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Red and Weepy Dog Skin Rash on Back

by Jessa
(BC, Canada)

My 2 year old newfie/blue heeler cross has developed a really red and weepy rash on his back.

We noticed about 4 weeks ago a similar one on his should blade but it cleared up.

We then noticed a lot of "mosquito bites" on his back last week. He was going nuts itching and liking and chewing on his back which resulted in this lovely sore on his lower back that you can see in the picture.

He does not have fleas (we have checked multiple times).

We shaved him down when we noticed the sore (and because it's been very hot here).

A few more things to note:

1) We got him in April and did change his food to the Kirkland (Costco) brand, but we've been supplementing it with Fish Oil. We changed him over slowly and he was on Summit 3 meat before that. We thought it would be easier for him to eat what our other dogs eat, but we can go back to Summitt if you think that may be the problem.

2) I have put Aloe and polysporin on the wound (hence the kinda weepy look) as far as I can tell there's no infection, but I can't seem to get the aloe off to not be swayed by the greenish color it gives off. There is no putrid smell.

3) We have been taking him to the lake since this happened so he can swim and let it soak... I don't know if that's a good idea or not...

4) He is wearing a cone currently to try and get him to stop licking at it

5) He was into the vet when we first got him to get all his shots and a round of dewormer as well as Advantage.

Hopefully this will help.
Thanks in advance

Comments for Red and Weepy Dog Skin Rash on Back

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Aug 06, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Red and Weepy Dog Skin Rash on Back
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jessa,
What your dog has is called a 'hot spot' over his back/lumbar area. In many cases the underlying cause is not found, but the resulting itching and non-stop licking by the dog is what causes all of the damage. You will need to shave the red area completely bald, so there is NO HAIR. Then clean two times daily with baby shampoo. Rinse and dry well. You will need to continue this for at least 3-5 days. AND keep the cone on his head for 3-5 days!

If he goes swimming, you will need to bathe the hot spot area when he comes home. It needs to be kept CLEAN and DRY. Or it may be best to limit his access to swimming for a week to make it easier to keep it dry.

Use Aloe vera juice (the kind you drink), NOT any type of ointments. Put it into a pump spray dispenser (one of the travel sizes like 2 or 4 oz plastic bottles) and keep it refrigerated. Spray this on his hot spot 2-3 times a day (or more) to control the heat and redness.

Another good topical, and one you can give to him by mouth, is Rescue Remedy. You can use the 'human' formula. Into a spray pump bottle, place 20 drops to 2 oz of Spring Water. It can be kept refrigerated. Spray the hot spot after or before spraying with the aloe vera juice. DO NOT give him the Rescue Remedy directly into his mouth, unless you use the 'animal' formula (that is in glycerin and not alcohol). You CAN put 10 drops of the 'human' formula into his drinking water one to two times daily. I feel that this will help to CALM his skin, and also serve to calm him so he is not so anxious with the itching.

A holistic veterinarian could also make up a Bach combo and combine Rescue Remedy with Honeysuckle, (for homesickness), Walnut (for getting adjusted to change to a new home) and perhaps a few others to individualize it to his emotional balance.

You also mentioned when he was adopted in April, that he received vaccinations, a dewormer, Advantage and his diet was changed to Costco Kirkland food (One that is of lesser quality than the Summitt Holistic brand that he was previously eating).

Also, just feeding a DRY DOG Food is not healthy for dogs. It would be better to mix in some fresh steamed vegetables, and some RAW meat (NO RAW PORK or RAW FISH). Healthier for your other dogs too! See our page on 10 best dog food options.


Aug 06, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Red and Weepy Dog Skin Rash on Back PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jessa,

Here is the continuation of my response:

The addition of the Omega 3 fish oil for dogs is a good idea, about 1,000 mg for every 50lbs of body weight.

I suspect that the combination of all his vaccines given at one time, the stress of adoption to a new home, and change of diet have triggered this, and has just made him more susceptible to skin disease (if due to all the vaccines given at one time, holistic veterinarians use the term, 'vaccinosis'.) It has been shown that immunity to DHPP and Rabies vaccines last 3 or more years. Therefore, it is best to 'stagger' them, so that no more than ONE dog vaccine is given per year. Or to write an exemption so that NO MORE vaccines are given at all. A holistic veterinarian can help with this issue.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

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.

Aug 14, 2011
Wound healed, but dry flaky skin...
by: Jessa

Thanks so much for the advice... the skin has healed up and there are only a couple of spots left with scabs. We shaved him down and he wore the 'cone-of-shame' for 4 days. The aloe helped with the weeping and also seemed to dry it out a bit.

Now the problem is that his entire back is super flaky. It seems to be itchy to him, though not painful.

Is there anything we put on his skin temporarily while we are letting the new diet take effect? Something to soothe the dryness?

We've switched him to Go! Dog food and are supplementing with vegetables and lean ground moose/venison. He's also still getting fish oil. There have been no new breakouts of bumps/rashes so we're still not 100% sure where they came from but hopefully changing food will stop new outbreaks.

Thanks again for the help.


Aug 15, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Red and Weepy Dog Skin Rash on Back
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jessa,
That is good news that his skin has improved. His dry skin and flaking is similar to what happens to human skin after a sunburn. When the inflammation goes down, the skin starts to peel and flake off. Use oatmeal shampoo for dogs. 2 times per week then as needed.

Prior to each shampoo, massage in coconut oil to his skin to moisturize the area. Let it soak in for 3-4 hours (try not to let him jump on the furniture, he will be very greasy.) You may need some Dawn Dish Detergent to shampoo him first to remove all of the grease. But if his skin soaked it in and it is not oily, then just use the oatmeal shampoo.

The diet sounds wonderful, and it should help him heal, and develop a beautiful hair coat.

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!

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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