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Skin lesions on dog's face.

Species: Dog
Breed: Boxer
Age: 1-2 years
HI, my Chikita has been having some skin trouble and cant exactly figure out what it is. We took her to the vet and they figured it was an allergic reaction to bug bite or snake so they gave her a steroid shot and 2 other types of shot also because she had a high fever and also gave us antibiotics which Chikita finished. Well Chikita started to get a lot better but now she is getting worse I don't think it is an allergic reaction Im thinking it could possibly be mange? or since it is over 105 in my area it could be a heat rash? and before i do take her back to the vet I would like to seek for your advice. I will email you pictures of before i took her too the vet and how she is again. In the pictures she is in her cage not because she lives there but because its our only way to keep her still to take pictures so please don't get the wrong idea (:


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for your question and for sending in the excellent photos of your poor dog's skin condition. I've included a couple of them here:

skin lesions on dogs face

skin lesions on dogs face 2

This looks very uncomfortable and really does look like a serious problem.

This definitely isn't a heat rash. I do think that mange is a possibility. This could be something called demodectic mange. There are some types of demodectic mange that are mild and nothing to worry about, but this could be generalized demodectic mange which is a serious problem. Demodectic mange is treatable in most cases but it can be expensive to treat and in some cases it can require lifelong treatment.

Demodectic mange is relatively easy to diagnose. What your vet will likely want to do is something called a skin scraping. They will scrape some cells from the skin and look under the microscope. If it is demodex then it is usually quite easy to see the demodex mites.

Another possibility is that this is a severe yeast infection. If this were my case and if I didn't see demodex on a skin scraping I'd probably be doing a simple test called a scotch tape test where I press a piece of scotch tape against the skin, stain it and look at it under the microscope to see if there is yeast there.

The other possibility is that this is a serious autoimmune condition such as pemphigus or lupus. These skin conditions are usually treatable and can be managed with steroids but the management is lifelong. Hopefully this is not what it is because this is a very serious problem.

It could also possibly be a bad bacterial infection but from the photos this doesn't look like the most likely explanation.

I would definitely recommend a repeat vet visit as soon as possible and be prepared to have some tests done.

I really hope she improves soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.