Persistent skin condition on dog

My 7 y/o mini Aussie has had an ongoing skin condition that we haven’t been able to completely get rid of, and was wondering if anyone has seen anything similar. We’ve tried just about everything.

A little background, he has had quite a lot of issues ever since he matured. We attribute them to him having been weaned extremely early (we brought him home at 6 weeks, they had been weaned completely from mom by 5:no:). Issues mainly have to do with teeth and allergies. We had a panel run on him about 2 yrs ago and he was allergic to everything they tested for. Needless to say, he gets very itchy.

We have tried every “allergy-friendly” food under the sun (lots of $90 bags:eek:), unfortunately with no change. Going raw is not an option. We had controlled the allergies with Apoquel for a while, but vet was concerned about long term effects so we weaned him off of it. He gets a half tab of zyrtec if he is really uncomfortable. Right now, we are working through the Allercept program (currently on 2nd bottle), and he gets a Cytopoint shot every 5 or so weeks. Not sure if the Allercept is doing anything, but there is a notable difference in comfort level and appearance of skin before and after the Cytopoint.

Basically, he has recurring allergy-induced staph infections. They mainly affect his back (all along his spine but especially near the tail dock), and he will sometimes get the “plaques” along his flanks and on his chest. They are extremely itchy, and cause a lot of flaky dandruff. He goes on an antibiotic when needed but obviously can’t stay on it long-term. The plaques fade with the antibiotic, and the allergy meds help keep the infections at bay, but never completely prevents them. We’ve also tried frequent bathing, non-frequent bathing, medicated shampoo, oatmeal shampoo, tea tree oil shampoo, hydrocortisone, coconut oil (on coat and orally - he loves the taste!), etc, etc.

Overall it doesn’t affect his quality of life, and the itchiness is well managed with the allergy meds, but it’s kinda gross to look at and the meds really add up! We are obviously working very closely with our vet, just wanted to see if anyone out there has had a similar experience!

have they used high dose Ivermectin to treat for Demodex? even in the presence of negative scrape test. Have they done biopsy?

sadly a dog who has this amount of persistent and resistant allergy is immune dysfunctional.

You may wish to consult with an internal med or allergy specialist, but this becomes a case of management, not cures

I have heard of dogs that are allergic to human dander

Yes, my one of my sons’ Huskys went through this and numerous vets and medications. He was just strung along but nothing totally cured the problem until he started to listen to his mama (me). I’m a big believer that natural foods and a balanced diet are healthiest and also that many drugs and treatments can temporarily help but in the long term they mess up the dog’s system.
His dog also had persistent ear infections which was connected to the overall immune problem.

He also didn’t want to do raw or homecooked. He had 99 reasons. But over time I convinced him to try it as he was spending a
bundle on vets and medications. It WAS the answer. She finally started with less and less itching and started growing back her missing hair until eventually the problem was gone.

there are various ways to feed natural if you don’t want to do totally raw. I do semi-cooked homemade meals. Mostly various meat but also raw eggs, beef liver, canned salmon, cod etc.
People say it’s too expensive, but then I don’t have any vet bills w/ my dogs and I’ve been feeding this way for about 20 years.
They really do get healthier. You’ll first see it in their coats, their nails get healthier and shiny, their eyes are brighter and they’re much happier and produce much less poo. Best of all I know I’m not feeding them chemicals and preservatives from commercial feeds.
You really should at least consider it.


Demodex/demodectic mange was never really explored because he doesn’t have any bald patches, and his “plaque” spots are more flake than pustule. That being said, I think it might be worth bringing it up to the vet next time we see her, just to cover our bases.

We did have a biopsy done when the plaques first started up about 2 yrs ago, and it was confirmed staph. We haven’t done a biopsy since because the recurring infections look the same as that initial one. That, and the antibiotics really clear it up nicely.

I agree, unfortunately I don’t think it will ever go away. Poor guy, it usually doesn’t bother him at all but some nights he just can’t help but itch itch itch. Next time he goes in for his Cytopoint shot, I think we’ll also ask about an allergy specialist. At this point, our vet is hoping the Allercept works its magic and the Cytopoint starts to hold but I’m not optimistic…

If he lived with me full time, I definitely would consider it. Unfortunately he’s with the parents most of the time, and my dad is a stickler. He does get a few meals/week of non-dog food, depending on what my dad makes for dinner (i.e. chicken giblets and the like), plus his Sunday morning eggs, but nothing that requires going out of the way.

Really glad you’ve been able to make it work, I’m sure your dogs are much better off for it!! It’s just not reasonable for us unfortunately

Dinovite worked on my Rottweiler and Lab/Sharpei after we moved to Middle Tennessee and they developed skin allergies. It was expensive to feed to two big dogs but it got rid of both of their skin issues and the Rottweiler’s digestive issues.

When Taste of the Wild dog was rolled out, I quickly got on board. I have been feeding their Pacific Stream kibbles to my dogs ever since, without issue. It’s not cheap either but my current Rottweiler (#3 passed in 2009) and my Catahoula/Pit Bull do great on it.

