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Ask Dr. Steven Osborne Your Own Question

Dr. Steven Osborne
Dr. Steven Osborne, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of Veterinary Medicine expertise with experience in canine and feline medicine and surgery
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Hey, I have just noticed a lot of scab wounds and one circle

Customer Question

Hey, I have just noticed a lot of scab wounds and one circle shaped open wound on my dog.. the scab wounds are on her chest and just below her neck whereas the open looking wound is on the back of her neck.. I am really worried about her however she has had an incident like this before because of fleas.. There is no sign whatsoever of fleas and usually you can she them on her coat, she is a lab/boxer mix and she will not stop scratching herself I don't know what to do, it may be a food allergy but I'm just assuming that from the research I am doing online right now.. Can you help me?? Thank you :]
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Steven Osborne replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve. Is there any possibility that this could be caused by any thing else like a dog fight ?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

IT is possible that this could be caused by flea allergies or if there are no fleas, then another type of allergy could be the cause. Dogs can become allergic to their food, but they can also have allergies to seasonal things like pollen, dust, weed seeds, etc. Any of these allergies can cause a severe itching sensation and self trauma like you are describing. Be sure there are no fleas, they can be hard to see in some cases, but for now we will assume there are no fleas.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

No she is a house dog and has a lab mate they get on great trust me :] I did jus wash her Friday night with a flea shampoo is there any chance she may be allergic to that? I'm just very worried

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Was she scratching very much before the flea shampoo?

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

She was yes so I thought the fleas might be back that's why I gave her a good bath but she also tends to scratch a lot if mom sprays the furniture with something. The scabs just scared me and she is my little baby so I want to do anything I can to make sure she is ok and not in any distress or pain

Dr. Steven Osborne :

It is not very common to be allergic to a flea shampoo. I have had clients use oral benadryl at a dose of 1 mg per pound once or twice a day to help relieve itching from allergies. THis works better in some dogs than others but is usually worth a try. The first step is to give her some relief from the itching. If this doesn't help her by morning, then she may need an allergy injection from your vet.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

The scabs are a fairly common result of severe itching. Once the itching is stopped, then the healing can begin. In some dogs, they may need antibiotics to help treat the secondary skin infections that can make things worse. Your vet should look at these sores , even if hte benadryl helps and he can get you the antibiotics to speed up the healing of the sores.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

We went to our local pet shop and they suggested we out her on a new food I cant remember the name but she turned off the food very quickly.. I don't have any Benadryl tablets or lotion at home but I could give it a try tomorrow.. So should a just take her to the vet and see what he says? I have put anti-bacterial powder on the scabs now to prevent infection but she is sleeping now so the itching has stopped anyway.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Actually with the severity of her case, medicine from the vet will usually be more effective than benadryl. I typically only have clients use benadryl to get through the night until morning when they can get to the vet. Some vets will use other oral medicines for allergies instead of the injection, but these are still more effective than benadryl as a rule.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Ok I will make an appointment to see the vet in the morning. Thanks

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Diagnosing a food allergy is very difficult and is more involved than just changing the food. If it does happen to be a food allergy, which is possible, but not as common as other allergies, it requires a hypoallergenic food and dogs usually have to be on this food for 30-60 days before you see a good response, so they still need medication to relieve the itching while on the food. Your vet can discuss food allergies in more detail, but again the medicine she gets tomorrow will be the fastest and most effective way to give her relief.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Ok thank you.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I hope this has helped. If it has would you please click the submit button so I may receive credit for my answer. If you have more questions, please continue. THanks for using just answer and good luck

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I see you rated my service as poor. WOuld you mind letting me know what I can do so you feel that my answers are better than poor? I truly want you to be satisfied with the information yo get from me THanks

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Sorry about that but any information you gave me I have already just seen online in other websites. I thought by coming on this a vet would be able to give me some inside to what it might be caused from and what home remedies I could use now

