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Localized, recurring rash on dog's inner thighs - not serious but confounding!

elfelda
December 6th, 2004, 02:29 PM
My GSD/dalmation has always had sensitive skin, although no allergies to my knowledge. She was getting frequent ear and eye infections (as well as chin acne) until I started her on a sensitive skin & stomach formula (mainly salmon based) a couple years ago, and I also supplement it with oil in the winter to control dandruff and itchiness.

For the last 3 months she has had a recurring rash on the inside of her upper hind legs. She has almost no hair there (very short hair everywhere else), so the rash is quite visible against her pink skin, an inch or two in diameter, but does not seem to spread after the initial flare-up. Sometimes it is on one leg, sometimes the other, sometimes both. It has appeared and resolved several times now without treatment (she immediately licks off any ointment I apply), but seems to be appearing more frequently. It starts as a small red area, then gets hot and swollen, and sometimes a raw area appears in the middle. After a few days it heals gradually inwards.

It started appearing when I moved to this area (Guelph) and I thought it might be irritation from running through the long grasses and thistle in a local park, but we have not been there in several days and a new flare-up has just appeared. My father suggested that her front claws may be hitting the inside of her back legs when she runs (which she does a lot), but why only in the last 3 months, then?

I am afraid it may be some type of allergy, but what would cause such a localized reaction? She has not had an ear or eye infection in at least 8 months. Thanks for any suggestions! I'm stumped!

GsdDiamond
December 6th, 2004, 02:35 PM
Hi and welcome!
My first thought was an allergic reaction as well since ear infections can be a sign of an allergy. But, since the ear/eye infections have not happened for a while, that may rule that out.

My second guess would be ringworm. Is the rashy area round? Is it itchy for the dog? Since the dog hair may hide possible instances of ringworm, I'd venture a guess that there may be more spots you're unaware of. Did a Vet see the spot?

elfelda
December 6th, 2004, 02:44 PM
I have not taken her to a vet yet. I do not believe it is ringworm, as I have seen that before in a colony of mice and it doesn't seem to be presenting the same way. The rash is not always present, always heals on its own after a few days, and sometimes does not recur for several weeks (although, as I mentioned, it seems to be recurring more frequently now). It does not have a definite shape - sort of amoeboid, I guess - but it does have a definite boudary, and is raised and hot. When it recurs, it is always on her inner thighs, but not in the same exact location. She licks it but does not try to scratch it. Her hair is short enough that I am fairly certain there are no other locations, and there is no hair loss.

GsdDiamond
December 6th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Hmmm...it may be a parasitic infection as I can't see a fungal infection coming and going like this. Parasites have a habbit of moving about, so it may be that. I'd bring her to the Vet to be sure, but I'm starting to think parasites.

elfelda
December 6th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Any idea what type of parasite might cause this? I have never seen anything like it before. I do have 1 tube of Revolution left over from the summer, so I will apply it tonight and see if that helps. At the vet's office where I used to work we would recommend Revolution as the 1rst course of action for any suspected-parasite type rash (although it seems to me the rash began while she was still on Revolution in September... but it won't hurt to try).

I would like to take her to the vet, but unfortunately I am a little short on funds right now. I recently finished school and moved to a new city, and currently I have only a part-time job at the local humane society (no, they don't pay that well...). I will certainly take her in tests if the rash fails to heal on its own or if she seems uncomfortable, but in the mean time I am trying to treat it in my own frugal way :o

GsdDiamond
December 6th, 2004, 04:10 PM
I'm by no means a qualified Vet, so any guess I would make would be just that...a guess.

My best guess would either be:

It may be a type of mite. I've seen mites, in people mind you, that leave hot, red spots. But then again, they usually cause all sorts of itching, and you didn't mention itching.

It might be a nettle irritation since she's running in tall grass. Put some of the lotion on and then put a T-shirt on backwards, so the tail goes through the neck. Take a belt, or something, to tie it so it doesn't fall off. This way she doesn't lick the ointment.

Other than my feeble excuses at an explaination, I'm at a loss. Good luck and keep us posted!

Karin
December 6th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Any idea what type of parasite might cause this? I have never seen anything like it before. I do have 1 tube of Revolution left over from the summer, so I will apply it tonight and see if that helps. At the vet's office where I used to work we would recommend Revolution as the 1rst course of action for any suspected-parasite type rash (although it seems to me the rash began while she was still on Revolution in September... but it won't hurt to try).

I would like to take her to the vet, but unfortunately I am a little short on funds right now. I recently finished school and moved to a new city, and currently I have only a part-time job at the local humane society (no, they don't pay that well...). I will certainly take her in tests if the rash fails to heal on its own or if she seems uncomfortable, but in the mean time I am trying to treat it in my own frugal way :o

For starters..since you do work at a humane society...see if they have a black light on hand, it's the old fashioned way of detecting a fungal infection. Most vet's here do not even have one handy anymore. (To rule out ringworm & a few other possiblities)

And see if your attending vet at the shelter could do a skin scrapping for you when the rash appears again.

I cannot fathom a parasite problem here since the rash is basically localized.
Or allergies.

