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excema in dogs

August 23rd, 2001, 10:36 PM
I helped my friend adopt a dog from the SPCA, and the poor thing had hot spots. ON a visit to the vet the next day, he said it was excema and gave her a cream to put on the sores. The dog is now stressed out, and does not let them put on his plastic cone, or put the medication on. I have to go over 2x daily to help out. I don't mind, I feel responsible for their having the dog. What else can we do to help this little 5 year old Spaniel mix? thanks

August 24th, 2001, 05:16 PM
Eczema is the general term used to describe various itchy skin diseases. It is known medically as 'atopic dermatitis'. Dermatitis simply means inflammation of the skin. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis but several treatments can reduce its severity. Eczema is a skin condition caused by an allergy to food, or other irritants... but most commonly fleas, & parasites. It is extremely itchy and can lead to infection if not treated promptly.

Has your dog been properly diagnosed with eczema for sure? If possible, it would be a good idea to ask your vet to do skin scrapings and look for mange mites. It might be worth attempting to get a culture from a skin lesion to identify the bacteria involved and get an idea of what antibiotics kill it, if this is possible. For temporary relief you may want to try Gold Bond medicated powder, or even Benadryl (one mg. per pound of the dog’s body weight). Vitamin and mineral supplements to daily meals can help maintain a healthy coat and skin, keeping moisture in and eliminating even a simple case of dry skin.

Hot Spots are a moist, raw skin disorder has a variety of causes but the most consistent factor is bacteria. Eczema sufferers are more prone to skin infections (bacterial, fungal and viral). Antibiotic creams and occasionally oral antibiotics are prescribed to treat infected eczema which may present as sudden development of crusting, oozing and redness of the skin.

I suggest asking your vet about Prednisone and other oral steroids. Cortisone Creams only produce rapid relief and are used for short periods to settle eczema flare-ups. They may also be used for longer periods when diluted in an emollient in which case treatment should be tapered off slowly. However, their long term use may lead to thinning of the skin, but some of the newer preparations seem to be much safer. Cortisone tablets or injections are very rarely, if ever, used in eczema.

Other treatments:

These moistening creams and ointments, the mainstay of eczema treatment, are completely safe and should be applied liberally at least twice daily to hydrate and protect the skin. Different emollients include Emulsifying ointment (HEB), Aqueous cream (UEA), Cetomacrogol, Ultrabase and Oilatum cream.

The older sedating type antihistamine tablets or syrups such as Aterax will reduce itching especially at night. Antihistamine creams may sensitise the skin and should be avoided.

Take good care of the skin. Cleanse the skin with a cream (e.g. aqueous cream) or an ointment (e.g. emulsifying ointment) rather than soap. Even 'gentle' or 'hypoallergenic' soaps dry the skin and this makes atopic dermatitis worse.

You can also reduce the numbers of dust mites. This will help. Cover mattress with a plastic sheet, which is damp dusted weekly. Vacuum clean carpets, beds and soft furnishing weekly. Regularly wash soft toys at 50° C or higher. Damp dust whole house weekly. Replace carpets with hard flooring if possible. For more info: