Lilly’s Skin Allergies

lilly skin blogFor Lilly’s whole life she has suffered from very sensitive skin that has been prone to allergic reactions, itching and infections.  During the last week her skin has once again flared up with a reaction to something and she has a number of red sore spots on her tummy and flank area.  Surprisingly the rest of Lilly’s skin does not seem to be bothering her and it is not red or inflamed, except for in these localised spots.  It seems that she has probably had a reaction to something she brushed up against, maybe when we went for a walk in the bush.

Over the years Lilly has had many visits to the vet to be prescribed cortisone tablets to help settle the itchy inflamed skin.  The cortisone has always helped but these days the vet has advised against the cortisone tablets, as it not recommended to be used with the medication Trocoxil, which she is on for her arthritis.  This time the vet has prescribed Lilly some Neocort cream.  Neocort is a antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anaesthetic skin emollient cream which I can apply to the affected area twice daily.  The hydro-cortisone in the cream will help settle the inflammation and itch, while the neomycin is an antibiotic to help with any infection and the lignocaine is a local anaesthetic to help relieve pain.  In the past I have used Neocort cream on Lilly for a number of skin issues and have had great success.  It has only been two days since I started using the cream but already the sores look less red and she isn’t licking them as much.  They day before taking Lilly to the vet I gave her a bath using the beautifully soothing Aloveen Shampoo and Conditioner.  The Aloveen products are fantastic for helping to soothe dry, itchy and sensitive skin as they contain oatmeal and aloe vera but still give a thorough  gentle cleanse and remove dirt and chemicals from the skin.

Like many dogs Lilly’s skin seems to most commonly become itchy due to grass and plant allergies.  Some dogs are more prone to skin allergies and problems especially those with pink skin like dalmatians. In general, when the seasons change or the grass begins to seed Lilly’s skin becomes red, inflamed and itchy. Usually her tummy and flank are the most noticeable places of concern as well as the ears and under the tail.  When the skin becomes itchy Lilly will start obsessively licking the areas she can reach and scratching or rubbing the rest.

My first step to help soothe the itching is always a bath.  One of my all time favourite products and an absolute must have in my house is Malaseb shampoo.  Malaseb Medicated Foam is a fantastic anti-fungal and antibacterial shampoo which can be used to help many skin conditions in dogs, cats, horses and most animals.  You simply wash the animal, lather the shampoo on and then leave it for ten minutes or more and let it work its magic, then rinse off.  I find it breaks down any crusty or scabby sores on skin and the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties assist in combating infections.  Sometimes I also like to use a gentle skin soothing shampoo like Aloveen or Fido’s Oatmeal & Baking Soda Shampoo.  Shampoo’s containing oatmeal are generally very soothing and moisturizing which helps to settle itchy and dry skin.

There are many reasons a dog may become itchy including fleas, mites, other insects, allergies to grass, plants, chemicals, shampoos or even allergies to medications or flea and tick treatment products.  It is important, especially if it is the first time your dog presents with itchy, red or inflamed skin, to take them to the vet to make sure it is not something toxic that is causing the reaction.  Your vet will be able to prescribe medication and also advise on the best shampoo for your dogs skin condition.

As for Lilly, I am sure this won’t be the last time that I am dealing with her skin allergies but at least it is generally quite easy to get back under control so she doesn’t have to suffer to itch for too long.

Until next time,

Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, a cheeky cockatiel, chickens and many horses including a naughty little pony.

6 Replies to “Lilly’s Skin Allergies

  1. Thanks Bec. You write beautifully. I have recently acquired an older dog who also suffers an allergic reaction on her skin. Your article is reassuring in my hope of finding her some relief for what is a very nasty problem.

    1. Thankyou Isabel for your lovely feedback.
      It really is such a stressful condition for both dog and owner to try and manage. Keep persisting with treatments and work with your vet to hopefully find an answer.
      Good Luck,
      Kind Regards

  2. Hello Bec…so good to see this fab article online. And yes, I use the same products. My own dogs, particularly one, have had this awful fungal infection caused by grass seed. The ears become yeasty and sticky with gunk and it is so hard to control.

    My son in law(he’s a GP) was over one day and he observed that my beautiful Lhasa Apso was scratching her ears as usual and as he watched for a while he believed that the problem was NOT in her ears, but on her feet and pads. Her constant licking of the feet then transfer to her ears seems to be her normal pattern.

    1. lick toes and feet;
    2. Scratch ears with back feet; and
    3. The fungus is transfered to her ears

    So I began treating only her feet with first, the bath in malaseb, folowed by application of Neocort…and after 3 days shampoo with Aveena shampoo and conditioner and apply the Neocort again to her feet. I actually left her poor ears alone for once and the problem cleared up. A local Vet told me that the itch from grass has been named ‘The Queensland Itch’ for want of a better name.

    cheers sonyakay

    1. Thank you for your feedback, and sharing your dogs story. This is really great to know and hopefully it will be helpful to others out there.
      Kind Regards

      1. Be careful recommending aloveen shampoo as some dogs are allergic to oatmeal. My poor little dog has allergies and we washed her in aloveen until we got her an allergy blood test which said she’s allergic to it among many other things. The blood test is expensive but highly recommend it because it lets you know what you’re dealing with. Many things that help other dogs can make it worse if the dog is allergic to what you’re using.

        1. Oh your poor dog, allergies are so tricky and some dogs (like people) are just unfortunate to be allergic to things that are typically ok for the majority. Oatmeal is generally considered such a calming and soothing additive to many skin products and shampoos and tends to work well for those purposes. If you do suspect an allergy I do agree that if you can investigate further and get a definitive answer it is always a good thing as it lets you know exactly how to approach it.
          Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone.
          ~ Bec

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.