I also have a horse that is also prone to rain rot on his back and mud fever on his legs. An extra 3,000 IU of pure Vitamin E has kept it 90% under control, which is saying lot considering the wicked heat/humidity we are experiencing. I would however, research how safe adding extra Vitamin E to a dog’s diet would be.

if you do try Vitamin E, be sure it is without fillers and especially with NO selenium, if you buy an animal product.

best of luck finding something that works:)

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Interesting about the Dinovite, I had never heard of it! How palatable did your dogs find it? Mine isn’t crazy about his food as it is, and usually doesn’t touch it for a few hours after we put it down. I’m a little worried about having to wet it for the supplement to “stick” to it, and then it sitting and becoming inedible. If it’s tasty though, topdressing it would convince him to eat…

I don’t think we’ll ever freely add Vit E, or any supplement frankly, to his diet without consulting with our vet first. She’s pretty old fashioned so has steered us clear of a lot of new formulations and trends, and we trust her advice wholly. I think running Dinovite by her is a great idea, it seems like it could help (if he actually eats it lol), and would be cheaper than the continued meds if it worked.

I bought cheap Hamburg and rolled it around, into a meatball, for both dogs. It was a pain because big dogs like mine need a bigger dose, but the Dinovite was like a magic bullet for them, so I just silently grumbled and made the meatballs anyway:)

I did that for several years until both dogs passed a year apart. The Rottweiler from lymphoma (he was my third Rottweiler to pass from cancer), and the Lab/Sharpei due to hip issues and old age. They were both rescues when they were 1-2 years old. Meaning Dinovite had nothing to do with either of their illnesses:)


Hi. I just put two doxies with low normal thyroid on thyroid meds. Totally worked on stoping the itch on one and the second is still getting relief from apoquel until the thyroid meds kick in. If (on this second one) it stops the itch, I will be very glad that I switched vets who pointed this out. She has been on cyto shots or apoquel for a long time. Sister’s GSD had the same turn around with thyroid meds.

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I had a chow/golden mix with similar problem. His would go away w/ antibiotics and then return some time later. We are in Florida so lots of allergy issues; my vet told me after about the 3rd treatment that the dog was an “allergen magnet” due to his coat length and thickness and I should consider clipping. So off he went to the groomers. Much to my surprise it made all the difference, especially in our hot summers, which was when he was the worst. Not sure it would work for your Aussie, and it was easy to make the decision on a mixed breed, lol. But food for thought.

This is very interesting… I looked up some of the hypothyroidism symptoms and recognized a handful of them. Thank you, I will run this by the vet as well!

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We’re in hot and humid SE Texas and have also thought about clipping him, but his coat isn’t really that thick apart from his “skirt” (butt hair). And with the heat, our vet advises keeping his coat as it is, since the undercoat sheds and the guard hairs help keep him cool. But apart from breaking my moms heart (she loves his long hair so much lol) it is still on the table if it might help…

My lab was diagnosed with having multiple allergies including cat dander, dust mites, and a number of others. The allergy meds prescribed by the dog dermatologist didn’t seem to work at all, it’s an injectable given every three weeks. After a year, I’m not seeing any difference. She has been scratching constantly and I don’t know how to help her. I tried some tablets I saw advertised on FB and didn’t see any change after a month.

I would cut to the chase and get a second opinion from an allergy specialist. I am surprised your regular vet has not discussed thyroid function as part of skin management

It’s most likely caused by what the dog is being fed. I have switched to My Perfect Pet frozen food.

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Just to update, we started using a generic chlorhexidine shampoo on a whim and what do you know, his skin has completely cleared up. The medicated shampoo given to us previously by his vet contained salicylic acid, which did nothing for him and probably made things worse. We consulted with the vet and he is now getting a weekly bath with chlorhexidine shampoo and has had beautiful clear skin for the last 2 months. He still gets itchy so we aren’t dropping the cytopoint and allercept yet, but he is sooo much more comfortable now!! :grin:


Blood testing for canine allergies isn’t usually revelatory - it’s the corporate vet medicine offer, cheap for clinics to buy, a cash cow for the labs and of course Mars (look it up). Skin testing is a better option. Please choose a board certified veterinary dermatologist and ask them to do the special thyroid test, not the test included in the typical full blood panel. Then please consider, despite your parental unit issues, that nutrition plays a huge role in both causing the atopy in the first place and possibly healing it eventually. It is your dog whether or not your dog lives sometimes with “the parents” so it really is up to you to help resolve the problem or rehome the dog to someone who can make a concerted effort to do so. Harsh, yes. but you are the one ultimately responsible for your dog no matter what daddy says.

Wow. You are speaking very confidently for someone who doesn’t know my dog or my situation. I will not be “rehoming” my dog, who we have had his entire 8 years and who we are very attached to (and he to us). We will be sticking to his vet-recommended WSAVA food and following his vet’s advice. This dog is our entire world, and if he were continuing to suffer from the recurring staph infection, we would certainly look into an intradermal allergy test. However, his skin is now clear and he is as happy as ever. Thanks for your concern.

Sorry if I sound rude. Your comments made me see red. I know you are speaking from a true place of love for dogs, but I can guarantee you that he is in the most loving home he could have. We adore him and he adores us. We would move heaven and earth for him, my parents included. I came here months ago to ask for similar experiences. The problem has been resolved. Thanks