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Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog

by Sarah

I have a 3 year old husky / border collie mix who has been suffering with a skin condition for several months now. At first I noticed the sores on his lower stomach - they were inflamed and scabby and very sore to touch.


I took him to a local vet and they put him on a course of antibiotics as well as some prednisolone tablets to stop the itching (he's been on these ever since I first noticed the sores, which was in February this year. Since then he has been drinking and eating an awful lot more then normal.)

His sores cleared up whilst he was on the antibiotics, but as soon as he finished them, they came back, only this time they were on his back, near the base of his tail and on the right side. His hair has started to thin out on his back where the sores are. Again they were very inflamed and scabby, and sore to touch.

Another trip to the vets and another course of antibiotics cleared them up again. I cut him off from all commercial dog food thinking it may be a food allergy. He is getting chicken and potato with some rice, and that's it.

As soon as the antibiotics were finished though, they came back again. He is de-fleaed and wormed monthly and I wash him in a hypo allergenic shampoo.

I'm at my wits end trying to figure out what else I can do. I don't want to keep him on these Prednisolone tablets for the rest of his life, they are having a negative effect on him I fear.

I don't have enough money to have him on hypo allergenic dog food as he is such a big dog, and these constant trips to the vets are proving extremely costly. I love my dog, and would do anything for him, but I feel like we're going around in circles!

I should also add, he has been tested for mites, and that came back negative.

Do you have any ideas on what it might be, and what I can do to help him?

Cheers, any information will be greatly appreciated :D

Comments for Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog

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Aug 14, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi D,
From your description, I am suspicious that your 3 year old Husky/Border Collie may have flea allergy dermatitis and possible mites with a secondary bacterial infection.

A photo would certainly help!

You mentioned that he was tested for mites, but only once? It is sometimes very difficult to do a skin scraping on inflamed and damaged skin and find intact mites. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat a skin scraping 2-3 times (one to two weeks apart) if the problem persists and is non-responsive to treatment.

I am curious if there was anything that happened in February 2012 that may have triggered this skin condition. For example, was he vaccinated in January 2012? Did you change his bed to a synthetic or wool material?

You are on the right track by eliminating commercial dry food from his diet. But the best diet for him would be a RAW diet. Although, you are correct, it would be expensive for such a large dog.

Perhaps a compromise would work by mixing some raw meat and cooked vegetables (you can add some potato, but include some carrots, green beans, and other vegetables also) with some canned dog food of good quality.

Click here for some good "store bought" raw diets.

Try 1/3 raw meat, 1/3 vegetables and 1/3 canned for each meal, two times daily. Strive to feed 800 calories for a 50 lb dog (400 calories two times daily.)
60 lbs needs 950 calories/day
70 lbs needs 1,100 calories/day
80 lbs needs 1,200 calories/day

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Aug 14, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi D,
Here is the rest of my response.

This is a rough calculation, since calorie consumption depends on amount of exercise expended. If your dog is a 'couch potato', he may not need this many calories!

STOP using harsh chemicals for your 'de-flea' and de-worming products. Take a stool sample two times per year to test for parasites, do not just de-worm every month.

Use EVOLV by Wondercide to repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and possibly even mites, unless the problem is too severe.

Bathe him 1-2 times per week with an oatmeal shampoo to help soothe the skin.

Add Omega 3 fish oils 500-1,000mg to each meal to help decrease inflammation internally.

DO another skin scraping for mites, just to make sure he does not have mange. See our page on skin conditions/parasites/sarcoptic mites for more info.

Instead of returning to a conventional veterinarian for MORE antibiotics and prednisolone (the pred is causing the increase in thirst and increase in appetite), seek the help of a holistic veterinarian. Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

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

Related Pages:
- 10 Best Dog Food Options,
- Homemade Dog Food Recipes,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Food Diet - Dog Food, Dog Treats & Homemade Dog Food Recipes Section

Jun 18, 2013
Same as D's sores on my dog
by: Mary

My 5 year old Sheltie Border Collie mix has had the same type of sores that we have been dealing with for over a year. They are on his back between his shoulders and will clear up with antibiotics and prednisone and return once the antibiotic course is over. Was there ever a treatment that worked for D? We have been to 3 different Vets, have tried different foods and he was also negative for mites.

Jul 25, 2013
Sores on dog same as D and Mary
by: Brenda

D and Mary,
Our 15 yr old Border Collie seems to have the same sores.
We're either of you able to find a solution?

Jul 25, 2013
Sores on dog same as D and Mary
by: Brenda

D and Mary,
Our 15 yr old Border Collie seems to have the same sores.
We're either of you able to find a solution?

Jul 26, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

July 25, 2013

Hi Mary and Brenda,

D has not sent an update on how her dog is doing. I, too, would like to see if any of my suggestions were followed and if they were helpful.

Thank you both for your questions. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.

I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman



Aug 07, 2013
Honey - monthly sores and diarrhea! Help
by: Billie

DRIVING ME CRAZY TOO! My dog is an 8 year old, 80lb Rhodesian ridgeback mix. She breaks out monthly with blister like sores mostly in her abdominal area and then they scab over. She also has diarrhea when this happens. Once in a while there is blood in her stool. When I was taking her to the Vet every time it happened, she was sick for 2 weeks. The medication made it worse. She was on antibiotics and many meds.

I've kept a diary and will post all the meds and treatemnts once I get home and get it!

I've kept her home the last few episodes and just watched that she drinks enough fluids and it clears up on its own in about 2-3 days. It seems to happen near the end of each month. Vet thinks its food allergies, IBS or some combination.

Aug 07, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Inflamed and scabby recurring sores on dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

August 7, 2013

Hi Billie,

Considering the sores and diarrhea seem to occur on a regular or semi-regular schedule, I wonder if there is not something else in the environment that might be triggering this to occur? Does she get a bath at the end of the month and lick or eat the shampoo? Do you shampoo carpets at the end of the month and she walks on it before it is dry? Anything else that might occur at this time that would be affecting her?

I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.

I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Aug 21, 2013
Pasha
by: Jimheinen@me.com

My seven year old collie has the same scabby sores, and all the testing and routines from our vet have been the same. When I trim the hair back over the areas there seems to be improvement, the. I cleanse the area with lots of water and medicated shampoo; once dry a spot of antibacterial ointment.

Pasha is on a diet of fish and sweet potato, and a very sensitive stomach. I have pictures as of this night when I trimmed the hair back. Pasha is lovingly cared for and very well groomed which is how I find thes sores on his lower Bach and side hind quarter by the tail. He no longer gets them on his stomach, only this area. I hate seeing him in pain

Aug 21, 2013
Pasha
by: Jimheinen@me.com

My seven year old collie has the same scabby sores, and all the testing and routines from our vet have been the same. When I trim the hair back over the areas there seems to be improvement, the. I cleanse the area with lots of water and medicated shampoo; once dry a spot of antibacterial ointment.

Pasha is on a diet of fish and sweet potato, and a very sensitive stomach. I have pictures as of this night when I trimmed the hair back. Pasha is lovingly cared for and very well groomed which is how I find thes sores on his lower Bach and side hind quarter by the tail. He no longer gets them on his stomach, only this area. I hate seeing him in pain

Oct 09, 2014
dog sores
by: Mike

I have a Queensland heeler and the same thing we have spent thousand trying to cure him and nothing like the other lady said they put him on antibiotic and it goes away but about a week after you take him off there back, my vet keeps saying a bacterial infection but that's all they say, as the other lady said we are at the end, do not know what else to do.SOcc

Oct 11, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Inflamed and Scabby recurring sores on dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

October 10, 2014

Hi Jim and Mike,

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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