All sorts of things can happen to a dog’s skin when he or she goes rolling around in the business that is life.

Dog skin conditions can range from the acute to the chronic; they can also be primary or secondary.

Diagnosis can be a tough process, with dogs tending to scratch the itch and further irritate the condition site.

There’s also a whole world of abrasions, cuts, infections, and hot spots to consider.

And bacteria, the sort of thing that gathers from swimming or other activities, can also provide a bit of trouble.

Types of Skin Conditions

Some skin conditions come from some sort of problem with immune responses. These “immune-mediated skin disorders” include canine atopic dermatitis, which is a hereditary skin allergy that produces itchiness around the eyes, muzzle and feet.

Atopic dermatitis can be exacerbated by pollen, molds and dust mites. Food allergies have also been known to produce symptoms.

There are also environmental conditions, including hot spots (acute moist dermatitis) and acral lick granulomas.

Hot spots are inflamed or infected areas of the skin that are irritated further by the dog licking and/or biting itself (see the picture on the right of a lick granuloma aka hot spot on my Lulu years ago).

These spots can spread quickly, sometimes even in a matter of hours, and are most common in dogs with thick undercoats.

Acral lick granulomas are similar to hot spots. These are raised, generally ulcerated areas on a dog’s ankle or wrist. These, like hot spots, are spread by the dog’s incessant licking like the one in the above picture.  It can start out the size of nickle and a couple of hours later it could have quadrupled in size do the licking.

It’s scary to see, but easily treatable.

Why do dogs do this?  Often times it’s simply boredom.  Keep em busy, well exercised and entertained! 🙂

anti yeast & allergy kit for dogsTreatments and Remedies

Our first recommendation for eliminating any of your dog’s skin issues is to use our Antimicrobial Spray & Wound Lotion Kit. We stand behind our product and GUARANTEE it! Here’s a link to learn more about it. 

There are, of course, a number of treatment options for taking care of your dog’s various skin problems. Antibiotics are popular for all the wrong reasons and the best options, in our humble opinions of course, avoid these so-called “solutions.”

Instead, action should be taken as soon as any sign of skin condition is noticed. Start by cleaning the infected area and then disinfecting it. Disinfection should be done with a gentle solution that won’t irritate the dog’s skin further. It should also be non-toxic.

While this solution from Dr. Becker is cheap and sounds worth trying, the results typically aren’t as successful as the formulas in the kit we mention above:

  1. Purchase Povidone Iodine from your local pharmacy and *NOTE DO NOT USE regular Iodine – it must be Povidone Iodine.
  2. Dilute the solution until it resembles the color of tea by using warm water  before applying it to your dog’s skin.
  3. Then, use a clean wash cloth soaked with the solution and blot the solution over the problem areas of the dog’s skin very gently.
  4. This should clean and remove any bacteria from the area.  *NOTE  You must also gently clean the entire area of surrounding skin in the event that bacteria is present, but you can’t see any evidence.  This stops the spreading!
  5. She  recommends performing this process twice a day to avoid antibiotics and other harmful skin treatments.  While she doesn’t indicate for how long; I would say to continue the twice daily regimen until you see improvement.
  6. The povidone iodine won’t hurt your dog at all if he or she licks it.  However, the licking may irritate an already sensitive skin problem.
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Showing 95 comments
  • Michelle pawlak

    Our 12 yr.old puppy mill poodle gets warts and black spots that drive him crazy.
    One got so big on his leg and he wouldn’t leave it alone he had to have surgery. We have tried everything and his vet says they are just old man bumps. The only time he has a quiet day is when he is on steoids. The poor guy has been in a cone for almost a year. He is on tumeric and pepper. He gets ACV in his drinking water. Eposon salt and APCV soak. Currently putting Vit E on the warts seems to of helped but it irritates them even though it is making them smaller. He is on grain free diet (3bouts pancreatitis). Gets only fruits or veggies for snacks. No people food other than that.
    We are out of ideas and there are many things we have tried. Should we risk an already compromised liver for quality of life. He is truely a sad sight off steroids.

    • janie

      Hi Michelle:

      I’m sorry to hear about your old puppy.

      Do the warts look like cauliflower warts? I recommend using Thuja. This is a good brand here. Thuja is especially good for warts. These are often believed to be caused by over vaccinating. Just one of the MANY health problems associated with over vaccinating. I would not vaccinate this dog again.

      I would also put him on one of my favorite glandular supplements that includes all the major organs. This will support the liver, kidneys, heart, pancreas and spleen. This will help with his immune response.

