Covered In Scabs

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Mr-Remington, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Today I shaved my friends Jack Russell, and after shaving him I discovered that he is covered in scabs, red blotches, and cuts. I ask my friend and she said he has skin allergies, and she didn't realize they were so bad. She also said that he spends all of his time scratching himself. She took him to the vet and they want to put him on steroids, but he is only a year in half old, and doesn't want him on drugs. The vet said it isn't something they recommend either at a young age. Is there any alternatives she can try? Shes tried oatmeal, and shampoos, warm clothes, hot spot remedies, even some medications from the vet but nothing has worked so far. Her partner told her that if something isn't done she wants the dog put down because he is so miserable. The pictures of the wounds that are the worst, but he is covered in red blotches of irritated skin. chance.JPG chancebooboo.JPG chanceneck2.JPG chanceneck.JPG

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    Don't they do an allergie test at the vets??? That's the first thing they do out here. They scrape a little skin and do some tests on that. Blood test maybe.
    And yes putting him on steroids is not very good, but it will help him get better first. I think I would opt for this for a short time, so he can heal and not itch so much. In the mean time I would try to find out what is causing this.
    Before you can do anything, you have to know what causes this! I mean if it's the food, you can change it, but if he allergic to something, you have to figure out what it is.
    Poor dog! It looks awefull! Hope he feels better soon!
    My friends dog has allergies too. Probably food based. So now she is trying to find a food, he will tolarate. She is consulting a homeopath and gets medication from her, that works great, so far.
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  3. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    They vet said it was a skin allergy, as he is allergic to corn, wheat, and few other things. The vet said that is common in some jack Russell right now do to poor breeding. She adopted him almost a year and has switched his food to Blue. It gets alot worse if he eats anything but that food. He was on steroids when she first adopted him. He was on those for about 2-3 months, but he didn't want to do anything but it didn't really do much at all. He still scratched all the time, (the vet just wants a higher dose this time.) She also did the research and found out how bad it is for their health, so she stopped giving them to him. And now just recently it has gotten worse then before.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  4. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Did the vet put him on any antibiotics??? I'm a tech, not a vet, but I am fairly certain that looks like something that could use antibiotics. Sometimes more than 1 course is needed - heck, when Duke gave himself a lick granuloma this past time he was on antibiotics for 6+ weeks. The most important thing with antiobiotics is to absolutely, unless directed otherwise by the vet, finish the entire course.

    I would also do the full course of steroids that my vet prescribed.... long term no they're not the greatest, but they do a FABULOUS job at cutting the itch. He is doing more harm to himself by constantly itching that the steroids will do to him over the short term. There is a LOT a wiggle room with steroid dosing, so I wouldn't get too concerned about the vet "just wanting a higher dose".

    It sounds like both you and her don't entirely trust the vet, so why not get a second opinion? Please please please urge your friend to listen to her vet, or if she doesn't trust him to get a second opinion. I have seen too many dogs come in to our clinic complete messes after their owners weren't compliant because Dr Google told them that their vet was evil and wrong about everything.

    If its an option in your area, maybe have her try to get a referral to a Dermatologist?
  5. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    DaniG- I told her what you said, and she agreed to take him in. She will be setting up an appointment tomorrow. As well as looking into see if she can find a dermatologist for him.
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  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Which flavor of Blue does she feed? some of the flavors have allergens in them. My dog gets itchy off of cannola oil, for example. (only took me a year or so to figure that out...:rolleyes: )

    If my dog was that sick, and since this IS a small dog,
    and since most skin allergies are diet related (not all, but most)
    first thing i'd do, (besides have vet test him)
    is put him on a raw food diet.
    That might solve the problem entirely within weeks. worth a try. Sure beats drugs, and yes, DO try to keep a dog of any age off of steroids, :cautious: very damaging to dogs in many ways, and steroids can set up any number of NEW OTHER diabetes.

    since this is only a small dog, the owner would not have to spend a lot to feed him raw meat. It's not super complicated,
    but, there IS some learning involved, such as most raw feeders strive for 80-10-10.
    80% muscle meat
    10% RAW bones (for calcium)
    10% organ meat.

