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Ask the Veterinarian/raised rash and red pimple-like spots


I am a caregiver to a handicapped gentleman who owns two dogs, one of which has a skin problem. No funds for veterinarian advice, so I am asking out of desperation. This concerns a Great Pyrenees and St Bernard mix dog approx. 15 months of age. When I started caring for this man, he was feeding his dog a low cost dog food, and giving only 1.5 cups of food a day.  Obviously she was underfed. At this point, her belly had red splotches, as did the back of her legs, and her back, in the hip area.  She had pulled out much of her hair on her back, and it is starting to grow back, but still has a bumpy feel, where the skin definitely is affected by this rash.  At that time, the back of her legs had raised areas, but I only felt them, and did not address that issue.  Looking at her belly, my initial thought was an allergy, so I bought a large bag a Pedigree dog food and started feeding her 4 cups a day.  She is consuming the four cups, and the red rash has disappeared from her belly, but on one front underarm she has what appears to be red pimple like raised spots, with small scabs at the head of the spot.  Her back area where there is hair regrowth, feels like a dry raised skin irritation.  The back of her back legs still has raised areas of irritation.  She scratches constantly.  I am not in a financial position to take her to a vet, and he tells me that he has no finances. Is there something that I can do to help this poor dog?  I have sprayed the areas with Genesis topical spray, which doesn't seem to help.  I am so upset over this issue, and don't know where to turn.  I have not taken a photo, but can do so if needed.

Obviously, without a veterinary exam, I cannot be specific about this case on the internet.  There are two things that come to mind right away...a bacterial skin infection and sarcoptic mange.  

Puppies can get bacterial infections that form raised crusts pretty easily.  An antibacterial shampoo and antibiotics are needed to treat a skin infection.  Some pups with a skin infection are allergic to their food, so you can try changing the diet to a protein source that is not in the current food for 4-6 weeks to see if that helps.  Other pups can have demodectic mange causing the skin infection.

Sarcoptic mange mites itch like crazy and can caused red crusty areas.  Treatment requires a special topical insecticide that kills sarcoptic mites or an injection called ivermectin.  Some vets will sell BRAVECTO, which is a new tablet that may help.  

Without having any money for veterinary care, you might not be able to do very much for this pup on your own.

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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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