Friday, September 28, 2012

Summer skin struggles

Every summer poor Lamar suffers from crusty, scabby skin irritations. No vet has been able to offer a satisfying diagnosis, and the last one thought it was probably a flea allergy. I am inclined to agree, although there are no fleas on Lamar that I can detect and he is not as itchy as you might expect from a flea infestation. Hard to believe that one flea bite at some point in the summer could lead to extensive crusty scabs, but maybe it can.

I originally noticed the rash on the backs of Lamar's legs, at which point I shaved them and applied tea tree oi. When I checked those areas recently, they looked much better--skin still a bit red, but no scabs. But his tail was a mess. Scabs, red skin, and lost fur. 

Though I don't relish the idea of my dog looking like a mangy squirrel, it does seem to help to air out the affected area and not have it covered over with thick undercoat. So I shaved down the icky part of his tail and this time I applied a liberal splash of chlorhexidine flush

This is the same stuff I put on Sandy's mangy eyebrow, with excellent results. It is also what I used--at the recommendation of the shelter's vet tech--when Pagent had a staph infection that made her belly red and itchy. The itchy parts cleared up in a day, like magic. 

If you're around lots of different animals--if you train, foster, groom, volunteer at a shelter--or just have your own pets and lots of friends who have them, its great to have a medicine chest with some basic veterinary remedies. This flush is one I'm going to keep around.


  1. I agree. This seems like a great product to have on-hand. I hope Lamar gets some relief.

  2. Oh, I sure hope Lamar can get some relief! We have had such a time with Fred and his itching too. I am going to try this flush. Good to know. Thanks!

  3. Considering Turkey has regular bouts with hot spots and Polly just introduced me to the joy of canine staph infections, I might just have to check that stuff out! FYI - we have had amazing luck with the Kong Cloud Cone (looks like an airplane pillow) to keep Turk from chewing on his tail when his hot spots flare up. We got it for like $10 or $15 on Amazon.

  4. Good to know Kirsten, Sampson has a dry patch on his tummy. I think I'll see about picking some of this up. Where did you get it?

  5. I'm going to have to put a note down somewhere about this. Georgia's starting to scratch more already and we're just in early Spring.

  6. Poor Lamar! No fun going through something like that every Summer. Summer should be fun for a pup! I am glad you found a product that helps him. I wonder why the Vets can't seem to locate a reason for his yearly outbreaks. Do you know if there are any spices or herbs you can feed him that will help with skin issues? I know giving turmeric to dogs helps with some issues, such as heart disease and arthritis, so I wonder if there is another spice/herb for skin issues. Well, good luck to Lamar! Paws crossed you feel better, Larmar, and get this skin issue figured out.

    K and Suka

  7. One of the reasons why my pet Beagle developed skin infections was due to an irritating dog shampoo (which I've discontinued) and some minor food allergies to dog food! I guess incorrect feeding plus a deficit in nutrition will result in bad skin and other ailments for our dogs. I have added extra virgin coconut oil to her dogfood and wow, the results are stunning! I've also chosen a shampoo with Madre Cacao plus I've weaned her from dog food and am now preparing boiled rice, meat, fish and veggies for her food. For more information regarding dry skin in our pets, see

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