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Treatment for Dog Skin Pimples and Irritation

by Virginia

red ear

red ear

red ear
red skin around eyes
red mouth/muzzle
red penis

Reader Question: When I first bought my Shihtzu 4 months old, he was just cured from ear mites but had some red bumps like pimples on his tummy. The vet told me to put Betadine on them & they soon dried up. Every time they resurfaced on another part of his body I always did so with the same results.


After his 6 month birthday, I rushed him to the vet when he vomited, stopped eating & couldn't walk steadily. Notable in his blood test result was very low creatinine, little high neutrophils, no basophils, adequate platelets, RBC & WBC in normal range. The vet gave him some antibiotics & canned AD.
They told me it was okay to take him home when he started eating a couple days later.

This was when I noticed he had bloodshot eyes, RED skin on his muzzle & around the mouth & eyes. He was also still weak & easily tired. Veterinarian #1 told me to continue his oral antibiotics doxycycline 7mg at home & that he had a blood parasite HE DIDN'T SAY WHAT KIND, which needed to be Frontlined 3 days after a wet bath that is, when he's strong enough to take one. Another vet recommended a medicinal bath every 4 days to cure his skin problem.

AFTER 1 WK, my puppy looked depressed & miserable & kept scratching his face on the floor. When he started sneezing, I took him to Vet #2 who said he had conjunctivitis. The skin around on his muzzle was still red but not bumpy, his lip line looks brown I'M NOT SURE IT WASN'T BLACK BEFORE?, & since he kept licking his penis, it's starting to look a bit red at the tip now.

I also noticed his ears are SOMETIMES very warm & red--they look red for a couple minutes then normal-pink at certain angles. The doc said it WASN'T ear mites again. His blood test came out differently this time: WBC,LYM,HGB,PLT,LY%, were all BELOW normal & his MO% was 2 pts above normal. Sugar levels, Liver & Kidney function were fine.

For my pup's eyes, Vet#2 prescribed Neomycine Eye gel, which is a big improvement after only a couple days. But now the skin AROUND the eyes is red. She also prescribed Prednisone & Nutriplus Gel since she says a nutrient deficiency is the cause of all my dog's troubles. I'm also to continue the oral doxycycline.

Just now I'm waiting it's only been 2 days to see if these supplements will work.

So far my puppy seems livelier but not up to his pre-sickness playfulness yet. She said it would take around 2-3 weeks, but that I could give him a bath already. I forgot to ask if/when he needed Frontline though & if I needed a special shampoo. Should I be doing anything else for my baby?

Veterinarian Suggestion:

Hi Virginia,

Wow, what a story! Your puppy is lucky to have such a concerned and dedicated owner to see him through this ordeal.

I would need more information to provide you with any useful information about your dog’s condition. For instance, what type of blood parasite is he being treated for? Has he had basic diagnostic tests performed for his skin problems? If he were my patient, at the very least I would want to run skin scrapings to look for mites, skin cytology to diagnose any infections that might be present, and a fungal culture for ringworm.

Make sure that the veterinarians with whom you are working are fully aware of any tests/treatments that the other has performed or prescribed. In cases like this it is possible that treatment for one problem could actually make another worse.

If your dog’s condition is not getting better in the time frame that your veterinarian identified (or if he gets worse at any time), it would be worth considering a trip to your nearest veterinary specialty center. At these facilities, specialists from different disciplines (e.g., veterinary dermatologists and internists) can work together to get to the bottom of your dog’s health problems.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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