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Red Itchy Rash in Patches Over Most of Body - Mast Cell Tumor, Demodex Mites or a Food Deficiency

by CD
(Tampa, FL)

right chest and shoulder area

right chest and shoulder area

Red itchy rash in patches over most of body for 6 weeks
Boxer, female, age 7 years old
Symptoms x 6 weeks
History of mast cell tumors (low grade)

Currently on pepcid and prednisone 5 mg for the mast cell tumors.

Went to vet 10 days ago, given keflex twice a day and chlorhexidine shampoo.
Rash has not improved, has developed in new areas. Involves chest, legs, muzzle, ears, pelvis, between the toes. Areas on the chest and legs are well demarcated. Areas on the ears, muzzle, feet and pelvis are not.
She does not constantly scratch the rash, it only appears to be mildly irritating to her.
Rash appears dry and excoriated, occasionally bleeds.

No known new detergents, sprays, pets, meds, foods.
No symptoms on our other dog.
She is on heartguard and Frontline.

Comments for Red Itchy Rash in Patches Over Most of Body - Mast Cell Tumor, Demodex Mites or a Food Deficiency

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Dec 26, 2009
My Online Vet Response Red Rash Patches over most of Body
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi CD,
From the photo you sent of your Boxer, the rash does not look like a bacterial infection, so I do not think that antibiotics would be effective.

I am concerned with her past history of mast cell tumors, and the long term dose of prednisone she has been taking. You did not mention if your veterinarian did a skin scraping. From the distribution of the rash, the history of immune suppression with pred, I would be concerned about Demodex mites and/or a food deficiency.

A blood panel may help to diagnose any other deficency or disease she may have.

Click here for more about Dog Demodectic Mange.

With such generalized spread, it may be difficult to find mites. But it would still be a good idea, to consider using antihistamines instead of Prednisone for your dog and adding Omega 3 fish oils to her diet (see Your Dog's Diet for more information). You should also consider adding some immune stimulants to her diet. And I would certainly advise seeking a holistic veterinarian to help you (scroll to the bottom of our Dog Vet Care page to find a holistic vet near you). A holistic veterinarian would also suggest stopping the Frontline. Heartgard is ok to continue.

In the meantime, to make her more comfortable, you may also want to massage in some coconut oil to all of the irritated, dry excoriated areas, let it soak into her skin for a few hours, (you may need to keep her off of the furniture during this time), prior to the shampoo. And I would only use a very mild shampoo on her such as Baby shampoo.

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: 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

Dec 01, 2010
Red itchy Patches use Aveeno oatmeal bath
by: Tracey

I have had Amstaffs and they have very sensitive skin and very rashy. I have found that only bathing them "when necessary " use Aveeno oatmeal bath and it will not irritate or dry their skin.
It cant hurt to try.

Aug 05, 2013
rash by tail of dog NEW
by: Shirley Naylor

can I apply any kind of ointment that I would use for a rash thank you

Aug 05, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Red Itchy Rash in Patches Over Most of Body- Mast Cell Tumor, Demodex mites or a Food Deficiency NEW
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

August 5, 2013,

Hi Shirley,
No. Human lotions and creams may be harmful if taken internally. Since dogs and cats will clean/wash their bodies, and swallow whatever is on their skin, I would be VERY cautious about applying 'any kind of ointment' that is used for a rash.

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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