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Gracie 2
Gracie 2  
Hi Dr. Louis,

I have a 1 year old female german shepherd mix, Gracie, who we adopted about 3 months ago from a shelter. She was found as a stray originally.  When we got her she had a quite painful looking rash on her lower abdomen and groin area that looked like pimples and blackheads. The shelter said she came in that way and no one really knew what it was or where it came from. We of course took her to our vet and he doesn't actually know what it is either (and he's been practicing for over 30 years!). She has been on an antibiotic, cephalexin twice a day since we got her. We also shampoo the area with a special soap bi-weekly to kill the bacteria on contact. The rash has gotten much better over time but its been a very, very, very slow process. The red pimple-like pistons would turn the skin a black color after they had healed making her skin have a very dark pigmentation as it got better. Eventually the black seemed to clear up and turn to a more normal pink color which you can see in the February photo.  You will see that there is a very clear improvement in the area over the 2 months. The problem is that if we ever skipped even one dose, she would have a flare up of another large red pimple-like bump and this would take several weeks to go away. I was wondering if you could take a look at her photos and maybe give us a hint at what it could be? Since she has improved so much our vet wants to finish up her prescription and see how she does with no antibiotic and see if it comes back, do you agree with this plan? I'm just nervous that it will go back to the way it was before and be painful for her.

Thanks so much for your help!


Once this is cleared up it should not come back unless there is an allergy that keeps the skin infected.  If you can keep her off of the antibiotics for while and continue bathing with the antibacterial shampoo, you will know if this is going to be a continuous problem or not.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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