    If she can not bring herself to feed raw meat, for whatever reason,
    she might want to consider using a pre-made raw diet, or a barf diet:

    or possibly one of the dog foods that a low ingredient list: (only few ingredients per bag)

    also, many people are so so careful about their dog's food,
    yet, feed their dog lousy unhealthy treats, and
    bits of human food. Til this is solved, if that was my dog, i'd skip all human food entirely, no sharing of her meal for now,
    and make all his treats flour-free, made from scratch (see recipe section)
    and never use store bought treats for now.
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  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    If your friend is interested in trying to learn to raw feed, have her join up, there are some very knowledgable raw feeders on DTA who would be more than happy to help guide her and encourage her.
    Be forewarned, most vets either don't know or don't care much about dog nutrition,
    and there is good chance her vet will advise her against raw feeding.
    On Jane Anderson's raw feeding site, she discusses this, and offers to educate your vet who advises against raw feeding:
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  8. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Tigerlily- I showed her links and we found a Holistic pet store that sells all the raw diet foods and can help her in choosing and figuring everything out as to whats best for him. She a little grossed out by the idea but she's open to trying it. (y) I plan to go with her and see if I might be open to putting Remi on a Raw diet too. It's a little more the I can afford but it looks like it's better for the dogs, so why not try.:rolleyes:
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  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    this is great!!! It's so worth a try, for such a sick dog anyway. Well, a dog with such severe skin problems, anyway.

    She might do well to review this list,
    prior to going to store.
    Also, this list,

    Is no way to know for sure what a store clerk understands about dog food. I know, i know, most ppl think, "ooooh, holistic, gotta be great, healthy stuff!" but, i am just skeptical by nature, not all stuff labelled "healthy" or "natural" is even healthy (or natural to a dog), nor necessarily good for us.
    Poison ivy is all natural, too, as is snake venom and mosquito saliva and salmonella and skunk oil and ticks ...long long list of natural stuff that we might not necessarily need or want.

    and since raw food costs so so much,
    i'd hate to see her come home with something odd....but that "dogfoodadvisor" is good resource, imo.
    the clerk in a store might also be great resource, but, she is really just some stranger in a store for now, so your pal might want to print up some list of recommended brands to have with her when goes to store...

    and i hope the clerk does not talk your friend into a bunch of dog supplements and ground up flower petals for a cure. Whatever is causing this dog's scabs, i'd bet a frozen kong it isn't cuz he needs some concentrated oil of geraniums or whatever.
    Dogs don't need supplements if they are eating good food, too much vitamins can be toxic to dogs, and blows their liver,
    and some of the ground up flowers and plants they sell to solve dog problems, have been chosen cuz some guy felt happy;) if he held his hand over the plant,:rolleyes:
    and from there, it's been largely "placebo effect". <----(worth a google)
    for real,
    as best as you can, don't let your friend leave out of there with her arms full of ground up dandelions and roses and stuff. :rolleyes::LOL::ROFLMAO:

    There are long long lists of plants which dogs should never eat, and dogs don't eat, but, if it's added to their food, they might eat them.

    Maybe just get the poor dog some raw food
    and just to see if a purely healthy diet won't help.
    but he doesn't need ground up flowers...but the clerk will try to convince your friend this oil or that herb will solve it, and your pal might be desperate and thus,= vulnerable to the sales pitches........ .....................but 90% of that stuff has zero research behind it, and when tested out by actual unbiased researchers, it doesn't work. and not all that stuff is even what they claim it is, and not all that stuff is "harmless" especially to a dog who is already compromised healthwise.

    sorry, just trying to save your friend some money...:notworthy:

    anyway, i'm sure your friend is very desperate to help her dog, and it's so so kind of you, Remi, to help her!!!
    Mr-Remington and Dogster like this.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    oh, yeah, and do swap out the new food slooowly, just a bit at a time, too.
    Rapid swap outs of dog food can really give some dogs diarrhea or even vomitting,
    if done slowly, it works out fine.

    I'm so excited to hear how this works out for this poor dog!! I have my paws crossed.
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  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"It's a little more the I can afford but it looks like it's better for the dogs, so why not try.:rolleyes:"//

    that is my dream, too, Remi, i hope to be able to get some for Buddy, too. For now, i just add raw meat as i can afford to, and give him the occasional raw bone. My fussy dog still needs his raw meat "seared" a bit or he won't eat it...:rolleyes:
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  12. DaniG Well-Known Member

    I, personally, have yet to be convinced that raw food is ideal, partly because I am grossed out by it, partly because of the high protein levels, and partly because I worry about them being unbalanced. ESPECIALLY homemade versions of the food, when people are not doing their research and just feed them meat. Dogs DO need some fruits and veggies in their diet.

    I do say this as a huge advocate of healthy, hollistic foods. I am NOT a big fan of dogfoodadvisor, mainly because I disagree that Instinct is a "6 star food" and Solid Gold, who are the pioneers of hollistic foods, only gets a 4 star (yeah yeah yeah I'm a little biased, but I REALLY like Solid Gold :whistle: ). It's a great starting point for learning about nutrition, but that site also basically says more protein is better, which is NOT the case. In fact, in some dogs, high protein diets can exacerbate aggressive tendencies.

