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My Border Collie Mix Has Dry, Flaky Skin

My dog Boomer is a 3-year-old Border Collie/Shepherd mix. The skin on his back near his butt is super dry, flaky and scabby. A lot of the hair has even fallen out, so he has a small bald spot on his back.

The last time we went to the vet they ran some tests and said he had a yeast infection, so they gave him some pills for the itching and some other pills for the infection. The medication worked for a while, but the dry skin came right back after the pills were gone.

We called the vet to see if we could get more of the same medication, but they said they wanted to run some blood tests. I don’t get why they can’t just refill his prescription. I mean, visits to the vet aren’t very cheap and we probably can’t afford it. Any suggestions?

– Amy

Hi Amy,

Skin problems are a very frustrating disease to manage, for both vet and owner. It also can be expensive, with repeated veterinary visits and further testing. See Skin Allergies for information that may help explain your visits to the vet.

The area in which Boomer has skin problems and the symptoms you describe are typical of a flea bite allergy, which is very common in summer.

Make sure Boomer is covered with a good flea control product such as Frontline or Revolution. Follow the instructions carefully and apply it routinely every month for the whole year. Do the same to any other dogs or cats that live in your house. They can commonly share fleas, though the other pets may not be allergic to flea bites. There are many other causes for allergies, and unfortunately it’s sometimes impossible to be 100 percent sure.

Since Boomer has had this condition for a while, it will take a while for his skin to recover. The allergy causes him to scratch and chew, which damages his skin and allows bacteria and yeast that normally live on the skin to cause an infection.

Do you know the names of the medications your vet gave Boomer to stop the itching and treat the yeast infection? Let me know, and I may be able to give you a reason why they don’t want to give you a refill.

One thing you have to keep in mind: if this is a true allergy, there is no cure. You can only control the allergy whenever it flares up and treat any secondary infections.

I do recommend you go to your vet and find out what the blood test is for and what it will reveal, and then you can decide whether to do it. You can request a refill and future refills, but this has to be agreed upon by the vet.

Some other suggestions:

Paw Print Bullet Supplement Boomer’s diet with Omega 3 fatty acids.

Paw Print Bullet Bathe him with a soothing oatmeal shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner such as Aloveen.

I hope this helps. Let me know how you and Boomer are doing.

Dr. Hoag

May 15, 2009 By : Category : ADVICE Allergies ASK A VET Skin Problems Vet Popular Topics Tags:
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