Patches of Crusty Flakes on Dog

by Susan
(media pa)

Reader Question: Treating Dog Skin Flakes

Hi, I am not sure which shampoo would be best for a lab with roundish patches of large flakes on his sides and lots of big flakes on his back. Now he is getting red bumps and red patches too, under his armpits and along one side of his trunk. I first noticed large flakes in May, then they disappeared until two weeks ago. Baby shampoo was helping at first but not now. It also has an odor and itches some.

Suggestion from Our Veterinarian


It sounds as if your lab is suffering from a significant skin condition. I cannot diagnose him without first having the opportunity to perform an examination, but possible causes include skin infections (bacterial and/or fungal), allergies, immune disorders, infestations of parasites (some of which are too small to see with the naked eye), and even some types of cancer.

To diagnose your dog, a veterinarian will have to take a complete health history, perform a physical examination, and probably run some simple laboratory tests like a skin scraping to look for mites, a fungal culture for ringworm, and skin cytology to rule out infection. I recommend you get your dog in to see a veterinarian as soon as possible since many skin conditions get worse with time and some are contagious to other pets and even people.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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