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Some kind of skin problem


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I have discovered a skin problem on my border collie. I'll get her into the vet ASAP, but I'm also wondering if anyone can offer any input on the problem.

 

I'm not sure when it started, but it was probably a couple of weeks ago, at least. I recently moved (2 months ago) and some time between now and then I noticed that she was shedding a lot more than I thought was normal, but I thought that maybe I just noticed it more because my new place has hardwood floors (the old had carpet, so you didn't notice the shedded hair as much).

 

But I should have trusted my gut instinct. Today I discovered that the hair on her chest has thinned dramatically in the past couple days - I can see pink skin through it - and the skin around her armpits on both sides (front legs) is red and somewhat raw from licking. I think that these effects are recent, because she is brushed every week and I haven't noticed the redness or thin hair before. She's also began to lick herself frequently and scratch a lot. I didn't notice this until yesterday, so it seems that whatever this problem is got worse this weekend.

 

So no I'm really worried. I don't think it's Ringworm (no ring-like appearance on the irritated skin), but I don't know what else it could be. From the appearance of it, it looks like it could be some kind of Mange, but I'm also wondering if it could be an allergic reaction to Frontline - I put her on Frontline for the first time right after moving (a month ago yesterday), and that does seem to be about when she started shedding badly. Or, worse, could it be a symptom of Lyme disease? She was bitten by three ticks before I put her on Frontline. I don't know what to think. Also, as it's Sunday and the vet's not open, I don't know what to do in the meantime for her. Should I get a plastic collar so she can't lick herself anymore? Does anyone have suggestions? :rolleyes:

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Hi,

 

It could be an allergic reaction. When Cadi started to have some redness under one of her armpits, I put some Caladryl on it to help take away some of the itch. This seemed to help her. Others have given their dogs benedryl to help with allergic reactions. Perhaps it would make her more comfortable until you can get her to the vet tomorrow. Any change of diet?

 

Good Luck and let us know what happens.

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Certainly get her to the vet and it could not hurt to change food. I go through what you describe with my oldest dog every year about this time, it is like clockwork. The good news after years of trying everything is that we are convinced and so is our Vet that it is an allergic reaction to something. We have no idea what exactly and I am not going to put him through endless tests. It is most likely an environmental thing and we could spend years testing. During this time which will last a couple of months we use medications form our Vet every day. We always start the course of medications with a shot to get things under control quickly. It does not completely go away but it is much better during the medication period and by late fall he will be back to normal. Rule out everything you can but you may have moved somewhere she is exposed to something that is causing an allergy. Add this to the disruption of moving and you may have your answer.

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All of the suggestions so far have been what I was thinking.

 

Changing her back to her old food could be a test to see if it was some type of allergic reaction. I have given benadryl to Daisy. She weighs 34#s and I can give her one tablet - I believe that is 500mg.

 

Could you spray her off with a hose or cool water? Or would that make it worse? I am just trying to think of things that may make her more comfortable.

 

Good luck. Keep us posted!

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Don't panic, it sounds like she's red from licking and "itching". Gold Bond Medicated powder works wonders to help relieve the itch and sooth the skin. Could she simply be blowing coat and now with no coat you see the redness? Have her checked out but don't scare yourself to death in the meantime!

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I have given benadryl to Daisy. She weighs 34#s and I can give her one tablet - I believe that is 500mg.

 

 

Good luck. Keep us posted!

 

Please check the dosage before you give benedryl, I believe Daisy Doodle's dosage is in error. The dosage I've been told by my vet is 1mg/pound, up to 3 times a day. The tablets I buy, generic, are 25 mg/tablet.

 

Ruth

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Please check the dosage before you give benedryl, I believe Daisy Doodle's dosage is in error. The dosage I've been told by my vet is 1mg/pound, up to 3 times a day. The tablets I buy, generic, are 25 mg/tablet.

 

Ruth

 

 

Yes, please check the dosage, I should have put a disclaimer on my post. I know that I was giving one whole tablet to Daisy of name brand benadryl but do not remember what that dose was. I could be way off base.

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The tablets are 25 mg - one is generally enough. I only gave one when one of my dogs was stung numerous times by bee's. If in doubt, call you vet and ask them how much to give if you are going to give them.

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Pip Squeak had something similar a couple of weeks ago. The vet thought it was an allergic reaction to something she had contacted in the environment. I had already bathed her and he gave her a steroid injection and prescribed antibiotics (which I didn't use since there was no obvious sign of infection). He said we could use Benadryl if necessary but we didn't. I did keep her out of the grass for a week since we didn't know if it was a particular plant or spray that she reacted to. Her dogsitter is also a woodworker so I don't know if it could have been a particular type of wood that she reacted to. Of course, food change could be a culprit in your case too.

 

Good luck finding the root of your problem! I know how miserable an itchy dog can be.

Lisa

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The vet didn't think that it was ringworm or mange (he checked for mites), and we did a Lyme disease test, which came back negative. He did some other skin tests, but it will take a month to get the results. Short of a fungal sort of problem it appears that she's probably having an allergic reaction to something - so either Lake Michigan, the new brand of dog food, or a local plant that she's rubbed. I'm sooo relieved that it's not Lyme disease (I HATE ticks!!!), but sure hope we can pinpoint the allergy so I can avoid it.

 

I'm also hoping that she'll stop losing so much hair (it's very sad!).

 

He gave her an anti-inflammatory injection to help stop itching and on Friday we get to do a medicated bath... hopefully this thing clears up all the way after that!! I'll let you know what happens.

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If this persists, know that there are allergy tests for dogs. My Lu- a GSD mix of very uncertain origin- looked liked a mangy ball of naked, irritated skin and tufts of patchy fuzz until she had an allergy test by the people who originally adopted her. It was just like a human test- she had rows of little bumps on her belly that corresponded to various irritants. Turns out, Lu has an allergy list several pages long. She is not, however, allergic to many of the common dog allergens (wheat, corn, etc). Now that I know & her diet is managed, she had no trouble. Previously, treatments could alleviate symptoms (itching) but did now cure her skin problems.

 

Just something to consider if your dog's troubles continue. Good luck.

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