Dog Veterinary

Ask a dog vet and get answers to your dog health questions

Ask a Dog Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

What can I do to get our golden retrievers skin back to

Hi. What can I do...
Hi. What can I do to get our golden retrievers skin back to normal. He itches/scratches ALL the time and we have given him the cortizone from the vet numerous times but I hate giving it to him all the time. He is almost 10 now and I do not want to stress his kidneys. He has been dealing with this for about 6years and now his skin is black on his chest, under his neck, hi private area is dark black and he use to have beautiful skin. We have had golden's before but they NEVER had a skin problem. Can you please tell me how to help him? I am attaching a pic. Thank you.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/17/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,251
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question

I'm sorry to hear of this with Buddy, Chuck. Thank you for the pic. It demonstrates post-inflammatory pigmentation as well as chronic changes in the skin termed lichenification (thickened, leatherly) and elephant skin (self-explanatory). It's common to find a heavy population of yeast (Malassezia) in this black skin as well.

You've asked a symptom question but the answer is anything but simple. Most important, you've going to need to find a vet who doesn't simply throw a glucocorticoid (steroid/"cortizone") at such a patient which will only worsen the bacterial and yeast infection I would expect to find in Buddy's skin. Thje most expedient manner in which to address him is to have a specialist veterinary dermatologist (www.acvd.org) attend to him. I'm going to post my entire synopsis of the pruritic dog for you so you can see all of the things I need to consider in such a patient. Take you time perusing it. There's a lot of information to absorb. After perusal, please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Pruritic (itchy) dogs are suffering from an allergic dermatitis in the great majority of cases. Allergies to flea saliva, environmental allergens (atopic dermatitis) such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, and foods should be considered. (Paw and extremity licking indicates both atopy and a food intolerance and so it behooves vets to distinguish one from another.) In many instances, a concomitant pyoderma (bacterial skin infection), yeast infection (Malassezia), or mange mite (Demodex or Sarcoptes) might be contributory.

Buddy's vet can check a sample of Buddy's skin surface microscopically (a “cytology”) for abnormal numbers of bacteria and yeast and skin scrapings can be taken in an attempt to find mites. Pyoderma is treated with a minimum of 3-4 weeks of an antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin (Keflex) plus antimicrobial shampoos containing either chlorhexidine or benzoyl peroxide and yeast is addressed with ketoconazole plus shampoos containing either ketoconazole, miconazole, or clotrimazole for at least a month.

Our dermatologists tell us to provide one of the newer prescription products available from Buddy'svet even if fleas aren’t seen. Over the counter products containing imidocloprid (Advantage, e.g.) or fipronil (Frontline, e.g.) may be ineffective because many populations of fleas have developed resistance to those chemicals. Consider products containing a different class of insecticide such as Bravecto, NexGard, Simparica, Comfortis, and Vectra. Dogs can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Dogs who remain primarily indoors can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. As the weather warms or you turn on heaters at this time of year, egg hatches are common. If the area between the edge of Buddy's rib cage and tail (the “saddle” area) is particularly excoriated, a flea saliva allergy should be the most important differential diagnosis. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription glucocorticoid (steroid) such as prednisone will work wonders for dogs allergic to the saliva of the flea. If you have other pets they may have fleas too but may not be allergic to the flea’s saliva. Be sure to treat your premises with an over the counter area treatment spray that contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) such as Siphotrol Area Treatment Spray containing the IGR methoprene. The IGRs don't allow flea eggs and larvae to develop into adult fleas and so the life cycle of the flea is broken.

Environmental allergies (atopy) are usually initially addressed with prednisone as well. In some dogs an over the counter antihistamine such as clemastine (Tavist) at a dose of 0.025 - 0.75mg/lb twice daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily (maximum dose of 50 mg at any one time) may be effective. Antihistamines, however, aren’t reliably effective. Adding fish oil to the diet at a dose of 20mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil might synergize with antihistamines to provide better anti-pruritic action. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are antiinflammatory but may take 8-12 weeks to kick in. The new oral immunotherapy using the cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) is likely to revolutionize how we address atopic dogs and should be discussed with Buddy's vet. Oclacitinib works as well as a steroid without a steroid's adverse effects. The new injectable immunotherapy with the monoclonal antibody IL-31 should also be discussed with his vet. Please note that atopy, at least initially, should have a seasonality to it while a food intolerance should cause pruritis regardless of the season. Chronically atopic dogs may be pruritic year round.

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 Buddy's 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 Buddy's vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. (I prefer the hydrolyzed protein diets because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein.) 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.

We need to consider seborrhea in such a patient as well. This is skin disorder of keratinization and maturation. It's a diagnosis of exclusion of the above mentioned skin disorders and can be suggested by skin biopsy.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question

errata: (steroid/"cortizone")

The prescription foods are available from Buddy's vet.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you for the in depth response. Buddy went for 6 years with perfect skin and he has never had a flew problem. One summer we used a commercial yard company to treat for chinch bugs and mole crickets ( we usually spread it ourselves) and that's the summer his skin started changing color and he started itching. We have never been bitten by fleas form him and never infested from buddy. We bath him regularly and use a calming oatmeal shampoo and use an anti itch spray to try to help him. We have also used Benadryl when the cortisone is out which gives temporary relief. We cannot afford to spend a lot of money on treatments and have spent a lot already. I just hate that he has to go through this and we keep trying to find just the right thing to help him. I was trying to think of a topical ointment or cream that would help him that he cannot lick off. We also thought about trying some of the dog food from pet smart that are SO very different from the regular dog foods we buy. Buddy eats purina dog chow. Any suggestions?? Thanks again. (. Buddy's coat is beautiful on the top of his body. His tail, his head, his upper coat are just gorgeous. This is ALL underneath. The strangest thing.