      What food are you feeding. All people food is not bad. How much does he weigh?

      I’ll share this in a private email as well so that you get it.

      Janie

  • Maila

    Hello, My Russian dog’s paw is swollen and I observed redness in between the fingers but no serious injury can anybody tell me what the problem is. Is there anything serious? Please reply me as soon as possible.

  • Anika Arevalo

    Hello my dogs paw is swollen and has blisters that keep opening when one is heeling. Do I just do the foot soak and not apply anything to the open blisters? I just want to make sure. Thanks!

    • janie

      Hi Anika:

      I’m not real sure what’s going on with your dog’s foot. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a vet take a look at it and tell you what is wrong with it. Get a diagnosis to at least work with.

      Or, purchase some Bentonite Clay. DO NOT ALLOW BENTONITE CLAY TO COME IN CONTACT WITH METAL WHEN WET. Using a plastic spoon Xix one tablespoon with warm water in a glass. Stir into a thick paste and blot it all over the paw. You might have to cover it with sock that has been cut open on the end where your foot usually goes so that the sock is open on both ends. You just want to cover it for awhile so that your dog doesn’t lick it off. HOWEVER, it won’t hurt your dog if he does lick it. It’s perfectly fine and can be used internally for detoxing.

      The brand we recommend is Earths Natural Clay and can be found here.

      I hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Jason

    Hi my french bulldog has really bad skin irritations. He always chews on his paws and scratches his stomach. I have used medicated shampoo and oat cream, steroid tablets and it still there and getting bad. Just don’t know what to do. Please help.

    • janie

      Hi Jason:

      Have the skin problems been a life long thing? How old is he? What do you feed him and would you be willing to change his diet if necessary? Do you include any supplements? If so, which ones? It’s often just a matter of feeding the right diet, adding one or two supplements, and STOPPING any poisoning of the dog with vaccines and chemical flea and tick products AND steroids as well. We also recommend our skin kit which can be helpful, but it will only help topically.

      I’m positive your dog has issues with food. Let me know and I’ll help.

      Janie

  • Tammy

    Hi my nine month old dog has a small bump on his above his lip, it dosent seem to bother him he is eating playing and I touched it anD it doesn’t bother him. I’m just a first time dog owner so I am concerned,

  • Gabbie

    Thank you Janie.

    • janie

      You’re welcome Gabbie. I’ll try to reach out to you later today.

  • Gabbie

    Hi my rough collie, 11/5-12 yrs(?) developed some kind of open sore in the corner of his eye rim and a spot away from the eye on the side of his nose. Wasn’t sure if it was a spider bite or what because we just woke up with it one morning. Honestly it was day after visiting Petsmart where a worker handled him and gave him treats and I later noticed she either had severe allergies or was sick. That’s the only reference I cam come up prior to the lesions showing up.

    Per other collie owners it may be pemphigus foliaceus. Went to vet and are doing antibiotic oral and eye drops first, most likely an underlying bacteria infection. At the same time I stopped his kibble and have been doing mostly homecooked with some raw meaty bones as I try to figure this out. Will address leaky gut next. But, as we are finishing the antibiotic the skin lesions or ulcers are starting to show on his other eye above it and similar spot on side of nose. This has me a bit freaked.

    I am giving him turmeric, ginger, alfalfa, amla, pumpkin seed, flax seed and some drops of black seed oil. He loves turmeric with eggs and pretty much anything I put it in so not a problem there and could up it if helpful. Was going to do a parasite cleanse for both of us but decided to use pumpkin seed for him and have just been started it, not a treatment dose. He gets a raw meaty bone a couple of times a week and at the moment I’m doing more chicken or lentils with veggies.

    He is due for shots now and has been vaccinated annually, including rabies. We may have done a 2 or 3 year once the second year, but annual since.

    I understand automimmune and how it works whether cancer or any other disease which is why I am attacking with diet and leaky gut. Typical treatment is to suppress the immune system with prednisone.

    I’m wondering if upping the turmeric would help? We have colostrum but am waiting until antibiotics are done. We’ve been doing probiotic at the moment away from the antibiotic. And a little moringa(?).

    I am about to try colloidal silver topically because I remember it stops bacteria from replicating and l-lysine orally because it’s good to stop cancer and other viruses from progressing.

    We also use Miracle Mist Plus and have for years for all sorts of things but I have not seen it improve this for some odd reason. MMP will work for staph, even a brown recluse bite and is commonly used on skin ulcers for great success.

