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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33265
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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hi, my westies seems to be developing scabs on his back for

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hi, my westies seems to be developing scabs on his back for the past couple of months, it doesnt seem to bother him altho the vet has put him on coatex capsules and a special dry for designed for westies, is there anything that will help stop this

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Neil, to answer your question directly, I need to know what Paddington's vet thinks those scabs represent. Coatex capsules are nothing more than fatty acids supplements which may support healthy skin but won't address many of the causes of scabs.

Basic testing should include skin scrapings looking for underlying mange mites, a cytology of the skin (microscopic exam of a sample of the skin surface) looking for abnormal numbers of bacteria or yeast) and perhaps a fungal culture of a representative area of skin. If mange mites are seen (Demodex is our primary concern) in skin scrapings, we would treat with either topical dips or oral ectoparasiticides. If high numbers of bacteria are seen (pyoderma) we would treat Paddington with a broad spectrum antiobiotic in the cephalosporin class such as Keflex for a minimum of 3 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs. If high numbers of yeast are seen (Malassezia), we would treat with oral ketoconazole for a month.

You'll need to insist that Paddington's vet clarify why those scabs have appeared. Administering faty acid supplements and bathing in a soothing shampoo isn't likely to resolve a scabbing dermatosis. It's important to note, too, that Westies as a breed have a high incidence (risk) of being atopic - allergic to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites. These dogs are pruritic (itchy), however, and so Paddington may not represent one of those allergic Westies. I bring allergic skin disease up because allergic skin is often secondarily infected (pyoderma) and will need antibiotic therapy as mentioned above.

Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi, ive managed to get him to the vets as yet about it, it doesn't seem to bother him and hes not scratching, it looks like brown eggs really, its down his sides and over his lower back

Can you upload a close up photo(s) of these "brown eggs" to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box or an external app such as I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.

Circular (egg shaped?) hyperpigmented skin lesions are usually epidermal collarettes - a skin lesion typical of pyoderma which will require a prescription antibiotic such as what I mentioned above and an antimicrobial shampooing a couple of times weekly. You can begin shampooing him in an over the counter shampoo which contains benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine rather than the shampoo you're using now. Skin infections aren't usually resolved by this kind of shampooing alone but it can be quite helpful.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im not sure you will see clearly, i got a crap fone cam lolo, no its not working, sorry

Yeah, tough to get those in focus without knocking the size of the image way, way down. If I shaved one of those areas down, however, I would expect to see a somewhat circular epidermal collarette that's more red at its rim and quieter but perhaps more pigmented in the middle. The collarettes would indicate a superficial spreading pyoderma - a staph infection, usually - that should be addressed with a minimum of 3 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs of the prescription antibiotic cephalexin (Keflex) and twice bathing in a chlorhexidine- or benzoyl peroxide-containing shampoo.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yeah it seems to have a red ring on the out side, can i get keflex online or am i best going to my vet, which will cost a fortune

Keflex is by prescription only. You're going to need your vet. You can save a lot of money by taking a prescription for cephalexin (Keflex) to Costco to be filled if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. It's not unusual to have to treat these dogs for many months. Stopping treatment too soon is the most common cause of treatment failure of pyodermas.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.