Dog Question - McHenry,IL

Updated on April 02, 2013
J.S. asks from McHenry, IL
13 answers

I have a 7 year old cairn terrier who developed scabs on his back. He has been to the vet numerous times. It is not fleas or mange. The vet puts him on antibiotics, the scabs go away and then come back worse a week after the antibiotics are done. The scabs are yellowish in color and are only found along his spine. Also he is very itch, so he gets a cortisone shot to help with that. Any suggestions on what it could be or what I could do to prevent it. The vet has no other suggestions

Things we have done include grooming, shaving his hair really short, weekly baths, Benadryl, washing everything he touches in Tide free (incase of allergy).

We have another dog and he has no scab issues so the vet doesn't think it is contagious. I also have 2 small children (one is 2 and the other is 2 months) who I am concerned with. I don't want them to come in contact with some skin disease he may have.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you for all the responses. I did forget to write about his food. He is on a grain free, salmon and sweet potato food. We will look into some of the foods people listed. Also taking him for a second opinion.

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

Try happy jacks mange wash - it's not just for mange, but also for fungal infections, you can get it at tractor supply


Try happy jacks mange wash - it's not just for mange, but also for fungal infections, you can get it at tractor supply

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

He might have developed a food allergy. What kind of food does he eat? One of our Boxers used to have food allergies (he would break out in hives, poor guy), and we had to feed him brown rice, cooked chicken, etc. As in, people food, cooked just for him. It was such a pain, but it did solve the problem. I think it was corn that he had a hard time with. I know that now they have grain-free foods for dogs, fresh food for dogs, all kinds of stuff, so you don't have to go to the extent of actually cooking it yourself. It may just be a matter of trial and error with ingredients until you figure out what's bothering him. I'm a little surprised your vet didn't suggest that it could be a dietary issue?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My dog has a similar issue, but we found out he is allergic to soy, because we gave him our daughter's left over bottle when she was a baby and he developed an allergy. Also, he cannot have chicken at all! the neighbors keep giving him those cheap dog bone treats so he keeps breaking out.

We have used Sulfadene and it seems to help with the itching and he doesn't want to lick it since it tastes icky, so he doesn't like it either.

I would put him on a good grain free food that is chicken free also like Royal Canaan or Canidae or even Blue Diamond (I think). Or, I got a good one at costco that was reasonably priced and safe for our doggy.

My mom works at a high end pet store, and she says that corn, soy, and chicken are the most common allergens in pet food today.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Might be worth taking him to another vet for a second opinion.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Food allergy maybe. Worth switching to a prescription dog food. Nothing to lose.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Two things we did were change our dog's food AND take him to a specialy vet (allergist). That way we found out exactly what he was allergic to & bought food that didn't have that in it.

Hang in there & try everything ppl suggest you will find your answer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

have you changed his food? Our labradoodle is very sensitive to most dry dog foods.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get a second opinion at Animal Specialty in buffalo Gove, Il. They probably have a dermatologist there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well I don't really have an answer for you, except to tell you that you are not alone.

My daughter has two dogs and they both have similar issues. And her dad is a vet. They have tried many things, and the little scabs come back. There are 9 vets in his practice, so there are plenty of other vets trying to figure it out. Sometimes skin problems in animals are a real head scratcher.

I second what some have said on here about food. If you haven't tried a different food that's something to consider.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Has he been tested for allergies? A friend has a terrier, think it is a cairn but not sure. This dog has allergies like you would not beleive. He also breaks out in sores everywhere. He gets a special meal (lamb and other stuff) and they stay away from the usual dog foods. I don't know exactly what he is allergic to but know that he is fed lamb due to allergies.



answers from Kansas City on

I had a cat that did that. It was not a pleasant thing, and her hair began to fall out too. The vet said it was allergies. We ended up putting her down because after so long, she was so miserable and wouldn't do anything but lay in the same spot, and wouldn't eat. I'm not saying that is the same thing as your dog, and I'm sorry my answer is not the best one you want to hear. I hope your dog gets better. Maybe with the changing of seasons he will get better.



answers from Detroit on

I noticed you did not say anything about changing his food. When my lab was having allergies and itching a lot, we went on a food trial on the recommendation of the vet. I switched her food to IAMS veterinary formula skin and coat plus. My vet orders it for me, and I pick it up at the office. That was about a year ago and she is still on it. It is a little expensive, but it has helped. Plus, she does not get any dog treats or bones etc. Only canned green beans as a treat and raw carrots. Good Luck!
Plus, I noticed where you are and I live in Crystal Lake, Il...My vet is wonderful...her name is Karen Burgess..Healthy Paws Animal Hospital in Lake in the Hills.


answers from Washington DC on


Have your vet taken a sample of the tissue to find out what it is?

Dogs aren't like humans in their reactions to things. Since antibiotics clear them up - I hesitate to say it's an allergy - but it's entirely possible that it's an allergic reaction.

Have you tried giving him Benadryl to help with the itching? I know that our vet told us NOT to shave my dog, Obi's, hair when he had scabs on his tail from allergies...that the shaving only irritated the skin that much more - which caused him to want to chew that much more....

We do have a vet on the site - DVMmom...hopefully she'll answer...

if you have a veterinary university near you - call them and ask if they would be willing to give your dog a check up and test him for things...

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions