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Old Dog with Blisters on Belly That Pop & Leave Red Spot

by Corey
(Hickory NC)

I have a senior Shetland sheep dog who is suffering from a skin condition with blisters mainly on the belly that will pop and crust over leaving a red spot. On his back he is losing fur in patches AFTER there is a spot of crust and in the process of scratching, washing or brushing the fur comes with the crust/scabs.

We moved from Florida to North Carolina 8 months ago, this is a new environment but I fear this may not be it.

His first injury was an ulcer on his paw about six months ago, he has a cough on occasion, but is eating and drinking.

We took him to a local vet 2 months ago, we got amoxicillin and a medicated shampoo. After 1 course of amox we called and said it was not completely gone and he was prescribed another course. With the shampoo we did not see a difference.

His head is fine, mouth/ears are fine. He had full labs within the last year before we moved, and is up to date on shots.

What could this be?

About him: He is a 9 year old Shelty. He was rescued by my wife before I met her. He has had surgery from being hit by a car with pins in front right leg, and rear right leg.

He was abused according to my wife - when she got him she had to shut him in a room on his own before he would eat. When I came along and tried to play he got threatened and tried to bite, but now he knows no other love. He follows me everywhere in the house, cries when when I leave.

We got a new cat a year ago, she also follows and he is jealous. My wife calls me the beast master. He could be stressed from all of this but I do not think so. He has endured much worse in his life.

Comments for Old Dog with Blisters on Belly That Pop & Leave Red Spot

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Dec 08, 2011
My Online Vet Response For: Old Dog with Blisters on Belly That Pop & Leave Red Spot
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Corey,
Your 9 year old Shelty has superficial pyoderma. This is a skin problem caused by bacteria in the hair follicles. Normally, the few bacteria found on the skin do not cause any problems in a healthy individual with a strong immune system. Certainly, stress can be an underlying factor that can affect the immune system, but OVER vaccination and DRY DOG food diets are factors that play a far greater role.

My suggestions for now:
1.Seek out a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form to stop further vaccinations. At 9 years old, he has had enough vaccinations. Also, he has chronic disease, suppressed with antibiotics (which did not help), and he "has a cough on occasion". Has he been checked for heartworm? In any case, a vaccine will further interfere with his immune system.

2.Improve his diet:
See our page on the 10 Best Dog Food Options. Consider gradually changing to a canned and/or RAW diet. This is help increase the amount of moisture to help heal his skin and haircoat, and may help his cough.

3. Bathing his skin - see Proper Natural
Dog Skin care around affected area
. This will help to remove 'excess' bacteria, and cleanse the skin.

Since it is winter, I do not want him overly chilled with too many baths. But he should get at least one bath once a week for at least 3 weeks, then every two weeks for a month, then once a month, or as needed on particular areas.

4. Supplements - Omega 3 fish oil for dogs
are great for internal moisturizing of the skin. (And also good for his joints, especially considering he has had two broken legs). Add 500 mg to his diet one to two times daily.


Dec 08, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Old Dog with Blisters on Belly That Pop & Leave Red Spot PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Corey,
Here is the rest of my response:

For his immune system there are numerous products out there: Immuplex from Standard Process
(open and sprinkle one capsule to his food two times daily), Missing Link Canine Formula (the dose will be according to weight, and will be listed on the package) and OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder (dose is also according to weight and will be listed on the package).

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

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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,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

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