Sores Around Mouth

Reader Question on Mouth Sores Followed by Suggestion From Our Vet

Our 14-month-old lab has developed sores around his mouth. We consulted our vet, and he prescribed an antibiotic to eliminate any possible infection. The sores appeared to heal some. However, they have returned and are worse. They are on the front of his muzzle, or what I would describe as his upper lips (where his whiskers are) and chin.

We are wondering about a possible allergy to our female lab's urine (he sniffs and even licks it), grass/weeds (which he grazes on nearly every time he goes outside), or food (we feed him a mid-quality dry food with chicken/rice base, after switching from Puppy Chow). I wondered about treatment with hydrogen peroxide and possibly Vaseline (if urine is the problem). It doesn't seem painful but is ugly. He is otherwise very healthy, if hyper. He is small-framed and weighs about 50-55 pounds.

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Mouth Sores


It’s hard to say what might be going on with your dog’s skin without having the chance to examine him and possibly run some diagnostic tests. Allergies are certainly a possibility, although I don’t think an allergic reaction to your female lab’s urine is very likely. Allergies to pollen, mold, mites or ingredients in food are much more likely. Other possible problems include infections (including a condition called puppy pyoderma), autoimmune disorders, parasites… the list is quite long.

If your veterinarian can’t determine what is going on with just a physical examination, which is often the case, he or she may need to perform skin cytology to look for yeast and/or bacterial infections, skin scrapings for mites, and/or a fungal culture for ringworm. Allergy testing or skin biopsies may also be required if initial testing doesn’t provide an answer.

Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM

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