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Raw and leathery dog skin rash

by Tiffany
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

armpit - 2nd rash

armpit - 2nd rash

About 2 months ago, my dog was licking and biting at her belly and when she moved I noticed that she had licked it raw. The raw spot was approx 4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. I decided to keep an eye on it and after several days it started to heal.

Since then, I've sometimes noticed that the white skin on her belly will be bright pink after she licks it. It doesn't look normal but it's not like the raw spot she had two months ago.

We actually went to the vet because her eyes started discharging excessively and since I was already concerned about this belly thing, we made an appointment. By the time we got to the vet both problems were subsiding and we pretty much came and went without advice.

The eye problem did go away but a few days ago I saw a raw spot under her armpit. The skin was swollen too. I took the above picture. The dark red dots in the picture are more noticeable than they are in real life, but you can see it's a pretty clear picture.

She is acting otherwise normal. Playful, good appetite, etc. We haven't changed her food, we did get some inexpensive biscuits which were new for her but that was in November (a month before the 1st rash).

She started taking Interceptor (the only medication she's on) but that was after the vet appointment and therefore after the first raw spot. She spends the day in the yard and god only knows what the neighbors are feeding her or what she finds on any given day.

She went to the dog beach 1 month before the rash, she did not go there prior to the 2nd rash. I can't remember any other excursions in that time frame.

She has been otherwise healthy with the exception of the week where she had an inordinate amount of eye goobers and last weekend when she vomited several times over the course of 48 hours. She seems to have fully recovered.

By the way, she's a 5 year old mix (Boxer and Rhodesian Ridgeback, I believe) who has been healthy and without sensitive skin or known allergies. Hasn't had a bath in a while either.

Also, she's very defensive of the raw spots. Normally I can do whatever I want to her but she wouldn't even let me get the camera near her sore spot. I haven't touched it much but I think it feels leathery. Rough leather.

Comments for Raw and leathery dog skin rash

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Feb 19, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Raw and Leathery Dog Skin Rash
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Tiffany,
Thank you for the photo and your list of all of your dog's symptoms that have occurred over the past 2 months.

I will start by summarizing what you have listed, and add some suggestions along the way. Since she has not been under any 'suppressive' treatment such as steroids, antibiotics, etc. finding a homeopathic veterinarian would be the best place to start with her treatment. And she should respond fairly well. Also,I would suggest that you have a blood panel done to include her liver and kidney function, check for anemia, diabetes, and including a thyroid level, would be good, too.

It seems that overall the problem(s) started 2 months ago, one month after you started to give her some 'inexpensive dog biscuits'. She has had itchy skin, licking and chewing so it turns red after licking, and the skin is very sensitive so she does not want you to touch her or come near her raw skin. Did she also get any vaccinations 4-6 weeks prior to the skin problems?

Sometimes using aloe vera 'juice' in a spray mister type of bottle, that you can spray on her, or small bottle with a spout that you can pour on to her red, thickened skin will help to calm down the skin and decrease the redness. If she licks it, it will be ok for her. Rescue Remedy is also good to use topically or orally. Make some up in a 2 oz dropper bottle, with 5 drops Rescue Remedy to 1 oz of Spring Water.

Giving her an oatmeal shampoo for dogs one time per week may help the overall itching/licking/chewing.

She had a bout of excessive eye discharge, but you did not mention if it was thick or thin discharge, or if it had a color, or if she was rubbing her eyes during this time. Then, last weekend, she vomited several times (vomiting is considered a discharge, also) over 48 hours. You did not say if she vomited food or water, if it was immediately after eating or 20 minutes after, or several hours after eating. All of these little details help to pin down the correct remedy, and show us the proper treatment/diagnosis of what we need to do.


Feb 19, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Raw and Leathery Dog Skin Rash
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

PART TWO-Dog with Raw and Leathery Skin

So, now she has a rough, thick leathery area of skin in her armpit, VERY sensitive, and acts 'defensive' toward the area and does not want to be touched.

Antimonium crudum, Rhus tox, and Sepia are all remedies that might be useful for thickened skin especially if skin becomes thickened after scratching.

Nux vomica is the top remedy for irritability along with gastro-intestinal symptoms. Sulphur is the best remedy for itchy red skin, and also, reactions to vaccinations. As I mentioned earlier, in order to determine the right remedy, a holistic veterinarian will need to examine your dog, and discover her 'constitution' to see which remedy will fit the case.

While you are searching for a holistic veterinarian and getting a blood panel, she should be on a diet that has high moisture. No DRY dog food. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food options and scroll down to the raw food diets. If her blood panel is normal, then she could have Omega 3 fish oils for dogs about 1,000 mg two times daily. Omega 3 fats have a natural anti-inflammatory effect for the skin.

And NO DOG VACCINATIONS until she is normal. (Even then, I would worry that a vaccine may cause her to relapse!) It may have been an accumulation of the vaccines she has had during her lifetime, creating a syndrome called vaccinosis, or a recent vaccine that has finally pushed her system 'too far' and triggered these skin eruptions and discharges.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area.

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:
- 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

May 30, 2012
rash - boxer rhodesian ridgeback mix
by: Barbara

I also have the boxer rhodesian ridgeback mixed dog and he just started with a rash on the bottom of his tail and now surrounds his anus. I was wondering if Tiffany was able to clear up her dog's rash and what she used. My dog had received a rattlesnake vaccine prior to his rash and prior to that he was on antibiotics for diarhea. So if Tiffany's cure was successful I would like to try the same.

May 31, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Raw and Leathery Dog skin rash
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for your interest in our website! Tiffany has not updated us with any progress reports, so I am not sure if her dog responded to treatment or not.

She may have gone on to consult with a holistic veterinarian, one that could examine her dog in 'person'. Which might be something that would help your dog.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
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
. 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.

Jan 16, 2013
the black spot NEW
by: Alexandra

Hey I could REALLY use some advice!!
Last summer (2011) my dog Sammy was scratching alot more then he normally does, then he kept getting yeast infections in his ears. We started taking him to the vet to get medicine to help his ears. About the 3rd time he got it I noticed that he was loosing hair at his armpit. Eventually over a few months his skin turned black and leathery. We call it the black spot cause it's so noticeable and we're movie crazies. Anyway, I've been taking him to the vet, they keep telling me he's having a flea allergy, but I really don't believe that's really what's wrong with him. I can't afford to keep buying the meds they want him to be on and test for what allergies he has. His spot is now 5-6 inches long from his armpit down his side, another spot is beginning to show on his back leg.
He acts like how he normally does, I haven't changed Anything in his food or places we've been to, he's a Schnoodle (half poodle, half schnauzer), he's 6 going on 7, doesn't really notice about anyone talking about it cause he's always showing it off like a boy with a new scar, but he does lick and scratch at it when i'm not looking, and I really am hoping nothing is wrong with him and can find a affordable cure for a college student.
Would really love for advice!

Jan 17, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Raw and leathery dog skin rash NEW
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Alexandra,
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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