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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21267
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Dog had specks all over back. Washed with flea/tick shampoo

Customer Question

Dog had white specks all over back. Washed with flea/tick shampoo and used Frontline. Now, noticed white specks just on her neck (all over), and when petting, realized there are white crusty scabs in spots on her neck. Not sure if this is same problem or caused by overdoing the flea/tick shampoo on her neck. Looked in ears, because she is now shaking her head a bit, and brown wax build up all over. She never had a problem with brown wax before...and never an ear problem. Only saw the white specks on her and the crusty piles of scabs on her neck. She is a dark brown dog, so hard to see if any black specks or anything dark on her. Never saw anything move at any point. My other dog, he is white, is now shaking his head a little. I have noticed black spots in his fur. Both dogs, no itching apparent. I am freaking out if it is contagious and whether it is an infection or dust mites or fleas, etc. Now I think I am itching... Worried.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Sweetie, and she is fourteen. In great shape otherwise, except some hearing loss.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sweetie,?
Customer: No. Just that there were so many white specks on her neck and back suddenly and I thought I saw black specks on my white dog, so I bathed her in the tick/flea shampoo. But her neck looks like the white, raised crusty patches are slightly more toward the back of her ear on the neck, as opposed to the middle of the neck. It seems like they are dried and breaking apart. The crusty scabs are on the hair shaft where the hair meets the neck skin. To see one, I had to slide it off the piece of hair, and a little climp of hair came with it. The crusts don't just fall off.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she has these skin changes?

Is she scratching herself or her ears since these signs appeared?

Do you use any other flea treatment besides a shampoo? How often do you use it?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
White specks all over the back started about 2 months ago. Then I gave flea tick shampoo. My other dog Freaked out with that shampoo so I stopped using that. I also use spray on tick flea stuff from Hartz. It seemed good for like a week, but still very mild white flakes on the back and top of head. And then I noticed after petting her right down to the skin on her neck that she had developed some crusty scabs at the hairline in a certain area, like a big little area on the back of her neck behind the ear there were like white flakes several of them with crusty scabs at the hair shaft, but they look to be dried and breaking up. Today they seem to be almost gone, but still there, like 7 of them. She has been to the dog park Recently, back at around the time this stuff all started as well. She also was in a pond at the park that I didn't like the water and made her get out although she was in it for a while and at least drink some of it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is a scab in the hair shaft.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Apologies for my delay, I was called to an emergency which did delay my return.
Now based on all you have reported and the photos, it looks like we have a staphylococcus pyoderma. This is a bacterial infection that is often secondary to other issues. In this case and with the other dog having black specks ( flea dirt) I suspect fleas have triggered this. So we need to keep them up to date on treatment.
Though since we have brown ear discharge ( possibly an infection but potentially ear mites) you would be best using a better quality product the Hartz. Really we'd want to use a multi species anti-parasitic like revolution/stronghold or Advantage multi. These will help with both fleas and mites and make sure she is clear.

Otherwise, if she has a few of these crusty lesions just now, you can salt water bathe these and the apoly OTC antibiotic cream. And if she if very itchy, you can give a low dose of Benadryl/ Diphenhydramine (0.5 mg per pound of her weight every 12 hours) as well. Finally since dander can also be due to low essential fatty acids (EFA) in the skin, you can also try her an OTC fish oil or EFA supplement to help the skin heal quicker.

Overall her signs raise a few concerns. Fleas mmaty have started this but there appears to be bacteria playng a role now. So we'd use the above to see if we can settle her. Though if they don't, we'd want a check with her vet for systemic treatment to nip this in the bud
Best regards,
Dr. B