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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32482
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My dog, a Schnauser/Cairns cross is almost 10 years old. He

Customer Question

My dog, a Schnauser/Cairns cross is almost 10 years old. He is in seemingly very good general health, with the exception of his on-going skin problems. Over the years different Vets have treated him with either an injection plus shampoo, or tablets plus shampoo. No real improvement is made. He bites through his fur, sometimes making an area raw. A friend suggested that he could be a dog that has anal gland problems, but I cab see 'yellowed' spots on his skin, which when touched aggravate him. He displays aggravation by involuntary leg movements, sticking out his tongue rapidly, and of course biting. His last visit to the Vet was the beginning of August, when tablets starting at 3 per day and finishing on one every other day has not worked. Your comments would be gratefully received. Patrick Abbitt
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is Dr. Peter I am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Have you tried doing a food trial with a hypoallergenic diet? If so, what are you feeding him now?
2- How much does he weigh?
3- How long has he had the yellow spots on the skin?
4- Does he have raw areas now?
5- Is he currently on any medications at home?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your response:


1) Over the years he has been on different dog food products. Currently he is on Tesco Prime Cuts which he eats readily with dry biscuits. His condition has not seemingly been affected or deviated with the dog foods.

2) He weighs just under 10kgs

3)The yellow spots come and go and are not in regular areas, but tend towards the back half of his body.

4) No raw areas now. I treat them with Fucidin ointment which clears them up quickly.

5) Not at this time. (The last set of tablets, the Vet advised, would make him thirsty, and consequently, urinate more often. The tablets finished over two weeks ago, but his drinking/urinating are talking time to return to normal.)

Sorry about delay in answering but had to go out. Thank you.


Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
No problem Patrick, thank you for your answers.

Patrick, one of the most common causes for chronic skin problems as you describe in Barney is an underlying allergy (food or environmental). The first place to start is doing a food trial during 6-8 weeks. I usually like doing the food trial first because it often resolves the problem and it is less expensive vs doing testing. This is what you can do:

1- Change his diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what he normally has in the past. You want to avoid things like corn, soy, gluten, wheat, barley, casein (dairy), etc.
When on this diet he should not eat anything else or he will not improve. Needs to be on this strict diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement. For treats you can give veggies like cauliflower, baby carrots, broccoli, etc. which normally do not cause any skin problems.

2- Start him on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 25mg every 12 hours. You can buy this over the counter in any pharmacy (chemist).

3- Supplement with Eicosaderm (omega 3 fatty acids); you can buy this over the counter in any pet store or online. Give at label dose.

4- Bath him once every 21 days and use an oatmeal based shampoo.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter