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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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My Dog got what the vet called clipper rash from the groomers

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My Dog got what the vet called clipper rash from the groomers last Xmas, I had a skin test done and it was also infected (the groomer groomed a rescue dog before mine that was in a terrible condition) My dog had 2 lots of antibiotics to clear it up and he seemed ok but then started scratching licking and pulling lumps of fur out, had another skin test done and it was same infection so obviously hadnt gone, he is now on another lot of antibiotics ( Enrox Sabor 150 mg) half a tablet a day but they dont seem to be working, he is still pulling out lumps of fur, nibbling and licking, I have to put cream on the bad areas to stop him bleeding it seem to be mostly his back legs stomach and lower back, I'm at my wits end knowing what to do for him?
Dr. Scarlett :


Dr. Scarlett :

So sorry to hear about how miserable Oliver is with scratching his skin! No funny for either of you, I'm sure.

Dr. Scarlett :

One thing I would be very concerned with is possible sarcoptic mange. These mites live in the skin and are EXTREMELY itchy (from personal experience!). They are very contagious between dogs and something that could have been picked up at a groomer's. I had an older patient that had a similar presentation as Oliver that we kept treating for allergies, but he wasn't improving. Finally sent him to a dermatologist who diagnosed sarcoptic mites.

Dr. Scarlett :

Sarcoptes mites are very difficult to find on a skin scrape--I think I've found them once in my 18 years experience. But the treatment is very effective and easy to give. It is just ivermectin given either as an injection or orally once every 2 weeks for 3 treatments. Plus thoroughly washing (or discarding) any bedding Oliver sleeps on.

Dr. Scarlett :

Here is a good website with more info you might find useful:

Dr. Scarlett :

The other possibility is severe allergies, although that wouldn't be from clipper burn. I assume that Oliver is licking and chewing at areas that aren't related to the clipper burn? If the ivermectin injections don't seem to do anything, then I would ask your vet about starting Oliver on steroids to suppress his immune system and allow his skin to heal up. If allergies seems to be the case, then your vet might have a new medication called Apoquel. It is great for allergies, works as well as steroids, but without the side effects. Not all vets in the US can get it right now and I'm not sure if it is available yet in the UK.

Dr. Scarlett :

If you think it might be food, then a "novel protein" diet is the way to go. The idea behind changing the food is to switch to something completely different--a protein and carb source to which Oliver has never been exposed. So something like venison & potato or rabbit or kangaroo. The important thing is that the new food is the ONLY food Oliver can eat--NO table food, NO treats, NO rawhides (in case of a beef allergy), etc. ONLY that new food for 3 months before deciding if it is helping or not.

Dr. Scarlett :

But start with the sarcoptic mange treatment and see how that goes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oliver was on the same diet for years prior to this happening-Butchers moist food and Iams dry food and didnt seem to have a problem- plus a little of any meat I was cooking but not much! especially chicken as his stools would get a bit softer but I was aware of this so it all worked fine.

He has not had a problem with the skin on his body before but he had a problem with his feet whenever he spent time in my daughters garden and we worked out that it was probably the pine needles which covered her garden because it all stopped after she moved and has been ok since.

He was fine last year and I cant believe he is going through this, I have been in and out of the vets constantly for nearly six months now and its like he is a different dog since this happened.

The vet has suggested that she can test him for allergies etc but I have thought it better to see a specialist, what do you think?

And if so should he be treated for Sarcoptic Mange while waiting?

The other thing I wanted to raise is that the week prior to this infection flaring up again I had taken him to the vet for anul sac express

My vet has had quite a few young student vets or newly qualified i'm not sure which but I am constantly seeing someone else, the young man that did the anul Sac express that day was well built ,thick fingers and Oliver was screaming, he doesnt like having it done but this was horrible and it quite upset me, a day or so later I noticed Oliver had a raised lump come up on his left buttock about the diametor of a large egg, it started to go down again quite quickly but was still slightly there when I took him back a few days later for his booster, I told the vet and also that he kept stopping and sitting down while walking which he had never done before and he has stopped doing it now!

it's just that it is his rear end, back legs inside back thighs lower back that he keeps scratching and licking, could there be a problem?

