Your Pet Question:
My Irish setter is continually biting, scratching and licking her fur. She’s had everything from dandruff to flaky scab-like skin to weeping sores which all lead to tangled fur that gets matted. We use the heartworm plus tick medicine from the vet that comes in drops. Change in diet hasn’t helped. Do you have any suggestions, other than buying expensive veterinarian food?
Lessard Sorensen (no location)
The Expert Says:
There are a number of reasons why dogs present with skin problems– ranging from skin parasites, allergic conditions, and bacterial and/or fungal skin infections. These can also be complicated with endocrine problems, such as hypothyroidism. It sounds like your dog needs to have a thorough workup done to determine what condition she has. An exam would likely include a skin scraping to rule out some underlying condition, such as demodectic mange. If your dog has weeping sores, it sounds like it may have some secondary infections going on which often will complicate an underlying problem. I recommend you ask your veterinarian for a complete exam to determine the cause of her skin problems.
Dr. Nicole Gallant practices veterinary medicine at Kensington Veterinary Clinic in Kensington, PEI.