She is active from what I read. Is the rash scaley at times? Could be a slight case of exema with secondary skin infection or "rub spots" ...Gentimiacin spray helps ease that..(almost like a hot spot)

When she lays in the grass after a good romp does she layed frogged?
If so something could be irratating her skin, not necessarily an allergen.


Welcome to the board btw! I use to work at a HS shelter years ago....Thank you and I wish you more happy days there than not so happy ones.

Sheriffmom
December 6th, 2004, 08:40 PM
Sheriff get something very similar sounding. Our vet said it was a "heat rash" or "moisture rash". We found the best way to keep him from getting it is to wash that area well when you bath him, and dry it frequently with a soft towel (we use a baby recieving blanket). We dry that area about 3-5 times a day, and after everytime he goes outside when it is raining/grass wet/dewey, or out in the snow.
He still gets it once in a blue moon, but far less then he used to.
Goodluck!!! :)

elfelda
December 7th, 2004, 12:11 PM
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their ongoing suggestions (Lilith appreciates them too!). Being a science nut, I'm trying to be logical about this and use the process of elimination, at least within my power. Sherlock Holmes would be proud.

Unfortunately, we do not have a blacklight or even an attending vet at the HS where I work. I feel pretty confidant that it is not a parasite, however, due to the nature of the recurrance and the localization. The latest spot is on her left leg, less on the thigh area, and more just on the inner side of her knee. Her right leg has no rash this week. I had believed that it was from grass or thistles in the fall, but now there is snow here and she is not coming into contact with anything like that. When she lies down it is usually on her side. I don't bath her more than once or twice a year (it gives her dandruff), and I don't think it can be a heat or moisture rash since the area is not covered by fur, and basically always exposed (although other naked, exposed areas, like her belly, are unaffected). I have had eczema on my hands (from overwashing, who knew?), but her rash does not have the same blistery or scabby look. I do think it is a hot spot but I am still stumped as to what the original irritant can be.

By the process of elimination, I am starting to think my father might be right - that her front paws are occasionally hitting her back legs when she runs, and this is causing the hot spots. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Karin, you are right that she is very active. Sometimes she has bursts of energy in my small apartment, and runs around with her back hunched and her front feet very close to her back feet, because she would cover the length of it in only 3 strides if she were running normally (it's quite the sight). Perhaps this is causing her to scrape herself. I still don't know why it only started happening when I moved to Guelph. Maybe my new apartment has a little different set-up than the last one, a turn that trips her up?

elfelda
December 7th, 2004, 12:21 PM
Here is the rashmeister herself

GsdDiamond
December 7th, 2004, 02:16 PM
She's beautiful! (see...I told you I had feeble attempts at guessing! WAY better ideas from others here)

Karin
December 7th, 2004, 07:16 PM
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their ongoing suggestions (Lilith appreciates them too!). Being a science nut, I'm trying to be logical about this and use the process of elimination, at least within my power. Sherlock Holmes would be proud.

Unfortunately, we do not have a blacklight or even an attending vet at the HS where I work. I feel pretty confidant that it is not a parasite, however, due to the nature of the recurrance and the localization. The latest spot is on her left leg, less on the thigh area, and more just on the inner side of her knee. Her right leg has no rash this week. I had believed that it was from grass or thistles in the fall, but now there is snow here and she is not coming into contact with anything like that. When she lies down it is usually on her side. I don't bath her more than once or twice a year (it gives her dandruff), and I don't think it can be a heat or moisture rash since the area is not covered by fur, and basically always exposed (although other naked, exposed areas, like her belly, are unaffected). I have had eczema on my hands (from overwashing, who knew?), but her rash does not have the same blistery or scabby look. I do think it is a hot spot but I am still stumped as to what the original irritant can be.

By the process of elimination, I am starting to think my father might be right - that her front paws are occasionally hitting her back legs when she runs, and this is causing the hot spots. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Karin, you are right that she is very active. Sometimes she has bursts of energy in my small apartment, and runs around with her back hunched and her front feet very close to her back feet, because she would cover the length of it in only 3 strides if she were running normally (it's quite the sight). Perhaps this is causing her to scrape herself. I still don't know why it only started happening when I moved to Guelph. Maybe my new apartment has a little different set-up than the last one, a turn that trips her up?


For a long distance guess ...I dare to think hot spot also. All it takes is a scratch or pin prick contusion to get one started. All mammals need get be acclimated with their environments..sort of a self immunity innoculation. Your father could be right. What does her nails touch outside and where do they go from there? Call that a wild stab in the dark but that is what we have to do sometimes. Since this is not life threatening I would treat as a hot spot.

On the shelter news....no attending vet? Not even an on call one? What's up with that?

elfelda
December 8th, 2004, 12:20 AM
We go to a local animal hospital if there is an emergency (there are several in the area who are on call 24 hrs), and all the animals are spayed or neutered at a variety of vet's offices in the area (there are a lot in Guelph... there is a veterinary school here). We do have at least one Vet Tech on site and I know she does most of the vaccinations, deworming, and minor treatments. I don't think we could afford to hire our own veterinarian.