Possible allergies? Sore red bites on dog's neck

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Possible allergies? Sore red bites on dog's neck

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:57 AM
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Possible allergies? Sore red bites on dog's neck

Hi everyone,
I'm new here, but I'm trying to get some opinions on some sore bites I noticed on my dog's neck earlier.

He's eight months old, mixed breed. He's got longer fur on his neck (where the bites are), about 2 inches long, kind of like a mane.

The main issue is a group of about five "bites" on his neck which have been bleeding and weeping. He has been scratching at them a lot, which might be what caused the bleeding. On further feel of his neck, there are other bites which look like they have gone through the same process (bleeding, weeping) and are scabbed over and now healing.

He gets treated for fleas with a medicated shampoo - I've used the same brand of shampoo ever since he was a puppy. He gets flea-combed at every shampoo too, once a week.

There are no other bites anywhere else on his body, just on his neck. They are driving him crazy - he just wants to scratch and scratch.

We live in Borneo so we have things like mosquitos that can bite, also if it matters we have another dog (terrier, 11 months) and two cats, and none of them are showing problems.

I've attached a picture of the worst batch on his neck.

Can anyone offer any possible causes or solutions? We've temporarily put a bandage around his neck to stop some of the scratching damage. I've looked up dog skin allergies online but there seems to be so many and I can't find many pictures to compare.

Many thanks
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:37 AM
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I will preface with saying that I think a Vet needs to have a look at your pup and figure out the best course of action

I am not one for home remedies and such but we had a similar thing happen to our dog a couple of years ago and it just happened to be at a time when the HWYS were closed, freak snow-storm, nobody was allowed on the roads, businesses closed, basically a state of complete standstill for about 5 days throughout our area. So needless to say, I had to make due with what I had on hand.....I don't recommend trying to take care of this yourself. It could be similar to what my Munchkin had (still not certain what it was) or it could be something totally different....so if you can, please seek medical attention ASAP! ~

What I did was gently shave the neck area, cleaned the wounds with hydrogen peroxide 3% several times a day, inbetween applying polysporin and zinc oxide ointment (it was all I had) I made sure to not let her lick it and tried to keep her scratching to a minimun. Gave her benedryl and probiotics/prebiotics and kept a close eye on her. For the most part, I kept the neck uncovered to allow the air to circulate and I kept her away from the other dogs, because I didn't know if it would spread. I also resisted the urge to pick off the dried scabs until about the 5th day. Again, probably not recommended but they were just hanging there by then anyway. It was a long week, I'll tell ya!

She did very well though and by the time we were able to travel on the HWY again, the sores were almost completely gone, the Vet said that nothing needed to be done at that point, so I was very relieved that we were able to stop the spreading, help with the discomfort and actually aid in the healing process. Your little one may need antibiotics tho.

Our Vet thinks she may have been bitten by a weasel as we had a few who hung out in the woodpile but I cant imagine that being the case with 6 feet of snow and all their time outside was supervised. I have wondered if it was infact some kind of fungal / yeast infection, or ringworm or a localized mange but I guess I will never know...my dogs have never even seen a flea and have not suffered anything even remotely similar since....so I just don't know?

This did happen shortly after she was given her yearly vaccination, which is another reason I no longer believe in overvaccinating dogs when simple tests (titer) can show if they are still protected or not.

Has he been vaccinated lately?
Was he under any kind of added stress before this occured?
Any chronic coughing?
Does he have an underactive thyroid?
Is the affected area smelly?

I know every dog and owner are different but I personally don't have much faith in flea shampoos and I also think bathing a dog weekly is a bit excessive.

Have you considered a topical flea treatment instead? Not that I would recommend applying now, with his current condition. Do they have such topical treatments available in Borneo? Something like Advantix not only kills fleas and ticks but also repel bitting flies and mosquitos....Might be something to look into, after you get this under control

Sorry for the long post - I tend to babble when I haven't had enough sleep
I hope you're able to bring him into the Vet
Please let us know how it unfolds....I'm very curious as the sores are so similar to what my pup had years ago.
Best of Luck
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:57 AM
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Hi Mischief
Thanks for the reply. The nearest vets is a two hour drive away and he doesn't like the car ride (well, his stomach doesn't) so we try to keep the car trips to a minimum for him!

