Does my Golden Retriever have a skin infection?

by Stephanie
(Eau Claire, WI)

Reader Question on Possible Skin Infection Followed by Suggestion From Our Vet

I was out of town for 3 days and when I came back I noticed a scab about the size of a nickel on my 1.5-year-old Golden Retriever's head. It was on the left side by the upper back whisker and was a light brown color. I started to pick pieces of the scab off and her hair was falling out with the scab. Now there is a spot about the size of a quarter that is pinkish-reddish and has no hair. The skin feels a little raised, possibly inflamed.

I am wondering if there is anything I should put on it, be aware of or look out for. She has never had this problem before.

Please let me know if this is something that should be checked out by the vet.

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Possible Skin Infection


Common home treatment recommendations for skin lesions like the one you describe include gently cleaning the areas with an antiseptic containing either chlorhexidine or povidone iodine and then applying a triple antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. Repeat this treatment 2-3 times daily until the lesions are healed.

If your dog’s condition fails to improve after a few days (or gets worse at any point), make an appointment with your veterinarian. Conditions such as ringworm, mange, some types of skin infections, and many others won’t respond to this type of home treatment.

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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