Skin Problems in Dogs


From Animal Doctor syndicated newspaper column, Dec 28th 2021

DEAR DR.FOX, Our dog is a rescue from a county shelter. We got him when he was 7 months old and he has just turned 3 years old. He is a wonderful pet, but is very anxious. We believe him to be a combination of Dachshund, Beagle, and other breeds. He is short-haired and 52 pounds. He has a long neck, a long, sleek body, a fish-hook tail, and a face that looks like a small Great Dane. When one of our sons first saw his picture he thought he was a Dingo. I guess all that really doesn’t matter unless it helps you know more about him.

He has had a constant rash under his front arms and in his groin. This would get very red——-like a severe irritation. He has also had this on the tops of his paws and around his paw pads. We have a fine vet who has been very attentive to him and his needs. We are using the Cytopoint injections every two months, and a Neo-Predef Powder 15 gm once a day in the evenings. These have worked well on the underarms and groin. Because he would lick it off we have not used the powder on his paws. Two questions please: Are the Cytopoint injections safe to use long-term, and is the Neo-Predef powder safe to use once a day long-term? His paws and around his paw pads concern me all the time. I simply do not know what to do to help those areas. Please help me know how to move forward with our 3-year-old dog. We want him to be well and healthy, and don’t want him to have any side-effects from the use of current medicines B.M. Tampa FL

DEAR B.M., Skin problems are common in dogs and can have multiple causes. Some are related to endocrine and immune system disorders and call for a veterinary dermatologist or other specialist determination. Brachycephalic dogs like Pugs and French Bulldogs with skin folds around their faces and elsewhere are especially prone to chronic skin diseases.

Your dog must be very thoroughly skin-tested (scraping and culture) for parasitic “red” mange or a fungal and/or bacterial infection. Another possibility to look into after your vet rules these out is a food allergy. For starters I would transition your dog onto my home prepared diet posted on my website or at least add a few drops of fish oil or one canned sardine ( in water) daily to your dog’s regular food plus 1 teaspoon of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast Flakes and a good quality probiotic which your veterinarian should supply-or get one for humans and give daily with food. for a start.

Supplementing cautiously with zinc, under veterinary supervision, may be down the line but do avoid symptom-suppressing and not cause- eradicating drugs like Cytopoint and Apoquel, especially long-term, that can have iatrogenic consequences, especially suppressing the immune system. The Zoetis Neo- Predef Powder cocktail of antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic will not help if your dog has mange or just one flea and is allergic to flea-bites. Must get rid of the fleas! For details check my website review Preventing Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes.