Can you identify the skin problem?
Can you identify the skin problem?

Can you identify the skin problem?

Sugar is having skin problems again. She’s not itching, and is losing patches of hair on her back. Hair loss is circular and black flaky skin surrounds the circumference.

Update Jan. 11, 2010: I brought some skin samples to the vet and showed these pics. Ringworm, in Alaska, is very unlikely. We are treating it as a staph infection. 500mg Cephalexin once a day, plus a good bath.


  1. Maggie

    My husky had the same problem. Took her to the vet, they couldnt id what the problem was. So; I did get antibiotics and spray to spray on the spots but this continues. My dog would loose skin, with black flakes that just wouldnt come out and then heal, hair would grow and that was that, then another patch would start. So I just continue the spray and let it be. She is old and it only started after she was 10 years old.

  2. Camille

    I don’t know if this thread is still open or not, but I thought I would respond just in case. My American-Bulldog mix had this exact issue, but our vet couldn’t identify it either. She was losing large patches of hair and she was scratching herself raw. We tried steroids which worked while she took them, but obviously taking them long-term isn’t an option. We did all of the usual tests and scrapes and came up with nothing. The vet suggested a pet dermatologist, but at $700 to walk in the door, it just wasn’t an option. Not to mention that I did a lot of research and found countless other dog owners (particularly owners of all kinds of bulldogs, huskys, and german shephards), and those that visited a dermatologist received no relief nor definitive diagnosis. I tried all of the different kinds of medicated shampoos and sprays and everything. I am not kidding when I tell you I tried absolutely everything. Then I turned to the natural pet care community. I read all of the websites and blogs I could find about treating dogs naturally, including switching them to a raw diet, removing all grains, and numerous other options. Maybe what I finally settled on will work for you and maybe it won’t, but I can tell you that Sophie’s skin problems are completely gone and she doesn’t scratch any more than she did before the problem arose. Not to mention, her fur has never, ever been so soft and she has never looked better. Everyone comments on how good she looks. And the added bonus is that she only poops twice a day now, her poops are small and less smelly, and she never drinks water because of the diet change. She had a little the other day when we were out running, but otherwise, I haven’t seen her drink in weeks, but I am not in any way concerned.

    First, I slowly switched her to a completely raw diet. I know the controversey that surrounds this method, so I will leave you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. For Soph, this includes raw poultry on the bone, raw eggs with the shells, giblets, and liver. She also occasionally gets beef kidney since that’s her favorite. Second, I started making all of her treats from scratch. It takes very little time and costs less than buying them. Plus, I can completely control what goes into them, so she never gets grains, salt, or sugar (other than what occurs naturally in the bananas and other fruit). Third, I started giving her plain yogurt and codfish oil every day in the morning to ensure that she was getting enough probiotic so help with any intestinal or digestive issues that might aggrivate her skin condition, and that she was getting enough omega fatty acids and the essential vitamins that come from fish. (She also gets a bit of pumpkin puree every morning since that helps keep dogs regular.) Finally, I slowly started adding a small amount of raw coconut oil to her food every evening until she was getting a full tablespoon every day.

    I know these things might sound crazy to you, and they would have sounded crazy to me too, but after a few months, this dog has never been happier or healthier. If you’re nervous about all of the raw feeding, may I recommend just trying to add coconut oil to your dogs diet every day? Just a teaspoon a day at first until you can build up. Soph is 60 lbs and gets a full tablespoon, so smaller dogs would certainly need less. The other thing I think has been particularly helpful are the raw eggs and yogurt, but if I was going to do one thing, I think it would be the coconut oil.

    Hope this helps and that your fur-babies get better!

  3. Sue

    This is ringworm. Needs special treatment by a vet and humans can catch it. It’s usually diagnosed by looking at it under a up light but this looks like and advanced case and it’s a bit obvious

    1. Janet B

      My dog has this exact skin disorder and first thing my vet did was test for was negative..we have done several roybds of antibiotics, shampoos and ladt resort thyroid testing which showed he was bordet line. Even on thyroid pills he still suffers. More showed up today so off to the vet tomorrow.
      He is about 10 yrs old, blue heeler nixy living in Houston

  4. Mandy Harker

    Sue the orginal post said that ringworm was highly unlikely due to the fact that the climate is too cold for fungi to grow. Also several people said that their vet didn’t know what it was, skin scrapes are the diagnostic tool for fungi including ringworm. Anything ring shaped is instantly tested for ringworm, plus as you say it’s HIGHLY contagous if it was ringworm everone in the house would have it and no one has said they got it.
    My labrador has this same issue and was tested for ringworm and his test was negative (also as someone with a bad immune system I would have been infected too). My vet says it’s likely to be a skin infection but the anti-biotics haven’t worked. I personally think he might have mange mites because his hair isn’t growning back. Mites are often easy for vets to miss because they burrow so deep into the skin, even skin scrapings don’t always find mites when they are there. I also suspect it’s an immune system issue because Max has arthritise (he’s around 10 years old) and the constant pain lowers the immune system.
    I’ll try adjusting his diet but putting him on a completly raw diet will be expensive as the price of meat is high in Australia at the moment.

  5. Hi, I know this post is late but I know what that is…That looks like Morgellons disease! It most likely has Lyme disease with co-infections. I would guess the tech term is Borrelia Burgdorferi spirochete. I hope the pup is doing okay. I’m suffering from this myself, I came to my parents house to recover from kidney failure only to get this from her dog. She doesn’t believe me about what it is, I’m trying to get him help so he doesn’t scratch himself away. Good luck to you!

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