    "Can high protein affect my dog's behavior?
    Possibly. SOME dogs, but certainly not all dogs, develop aggressive behavior when they are eating a high protein diet. Lowering the protein content in their food may help reduce the aggressive behavior. This is a rare situation and most aggression disorders are behavioral or medical problems that need to be addressed with a veterinarian and a behavior specialist. Aggressive dogs are dangerous and their aggression should be treated at the first sign by a professional." ( (from a pet food company that has a high protein diet, so I would say thats a pretty reliable source... I have also heard it elsewhere).

    There are a LOT of opinions when it comes to food, I would encourage your friend to check out some of the websites of some healthier foods (Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, Merrick (I also REALLY like Merrick), etc) rather than just using one resource. Do whatever makes the most sense - just as many people seem to think Hill's gives vets a kickback for promoting their food (they don't.... and their staff feeding program is :poop:, just for the record ), I do suspect that its these foods that are rated as "6 star" foods are the ones promoting the website. No proof, just a suspicion.

    And it may not even be the BRAND of food, since Blue is a decent food (although I will tell you that many cases of diarrhea that come into our clinic happen shortly after the dog has been switched to Blue.... completely anecdotal but still worth consideration. It is a really rich food) he may just need a different protein source. Duke is allergic to chicken, and whenever I have had him on a good food with chicken as its protein source (Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, Natural Planet Organics to name drop a few) his skin has flared up BIG time.

    Other things to consider aside from just food, while tigerlily has a point that MANY dogs are food allergic and/or skin issues can be solved by feeding a higher quality food or a food with a different protein source, another VERY common allergy is a flea allergy. Since he has SO much scabbing around his rump area, I would definitely make sure there is a good flea prevention in the picture.

    I'm not sure if you can get it in your area, but Duke's skin & coat looked that absolute BEST when I was putting just 1 spoonful of Canine Caviar Beaver (gross, I know!) canned food mixed in with his food. I had to stop because they stopped distributing in Florida, making it really hard to get. I was able to get it online for a while, but then it just kept getting harder and harder to get =(. I have him on fish oil supplements now, and while they definitely help to keep his skin from flaring, its not AS good as the beaver was. Once I move out of Florida he will be going back on that immediately.
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  13. DaniG Well-Known Member

    And I very much agree with tigerlily about not oversupplementing or listening to the sales clerks about this that and the other "Magic" herbs/cures.
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  14. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I have never given Remi anything that I eat, only Blue Buffalo puppy food. So I'm definitively doing it slowly. When I switched him for the 4healthy food that his breeder had him on to Blue he had the worst upset tummy. Anything that isn't his normal treats or kibble he gets an upset tummy. So its going to be a very slow process.

    I will tell her to avoid herbs and such. She went out and bought some chicken today, I think it was thighs or breast. But she's terrified of how to give it to him. She called me panicing saying. "But it has bones and blood. Its raw meat, he could choke on the bones or get sick and die." I too am still having a little trouble understanding if she just gives it to him that way or does she need to do anything to it first? By the way this dog will eat anything you put in front of him. It's his favorite thing to do!

    Buddy sounds like my moms chihuahua! He wont eat anything unless he sees her prep and cook it. He is very picky about what he'll eat, and it has to be on a human plate or he wont even look at it! :ROFLMAO:
  15. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    DaniG- She's skeptical about it, but she wants to try everything she can. She also found a animal dermatologist near her house. Literally within 20 mins so she will be setting up the appointment for consultation.

    Oh and I have first hand witness the diarrhea from switching my pup to Blue. My pup had diarrhea a good week before he adjusted to the food.
  16. DaniG Well-Known Member

    I would have her go out and get one of the Commercial Raw Diets if she is going to try Raw - don't do any home recipes unless she knows what she is doing! At the very least, commercial raw diets (Like Instinct/BARF/others? Those are the only Commercial Raw Diets I know of...) are balanced. The absolute WORST diet you can feed your dog is just plain raw meat and nothing else - in other words, an unbalanced raw, homemade diet.
  17. DaniG Well-Known Member

    And I am very happy she has found a dermatologist!
  18. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Whoops, and a correction from my earlier post... its dogfoodanalysis that I am not a big fan of! Dogfoodadvisor I have not used much.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  19. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I was thinking the same thing! I told her to hold off on the raw meat until we go check out the store, I know they carry some of the commercial raw diets as well as some veggie bags like sojos that you just add meat and water too, just to add a little more to his diet.
  20. sara Moderator

    TONS of people feed a PMR which is just meat, bones and organs, and their dogs are fantastically healthy. Personally, I also believe that dogs need veggies, but many, MANY people dont, and their dogs certainly aren't suffering for it.

    I feed my dogs raw chicken necks, backs, legs, wings, whole fish, Oxtails, etc. I dont feed it all the time, but I do feed it once a week or so. Chicken bones, when raw, are perfectly fine, and infact are very good for teeth :)
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