! Thank you sooo much for your fast response and professional advice. I'm keeping ur response because the info is very valuable for future reference!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the update on Abby.

Given that things resolved so quickly I suspect what you saw then was related to a minor allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting. I'm glad to hear that she came along so well on her own.