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Dog paw fungus and rash

by Giovanni Figueroa
(San Juan, Puerto Rico)

pictures of gizmo taken today

pictures of gizmo taken today

pictures of gizmo taken today
More pictures

Close up look at paw

My dog, Gizmo, has lived in the United States with my parents most of his life. About a year ago my parents sent him to live here in Puerto Rico with me because they couldn't take care of him anymore.

He is an 11 year old mix breed dog. Here in Puerto Rico it is very humid and there are a lot of allergens in the air and so forth. About 4 months after Gizmo got here his paws started itching a lot, then he started losing a lot of hair in his paws especially on the knuckles of the paws. They got red, swollen and the padding at the bottom of the paws started growing out abnormally outwards towards the side of his paws.

I took him to the vet and he said this is fairly normal here in Puerto Rico. Sadly, because of the humidity dogs get this a lot here. Its a fungus, he said.

To be sure what it was, he ran full test on the dog a to make sure his immune system was ok and that he didn't have any parasites or any other problems. All the blood test and other test he did came out great. Dog got a clean bill of health.

So the vet started giving me the medicine for the fungus, the medicine they gave him was:

Ketoconazole 200mg

Dexamenthasone SP per ML

In the follow up visits he also gave me:

Sebozole shampoo with miconazole nitrate 2% and Chloroxylenol 1% bathe him once every 5-7 days with this.
Chlorhexiderm flush to wash out affected areas once a day.
Mometamax topical cream place this on affected areas once a day after cleaning affected areas with the flush.

All this combined over a 4-5 month period seemed to have helped. Although Gizmo kept on scratching himself and gnawing on his paws it was considerably less, the swelling and redness went down and the hair started growing back in the sore areas.

It didn't get cured 100% but got much better. The doctor said it would take time to cure completely but we could stop the meds and just make sure to keep his paws dry and clean and continue to bathe him regularly, about once every 2 weeks with the shampoo.

I did this but about a week after we stopped him on the meds Gizmo started biting his paws aggressively again and scratching like crazy. I continued to bathe him and keeps his paws clean after each time I took him out for a walk and waited.

Now a month later he is even worse then what he was when the fungus was before at its worse. It has spread to his belly and I think continues to spread through his body. The abnormal growth of the padding on the bottom of his paws is not as bad as it was before, its mostly stopped but everything else has come back.

I am asking here instead of going back to vet because I believe that the meds the vet gave him just dealt with the symptoms but not the problem. I have been reading on your site the options for skin rash and allergies, even though its a fungus caused by the environment.

And I have made changes to his diet. I always fed Gizmo good food that had omega 6 and so forth, but now changed to a holistic food I found at the pet store for him called Ifinia and got him an oatmeal and baking soda shampoo. I have been feeding him this food for about a week and a half.

I want to know what else can be done to deal with this fungus. My brother also lives here in Puerto Rico and he told me his golden retriever also had it for many years before he passed away. Apparently it took about two years for my brother's golden retriever to be cured and even then when the weather got really bad the fungus would come back slightly.

I have talked to other dog owners with the same problem and they all say the same thing, that my dog will be struggling with this for the rest of his life. I would not like that to happen if I can do anything about it, I want him to be able to be cured if there is anyway possible to do it.

He is at the point where he scratches himself till he bleeds. I have put the E-collar on him sometimes when it gets bad but I can only put that on him for so long and again that is not dealing with the problem.

If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank you.

Comments for Dog paw fungus and rash

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May 29, 2012
My Online Vet Response For: Dog paw fungus and rash
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Giovanni,
Poor Gizmo does look miserable. From the photos, the lesions do look suspiciously like a skin fungus, but they could also be due to Demodectic mange or contact allergy. Make sure your veterinarian included a skin scraping and a fungal culture in the work up to rule out those problems.

Moving him to Puerto Rico, I am sure that he had to be vaccinated (again), to meet the requirements for the Health Certificate AND/OR he may have received 'booster' vaccinations since he has been in Puerto Rico. The vaccines will definitely affect his immune system even if a blood panel show everything is normal.

He could have a condition called vaccinosis, meaning the vaccines have made him more susceptible to illness, along with the stress of moving to a foreign country, new environment, etc. This can be treated using homeopathic remedies, under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian. It must also be treated using diet, good hygiene and NO more vaccinations! A holistic veterinarian will write an exemption form for Gizmo.

DIET: See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options and consider feeding him a RAW diet. Avoid DRY dog food. If no commercial raw diets are available, see Dr Richard Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. His books contain recipes on making a raw diet for your dog.

1. Continue adding in Omega 3 fish oils, about 1,000mg daily to his food.

2. Add in Immuplex, one capsule to his food TWO times daily

3. Also, add in Missing Link powder for dogs

Use only natural flea/tick preventives, such as EVOLV, made by Wondercide, which contains Cedar oil.

Continue the oatmeal shampoos, one to two times per week (You will have to re-apply the cedar oil after bathing and after swimming. You can also spray it onto a bandana and place it around his neck for a quick protection.)

Dip all 4 feet into apple cider vinegar, either 'straight' or diluted a little with water, one to two times daily.

He may have to wear a cotton T-shirt to prevent him from scratching his underside.

He should also be on a Heartworm preventive such as Heartgard every 45 days.


May 29, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog paw fungus and rash PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Giovanni,
Here is the rest of my response.

You may also need to give him RESCUE REMEDY plus Honeysuckle, both are BACH Flower Essences. Adding 2-3 drops of each to his drinking water TWO times daily for the next 3 weeks. This is for stress, anxiety, and homesickness.

It is also useful to make it up into a 4 or 6 oz spray bottle. Adding in 10 drops of each and filling it with Spring Water. You can spray this on his skin, when he is chewing too much. It will help to 'calm' down his skin. It sometimes helps to keep the bottle in the refrigerator, so it is cold when you spray it on. That will also help to 'cool' his HOT RED and ITCHY skin.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section

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