Looking at his skin you cant see anything but sometimes it gets a bit pinker, he also feels quite hot suddenly and he seems to be drinking a bit more than usual even for this time of year. What are your thoughts?

Also would he have to be off medication when he sees a specialist?

But then the skin scrape showed

Oliver hasn't had any steroids, correct? That is really the only medication he needs to be off before seeing the specialist and/or having any allergy testing. Your regular vet may be able to submit blood for allergy testing, but if they haven't done that before, then going to a dermatologist would be worthwhile.

But, I would start the ivermectin injections now, while you are waiting for the appointment with the dermatologist. Around here, anyway, it can take weeks to get an appointment. Ivermectin will not interfere with allergy testing and if it works, then you don't need to keep your appointment.

As far as the whole anal gland issue, that is a little odd. Did your regular vet recheck Oliver's glands at the last visit? They can certainly become inflammed and painful if the expression didn't go well and become infected. It may be worth putting Oliver on prednisone to help decrease any inflammation and stop his biting/scratching. Have your vet take a blood sample BEFORE starting the pred and freeze the serum. That way you can do allergy testing on that serum while still getting him some relief with a steroid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did see the vet the following week which was 2 weeks after the anal gland issue, I did bring up about the swelling tthe previous week and dont know if she already knew but she said she needed to check his anal glands I didnt really want her to as he had only had them done a fortnight earlier and he gets stressed now, but she said it can build up quite quickly
she said the sitting down while walking even though he had never done this before could be arthritus as he was getting on in age? she did the anal glands and afterward said she would check them again next time he came in after finishing the antibiotics which again would only be 2 weeks, so I 'm not happy to keep putting him through this as its not normal to have them checked so often.

I have noticed that the lump I queried has not been mentioned in his medical records and she normally puts down everything she or owner has said. is it possible that any damage could have been done, is there anything I should be doing to check he is ok, what would that lump have been, should I be concerned ?

His first 2 lots of antibiotics were apoquel it took 2 lots and finaly seemed to clear up but obviously it hadnt as it came back, the vet said she cant get that at the moment and suggested steroids but said they could effect his kidneys! so I was worried.

you are being helpful because you have raised things that havnt been suggested before and it helps me make more informed decisions about a possible way forward.

today he has pulled fur out at both sides of his lower back/hip and has 2 quite big bald patches quite evenly placed either side ? I really need to help him.

is it ok to give him Ivermectin without knowing if he has sarcoptic mange

One, it is fine to give ivermectin without a definitive diagnosis of sarcoptic mange. The mites are very hard to find on a skin scrape, so it we think they might be there, we treat. If the dog gets better, than we have our diagnosis.

As far as the Apoquel--that medication is NOT an antibiotic. So if Oliver really hasn't had any antibiotics, that would be something else to ask about. Many times dogs with skin issues have a secondary bacterial infection, which is itchy, perpetuating the problem. Unless Oliver has an underlying kidney or liver disease/failure, a short course of steroids to make him feel better shouldn't be a big deal. Mostly we get worried when they have to be given long-term. Which is why I like Apoquel! But only a few vets are able to get it currently (good for me, bad for them!bLaughing)

Not sure what to tell you about that lump that occurred after the anal gland expression, especially since it showed up higher up that where the anal glands are (correct?). If it is gone now, not much to do about it, I guess. If I have a dog with infected anal glands, I will check them every week to make sure the infection is clearing up.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you - I have to make a decision today as to the next step forward for Olivers sake but which as I am confused:

Invermectin in case it is Sarcoptic Mange?

Let Vet do allergy tests etc?

Book to see a specialist to do all tests?

Ask about antibiotics (this was diagnosed as an infection so why were they not prescribed before)?

Steroids but that would mean taking a sample prior for specialist?

Having read all what would be your advice in the first instant I know you cannot take responsability for telling me what to do but if this was your dog what would be your next step?

You mentioned if it was Sarcoptic Mange to clean or dispose of Olivers bedding but although Oliver does have his own mattress and loose cover he has also always had the run of the house and he lays on-beds -chairs carpets-everywhere so is this something that will be left in the house to reinfect, what would need to be done?

and finally are the Enrox Sabor tablets he is on now an antibiotic ? and if not, why if the skin tests shows infection would he not be given an antibiotic ?

