Peeling Dog Skin
(New York, NY, USA)
Reader Question: What Is Causing My Dog's Skin To Peel?
I noticed a few weeks ago that my family dog had a strange, raw patch of skin right between the end of her neck and the start of her belly. The hair was falling off with skin attached, leaving a lawyer of raw skin. I treated it myself by putting some Vaseline on it and noticed within a week that it helped (or so I thought).
Well today, I saw that she has more than one raw patch of skin. She has 4 that I counted. One was in the same place that I found before, the second and third were under her hind legs, and the forth (which was the worst one on her) was under her front, right leg. The forth one was blood red, and had been bleeding a little and the rest seem to be just raw, pink and irritated.
She is on a healthy diet; dry food=kibbles n' bits usually, and no table food. We bathe her using the same shampoo we have since she was a puppy. And we've lived in the same place for some time now. She doesn't scratch or chew at herself, I checked for fleas and ticks and she doesn't have any. Other than the raw patches of skin that she has, her skin seems healthy everywhere else.
Does anyone have an idea of what could be causing her hair to fall out
and her skin to be so raw and, if so what could I use to treat the patches?
Thank you for all help in advance, I appreciate your time.
-Steph Vet's Advice To Reader Regarding Dog Skin Peeling
The list of potential causes for your dog’s skin problems is quite long, and coming up with an accurate diagnosis usually requires that we run some tests. The way I’d approach your dog’s case if she were my patient would be to first perform a complete physical exam looking for anything that might be related to your dog’s condition and then run a skin cytology (a simple and inexpensive test) to rule out a bacterial or yeast infection and check for any usual skin cells that might point us in one direction or another.
If an infection were present, I would treat that (probably with oral antimicrobials in addition to topicals due to the severity of her symptoms) and see what happened. If she got better and stayed better, perfect. But, if her condition did not resolve completely we’d have to start looking for an underlying cause (many skin infections in dogs develop secondarily to another condition like allergies
). If your dog did not have a skin infection
, we’d be looking at running a skin scraping to rule out mites, a fungal culture for ringworm
, and perhaps even a skin biopsy to get to the bottom of the problem.
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM