Cristin n Wilbur avatar image

Skin Problems...please Help! Im lost...

Hi! Im really hoping someone out there has experienced somthing along these lines and can help point me in a new direction... if you have a few moments I would really love to hear your opinions...

Wilbur is almost 3 and for the past year his occasional need for benadryll has turned into a daily habit! He is just SO itchy all the time and sheds terribly... I take him to Dr Butchko here in Southern California- We are there so often that Im pretty sure he feels like the Vet is just where we go on Saturdays now :( His itchyness was always accompanied by dry skin (a little flakey) &/or small red bumps along his sides or straight up his spine- Ive pointed out to the Dr every time we go how much benadryl Wilbur takes (Sometimes up to 6 pills a day!)  and that I really dont understand why there isnt something I can do! In the past the Dr has said that it (the medicine) is fine and will not hurt him, that skin problems come with the breed,etc. He would give me *Aller chlor*  and sometimes Pregnezone- and send us on our way...About a month ago I changed his food after reading alot of different blogs & information to Natural Balance grain free (sweet Potato & Buffalo). Around that same time i noticed that on wilburs stomach there was a spot (about the size of a nickle) that was almost a perfect circle with a darker center circle-- it was strange but didnt seem to bother him at all. I kept it clean and put a little neosporin on it and after a few days it cleared up  (the center dark circle actually scabbed over and then came off)-  It left a scar though of a white circle with a dark center circle and it affects the hair growth on those spots as well. Then about a week later a couple more showed up on his belly :(  I took him back to the vet and he gave him a shot that day- also some AllerChlor again, some pregnezone, another medicine i cant remember but was just for any infection he may have had, and some medicated shampoo. The dr said it was an allergic reaction- I said I was concerned it was a reaction to the new food, but he assured me that he did not think it was a food allergy...  For the past few weeks the medicine seems to have helped along with the medicated baths every 5 days or so- The spots went away and he has not been too itchy. He seems to be shedding less as well (which i think is because he is finally eating grain free and i feel like a completly horrid mom for not doing this sooner :( ! )  Since yesterday though I began to notice he was getting itchy again and I can feel those bumps all along his spine again- Tonight he seems even itchier so (a day early) i decided to give him a bath with the medicated shampoo and noticed he has another one of those strange circles with the dark centers that scab over (about the size of a quarter this time) on his chest! :(  I dont know what to do for this dog--- It just seems like im spending $100 to $150 every time I go to the vet and getting the exact same answers and he isnt getting any better- or he does get better, but only for a short while and then we have the same problems again... Wilbur has such a beautiful coat otherwise- We have our *Mommy & Me* time every night where he gets all cleaned up- I try and take GREAT care of him- Im getting so frustrated- I just dont know what else to do other than go back to the vet... 

Any insight would be greatly appreciated...I can tell hes not happy :(


Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Handsome guy!

It can be very frustrating to have ongoing skin problems.  We have one that has a recurring staph infection which is little bumps that lose hair and cause a bald spot.  He's on Simplicef for that, it's an antibiotic.  If I were you I would look into allergy testing and also look for a canine dermatologist.  It may cost more at first to see a specilist, but in the long run it will save you money.  We feed Natural Balance also, we have had our guys on either Duck potato or fish potato. I've never tried the Buffalo, but it can take 6 weeks to see a difference after a food change.  Hope he starts feeling better.

Cristin n Wilbur's picture

Thanks Kathy! (Right now he

Thanks Kathy! (Right now he eats the BISON potato, lol not Buffalo, my brain was working overtime earlier i guess) I think your suggestion of a dermatologist is something Im going to have to look into... allergies aside, I know he doesnt really like the taste of the Bison because he doesnt attack his food like he use to- so maybe we will try the fish or duck while we try and figure this out :) At this rate I have a feeling pet insurance might be a good idea too  ;) One thing is for sure, your right about it being extreamly frustrating!


Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

The potato

could also be the problem. Sounds like he is getting a recurring staph infection. Has the vet ever scraped and cultured the lesion to make sure what he is throwing antibiotics at. The meds will only work for the few weeks you are giving them, they are a band aid. I can't understand why vets just pill pop and don't get to the cause.

And it seriously pisses me off that they say it's a bulldog thing. It is not! I don't have a dog in my house that has skin issues. It's a poor breeders thing.

So if this was my dog I would try the duck before I would try salmon or fish and I would find a food without starch or carbs if you can.

When I was feeding kibble I tried Natural Balance once and I didn't like it. Coast were dull, flaky and the shedding was horrible. Sometimes you have to try several different ones until you find one that agrees with your dog.

Are you giving a supplement? I'd get a good Wild Salmon Oil and start that. grizzly Salmon Oil is what I usually feed.

You can do allergy tests, make sure they test for foods as well as all the outdoor stuff. They at least give you an idea of what he is allergic too.

You also might consider trying a raw diet, prepackaged like Bravo, Natures Variety, Primal, etc. The last kibble I fed was "Now" made by Pet Curean. My dogs did very well on it. Acana is also a good kibble. Try to keep your protein around or below 25%.

I feed strickly a raw diet now.

AmyandSophia's picture

Sophia is allergic to potato. I went crazy figuring that out!

I had to take her off the grain free becasue all of those feeds were potato based! I feed Purina One lamb and rice now, she does fine on it. I am switching over to Blue Buffalo though, I like her coat better on that, and my big dogs eat less of the Blue than they need of the Purina One, so economically it will help me out. 

Best of luck. Get the allergy testing done, it will help you a lot. One little flea can wreak havoc on your dog as well, so make sure this isn't a flea allergy going on. It almost sounds like one to me, I have two dogs with flea allergy dermititis and have to keep them flea free throughout the season. 


Amy and Sophia

Cristin n Wilbur's picture

went to the vet today,,,

We went to the vet this evening- We have another round of medicines to control the allergic reaction but after a long talk with the Vet and with a very sweet Lady who was waiting to pick up her new litter & the mama... I definitly think this is a food reaction so we are going to take away any potato and try a very basic food and see how it goes- - - I went and got a small bag of Natures Instinct Lamb, just to start getting him away from the food hes eating now...If anyone knows of any good books or websites that can walk me throuh *Raw diets and what that entails please message me with them... I have a feeling its a good thing i *knighted* SIR Wilbur when naming him- Hes about to start eating like a king! Thank you again - I know no one has a magic answer- but sometimes its just nice to know that someone else has eperienced the same thing you have and found a way through it! :)  


If you can find pre made raw

in your area, that is a great way to go.

I had Kofi on raw for three years before Natures Variety Raw Instinct came to our area. She has done great on it. 

Doing raw yourself is very time consuming, and you really need to find a co-op or a good source of a variety of raw meats and organs.

Deb mentioned in her post a few other raw foods.

Hope this helps you and Wilber.


Kofi and Carol


wrigley_2007's picture

Before you make drastic

food changes, make sure it is in fact the food casuing the problem.


mrhig2004's picture

some ideas

Perhaps if this situation persists you should consider "Atopica" check with your vet. A prescription shampoo that is very effective for this is "sebulux".

My bully is on atopica for his ears and no side effects at all.

Good luck


We've had same issue with dry

We've had same issue with dry skin but now he is losing hair on top of his head.  Is that normal?