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Recurring Dog Skin Issues - Itchy Skin, Oozing Skin, Hair Loss, Elephant Skin, Small White Pods & Raw Skin

by Brooke
(Maryland, USA)

Last spring my dog started scratching a lot. Our vet diagnosed her with seborrhea and gave us a shampoo to use.

After several weeks and no improvement, we returned to the vet. Our dog was tested for mites and a bacterial infection. Both were negative. We tried steroids and they helped but after we weaned her from them the itching came back.

She also starting losing patches of hair and developed "elephant skin" on the backs of her front elbows.

Another trip to the vet and she was tested for fungus. That culture came back positive at the end of July and we started her on the sulfur/lime dip. The dip helps a lot and she was back to normal. We did not have the fungal test repeated.

At the end of September, she developed a large raw patch on the back of her neck. It oozed for a day and then healed. We started the sulfur dips again but this time they didn't help. She developed raw patches around the front of her ears and neck also. They are gradually getting better with frequent baths with a antibacterial/anti-fungal shampoo. We have not continued the sulfur dips because the weather here doesn't allow outside baths for her to air dry now.

I took her to be groomed a few weeks ago so we can get to her skin but the groomer spoke with the vet who said she was originally diagnosed with ringworm! The vet wouldn't groom her. I was never told she had ringworm and none of her spots look like ringworm. I had an argument with the vet and I have lost all confidence in her.

Last night, I noticed a patch on her paw and I decided to look at it closer. It looks like small white pods growing out of her skin. I was able to scratch them off and the area underneath them was red and raw. What is this? Can it be some kind of fungus growing from her skin?

I have attached 2 photos. One is before I trimmed her hair and scratched off the pods. The other is after but you can still see some of them at the edges.

Our dog is a 3 year old brown cocker spaniel.

Tags: Itchiness, hair loss, elephant/leathery skin on elbows, oozing skin (neck), raw skin (neck), small white "pods" that can be rubbed off (paws)

Comments for Recurring Dog Skin Issues - Itchy Skin, Oozing Skin, Hair Loss, Elephant Skin, Small White Pods & Raw Skin

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Dec 08, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Recurring Dog Skin Issues-Itchy Skin, Oozing Skin, Hair Loss, Elephant Skin, Small White Pods & Raw Skin
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Brooke,
For your 3 year old Cocker Spaniel that is very itchy, with hair loss, and 'elephant' skin:

I suspect the problem is sarcoptic mange mite. See our section about dog mangefor more information.

This mite is contagious to people and to other dogs. It is VERY difficult to diagnose since it lives deep within the skin below the hair follicles. And sometimes a skin biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis. Although, if she has had this for over 6 months, there may be enough mites to find with a skin scraping at this time.

Ringworm IS a fungus, and your veterinarian should have discussed this diagnosis with you because it IS contagious to humans, dogs and cats!
BUT, ringworm is NOT itchy!! It was discovered only because the skin has become SO abnormal with the thickening, and trauma from itching, that it is more susceptible to bacterial, fungal, and other micro-organisms not found on 'healthy' skin.

Sarcoptic mange is treated with Sulphur/Lime dips. Dips need to be done every 2 weeks for a minimum of 3-6 dips. Therefore, it will take up to 12 weeks, 3 months to clear it up.

You mentioned that dips were started in July, and she returned to normal, then had a flare-up in September. How many dips did she have? And then resuming the dips did not seem to help. She may have had secondary bacterial infection, and flare-up was due to allergy.

The bottom line is to support your dog's WHOLE body, not just treat the skin externally. She needs to be fed an optimum diet, which would be a canned or, better yet, a completely RAW diet, NOT a DRY dog food.

She needs immune support, and there are a number of good products out there, such as Immuplex by Standard Process: 1/2 to 1 capsule opened and sprinkled in her food two times daily.

No vaccinations. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form to avoid vaccines and guide you in helping heal your dog. She may need homeopathic remedies, especially those needed for 'vaccinosis'.

I am not sure what the 'small white pods' are that are growing out of her skin. But I would clean her pads to remove this excess tissue and expose the healthy skin below using a mild shampoo such as Baby Shampoo at least one time per week.


Dec 08, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Recurring Dog Skin Issues-Itchy Skin, Oozing, Hair Loss, Elephant Skin, Small White Posd & Raw Skin PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Brooke,
Here is the rest of my response:

Other immune supplements are:
- OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

- Missing Link powder for dogs

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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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

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

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