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Dog Skin Rash Treatment

by Tracey Friesland
(Bossier City, LA)

Dog Skin Rash Picture

Dog Skin Rash Picture

Reader Question: My shih-tzu Ernie developed a dog skin rash about 3 months ago. The vet said it was a staph infection and prescribed antibiotics.


The dog skin rash started clearing up. Then before he was finished with the antibiotics, the rash came back. Then the vet prescribed a stronger antibiotic for 21 days with a steroid spray. 14 days into it, the rash was nearly gone. Then it started coming back and now is worse than ever. He's limping now.

The rash, which began on his back, is now on his stomach and all over. He licks it constantly and his hair is falling out. He's very lethargic and it seems as though these dog skin rashes are killing him. I've spent tons of money so far and cannot afford to keep taking him to the vet. I don't know what to do.

Editor Suggestions Dog Skin Rashes:

Dear Tracey,

Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about the dog skin rashes and the difficulty you have had. Hopefully some of these tips/suggestions can help.

Recurring dog skin problems that have a clear diagnosis of bacterial infections, like in this case a Staph infection, indicates some type of serious underlying cause such as some type of endocrinal disease.

Infections which are the result of another problem in the body are referred to as secondary infections. These types of dog skin infections may cause classical lesions, alopecia (dog hair loss), itching and discomfort to an affected dog, while the underlying cause, (most probably a progressive endocrine disease) does not cause notable symptoms, other than recurring and developing dog skin problems.

Though it is not confirmed, this is the most suitable logic assumed in such cases. For such conditions, it is always recommended that the dog skin infection and symptoms should be addressed at first with antimicrobial therapy (preferably by Cephalexin) followed by a preventive antifungal therapy (preferably by ketaconazole/itraconazole).

Such conditions usually do not resolve with only the systemic/oral administration of antibiotics. Dog skin lesions should be reduced by using medicated shampoos and steroidal sprays. For this purpose we suggest TropiClean Oxymed Oatmeal Shampoo and Sergeant's Hydrocortisone Spray.

Similarly, along with the local and systemic therapies mentioned, supporting the dogs skin and immune health is necessary with the use of a local skin antiseptic and cosmetic spray such as Fungisan (for hair regrowth and skin) and natural remedies such as Skin and Coat Tonic.

Hygienic measures should be improved and the dog should be bathed regularly and kept in a clean and hygienic environment. Additionally, prevent the dog from licking and chewing the skin by using an e-collar such as the collars offered by Pet Botanics, because licking will not only cause a worsening of the dog skin lesions, but it can also cause systemic health problems for your pet by ingesting microbes that are found over the skin surface.

Since, your dog has been treated with antibiotics earlier, it is required that any response to antimicrobial drugs should be closely monitored in terms of response to frequency, dosage and any required improvements.

Once, the skin symptoms start to resolve and your dog starts to feel better in terms of overall health (physiology), you should take your dog for detailed laboratory tests, preferably an endocrinal examination. The condition confirmed at that stage should be treated specifically, otherwise the dog skin problems will reappear after some time, just like you noticed earlier.

We are recommending some supportive remedies and sprays here. Specific therapeutics such as antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs should be prescribed by a veterinarian only, therefore discuss these suggestions with your veterinarian for an appropriate action plan that can be tailored to the exact health status of yours dog.

Best of luck to you and your dog. Please keep us up to date on the dog skin rashes and what was used to correct the problem.

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