How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24358
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

Our 7 year old German Shepherd dog has been having problems

Customer Question

Hello
Our 7 year old German Shepherd dog has been having problems with his skin for a few months. Our vet say it could be various things -an allergy, hormone problems but didn't really know what the problem is. She gave us antibiotics and steroid tablets which did ease it but once the course was finished, the symptoms returned and they are getting worse. It is mostly under his arms and his groin area, the skin has turned black and become very thick and he is constantly scratching and licking it. Any advice would be grateful
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understand your frustration at this time. The changes in his skin - darkening and thickening - is called lichenification and occurs with many chronic disease processes that cause chronic inflammation. Atopy - allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc. - is most often diagnosed when the axillae (armpits) and groin are involved. It's very common for secondary bacterial and yeast infection to arise in these chronically excoriated areas. The proper manner in which to proceed is to perform a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of his skin surface) to see if abnormal numbers of bacteria or yeast exist. It's likely that both do and so an antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin (for bacteria) plus ketoconazole (for yeast) should be considered for a minimum of 3-4 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs. An antimicrobial shampoo containing both chlorhexidine and miconazole or ketoconazole would hasten remission of the infections. In this case, clinical signs refers to his constant pruritis (itchiness) and not the skin changes which are likely to be permanent to some degree. An underlying atopy is best addressed not with a corticosteroid which will make treating secondary infections successfully more difficult but, instead, with the new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib which works as well as steroids for controlling the pruritis of allergic dermatitis but without the adverse side effects of the steroids. You also have the option of testing him for offending allergens and then having a desensitizing serum manufactured with which you would treat sublingually or by injections ("allergy shots"). His vet can do the testing for you or you can have a specialist veterinary dermatologist attend to him. Please see here: http://www.rvc.ac.uk/small-animal-referrals/dermatology Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr Scott Nimmo

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    133
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Dr Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    133
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2570
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1840
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrRalston/2011-10-18_1611_Vet.64x64.JPG DrRalston's Avatar

    DrRalston

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    169
    Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    96
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdoctor09/2011-12-14_51529_Picture1.64x64.jpg petdoctor09's Avatar

    petdoctor09

    Board Certified Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    72
    Veterinarian, General Practitioner