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Ok, I didn't understand completely. I would be glad to be more specific.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Unfortunately dogs can be allergic to anything people can be allergic to and , as in humans the only way to know for sure is to do skin testing which is expensive and stressful, but available. In most cases the injectable steroids ( allergy injection) from the vet seem to adequately control the vast majority of allergies in dogs.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

As for home remedies, the only ones that have helped in my practice is the benadryl orally. Depending on how much your dog is itching , you could still try that first and see if it helps. If it is not better you coudl always go to a vet at that time. Usually the benadryl will help in 12 hours if it is going to . Another thing that can give some relief is to give a bath in oatmeal shampoo ( human shampoo is ok as long as it is oatmeal) . THis seems to help relieve the itching sensation at least temporarily.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

I think I just don't understand why she keeps getting these scabs and then the lab is fine he does scratch himself but their are no wounds on him at all.. Yes I seen something about oatmeal shampoo on a website and what about an aloe lotion for humans?? could I use that on her or would it irritate her skin?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

As for food allergies, most dogs are allergic to the protein in the food . So a special food with an unusual protein source is the best allergy food. Examples are Hills D/D which has protein from duck, rabbit, venison or whitefish which are less allergenic than lamb or poultry or beef. THe food I use is Iames K/O which has Kangaroo for the protein source. As you can see this is more involved than simple switching to a different brand.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

OAtmeal or Aloe are both fine and some shampoos may contain both which is even better. What is likely going on is that Tess has come in contact ( usually by inhaling) something that she is allergic to. When dogs have allergies they get very itchy and scratch themselves , sometimes so severely that they get sores that scab over. People get hay fever and sinus drainage with allergies , but dogs get itchy. THis would be like someone in your family who is allergic to something and gets sneezing and watery eyes, but no one else seems to be affected. THe same thing happens with dogs except 1 dog may get itchy from allergies and another dog may not have any allergies and is not affected.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

And would shampoo's be more effective than a lotion?? and would it be ok if they came into direct contact with the wounds? they wouldn't hurt her would they?? We have also just put down some grass seed in the garden and she has been running around in it like crazy when she goes out. could that maybe be a problem involved?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Grass seed could be a possible allergy causing thing. The shampoo in my opinion wold be better and as long as you rinse it off thoroughly after she soaks in the shampoo for 10-15 minutes, the sores shouldn't bebothered by the shampoo. They may become softened and fall off, but that also shouldn't be a problem. If you dry her with a towel, gently blot her dry, don't rub or yoou may cause the sores to bleed,

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Ok thank you.. :] sorry about all the questions I just want to know as much as possible. If I try the oatmeal shampoo, Benadryl tablets and change her food do you think there will be an improvement or should I just take her to the vet as well as these? I just don't have a lot of money so I would like to try it first and then if there is no change go to the vet but if you think I should do them all and still go to the vet then of course I will.?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Trying the benadryl, shampoo and changing food should not hurt anything and if you don't see results in 1-2 days, then you may need to take her to the vet if necessary,but again it shouldn't be a problem to try that first. I have also had clients use human triple antibiotic ointment on the sores once a day to help promote healing. Don't worry about the questions, I do appreciate the opportunity to expand so you can get some information that you feel useful.

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Ok so I will try these remedies first and if their is no improvement I will go straight to the vet.. should I use Benadryl for kids or adults and how many doses a day should she receive? And would you put the triple antibiotic ointment directly on the wounds or just beside them??

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I would put the triple antibiotic directly on the sores. The benadryl dose is 1 mg per pound of body weight so either will work,. Childrens benadryl is easier to use on small dogs ( less than 20 pounds ) and adult is easier for larger dogs. I have clients give it once or twice a day for 2-3 days. orally

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Ok thank you sooooo much this information was a lot more helpful :]

Dr. Steven Osborne :

You are very welcome. I would appreciate if you wold change the rating for me if you are ok with that

JACUSTOMER-3nop15q5- :

Yes of course .. Thank you again I feel much better now :]

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I am glad-Have anice night'

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