Skin Problem in Red Nosed Pitbull
by Kendell Lance
(Providence, Rhode Island)
Reader Question: Canine back covered with bumps
I have a 1 year old red nosed pit-bull that I got about 3 months ago. Right away he had an ear infection and I treated him with his antibiotics but then he got 2 more ear infections. I thought he was just prone to them but he started getting dandruff and some scabs. There were only a few but in the past week or two his entire back is COVERED with bumps from the scabs. He itches and bites at his skin until it bleeds and I’m freaking out. I’ve tried giving him baths with oatmeal shampoo and it hasn’t worked.
Now I’m worried it might be a food allergy or something. He eats Alpo "Come and Get It" dog food. He ate a different food last month also made by Alpo. What should I do and what do you think the problem is?
Kendell Vet suggestion for dog skin covered with bumps
Yes, a food allergy
is certainly a possible cause of your dog’s skin problems, but so are many other health concerns including environmental allergies, external parasites, bacterial infections, and more. Dogs that have recurrent skin problems and/or ear infections need to have a full dermatologic work up to get at the underlying cause. Otherwise, you’ll spend a whole lot of money and time dealing with the infections, but they’ll just keep coming back.
I start these types of work ups with a physical exam, history, skin scrapings to look for mites, skin/ear cytology to rule out bacterial and yeast infections, and a fungal culture to diagnose cases of ringworm. Depending on the results of those tests, I might prescribe a round of treatment followed up by a recheck exam or more diagnostic testing in a step-wise approach.
You should be aware that accurately diagnosing and effectively treating chronic skin problems in dogs can take multiple veterinary visits and requires constant communication between veterinarian and owner about what is working and what is not.
Jennifer Coates, DVM