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What could my dog's recurring skin infection be?

Young Yellow Labrador lying on its stomach, eyes slightly closed.

Yellow Lab not feeling 100%. (Photo: Flickr/Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz)

What could my dog's recurring skin infection be?

November 06, 2012

Q: My 11-month-old Lab is on her fourth skin infection. She gets them on her abdomen and takes antibiotics each time. (I can't remember the name.) She takes a twice a day pill, and she averages 1 week to 1 month between infections. Should I take her to a dermatologist to get to the bottom of this?

A: If you have been through 4 rounds of antibiotics and a skin issue is not resolving, then I would definitely get it looked at by a dermatologist.

They will typically start with a skin scraping to rule out mites. They will then do a cytology or a punch biopsy of the skin to see if it's bacteria, yeast, or some other type of disease process.

  • If this is mainly yeast, then antibiotics won't work. In that case you need anti-fungals.
  • If this is a mite infestation, then you'll need to do mite dips.
  • If this is an autoimmune or allergy case, then you need steroids or immune-therapy to treat her.

It's probably a good idea to take her off all meds a few days before going in to see the dermatologist.

-- Answer from Dr. Gary Ryder, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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