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Hello,
I have never posted on a forum before, but I am using this as a last resort. I have a very serious problem, and if I don't get help, my precious boy is going to end up right back where he started, in the pound. I am 16 years old. I have a 5 year old Rat Terrier mix. We adopted him from a shelter when he was 1. He was the happiest dog I'd ever seen, he loved my entire family, siblings and all, and we knew he was the one. When we adopted him, they told us he had kennel cough. It didn't concern us too much since he is a pound dog, and pound dogs are prone to having tons of health issues. Little did we know this was the beginning of a hard, expensive, frustrating, tiring, and emotionally draining road.
A few years ago, my dog, Sam, was diagnosed with discoid lupus. Every single time he is outside in the sun for more than maybe, 15 minutes, he starts to develop a horrendous looking, scabby mess on his nose. It usually goes away by itself within a week if we keep him out of the sun. However, more recently, maybe within the past year, he has developed so many new skin disorders it is becoming very difficult to keep track of them all. His skin in general is just terrible. It seems like every week, it has a new issue. Almost all of the time, it is extremely flakey and dry, and has a lot of dandruff. The vet has confirmed he has bad dandruff and told us to not give him baths very often, which we don't do anyways. More concerning is the ringworm-looking spots, the rashes, and the scabs. We have been to different vets, and none have told us an exact diagnosis of what is wrong with our dog's skin. Our dog pees on his chest, he doesn't lift his leg which is a real, disgusting issue. He squats like a girl. One vet said that is exactly why his skin has so many issues, he pees on it every day and the acid is irritating his skin. The next vet said no way, the pee has nothing to do with why his skin is this way. One recommended to use baby wipes after every time he pees to wipe it off. So we did, but it didn't help. The next said we were crazy for using baby wipes because it has too many chemicals in it, and to just use a paper towel and warm water. So we did, but it didn't help. We even contacted Cesar Millan about why our dog does this and we were lucky enough to get a video response back. Cesar said the only way he will stop peeing like this is if he sees other dogs lifting their legs, then he will learn to lift his leg. One slight problem with that one Cesar, our dog HATES other dogs. Can't even go near them or have them in sight or else he starts going nuts. We've tried training him and putting him in classes but he's always been aggressive. He was supposedly on the streets during his puppyhood, which is the time to socialize dogs, so he missed his opportunity to properly socialize. But we don't know for sure if he was on the streets because when we adopted him, they got his records all mixed up with a completely different dog, a black lab in fact. So we don't know his real background or anything, for all we know he could've been from a puppy mill which could explain all his health issues (which there are more of, not relating to skin, but that's a different topic). Anyways, back to the point. Most times he will randomly begin developing quarter-sized, crusty, red, scabby circles on his chest, stomach, groin, armpits, and more recently, his back. He's never had them spread to his back until this past week. It doesn't cause all the hair to fall out around the area, but most of it. It looks exactly like human ringworm (which I've had) but it isn't ringworm. He is constantly itching and biting at these patches. I have attached pictures of what this looks like. Other times, he develops a HORRIBLE rash on his underside, spreading from the top of his chest to just below his groin area. The rash is these tiny, red, bug-bite looking dots. It almost looks like doggy acne, and some of the bumps get infected-looking, and they scab over and become a gross crusty mess. These red bumps look almost exactly like dog folliculitis. If you look up pictures on google, these red bumps match folliculitis' red bumps. We tried to bring it up to the vet but he bluntly ignored it for some reason. I have also attached pictures of these bumps (they are the ones where he is wet because you can see it better then). I have done my research on this stuff. In addition, he constantly seems to have impetigo. I do not have any pictures of this currently, but it is always there. It does not seem to bother him too much, so we deemed it not concerning enough to bring up to the vet. We've tried medicated baths, to medicated sprays, to holistic oils. Nothing makes it better. It always comes back. It never leaves the poor baby alone. Not only is it unsightly, I know it is uncomfortable for him, I can see it in his eyes. He's always licking, scratching, chewing. We've never changed his food. We haven't had a sudden emotional change that would trigger stress for him. He does not have fleas. He has no known allergies. We do not use harmful pesticides or chemicals in the backyard or anywhere in our house that we know of that would cause this. I aspire to be a vet one day, and I can't believe that of the different vets we've been to, none can diagnose him properly. I am prone to believe he has folliculitis as far as the red bumps go. For the ringworm-looking patches, we just don't know. This dog brings so much joy to me, he's my best friend and I love him so so much. We all do. But we just do not have the money to cover the costs of constantly going to the vet. They want to do so many expensive things that we just can't afford. My mom is so sick of bringing him to the vet and "wasting" her money that she just can't do it anymore. She's done and fed up with having such a sick dog all the time. And I won't even get into how much my cat has already cost us, that's a whole different topic. I can't lose my baby boy. Please. If there is anyone out there who has maybe a new remedy to try, and great vet recommendation, or even a diagnosis please let me know. ANYTHING will help. I just want all the suffering to stop. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 

