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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15135
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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About two months ago, my 9 year old golden-doodle developed

Customer Question

About two months ago, my 9 year old golden-doodle developed scabby crust around his mouth. He had been scratching, too. He has been prone to ear infections his whole life. The vet I took him to said it was allergy based and we took some meds and a steroid shot. They shaved the area around the mouth and it has finally healed. However, during this time, he had been doing severe licking of his legs and chest. When we took him to the doctor, again, they shaved and did laser treatment on the chest area because it was so bad!! More meds and most of the time wearing a cone to prevent licking. We ended up doing an allergy test and found out that the quality food we had been giving him for years....he is allergic to....along with many other things. No corn, rice , soybeans or salmon. Hard to find food but we switched ten days ago to a legume and wagyu beef formula. He likes it! He is still on antibiotics and is still developing new sores. Because he is white, I can often see a dark purplish/black spot under his skin which will ooze out into a crusty black mess! The ears, head, and face get the most, but he gets them in other spots, too! We are so frustrated! He smells like death....rotting flesh, even after a bath. His neck holds a lot of moisture when he drinks, as he has many folds and it has been slow to heal. How can we continue to heal our dog, or is it time to make that dreaded decision! We have invested a lot of money into him but feel like something is being overlooked! Any suggestions to combat odor and encourage healing? I have been doing a lot or reading....... Please help!!!!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: He had been perfectly healthy up until 2 months ago! Apparently it has been a bad year for pet allergies here in Michigan!
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear about all the problems your dog is having. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

If his underlying problem is allergies, then treating for allergies might help his skin to heal. The new allergy drug Apoquel has helped many dogs. About 80% of allergic dogs respond to this prescription medication, and you know if it is going to help them in a matter of days. Unfortunately, about 20% of dogs are not helped by Apoquel.

There is also the possibility that this is more than allergies, such as an autoimmune skin disease such as pemphigus or lupus. If a skin biopsy has not bee done, that might be a good idea.

The supplements that help some dogs with allergies are nettles, quercetin, anti oxidants, fish oil, and vitamin E. As with the Apoquel, what works for one dog does not help the next.

Bathing in oatmeal shampoo may help with the odor and the itching.

Sometimes when there is purplish dark skin discoloration it is a sign of secondary yeast infection. The underlying problem is still allergies, but treating for yeast can help with the smell. Shampoos containing ketoconazole and Triz EDTa may help. In severe cases, oral anti yeast medication like fluconazole may help.

I would consider seeing a veterinary dermatologist, and consider doing skin biopsies.

Let me know what other questions I can answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I did not respond sooner! The server my email is through was down Thursday until this morning!!! I did purchase an anti fungal shampoo yesterday that I am planning on using today! He is eating and drinking normally. His purple spots are up to an inch long under his skin and are blood filled. They will eventually leak out and go away. I suspect an auto immune issue as well. In the past two months I have put a lot of money into him....and really don't have a lot of money to keep investing. What are some economical things that may help my boy?? I have been doing a lot of research and definitely think yeast may be the stink culprit!!! How long does the shampoo take to work? How often is safe to bathe him?? He stinks so bad but he still sleeps next to me!
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

If this an autoimmune issue, he will need prescription medication so having a biopsy done might be a good idea.

Yeast is a secondary infection in most cases; if you just treat the yeast the problem keeps coming back until you find and address the underlying conditoin (allergies, autoimmune).

It is always best to get a diagnosis, then you know what you are treating.

I already listed my ideas of things to try at home above, as far as being economical, but he may need prescription medication such as Apoquel if this is from allergies.

You can bathe daily or every other day in the yeast (ketoconazole) or oatmeal shampoo. What is in your shampoo?

Let me know if this is helpful and what other questions I can answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband feels that administering Frontline corresponded with the decreased health. I assume this could also be a result of a compromised immune system....we won't be administering further doses at this time.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Frontline is not absorbed into the body or blood stream and only works on the surface of the skin so I am not sure how it could affect the immune system.

I would still consider a skin biopsy to try to get a diagnosis, so you know what you are treating.

Can you post a picture of these lesions?

If this helpful, please let me know, and let me know how he is doing.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I did not hear back from you; I hope you were able to see my response! How is he doing?