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Dr. Vicky Lamb
Dr. Vicky Lamb, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 892
Experience:  15 years small animal veterinarian
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Bichon Frise skin sores

Resolved Question:

My bichon frise has too many scabby sores all over his body. His blood work and urine test results ruled out diabetes and another common disease I can't remember the name. Anyway, I feel responsible for the cause of it because I bathed him during the first six months after I rescued him and it made his skin so dry and flaky and then the sores started. I don't know if I can afford a pet dermatologist at this point but I wonder if there are other options I can explore so my dog's sores will heal. thank you.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Vicky Lamb replied 11 years ago.

Has there been any improvement on the antibiotic?

What antibiotic are you using, and what is the dose?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vicky Lamb's Post: Dr. Vicky,
I will get back to you tomorrow because I don't know the name of the antibiotic. The sores are all scabby now - but some are really huge that it really scares me. I am really frustrated but I can't afford a dermatologist - my Veterinarian recommended that I take him to a dermatologist. I am wondering if he's allergic to something esp. food - I feed him Science Diet chicken or beef but he eats a lot of treats.
I would appreciate all your help, Dr. Vicky.
Expert:  Dr. Vicky Lamb replied 11 years ago.

Ok, I will be available tomorrow afternoon, and will get back to you once you know the antibiotic. Let me know when you started it and if he is still on it.

I will discuss food allergies with you also--we really should try something other than Science Diet. Many dogs are allergic to that, as it has a lot of corn in it. I would try to find a diet that has no corn or wheat in it.

Here are a few options: Canidae, Natural Balance, Innova, Nature's Variety Prairie. There are more, I can give you a longer list so you will have some choices. I definately think we need to get him off the Science Diet. We also need to get him off any treats with wheat or corn in them for a short time also to determine if he has food allergies.

Has your vet done skin scrapings to check for mange and fungal cultures to check for ringworm? If not, these really need to be done also.

Will talk more with you tomorrow...

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vicky Lamb's Post: Hi Dr. Vicky,
Here's the medication that my dog took :
Winter was on Simplicef (100 grams)1/2 tablet a day in April for 2 weeks and another 2 weeks in May. He was also given Derm Caps for his skin but nothing has changed, really. Thanks again!
Expert:  Dr. Vicky Lamb replied 11 years ago.

Simplecef is a good skin antibiotic, so it should help IF there is a bacterial infection. The problem might be that it was not given long enough to make a difference. Most infections are cured in two weeks, but deep infections take up to 2 months of treatment.

The first thing I might do is a skin biopsy. This can be done by your regular vet, and it can be done with a local anesthetic, so your dog won't need to be put under a general anesthetic. That way we can tell if this is just an infection, perhaps secondary to an allergy or other skin disorder, or if it is something different that requires different therapy. I would also make sure to do some skin scrapings to check for mange and check for ringworm by doing a fungal culture.

In the mean time, I would put your dog BACK on Simplecef (or a similar antibiotic), and put him on it for a minimum of 4-6 weeks if we have a bacterial infection. I would also do medicated baths with Chlorhexiderm shampoo. Your vet may carry this or you can order it online. It also helps in cases of ringworm. Here is a site you can buy it at:

The baths need to be given twice weekly, and you can put on a conditioner afterwards or use a conditioning spray as needed. I've found this doesn't dry out the skin much, and is pretty gentle (2% strength). You need to let the lather soak on his skin for 10 minutes.

I would also change his diet as I mentioned above. My favorites are Canidae and Natural Balance. Change over the food slowly so he gets used to the new stuff. If you go too fast, he will get diarrhea.

See if your vet will do the above tests for you (unless they have been done). He should have a biopsy, skin scraping, and fungal culture.

As an aside, I just treated a Bichon for ringworm. He developed scabs all over his head that did not go away with antibiotics. He got the sores after going to a groomer. Turns out it was ringworm, but looked more like a bacterial infection. He was treated with creams and shampoo, but it took 3 months to resolve. So, make sure your vet has done the test for ringworm! You just never know!

I would also want you to keep him on the fish oil. That is very good for the skin.

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