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Question
My German shepherd had fleas a few years ago and he was allergic to the flea saliva. He lost hair on his side's that never grew back. His skin is a little rough in that area also he now has what I can only describe as scab like. The vet had said it was bacterial. Bathed him with the antibacterial shampoo and gave him medicine for the infection. It never really went away. What can be causing these problems? Once in a while he states scratching his neck which seems to make it weep, not bloody but oozes somewhat. I don't put his collar on him because the way it rubs his neck. Any ideas?

Answer
If the dog is allergic to fleas, he needs to be on anti-inflammatory medication to calm down the allergy. There are steroids, cyclosporine, and a new drug called oclacitinib for that.  If there is an infection, it could be either bacterial or yeast.  You will need a vet to examine the dog and prescribe medication.  Shampoos alone will not do too much in an allergic dog.  In addition, you should have the dog on some type of flea medication.  I am recommending the oral type of flea killing medication because they are working better in allergy.  There are many choices here, too including Comfortis, Nexgard, and Bravecto.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

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.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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