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Why haven't the vets done a skin scrape, and look under the microscope to identify what it may be?
Also what food do you feed the little guy? Is it a food allergy? Do you change the food often?
I would go to a different vet get a second opinion, Im sorry you have had such awful luck with what is clearly inexperienced vets.

Are you worming your boy every 3 months?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why haven't the vets done a skin scrape, and look under the microscope to identify what it may be?
Also what food do you feed the little guy? Is it a food allergy? Do you change the food often?
I would go to a different vet get a second opinion, Im sorry you have had such awful luck with what is clearly inexperienced vets.

Are you worming your boy every 3 months?
The vet hasn't done a skin sample because we just don't have the money. We struggle just to get flea pills :/. He gets fed iams lamb and rice flavored dog food, and always has been fed that. He doesn't have an allergy to it because the skin issues have only been coming up in the past year, and we've been feeding him the same food for 4 years. Unfortunately we have seen different vets but either they still don't know or their opinions just completely clash with the other vets' opinions. And we do not worm him because here in California, there really isn't a huge worm risk. He's never had worms and as far as we know he doesn't have them right now. Thank you so much for your concern and help!
 

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You said you've never changed your dogs food but TRY THAT! I have an Aussie who is allergic to corn and some of the fillers in his food. I buy him Freshpet, you can get it in most pet stores and even at wal mart in the fridge in the dog section. It's a tube of meat basically, with added natural things like carrots and peas and brown rice. If he's been eating the same food for years it may just be horrible allergies that have progressed over eating the same food. From just a couple months of eating food with corn fillers in it that he's allergic to, Cosmo my Aussie developed very very dry skin. It was flaky and he started ripping hair out from chewing so bad. He developed a rash on his groin and stomach area, and his fur was brittle and dry. After just a couple days of changing his food to Freshpet I've noticed such a huge difference. His coat is ALREADY softer and I've only been feeding it to him a few days! It doesn't have to be the brand Freshpet, just those tubes of meat in the fridges in petco. Please try this, because it sounds like either mange or horrible allergies. (I would assume the vets already tested for mange)

For relief of his skin in the meantime while you try changing his food, I highly reccomend you do a couple things. First, buy some plain oatmeal and some Rosemary in the spice section at your local grocery store. Fill an old sock about halfway with rosemary leaves and oatmeal. Place it over your bathtub faucet and hold it in place with a rubber band. Fill your tub like that and periodically squeeze the sock to squeeze out some of the saturated water trapped in the oatmeal. If you feel wet oatmeal, it's very silky and will give your dog some itch relief. Rosemary does this as well. After you fill the tub put him in there and pour the water over his skin. (Make sure it's lukewarm not hot water) feel free to open the sock and rub some of the squishy oatmeal on his skin. When you're done rinse it all out and let him dry with a quick and gentle towel rub and some air. Once he is dry, take some coconut oil and apply it to the places he chews at. This will make him stop itching so bad. Don't continue to bathe him, but do continue to apply coconut oil over his skin every day while you change his diet. Throw a raw or cooked egg into his food once a week (you can do it more often if it's cooked) and pour a tablespoon of olive oil in his new food a couple times a week.

I really hope this works! Keep us updated!
 