I guess if Oliver was my patient I would do:
1. draw blood for allergy testing and freeze the serum. That way if the ivermectin doesn't help and we want to start prednisone before allergy testing, we don't have to worry.

2. give an ivermectin injection. The itching can actually get worse before he starts improving, as dying mites can cause a lot of inflammation, too.

3. Thoroughly clean your house, washing everything in hot water that you can.

4. Try a different antibiotic, a cephalosporin instead of the enrox sabor tablets, especially since they don't seem to be helping. If cephalexin has already been given, then maybe try something like clavamox or doxycycline instead.

5. Bathe Oliver in Malaseb twice a week.
Dr. Scarlett and 4 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I took Oliver to a dermatologist and I wasnt very impessed with his skin testing-he took a scrape and looked at it under the microscope then held some paper below his back and shook his fur onto it before looking at that also under a microscope-he then took him away for a blood test for allergies but saying that food allergies cant be done as they dont work-he emailed the results of the allergy tests-said Oliver did not have a skin problem but had allergies to grass & tree pollens-house & storage mites & sheep sorrel.

This is all new since Oliver contacted this skin infection-prior to this he has walked the woods and parkland on a daily basis without scratching or showing any signs of a problem he had a lovely healthy thick coat-was a happy and calm dog-its difficult to understand how he could change overnight-his fur is thin now-mats easily because of these shampoos such as malasab (which make him scratch even more) has sores erupting and I constantly am at the vets though he is not pulling out lumps of fur as much now.

I worry now about the vets bills because I have another problem-the insurance company wont pay out as said he had had skin problems prior to his policy with them-when I looked at his medical records-it doesnt matter what he was taken in for prior to this infection such as anal glands-thorn in foot-flea from infested neighbour etc the narrative of the vet is to talk always about skin problems and allergies to be garded against and even though he hadnt been diagnosed with a skin problem prior to this and had been insured for most of his life without a claim being made for anything they refuse to pay out-I think this narrative is very misleading and dont know how to deal with this-I have asked the vet to email them but she is not vey helpful-but with one thing and another it has so far cost me approx £2000 since this all began last Xmas so you can understand why I am worried-what can I do.

One more thing! Oliver's left hand buttock just below his tail where he had that lump come up from the student vet's anal gland inspection-is now concaved and the area goes in same size as the lump was-it doesnt seem to bother him but it is definitely there! what is that about-is there damage there? his other buttock is normal.

Sorry to hear that Oliver really isn't much better! I know how frustrated you must be. I get frustrated by insurance companies and their "pre-existing condition" exclusions, too.

After doing the allergy panel, did your vet have you start any desensitization therapy? Any antibiotics and/or antifungal medication for the skin infection that Oliver has? If your vet hasn't done much follow up or dispensed any antibiotics, I would recommend getting a second opinion, if you can. I would stop the Malaseb baths, if that makes him worse. You might just try Johnson's baby shampoo--it is free of any detergents, although it won't do anything for a skin infection.

It also might be worthwhile to do a thyroid panel on Oliver to make sure that is normal. I'd do full bloodwork, as well, to make sure he doesn't have liver disease (cancer), which can also cause skin problems.

As far as the concaved area on his buttock, I have no idea. That is just odd.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The dermatologist said he hadnt got Mange before he did any tests, after Olivers tests he put him on antihistomines (Ucerax 25 mg, he remained on these for about 3 months and they did help, and also Activylplus spot on monthly between his Advocat

and also changed diet to Purina HA which made no difference (He is on Hypoallergenic Royal Canine food now because it has tins as well) I dont think the food makes any difference to these allergies, but it keeps his stools firm and so he doesnt need to have his anal glands done so I keep him on it.

I also bought a hepa filter for the vacuum cleaner

The dermatologist said if his skin doesnt clear up after this period of months Oliver could could be given something more drastic! which I cant remember the name of now and cant find it in my notes, but it was extremely expensive, I think something like £100 per week which I couldnt afford and it was also only used apparantly as a last resort because it can cause kidney failure and other things and can possibly lead to an early and painful death so I wasnt prepared to do that anyway.