Topical ointments/creams will be impractical for such an extensive skin condition. Instead, bathing him in an antimicrobial shampoo containing chlorhexidine + miconazole, ketoconazole, or clotrimazole twice weekly should be helpful. You should be able to find such a shampoo over the counter by googling. Malaseb is a good choice but usually requires a prescription from an attending vet. As for foods, if you want to see if a food intolerance has arisen, please note that food intolerance/allergy is best 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 Buddy's 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 his 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 because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). 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 my patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. You might find such a food at PetSmart. Look for a hydrolyzed protein one. If you can't find a hydrolyzed protein one look for a novel protein one containing a protein Buddy never ingested before. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,251
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Hi Chuck,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a dog veterinarianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,251
34,251 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie

Dog Veterinarian

904 satisfied customers

Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

16,147 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dog Veterinarian

10,315 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

10,063 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

9,615 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

9,533 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Rebecca

Rebecca

Dog Veterinarian

8,299 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Veterinary Questions
Chronic yeast infections. Old English sheep dog. Ears have
old English sheep dog. Ears have turn black again inside. head is orange. then turns crusty black. treatment from vet, does not work. I am now trying vinegar solution. I shampoo with a medicated shampoo, but he is miserable. I think he needs a different food. … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
Excessive licking of paws, shaking and scratching ears.
Excessive licking of paws, shaking and scratching ears. Seems to be worse when comes in from outside … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
2,689 satisfied customers
My golden retriever is not eating and is having weakness in
My golden retriever is not eating and is having weakness in her back legs. When I took her out last she collapsed and the I had to carry her up the steps. Lymph nodes around her neck are swollen. I'm … read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinary Degree (BVMS)
3,479 satisfied customers
My dog has a yeast infection in her ears and on her skin.
My dog has a yeast infection in her ears and on her skin. Can I give her AZO yeast pills? … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
714 satisfied customers
My 5 month old American Bulldog had yeast infection in her
Hi, my name is ***** ***** my 5 month old American Bulldog had yeast infection in her ears, I took her to the vet and she gave me some cleaning solution and medicine for her ears and they got better. … read more
Dr. Leah Hill
Dr. Leah Hill
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary medicine
657 satisfied customers
11 YEAROLD GOLDEN RETRIEVER JUST STARTED TO SCRATCH AND
11 YEAROLD GOLDEN RETRIEVER JUST STARTED TO SCRATCH AND SHED. I AM ALSO SEEING HIS RFEAR LEGS SHAKE … read more
Richard Rawling
Richard Rawling
Veterinary Surgeon
BVMS
784 satisfied customers
My dog has a large growth between her paw pads. It's larger
My dog has a large growth between her paw pads. It's larger than the pads itself now. … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
2,689 satisfied customers
She has a yeast infection under her arms, a small area under
She has a yeast infection under her arms, a small area under her belly and on the insides of her rear legs. I have already seen a dermatologist (vet) who gave me fluconazole tabs, as well as miconahex… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
Recurring yeast infection and what may be a bacterial
Recurring yeast infection and what may be a bacterial infection on her belly … read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
969 satisfied customers
She has a rather large growth on her behind about egg size.
she has a rather large growth on her behind about egg size. it grew over a yr period , dosent seem to hurt. … read more
Heath Wilkerson
Heath Wilkerson
ER/ICU & Exotic Animal Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
415 satisfied customers
I have a six-year-old golden retriever who constantly licks
I have a six-year-old golden retriever who constantly licks at his feet and he has gotten one of his feet raw Can you suggest something that might help heal it as well as keep him from licking it. Tha… read more
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
9 satisfied customers
My 6 year old Golden Retriever's left metacarpal pad is
My 6 year old Golden Retriever's left metacarpal pad is swollen. She has had a number of immune issues in the past- from bacterial infections to allergies, lyme disease, and worms when we first got he… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
For how need to be treated yeast infections, my dog is been
For how long need to be treated yeast infections, my dog is been smell bad for four month, vet give me med shampoo and I put him on grain free diet but it is still same … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
He is a 40# standard Poodle with a yeast infection on his
He is a 40# ***** Poodle with a yeast infection on his skin. My husband put full strength tea Tree oil on his head, where the yeast is the worst. Then he read it was toxic to dogs. He did shampoo him … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
714 satisfied customers
How can you tell if your dog has a yeast infection in their
How can you tell if your dog has a yeast infection in their paw? It looks red between her toes and she won't stop licking it. It, therefore, stays wet. Thank you! Kathy … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
We have a rat terrier with a yeast infection on her face.
We have a rat terrier with a yeast infection on her face. She keeps getting worse and she can't be on steroids all of the time. Can we use vagisil? … read more
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dog Veterinarian
10,315 satisfied customers
I think my puggle has a yeast infection in one of his paws.
Hi Pearl, I think my puggle has a yeast infection in one of his paws. He licks and bites it like it itches and it has become quite red. I've tried soaking the infected paw in a mix of water and Betadi… read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
9,533 satisfied customers
Think she may have a yeast infection, she Labernese with
Hi! Think she may have a yeast infection, she Labernese with webbing on feet and is chewing in the webbing and ears smell a little. She just finished antibiotics for a UTI she is 11 months old. … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
34,251 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x