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Peeling skin and blisters in a dog

December 25th, 2003, 11:56 PM

our 6 month puppy (lab and german shepherd mix) suddenly developed peeling of skin on bottom of all paws (all pads, even metacarpal ones), with reddish and swollen paws. She licks and bites off the peeling skin a lot. A couple of days later red blisters showed up inside ears.
Vet suspected food allergy and gave her antibiotics and a steroid shot and changed her diet.
A day later blisters starting showing up all over the body (not just inside ears) and ones in ears became crusty. Some hair loss present, but not localized.
She still licks herself a lot - whole body now. No smell from ears.

Any ideas or help appreciated. I can send digital photos to anyone who may be able to diagnose, if it helps

thanks a lot

:confused: :confused:

December 26th, 2003, 03:12 AM
There is a possibility it may be mange

take the dog to the vet asap

December 26th, 2003, 08:31 AM
Ditto mange, it's a parasite and can cause these symptoms. Ask your vet about it - a food allergy would be way down on the list of possible causes, I'd think. Quiz your vet about why she thinks this is the case, and ask her to do a skin scraping for mange.

December 28th, 2003, 01:00 AM
Thank you, Luba and Carina.

I took the puppy to the vet the day after Christmas (for the third time in 5 days).
Even though the vet still felt this was an allergic response to something (most likely food), and did not think this was a mange, on my insistance he took skin scrapings from her ears and they came out negative. I know this can be a false negative. To be safe he told me to apply Revolution which my puppy was due for anyway (she gets it every month for flea and mite prevention). He was puzzled even more and kept saying: "It's so weird. I haven't seen anything like it in my 25 years of practice".

When asked why he didn't think it is a sarcoptic mite (mange), he said the sores in the mange are on the tips of ears ( in our case they are all over ears, mainly inside, but also outside). The other arguments against mange were 1. the fact that the dog was obviously itchy, but the itch of mange is tremendous and 2. the whole problem started with the pads on her paws that were peeling off. Those peeling pads on all paws are still something that he finds the most weird.

Anyway, this time we applied Revolution, and we use a special cream on the affected areas twice a day, mainly in her ears, because she licks it off immediately from any other area of her body. And we continue with oral antibiotics, also twice a day.

If she doesn't get better by Monday, the vet will send us to a dermatologist (canine of course).

Today though we noticed improvement. The ears look better, she is more herself - playful and energetic. The swelling on the back paws has almost disappeared. The front paws are still red, swollen and look "raw" in some areas. We found more sores on her body, but maybe they were there yesterday. She licks
herself less. I hope she is on her way to the recovery.

We wonder if we shoud get a second opinion, even if she gets better (which we hope does happen) since our vet was not sure of the diagnosis.

December 28th, 2003, 01:45 AM
Hi Mariola

Isn't that odd!

What do you use to wash your floors/carpet you use anything harmful like javex, mr clean, lysol?
Since your dog is very sensitive and those solvents are very harmful chemicals u may want to switch to a environmentally and people friendly cleaner Nature Clean makes a GREAT line of stuff! It works and its not harmful.

Have u recently washed the dogs bedding in detergent and fabric softener? Any trips to the groomer or urself with shampoo?

If you have something on your floor, sofa, bed or carpet that might be irritating, clean it or steam clean. DON'T use any steam cleaning shampoo just hot water! If it is this type of allergic reaction u need to pin point it down.

I hope it gets better really soon, my dog used to have horrible skin allergies to pollen and food sensitivities. Hills W/D was the only thing that he ended up eating w/o an allergy.

Interesting read:
**be wary if your vet wants ur dog to take prednisone**

OH by the way your vet should have given you something like Veriton (spelling) cream to put near the areas that poochie is licking the other cream little lick and no more lickies, they hate the taste!!
Ask about i!
Good luck
let us know!

December 28th, 2003, 06:18 AM
That is odd...I also wonder if it could be some sort of environmental allergy...? I know in humans, skin conditions can be difficult to diagnose sometimes.

You may find this link can go to skin problems or whatever else you think might apply and do some reading. It's a pretty reputable site:

Let us know of her progress! Wishing for a quick diagnosis & cure.
A second opinion never hurts, IMHO.

January 1st, 2004, 11:12 PM
Thank You, Carina and Luba for your advice .

I have put addresses of the sugested web pages to my favourites.

The skin lesions on my dog seem more abundant and bigger, but drier. She is loosing al lot of hair in those areas. It looks pretty bad. She seems happier though , has good appetite and more energy.

I got the Elizabethan collar for her to prevent her from licking the medicated cream. It works, but is very upsetting for her.

By the way I don't use any harsh chemicals on my floors (only water), haven't cleaned sofas, carpets or my dog's bedding

We wlill be taking her to a dermatologist. for further testing. Unfortunately we have to wait for the appointment until mid Jan.
I will keep you posted.

Happy New Year,


January 1st, 2004, 11:53 PM
Good luck and thanks for the update

Call the dermatologist office and make sure they call you if they have a cancellation in their schedule!

Hope it all goes well

January 2nd, 2004, 06:56 AM
Well good luck with her, how frustrating for you both! Wow, if that is a food allergy it's a really severe one. Maybe you could try a duck & sweet potato food, or something, just to see if it helps?
I recently read an article about the lamb & rice type foods. That they are not always as effective as one of the more premium allergenic foods because they still tend to have ingredients that are found in many other foods (rice is a common ingredient, and "meat meal" is common in most lower quality foods.) Any unspecified meat ingredient could contain lord knows what.
Anyhow might be worth a try, won't hurt.

They do hate the e-collars, don't they? There's a type of collar that isn't such a pain for them to's a big soft donut thing that goes around their necks. The same effect, but not as unwieldy. I've never tried one but have seen ads in a dog magazine.

Well do keep us posted, glad she's feeling a wee bit better at any rate!

February 5th, 2004, 10:36 PM
To Luba, Carina and everyone interested,

Three weeks ago our dog was seen by a dermatologist who diagnosed the lesions on feet, ears and the rest of the body as
pemphigus foliaceus. It is a rare aoutoimmune disease that is chronic and typically progressive. It means a lifetime of continuous steroids.

We were told the problem is resolving probably due to a strong steroid injection she gor over Christmas when it all started, but to watch for new lesions in 2-3 weeks (which is now), because it will happen again unless we (and tne dog of course )are very lucky.

If she has a new outbreak, the lesions will have to be biopsied to confirm the diagnosis.

Right now the dog feels fine, is very energetic and has a good appetite. She still is on a special diet that she was put on by our vet when he suspected the problem was due to a food allergy (hypoallergenic dry food - fish and potato).

Every day we check her body for signs of a new rash, but thankfully so far she is fine.

She has black markings on most of her body which is a post inflammatory hyperpigmentation that will fade with time.

Does anybody know (from their experience) of a succesful therapy other than steroids for pemphigus in dogs, especially puppies like ours.