How to Treat a Recurrent Dog Skin Infection

by Vic Cannings
(Evesham England)

Reader Question: Symptoms Returned After Treating a Dog Bacterial Skin Infection

My 9 year old Westie has had a skin problem develop over the last 4 months. The vet diagnosed a bacterial infection and the dog has had two prescriptions for antibiotics but about 2 weeks after the end of the course, the symptoms come back. Lumps develop and then he gets a black crusty scab which breaks up into powder mainly on back and chest. He now has a similar black patch in the inner corner of his eyes, along his lower lips and on his anus. '

Any clues please?

Suggestions from our Veterinarian on how to Treat a Recurrent Dog Skin Infection

Hi Vic,

Recurrent skin infections are usually a sign that a dog has an underlying health problem that has not yet been addressed. Allergies to environmental triggers like pollen, mold or mites or to ingredients in food are relatively common, as are hormonal disorders like Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism.

Has your dog had a complete health work-up?

If not, blood work, a urinalysis, and tests specifically for Cushing’s and hypothyroidism would be worthwhile. Diagnosing allergies is more difficult.

Skin and blood tests are available for environmental allergies but identifying a food allergy requires a lengthy diet trial during with a dog eats nothing but a hypoallergenic food prescribed by a veterinarian.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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