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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 35516
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My Blue Staff has has a blood test and skin scrape test and

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My Blue Staff has has a blood test and skin scrape test and is all clear if any problems. However my staff has shed lots if hair on his back , but he is not itch and never scratches.
My vet says my staff has a allergy to grass and dust.What could the problem be ?

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Can you upload a photo(s) of Mr. D Bhana's back to our conversation? You can upload photos by using the paperclip or add file icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see those icons on your particular device) or you can use an external app such as Please check that the photo(s) is in focus prior to uploading it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm Mr Bhana, my dogs name is Raul
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
See attached pictures of my staffy dog

Thank you. Please give me a moment to take a look, please...

Have Raul's vet perform a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of affected skin surface) looking for both abnormal numbers of bacteria and yeast (Malassezia). His skin is most indicative of pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) which can be quite stubborn to treat in this breed as there appears to be a genetic local immune system deficiency in their skin. Treatment as follows should be rewarding: An antibiotic in the cephalosporin class such as cephalexin for 3-4 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs. Bathing twice weekly in a chlorhexidine- or benzoyl peroxide-containing shampoo should hasten resolution of the infection. The antibiotic must be prescribed by an attending vet. You can find the shampoos over the counter where dog supplies are sold. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Where can I get cephalexin and chlorhexidine- or benzoyl peroxide from.
My vet carried out a skin scrape and blood test and said all was clear. They blame it on an allergy of grass and dust

The antibiotic must be prescribed by an attending vet. You can find the shampoos over the counter (or online) where dog supplies are sold. Skin scrapings look for mites. Blood tests are rarely helpful when clarifying skin conditions. The hallmark of skin allergies is pruritis (itchiness)...which isn't present in Raul. Feel free to share our conversation with Raul's vet. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I really appreciate your help.Can you put something together for me in vets language what is needed to help Raul, also taking into account the Skin Scrapings they took 6 months ago and blood tests.

"A cytology needs to be performed on the affected skin to see if abnormal numbers of either bacteria or yeast (Malassezia) are present and then treat specifically for those infections. An allergic dermatitis is very unlikely if Raul isn't pruritic. A fungal culture should be considered to fulfill the minimum data base - scrapings have already been performed and were negative for mites."

I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Please see Rauls Vet Report from 2016. Click on the link below.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What are your thoughts ? Same as previous?

Thank you. A bacterial infection was found (gram (-) bacillus) but I don't know if it were treated. No fungus or mites were seen in scrapings. There's evidence that Raul is an allergic dog but his not scratching or biting at himself should rule out an active allergic dermatitis. He's not hypothyroid. I would treat for that bacillus with one of the antibiotics identified to be effective for a minimum of 3-4 weeks and 1 week past clinical signs (cephalexin was one of the antibiotics) and I would bathe him twice weekly in a shampoo such as I posted.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for this information.
1) So Raul need to be treated for Bacillus. What Antibiotic should be used for this?
2) Chlorhexidine- or benzoyl peroxide-containing shampoo once a week.Have I missed anything ?

As mentioned above, cephalexin is a good choice as per the bacterial culture and sensitivity performed. Bathing should be performed twice weekly.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is this shampoo suitable for Raul.?Hibiscrub Health Care, 500 ml

Yes, it's a good choice.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Raul weights 29kg, what mg and how many tables does he need a day. Can you recommend the cephalexin tablet please ?

Cephalexin is dosed at 22 mg per kg twice daily which is equivalent to 638 mg for Raul. Practically speaking that would be 1 1/4 500 mg tablet twice daily. Regretfully, I'm not allowed to prescribe through this venue. Only an attending vet can do that. Mea culpa.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm confused, so that's 2 Cephalexin 500mg tables a day ?

No, 1 1/4 (1.25) 500 mg tablets twice daily.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How do I make the table 0.25 ?

A pill cutter or a very sharp knife. If this isn't possible, 500 mg twice daily should suffice.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is a Cytology still required ?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I read the report A = Gram-negative bacillus shows as negative. This means he is okay ? It is not positive.