I too have trimmed the fur, as it kept getting stuck to the scabs and then somehow managed to pull the scabs off.... since I've cut the fur the scabs seem to be forming (and staying put) ok.

I don't think he has been bitten by anything, as there are a few more healing ones on his neck - I'm thinking its a bite from something that he has scratched and scratched until it's raw. But I'm curious as to why now the bites have started to irritate - nothing has changed since he was a pup, we haven't moved house, no new shampoo or anything. His last vaccination was several months ago.

No added stress before we noticed these, no coughing, no thyroid problems that we know of. Other than the scratching, he's fine.

The wounds are not particularly smelly, they just look a bit nasty. At first I thought that perhaps play-time might have got a bit rough and my other dog bit him, but looking at the pattern of bites that's not it. And as we've found more randomly on his neck, they've got to be bites from something. I've just never seen a reaction to a flea bite like this!

I think I'll look in to some of the repellants you mention - perhaps that will help him. The other ones on his neck are almost healed now, so I'm sort of happy that they will heal on their own, but was looking for any remedies to help things along or any possible theories as to what might have caused them.

The weekly baths - our dogs spend quite a lot of time outdoors in the garden and get soooo dirty and muddy, and as they come indoors in the evenings I want them to be at least reasonably clean hence the weekly wash. If I left it for longer than that the dogs would be a considerably darker shade

Thanks again for the detailed response, I'll keep you updated with how things progress!
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:32 PM
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Looks like it might be flea bites and flea dirt. If a dog is allergic to fleas one bite can cause these things. I always used frontline when I needed flea protection for my dogs and cats because it is water proof and it was the most effective. If you can find some aloe vera it will soothe and dry the area. PS If you wash weekly you need a very mild shampoo I would use something like Dr Bronners pure castile soap if you can find it where you are or maybe just wash the mud off without soap. That could just be dry skin that you have there from over bathing especially if you are using a medicated soap.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:54 PM
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Fleas are always a possibility as mentioned, but it is suspicious that the lesions are only on the neck. Using Frontline or Advantix like Dawnben and Mischief suggested is a good idea to rule that out.

Based on that picture it looks like all the scratching may be causing "hot spots" and probably a secondary bacterial infection. The keys are to keep hair away from the spots (wide margins on your clip-job) and keep removing the scabs that form so the area heals from the inside-out and is easily cleaned. It should be cleaned with an antiseptic twice a day and usually antibiotic cream is applied (you could try neosporin) or a drying/antibiotic spray.

Veterinary Q & A: Hot Spots - your veterinary questions answered

As for the underlying cause, it could be lots of things: fleas like mentioned, food (what are you feeding?), the shampoo you are using, detergents you use in the house, environmental factors etc. The only way to determine what it is would be to rule other things out-- rule out the flea issue by using a good flea preventative. You may consider doing a diet trial-- switching him to a food that contains a novel protein and carbohydrate source and giving him that diet solely for 6-8 weeks. Have you changed any of your cleaning products around the time his itchiness started? The rest are harder to rule out.

How are his ears? Is there any debris in them?
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:49 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I'm pleased to say that the bites are healing - the weeping has stopped and the sore areas are getting smaller.
What we have been doing is washing the area twice a day and applying hydrocortisone cream in the morning and antibiotic powder in the evening.

Dawnben, thanks for the aloe vera tip, we had some aloe gel and applied that to the area, it seemed to soothe it for him.

Holly - thanks for the link, I've read through it. Food, he has been fed the same brand for a long while now, no cleaning products have been changed around the house. I think the most likely cause is either fleas or another biting insect. I'm leaning slightly towards fleas as they always go where the fur is thickest and this is on his neck. Also I've noticed that the bites are only on one side of his neck. His ears are very clean, nothing to note from them.

My biggest issue is keeping my other dog from doing what she thinks is right by licking and biting his scabs off!!

Thanks everyone for the replies.
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