I will check on the blood tests that have been done as you have suggested, though i'm sure they did check his liver at least when I requested one blood test.

Someone told me that she had a dog with the same problems years ago and the vet gave her a spray for her dogs coat, she said it took awhile to clear up but the spray worked, is there such a spray and what would that be called and if so wouldnt the vet have prescribed it?

Having said that I seem to spend an awful lot of money at the vets which you wouldnt mind if you actually got some sort of closure instead of it being an ongoing problem thats never cured! and it's not something that I could maintain indefinitely which really worries me and is the reason I always had him insured.

I dont think the vets opinions should be added as narrative, I think they should only write confirming the diagnoses (the reason you have taken him to the vet) plus the treatment and medication.

The really expensive medication is cyclosporine. There is a new allergy medication, called Apoquel here in the states, that can be very helpful. It is expensive (of course), but not as bad as cyclosporine and really has no side effects (apart from occasional GI upset). Much more effective than antihistamines.

The food choice sounds good--may be helping since the anal glands haven't been an issue. Chronic anal gland problems can be allergy related.

Not sure about the spray. I do use something called Genesis spray, which is a steroid spray. Since it isn't given orally, there are fewer side effects of steroids, and it usually helps stop the itching. But it won't do anything for a secondary bacterial and/or yeast infection on the skin; that needs to be cleared up simultaneously. I'm still not sure why your vet hasn't prescribed an antibiotic for Oliver, but I can't actually see his skin.

Sadly, skin problems, particularly allergies, are a life-long problem. Our hope is to get them under good control, while expecting the occasional "flare up", but it can take time.

The Advocate applied every 2 weeks for 2-3 treatments will take care of Sarcoptic mites. Even though your vet didn't see any on a skin scrape, because Oliver's skin problems started after a visit to the groomers, I'm still concerned about that. Instead of alternating the Activyl and the Advocate, I'd do the Advocate every 2 weeks for 3 times and see if there is any improvement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Olivers skin is really bad now, he has dark mauve spots of various sizes that scab up, mostly can be seen easily on belly but also on his back, chest and all around the base of his tail and anal area, this morning noticed also now under his armpits, I've lost track of all that i've tried now. a couple of months ago he also started to smell, I bathe him every week but even after his bath the smell is still there..

I took him to the vets last week to have his claws cut by the nurse and spoke to her about his smell, she said well the sores would start to smell! I said I had tried bathing the areas with warm water and a little dettol, she said that was no good, not to do that but to pick up some Hibiscrub "CHlorhexidine Gluconate" which I did, I have started bathing the sores but while many are obvious some when they start are small so I have to find them, and also it's not making a difference yet, is this going to help him at all?

The other thing is that his nails are crumbling, they split easily and she said as she was cutting them that they were breaking up! could this be because he has been on this Hypoalllergenic diet for months now and perhaps there isn't enough vitamins in his food?

I am getting nowhere with Oliver's problems which are now extremely worse that when I took him to the vets almost a year ago., I have done as I was told, there are no pollens now ( he is not walking on the parkland now anyway as its too muddy and have to keep washing the mud off and it's not good for his skin to do this every day)

hes also been on this diet for months, it's now December and as I said he is worse now than he has ever been and still scratching! he deserves a better quality of life than this, why aren't they succeeding in making him better?

What would you advise me now?

Poor Oliver! I'm so sorry to hear about his on-going and worsening skin problems. It certainly makes me concerned that there is something else going on then just allergies. Skin problems can be very challenging for both vets, owners, and the dog.

The food you are feeding is nutritionally complete and is made to be fed for life. So I don't think that is why his nails are crumbling and brittle. I'd agree that the food doesn't seem to be making any difference, but I don't think it is harming him.

The smell and the crumbling nails sounds like a fungal infection. The skin infections can be yeast and bacteria. The chlorhexidine Hibiscrub is a fine product, but is NOT going to be all that helpful for Oliver with as extensive skin issues as he is having.