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Have you introduced any new plants into the house recently? What was happening at the time it first started to flare up? Was there an environmental change ? (move house?)
 

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I just read your last message, and while you should do the things I mentioned below to give him some relief, If you're sure it's not allergies and you're only "pretty sure" he doesn't have worms I would DEFINITELY test him for worms. It could be ringworm or heart worm. He also needs a skin scrape if it's mange or something. I understand being tight on money but he needs to get tested. Sign up for carecredit.com - it basically lets you take your dog to the vet on credit and you pay it off over time so it's a lot easier.
 

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Ringworm is a fungus, and not a worm, heartworm doesn't have syptoms on the skin. Ringworm is usually treated with an antifungal cream, prescribed by your vet. Heartworm you need a blood test to tell if he is positive for it, spread through mosquitoes.
 

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I think it might be worth it to switch his food. Dogs can become allergic to anything at any point in time, no matter how long theve been eating it without issues. Look for something with a protean that he's never had before.

I would also maybe try to look for a specialist. They might be able to give you a better idea of whats going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You said you've never changed your dogs food but TRY THAT! I have an Aussie who is allergic to corn and some of the fillers in his food. I buy him Freshpet, you can get it in most pet stores and even at wal mart in the fridge in the dog section. It's a tube of meat basically, with added natural things like carrots and peas and brown rice. If he's been eating the same food for years it may just be horrible allergies that have progressed over eating the same food. From just a couple months of eating food with corn fillers in it that he's allergic to, Cosmo my Aussie developed very very dry skin. It was flaky and he started ripping hair out from chewing so bad. He developed a rash on his groin and stomach area, and his fur was brittle and dry. After just a couple days of changing his food to Freshpet I've noticed such a huge difference. His coat is ALREADY softer and I've only been feeding it to him a few days! It doesn't have to be the brand Freshpet, just those tubes of meat in the fridges in petco. Please try this, because it sounds like either mange or horrible allergies. (I would assume the vets already tested for mange)

For relief of his skin in the meantime while you try changing his food, I highly reccomend you do a couple things. First, buy some plain oatmeal and some Rosemary in the spice section at your local grocery store. Fill an old sock about halfway with rosemary leaves and oatmeal. Place it over your bathtub faucet and hold it in place with a rubber band. Fill your tub like that and periodically squeeze the sock to squeeze out some of the saturated water trapped in the oatmeal. If you feel wet oatmeal, it's very silky and will give your dog some itch relief. Rosemary does this as well. After you fill the tub put him in there and pour the water over his skin. (Make sure it's lukewarm not hot water) feel free to open the sock and rub some of the squishy oatmeal on his skin. When you're done rinse it all out and let him dry with a quick and gentle towel rub and some air. Once he is dry, take some coconut oil and apply it to the places he chews at. This will make him stop itching so bad. Don't continue to bathe him, but do continue to apply coconut oil over his skin every day while you change his diet. Throw a raw or cooked egg into his food once a week (you can do it more often if it's cooked) and pour a tablespoon of olive oil in his new food a couple times a week.

I really hope this works! Keep us updated!
Thank you SO much for your concern and your helpful tips! It is very much appreciated. We will have to try the oatmeal and rosemary idea, we've heard great things about it but haven't gotten around to trying it. As far as switching his food goes, we have tried feeding him wet food in the past but, he's thrown it up. So we stuck to dry food. Not to say he doesn't throw up his dry food now, because he does sometimes...which is odd and we can't ever figure out why. I'm beginning to think that he really does have a food allergy! The only problem is going on natural dog food can get very pricey very fast, which is why we use cheap Iams :/ How much does Freshpet cost? Again, thank you so so much for your help and I'll let you know if any of these tips help!
 

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Have you introduced any new plants into the house recently? What was happening at the time it first started to flare up? Was there an environmental change ? (move house?)
Nope, no new plants recently! The first time it flared up was about a year ago, and it was just the same as it is now. Dry, flakey, crusty, ringworm-looking spots as shown in the pictures, along with the red dot rash. And there has been no environmental changes that could trigger stress for him. Thank you for your questions and concern!
 

