Mystery Severe Dog Skin Infection

by Mira

Skin Infection to Right of Tail and Down Leg

Skin Infection to Right of Tail and Down Leg

we think it started as a spider bite after a night eating out. He’s been to the vet and the ER. No one has ever seen anything like it, so it's still undiagnosed. Photos submitted are in order of development of presentation.

So far the meds he has been prescribed are the following:
- gabapentin for pain
- amoxicillin as an antibiotic
- silver sulfadanzene cream

Any guesses on how to treat or at least diagnose?

Editor Suggestion Cause and Treatment of a Large and Quick to Develop Dog Skin Infection and Rash

Hi Mira,

So sorry to hear about your dog's skin problem.

Based on the description and provided images, a potential cause could be a bite or sting from an insect or spider. Some dogs are hypersensitive to spider bites, which can result in intense reactions such as swelling, redness, pain, and hair loss in the bitten area.

Other possible causes might include contact dermatitis, or a bacterial skin infection.

To examine possible causes:

Contact Dermatitis: This is an allergic reaction to something the dog's skin has come into contact with, such as certain types of grass, detergents, or other allergens. The reaction can occur within minutes to hours of exposure, depending on the dog's sensitivity. Symptoms include redness, itchiness, and sometimes swelling. Hair loss can also occur due to the dog scratching or biting at the affected area.

Bacterial Skin Infection (Pyoderma): Dogs' skin can become infected with bacteria rapidly, especially if there's an open wound or bite, or if the dog has been scratching at an itch, which can break the skin. This can progress within 24-72 hours. Symptoms include redness, swelling, pustules, hair
loss, and often itchiness.

Your dog's rapid reaction to a possible spider bite, or the other conditions described above, is not uncommon.

I considered ringworm, however, the onset and progression usually aren't immediate or exceptionally rapid. After exposure to the fungus, it typically takes 1-2 weeks for symptoms to appear.

In terms of the prescribed treatments:

Gabapentin: This is a medication often used to control pain and seizures in dogs. It can be useful for managing discomfort associated with skin conditions. It appears to be an appropriate prescription, given your dog might be in pain from the described symptoms.

Amoxicillin: This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat various infections in dogs. If a bacterial infection is suspected (which can occur secondary to a bug bite or skin wound), amoxicillin is an appropriate choice.

Silver Sulfadiazine Cream: This is a topical antimicrobial cream commonly used to prevent or treat skin infections in burn wounds. It could be beneficial if your vet suspects the skin condition is severe or if there's a risk of infection.

The treatment plan prescribed by your veterinarian appears to be comprehensive and reasonable, addressing both potential pain and bacterial infection.

A proper diagnosis often requires a physical examination and possible laboratory testing, like a skin scrape test or fungal culture.

Continue to monitor your dog closely and report any changes in behavior, appetite, or worsening of symptoms to your vet.

Please keep us up to date on your dog's condition.


Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

Please note: This information is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your pet's veterinarian. Always consult a vet for professional medical advice about your pet's health.

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