Did the vet nurse not have the vet take a look at Oliver since his skin and nails were obviously so bad? It sounds like Oliver needs to be back on oral antibiotics and an oral antifungal medication. If he is miserable with scratching, I'd also put him on a short-term dose of steroids to get things under control.

I know you've had bloodwork done in the past, but with such bad sores on his skin, I am a little worried about liver disease--it can manifest as skin problems. Any other changes with Oliver--is he still eating well? Still active? Any weight loss or gain? Any change in his drinking? Did you ever find out if his thyroid was tested on previous bloodwork?

My other suggestion is to talk to your vet about doing a skin biopsy, especially if your vet is concerned this is more than just a yeast/bacterial skin infection. I know you've been to a dermatoligist and weren't terribly happy with that experience; if your current vet seems at a loss you might call around to other local vets (recommended by friends) and see if there is one that has an interest in dermatology and get a third opinion. Something is going on with Oliver, but no one seems inclined to find out!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

With the diet I had 2 batches of tinned hypoallergenic that was "off" it was runny like soup and it smelled terrible the vets took them back but it put me off giving it to him again so though I have kept him on the dried Hypoallergenic food I have reverted back to Butchers moist food just recently-only half of one of the flat containers a day to add to his dry food as he doesnt like dry food on it's own,do you think thats ok? apart from that he eats well really and he had gained 2 lbs last week which he doesnt need but I think its the lack of exorcize, although I walk him for an hour a day its mostly on the lead now where before he could run around on the parkland but i am watching that now, he does drink quite a lot!

The nurse didnt suggest seeing the vet though she knows Olivers history, (I asked her weeks ago if she would ask the vet to write a letter stating that this problem he had this year he had not had before and I took in another claim form because I have now approached the ombudsman((the vet wasnt available at the time but the nurse said she would pass it on to be done) when I asked her again last week when he had his nails done if this letter had gone to the insurers as I hadnt heard she said no but she would remind the vet, I asked if I should ring or she would ring me but she seemed very vague and it all seems so hopeless!

But you saying that with his nails it could be fungal is it possible that when he scratches he could be transmitting the sore "stuff" to his nails?

I have been washing him in Johnsons baby shampoo as you suggested which surprisingly has a lather and at least cant do him any harm but because I knew it wouldnt do anything to help his skin I recently used Earthbath oatmeal and Aloe shampoo-vanilla and almond-could that be making things worse?

He has been on steroids quite a few times this year so I am concerned at how much more he can safely take-I will ask for the blood tests and ask about his nails, I will follow through with your suggestions in the hope that someone will become concerned about his health! I have decided to take him to another vet for a second opinion but what would be the correct proceedure in doing so, aught I to see my own vet first?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have replied-its on the following reply box for some reason

Here in the states you can see any vet that you want. I see pets on a second opinion periodically and most times the owner hasn't mentioned to the previous vet that they are coming. It does help, however, to have the previous record and you may need to call your current vet and ask for Oliver's full medical record (and lab work) to be sent to the second opinion vet. Truthfully, I think most vets have a case or two that they find very frustrating and welcome the owner to get a second opinion! So I wouldn't feel bad or guilty asking for your records to be transferred somewhere else.

The new shampoo could very well be part of the issue. You said once that Malaseb caused a bad reaction, so some ingredient in shampoos might be the problem (Johnson's is a non-soap shampoo).

Steroids sometimes are given all the time, year-round. The key is to taper to the lowest effective dose for the dog. Yes, there may be some "wear and tear" on the liver and other organs, but if Oliver's quality of life is great on steroids, and poor not on steroids, I'll choose the better quality of life over quantity any time. So don't be too concerned about giving him steroids at this point.

As far as the possible fungal nail infection--it isn't that he is "seeding" his skin when he scratches, it is just that the normal, small amounts of yeast on his skin have proliferated because of his underlying skin disease.

As far as the food--if he was strictly on the hypoallergenic food (dry and/or canned) for at least 12 weeks with no improvement, then a food allergy may not be the problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have made a note of what the options are.

Today I have already booked an appointment with another vet and I do have Olivers medical records to take with me but I would like this vet to have an opinion after seeing Oliver before I have to tell him anything, I will let you know whats happening either way you never know there may come a point where some of this is helpful to someone else-thank you for now