    Other than that he was rescued from the country side at 4.5 yrs and was heartworm positive. I’ve got him about 6 months later. He’s been hw negative each year and generally good health except not the best teeth, softer.

    Can you please help? I hate seeing this spread. There has to be something.

    • janie

      Hi Gabbie:

      Please share where you are located? In the U.S.? Why are you vaccinating annually including rabies? This IS part of the problem.

      Janie

      • Gabbie

        Texas. First year vet required annual before doing 3 year. When economy tanked we had to seek more affordable option and started going to shot clinics. We go to vet of one of them now. Clinics won’t do 3 year in some counties.

    • janie

      I’ll share more details later in an email with you Gabbie. But, you absolutely MUST NOT vaccinate this dog again. Due or not!

  • Lynn Panin

    Hi,
    My name is Lynn and my dog is Murphy. Murphy constantly licks his paws and you can smell the yeast. Any help you can give Murphy would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Lynn

    • janie

      Hi Lynn:

      Did you by chance take a look at our Anti Yeast Kit? Here’s a link to the page. It will help Murphy!

      Please read the entire page though.

      I hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Donalda

    I have a standard poodle, he suffers from sebaceous addenitis. His hair has fallen out three time in his 11 years. He licks his wounds until his skin is raw and broken, I have just purchased a bottle of K9 colostrum 38, I made a smooth paste and applied it to inner back leg that was licked raw and so red. To my surprise he settled down and looked absoultely soothed. Is there anything else I should use on his skin? He is on a raw frozen salmon diet, no fillers. I am from Canada, would buy your product if I lived in your country. I really would appreciate your thoughts, Harley is a real sweetheart of a dog.

    • janie

      Hi Donalda:

      I’m sorry to hear about your old boy. Can I ask if and when you vaccinated him? If you did, what was he vaccinated for? Many of these skin problems are being linked to the rabies vaccine and others. Besides applying the colostrum topically, you should give colostrum internally as well. It can help with allergies. With sebaceous addenitis, I think it’s a matter of determining the true cause and controlling the inflammation of the sebaceous glands. I think many vets use the “it’s hereditary” statement when they don’t know how to fix the problem.

      Do you rotate his food at all? I wouldn’t just feed salmon. In fact, I would try another protein source for a week and see what kind of response you get. Dogs need variety. Even though salmon is a good source of protein, he needs more.

      There’s a product I really like a lot and would recommend which we will soon be selling here on our site, but again it’s a U.S. company. I’ve used for one of my girl’s this year actually who developed an allergy out of nowhere with scabs on her back. It worked wonders. Gave relief and also took care of the allergy. Really unbelievable.

      If you want more information, let me know and I’ll send you a private email Donalda. I think it would be worth spending the money on shipping, etc.

      Janie

  • Estrella Lujan

    I have a dachshund mini 7 years, Princess two months ago a few bumps came out on the skin like white flakes scabs, scratched a lot, she had blood tests, fungis cultures, urine test., XR , Everything came out negative and normal. He was given long-term antibiotics, desparasitaron, allergy medicine, for pain, change the food three times, those rashes were controlled but returned, and again had antibiotic shots for 8 days every 12 hours. (I suffered a lot with her) they diminished but they came back, I bathed her with two different shampoos, she feels very bad it hurts, after all that they leave some and others dry is like acne. Now has more .The vet wants to make another bacteria and fungi test to apply another medication or antibiotic, please help me I am so sad ,the vet tells me that if it is a staphylococcus or bacteria it could be very serious and difficult to remove, and have already applied twice antibiotic.
    Please help me. ( I’m sorry I don’t speak English well)

    • janie

      Hi Estrella:

      I’m real sorry to hear about your little Princess. 🙁

      Can you share more information with me please such as what are you feeding, do you give supplements, when was she vaccinated last and did you first notice the problem around that time?

      Let me know and I’ll get back to you okay.

      Janie

  • Denise

    We have a mutt that we rescued 2 years ago from the side of the highway. He was extremely young the vet guessed about 5 weeks old He has had several staph infections, treated each time by antibiotics which always clear him up. But once meds are done the infection comes back. I have him on Merrick limited ingredient, grain free food. We give him baths and have tried dermabens, iodine shampoo and all other shampoos recommended! I am at a loss and so tired his poor belly is all covered in red pus filled bumps again. Would you recommend trying this for him? I just dont want to go back to he antibiotic it obviously isnt helping and just masking the problem

    • janie

      Hi Denise:

      I’m really sorry for the delay in my response. We were away for several days.

