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Red Raw Patches of Hairless Skin on Dog

by Jeremy
(Williston, ND)

Whole Back

Whole Back

Whole Back
Back close up
Face
Tommy n Me hangin out

About three weeks ago we started noticing that our one and a half year old Nehi St. Bernard, Tommy, had a bunch of dry skin lumps all over his back. When we looked closer the dry skin was coming off along with the hair leaving red swollen areas that eventually dry up.


The spots are concentrated on his back with a few smaller spots in other areas such as one on his neck and one under an armpit. His face has also been affected. We have also noticed the inside of ears are dry and red as well.

We recently changed dog foods from Iams to 4 Health chicken and rice formula. We made the switch slowly so as not to affect our pup as bad.

He has never had any health problems in the past. We were thinking a possible allergic reaction so we switched from the chicken and rice formula to the salmon and potato formula of the same brand. There has not been a great deal of difference though we only went to the salmon a few days ago

Tommy is an indoor pup only really going out to eliminate and exercise, otherwise he is quite spoiled. We have ruled out fleas or mites at this point as we have three other pets, our Chihuahua Gracie, cat Peaches and Budgie Buddy, none of whom are suffering from these spots.

Tommy is still energetic and his demeanor has not changed much other than he seems to want a bit more attention than normal. I hope this provides enough details to at least give us somewhat of an idea of what our poor pup is dealing with.

Thank you for your time.

Comments for Red Raw Patches of Hairless Skin on Dog

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Jan 03, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Red Raw Patches of Hairless Skin on Dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jeremy,
From the photos of Tommy's skin, it looks like he has a superficial pyoderma of the skin. The issue is the result of small infections in the hair follicles that form a 'pimple' then pop causing the surrounding hair to stick to it, and when it dries it forms what you described as "dry skin lumps all over his back. When we looked closer the dry skin was coming off along with the hair leaving red swollen areas that eventually dry up."

Areas where this is most common in large dogs with loose skin, is in the skin fold areas of the neck, on the face and ears, armpits and groin. NOT usually along the entire back.

You wrote,
"The spots are concentrated on his back with a few smaller spots in other areas such as one on his neck and one under an armpit. His face has also been affected. We have also noticed the inside of ears are dry and red as well."

Treatment includes clipping the affected areas to remove long hair, which it looks like you did, and bathing with a mild soap such as baby shampoo, one to two times per week for 3-4 weeks to remove surface bacteria and cleanse the skin.

I am not sure how easy that will be for you to bathe a St. Bernard that often, but the cleaner his skin the faster he will clear up.

Determining the cause of why Tommy developed this condition may take some detective work. I have usually found that stress of some type is responsible.

Since there is bacteria normally found on the skin, a healthy immune system keeps everything in 'balance'. For Tommy to be 'stressed' could be due to a recent vaccination, nutritional stress (a diet that is not providing the correct nutrients, fatty acids, Vit C, minerals), emotional or environmental.

You wrote,
"We recently changed dog foods from Iams to 4 Health chicken and rice formula.... We were thinking a possible allergic reaction so we switched from the chicken and rice formula to the salmon and potato formula of the same brand."

If this were an 'allergic' reaction, Tommy would be scratching himself constantly. This would certainly cause his skin to 'break out' like this. But it does not look like he has been scratching.

Although, if the food is not meeting the nutritional requirements for what Tommy needs to maintain healthy hair and skin, then you may need to improve his diet. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options... A DRY DOG FOOD is NOT the best nutrition. Although, you may need to compromise considering the cost for an All RAW diet for a St. Bernard might be cost prohibitive!

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Jan 03, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Red Raw Patches of Hairless Skin on Dog PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jeremy,
Here is the rest of my response.

Therefore, continue the 4 Health Salmon and Potato, but add in some raw chicken, turkey, beef or lamb. NO RAW FISH or RAW PORK.

Also, include some steamed vegetables such as green beans and carrots. See Dr. Richard Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, which has some recipes for homemade raw diets.

Another way to gradually decrease the dry food would be to add the 'canned' 4 Health Salmon and Potato (if it is available in a canned form), to the raw meat and cooked vegetables.

Some supplements to boost his immune system, would be:

1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

For the Immuplex, give Tommy the same dose a human would take.

If Tommy is NOT improving after 3-6 weeks, or he is getting worse, I suggest finding a holistic veterinarian to treat possible vaccinosis, a condition triggered by vaccines, or a possible auto-immune condition.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

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 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

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

Jan 03, 2013
Fish Oil
by: Anonymous

Hi,

My dog also had hairless spots, and she was scratching them by biting her skin. We tried giving her 2 tablets of fish oil per day in her food. Within a month, she was better. I punctured the capsules and squeezed the oil onto her food. Regular, inexpensive, fish oil capsules for humans worked great.

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