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Ask the Veterinarian/Rash and constant chewing


Hi! First of all, thank you so much for the service you provide! I have a 2 year old feist/Boston terrier mix named Pudge. He frequently gets a rash of small raised red bumps that become filled with fluid on his back and haunches. To look at it reminds me if something similar to the exema or psoriasis a person would have. He rubs himself on everything and chews at it constantly, which causes bald hot spots. He doesn't have fleas or ticks. It worsens anytime he goes outside, even if he isn't out long, but he doesn't roll in the grass at all. It doesn't seem to cause any other health symptoms, but I can tell it drives him crazy. The worse it gets, the worse his anxiety and temper seem to become toward our other dogs. I did ask our vet about it and she said it may be an allergy of some sort and to try bathing him with an oatmeal wash like aveno, but that didn't help and the vet has dismissed the issue since he isn't in danger from it. I'd love to be able to get him some relief, so any information or advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

This sounds like a dermatitis with a secondary infection.  You can always get a second opinion from a vet in your area that treats a lot of skin problems or you can go to a veterinary dermatologist.  If you are near the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, they have a few of them there.  If it is an allergy causing the dermatitis, there are some choices like steroids, cyclosporine, or a new drug called Apoquel.  Some dogs are allergic to something their food, so often, a diet trial with a different protein source food can help.  If there is an infection causing these fluid filled bumps, then an antibacterial shampoo containing chlorhexidine, benzoyl peroxide, or even bleach can help in addition to antibiotics.

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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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