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Shelter Dog with Serious Skin Rash / Inflammation

by Anne

I am considering adopting/fostering this shelter dog, but I'm looking for info on what this skin issue may be (see photo). He is around 8 years old, neutered, some eye opacity, no other significant findings noted.

Dumped by owner with no medical history. There is a note that says, "skin scraping negative."

What are the possibilities here and how are they treated? Is there a possibility it is contagious? We have one other dog, 2 cats and 3 humans in the house.

Thank you.

Comments for Shelter Dog with Serious Skin Rash / Inflammation

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Dec 04, 2013
My Online Vet Response to: Shelter Dog with Serious Skin Rash / Inflammation
by: Dr. Lisa Brienen

Dear Anne, I can definitely see how this little fellow tugs on your heart strings. He’s going to be a long labor of love for someone. By the picture he’s had a very long history of chronic skin problems, probably involving allergies with secondary skin infections. A negative skin scrape is no guarantee that he does not have demodex or sarcoptic mites, although the shelter has probably given a dose of Revolution which possibly can take care of sarcoptic mites (as well as internal parasites). Demodex mites are not contagious, but sarcoptic mites are. He’s also very thin – please have a veterinarian either review any available blood work or perform some for him. His skin issues may be related to endocrine (hormones) or other underlying disease. I also strongly recommend a veterinary visit to fill you in on any other health challenges – dental health, lung and heart health, ear and eye problems, etc.

If you plan to foster him – here are some basic steps: Wean him onto a raw food diet if he’s able to tolerate it. There are several articles on this and other web sites. A good reference for make it yourself diets is Dr. Becker’s Real Food for healthy Dogs and Cats, or use a balanced commercially prepared raw food; start him on probiotics (Proviable DC and Vetri-mega probiotics are good options); antioxidants such as Animal Health Options – Proanthazone – would boost his immune system; use green tea to sponge onto itchy and inflamed skin as needed; he may need a medicated shampoo, but I also recommend the Zymox ear drops and shampoo products; team with a holistic veterinarian (link below); consult books such as Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats or Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs by Dr. Don Hamilton; be very patient and use a lot of flower essences for yourself and him – I like formulations from Pet Essences (easy to find on the internet).

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

Good luck with this little guy.

"Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below"

Sincerely, Dr. Lisa Brienen

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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.

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