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I just read your last message, and while you should do the things I mentioned below to give him some relief, If you're sure it's not allergies and you're only "pretty sure" he doesn't have worms I would DEFINITELY test him for worms. It could be ringworm or heart worm. He also needs a skin scrape if it's mange or something. I understand being tight on money but he needs to get tested. Sign up for carecredit.com - it basically lets you take your dog to the vet on credit and you pay it off over time so it's a lot easier.
I hope to get him tested for these things soon because they are suitable reasons for why this could be happening to him. Carecredit.com, interesting! I will definitely have to look into that and bring it up to my mom. She might be very interested in something like that because both our dog and cat have never-ending health issues, and new ones that pop up all the time, resulting in very frequent vet trips. We have very bad luck with the health of our pets! :(
 

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I think it might be worth it to switch his food. Dogs can become allergic to anything at any point in time, no matter how long theve been eating it without issues. Look for something with a protean that he's never had before.

I would also maybe try to look for a specialist. They might be able to give you a better idea of whats going on.
Hmm, I don't necessarily know of any specialists in our area that could help with an issue like this, but do like your suggestion. I will bring up the food allergy thing to my mom, and hopefully she doesn't shoot me down and say "there's no way" because I truly believe that we're looking at a serious food allergy here. Thank you!
 

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Hopefully your able to figure out what's going on. You could try looking into Blue Buffalo. Its a better quality food, but it doesn't cost as much as some of the other higher quality.
 

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Hi, I thought I would write and give some advice. I am currently studying to become a Canine Trainer and Behaviorist. At the moment I am in a health and nutrition class. This sounds like a case of a food or medication allergy. Most people do not know that dogs can be allergic to many kinds of food including chicken. I would also try to rub some coconut oil on the sores. The first step I would recommend is to look at the ingredients in the dogs food. Then try to slowly put her on a new food that might have some better ingredients. A homemade diet might be helpful as well. If you would like some more advice please feel free to email me at [email protected]

I can help you go over her current diet and help you choose a better one. I would like to help so your dog stays in his home.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thank you SO much for your concern and your helpful tips! It is very much appreciated. We will have to try the oatmeal and rosemary idea, we've heard great things about it but haven't gotten around to trying it. As far as switching his food goes, we have tried feeding him wet food in the past but, he's thrown it up. So we stuck to dry food. Not to say he doesn't throw up his dry food now, because he does sometimes...which is odd and we can't ever figure out why. I'm beginning to think that he really does have a food allergy! The only problem is going on natural dog food can get very pricey very fast, which is why we use cheap Iams :/ How much does Freshpet cost? Again, thank you so so much for your help and I'll let you know if any of these tips help!
You're very welcome, I'm glad I could help! Freshpet is relatively cheap but it adds up because of the suggested portions are quite large. What I do is add things to my dogs food that are healthy like the yogurt/oatmeal/mackerel/eggs/carrots/chicken/brown rice/etc so that it's still healthy but adds some more product for him to eat and gives him some variation. I'd be careful with your dog as far as variation goes since he seems to be sensitive, and avoid corn for sure. Maybe even avoid putting fish or brown rice in his food for a while, just for testing purposes.

You can get it at Wal Mart in the fridge in the dog section. It's about 5-6 dollars a tube, which lasts my 50 pound aussie about 4-5 days each tube (I buy two at a time, so 10 dollars). So in order to feed your dog for the month, it would be about 20-30 dollars, which is relatively cheap for a good food! Plus it will last longer since your dog is small (at least that's what I remember you saying) and small dogs need to eat less portions.

Please keep us updated on his status and health! I'd love to know if changing his food works :) So far Cosmo's skin is much better and his fur is much softer in comparison to how it was, so for me it's been working!
 

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Hopefully your able to figure out what's going on. You could try looking into Blue Buffalo. Its a better quality food, but it doesn't cost as much as some of the other higher quality.
I WISH Blue Buffalo worked for Cosmo :/ It gave him such bad diarrhea for some reason, and he refused to eat it after a couple weeks. I've hear about diarrhea issues with BB before though, but it may just be that he has a sensitive stomach.
 
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