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Dog with Itchy, Foul-Smelling, Oozing & Scabbing Skin & Oozing Eye

by Deborah

Our dog has terrible skin with itching, odor, oozing and scabbing and lately his right eye has been oozing greenish mucus and matting the hair around his eye. I believe the two conditions are related.

He has been given benedryl in the past. This has been a problem in the past but will clear up on occasion.

My brother nor I really have the funds for expensive veterinary medicines but I want to do what is best for Harry. I suspect his diet may be a culprit, he likes to eat cooked chicken, a little dry food and cheese.

Vets in the past have said he has allergies but I don't know what they are specifically.

He is a very sweet old dog but hard to cuddle b/c off his offensive odor. He also freaks out and worries over the weather especially thunderstorms.

My question is what can I use to clean his eye and perhaps eye drops? Also, are there any particular dietary supplements or changes that could help?

Here's some additional background: I am dog sitting for my brother who is out of town. The dog is a Cairn Terrier who was a rescue about 12 years ago, so we don't know his age but past Vets estimate he is around 13 or 14. His name is Harry and he is believed to be a purebred.

Thank you.

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Dec 31, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Itchy, Foul-Smelling, Oozing & Scabbing Skin & Oozing Eye
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

December 31, 2014

Hi Deborah,

From the photo you submitted, and your description of Harry's symptoms, I am very suspicious that he has 'DRY EYE', or Kerato-conjunctivitis sicca, KCS.

This is an immune system condition that affects the tear gland to cause a loss in tear production. As the cornea becomes too dry, the glands of the eyelashes try to compensate by producing mucous. To treat this condition you need to provide artificial tears as often as possible during the day. A human with dry eye would apply the drops every hour to their own eye. Since this is not practical with Harry, you need to use artificial tear *ointment*. Again, as often as possible to keep the cornea lubricated. You will need to rinse the eye with saline first to remove excess mucous, so that the artificial tear ointment will adhere to his cornea.

Keep a close watch on the other eye, as this condition often affects both eyes together.

For his skin, this is also an immune system problem caused by chronic allergies.

1. He must have a bath once a week with a baby shampoo. This will help to remove surface bacteria. And may help to 'calm' his skin.

2. Make him wear a child's T-shirt (100% cotton) to prevent more trauma from itching. Change it every 2 days.

3. Remove ALL dry food and dairy products from his diet. He should be on a canned and/or RAW dog food. To treat skin allergies, he must have adequate moisture in his diet.
See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options,
Raw meat contains Vitamin C, which is essential for the immune system.

4. 'Fear of thunderstorms' is a symptom that indicates the homeopathic remedy Phosphorus. Phosphorus is also an excellent remedy to boost the immune system. Give him Phosphorus 12C or 6C TWO times daily for the next 3-4 weeks.

You can give him one pellet by mouth twice daily, or dissolve one pellet in a 2 oz glass dropper bottle, and give him 1/2 dropperful by mouth TWO times daily. Succuss the bottle, (or shake it) by hitting it against the palm of your hand 20 times prior to each dose.

5. There are also immune system supplements that can be added to the food, but I would like to see how Harry does over the next 3 weeks, with the remedy, diet change, baths, T-shirt, eye ointment etc.

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

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Dec 31, 2014
Thank You
by: Deborah

Thank you, Dr. Tillman for the helpful info!
I am out the door to pick up these things for precious Harry and I will keep you posted on his progress.

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