A cytology should still be performed. That culture was performed 20 months ago. I might also perform another skin bacterial culture and sensitivity at this time although it's not unreasonable to see how cephalexin affect Raul first. Bacteria can be gram (+) or negative (-). This describes how they stain with a gram stain. It's not indicator of whether they're there or not.

Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
HelloI have been back to my local vets and showed them the 2nd opinion from you on the symptoms my Dog Raul has. The vet has now provided a 2 weeks prescription of Rilexine 600mg (1 Tablet twice a day ) and also advised me to feed my dog Purina HA dry food. I have also started to use Hibi wash on my dogs back and will continue this twice a week. I will now wait for 2 weeks to see if there are any improvements.

Thank you for the update. Two weeks won't suffice. Three to four weeks and one week past clinical signs is the standard of care for antibiotics that address pyoderma. I'll watch for your next post in a couple of weeks.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Attached is Day 1 showing an image of Rauls Back.
I will post another picture on day 28 after the Antibiotics have finished, plus Raul is being Shampooed twice weekly with Hibi wash.

Excellent photo, thank you. Please google "canine, follicular, dysplasia, miscellaneous" as well as this underlying abnormal hari follicle development can predispose to skin infection and seborrhea (a disorder of skin maturation and keratinization/keratin is a structural protein in the skin).

hair follicle

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Are you suggesting Raul may be suffering from canine, follicular, dysplasia, miscellaneous"?
Will the Antibiotics and Hibi shampoo improve and allow Rauls hair to grow back?Is there any treatment for canine, follicular, dysplasia, miscellaneous"?

I need to consider an underlying disorder such as follicular dysplasia, yes. Yes, antibiotics and shampoo should be helpful for either a primary pyoderma or a pyoderma secondary to follicular dysplasia or seborrhea. Whether the infection could be complete resolved, however, would be predicated upon which, if any, underlying disorder exists.

Follicular dysplasia doesn't have a specific treatment. We address secondary infection and seborrhea only.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
if Raul has Follicular dysplasia, there is no treatment available and that he will have to live with no hair on his back ?

Treatment consists of antiseborrheic or antibacterial shampoos and conditioners as needed. Appropriate antibiotics should be administered if secondary pyoderma is present. Fatty acid supplementation has been reported to improve the coat condition or result in hair regrowth in some breeds. Although hair regrowth is usually irreversible and routine symptomatic skin care may be needed, this is a cosmetic problem only that doesn't affect Raul's quality of life.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. So right now I am using Hibi wash and Rilexine 600mg.What products would you recommend as a fatty acid supplement ? And routine symptomatic care?

You're doing just what you should. There are innumerable brand name and generic fatty acid supplements for dogs found where pet supplies are sold. Follow the directions on the label of the one you choose. Routine symptomatic care involves the use of shampoos and supplements.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Dr Michael Salkin for the advise, is this product good to use -

Yes, that's appropriate. It has a nice blend of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The previous vet report I sent you shows that Raul has an allergy to grass and trees.Can Raul be treated with corticosteroids, antihistamines, and a topical ointment, such as a cortisone cream or gel for this allergy ?

Yes, but those drugs are usually reserved for symptomatic (pruritic/itchy) dogs.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I see, okay so Raul will not need these. he is still in the antibiotics and being bathed twice a week with Hibi scrub. I will keep you posted in 2 to 3 weeks time after the Antibiotics treatment has finished.

I appreciate it.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Raul also started a Digs Skin Care Supplment as you suggested -

Yes, I discussed that product earlier.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I hope you are well.
I visited my local Vets today after 2 weeks of Antibiotics treatment. Rauls coat has made a small improvement on his coat, hair is denser and small shoots of hair coming out in his back. The vet has now prescribed a further 4 weeks of Antibiotics. I will keep you posted in 4 weeks.
Your Analysis is spot on!

Thank you for the good update! Don't stop antibiotics too soon!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will keep Raul on Antibiotics for as long as it takes for his hair to return on his back. I would imagine Raul being on long term Antibiotics is bit a good thing ? What would the best mid and long term maintenance be for Raul ?
Will Raul need Antibiotics forever?

We don't know quite yet. This breed appears to be overrepresented with a genetically defective skin immunity. Let's see how he responds to therapy before deciding how best to approach him in the future.