      You can certainly try the the skin remedy of Povodone Iodine. It certainly can’t hurt.

      However, I urge you to get a skin scraping to find out for sure what it is. It very well could be Demodex which is mange and can cause a lot of health problems if not treated. I just had another reader whose dog had very similar symptoms which had spread to the face and eyes and as it turned out, it was indeed Demodex. Keep in mind that the vet initially told her it was a staph infection when it wasn’t. It wasn’t until the scraping that she learned for sure what the problem was.

      The dog was given an injection along with medicine and he started improving quickly. I also suggested that she put him on a Colostrum which she did and plans on keeping him on for his immune health.

      I absolutely would not keep doing antibiotics. There is an underlying issue that has to be resolved.

      I would love to know what happens Denise. Would you please stop back and share with us? Your story may help another reader.

      Janie

  • Stephanie Pileggi

    HI there,

    Ive been using the povodine iodine on a recurrent staph infection on my 6b month old puppys belly but it has spread to her eyes. What can I use around the eye area to keep the bacteria away? Is the povidone iodine safe around the eyes?

    • janie

      Hi Stephanie:

      Are you doing anything else other than using povodine iodine on her? Was she recently vaccinated (when was she vaccinated) and when did you first notice the recurrent staph infection? I’m assuming it goes away for awhile and returns? What are you feeding and are you giving her any supplements?

      Janie

      • Stephanie

        She’s on a raw diet. I’m doing the iodine as well as a topical chlorehexidine glucanate gel. I guess her vaccines were finished about a month and a half ago and I think the staph came after that. She’s been on two different antibiotics and the infection goes away but then comes back a couple of days after the antibiotics are done.

        • janie

          I would put her on Colostrum and a good nutritional multivitamin for life Stephanie. The antibiotics, while a temporary fix, are most likely causing problems for her young immune system. She could stay on both of these for life and you would be doing her a huge favor now and down the road. Or, you could keep her on the Colostrum for just awhile until it clears up, but keep her on the Nuvet for life. I’m sure it’s a reaction to the vaccines. I’d be very surprised if the infection didn’t clear up using both of these; combined with the raw diet (excellent that you’re feeding her raw).

          Janie

          • Stephanie Pileggi

            Thanks so much for the info. Ive ordered the colostrum online and hoping for the best 🙂

          • janie

            Hi Stephanie:

            Just curious where you purchased your Colostrum? We offer the best here on YourOldDog.com at an excellent price.

            A lot of time, energy and money is what keeps this site going, and has for years. All I ask is that you support the site and purchase the products here when possible vs going somewhere else, especially when I’m offering my help. 🙂

            Janie

          • Stephanie Pileggi

            Was finding it hard to locate but ordered one off of amazon. Ended up being quite expensive since I live in Canada.

          • janie

            Thanks for letting me know Stephanie. I didn’t realize you were in Canada. It typically costs us around $15 to ship to Canada, but I guess it depends where as well. Please let us know how it goes. Just keep at it with the Colostrum; don’t give up and feed the good diet you are already feeding.

            Again, please come back and comment so that other pet owners can hear your story.

            Janie

          • Stephanie Pileggi

            Thanks, I will. And if you want to post a link for your colostrum that would be appreciated.

          • janie

            Hi Stephanie:

            Thank you as well. Here’s the link for the Colostrum.
            https://yourolddog.com/shop/skin-allergies/colostrum/

            I think I mentioned in my original message to you here (you can scan the messages if you want), that you should also include a good multivitamin, if you’re not already giving one. Nuvet is very good in tablet form or a powder. You can read about both on our site under multivitamins.

            The combination of both a multi and the colostrum will make the difference. If you can find one in Canada, then do that to avoid the expense of shipping.

            In the mean time, we’ll keep our fingers and paws crossed. 🙂

            Janie

  • Ashley

    Hello,
    Last week, I started the Povidone Iodine treatment as suggested here and began seeing some improvement in my sweet boy’s belly sores, but after reading the bottle I noticed it says “Do not use for longer than a week without a Dr’s RX”… I stopped the treatment for a few days and they’ve since worsened again 🙁
    I’d love to begin the applying the iodine treatment once again but was wondering if Anyone knows how long/for how many consecutive days you can apply?? It’d be nice if the answer was simply “Until sores are healed”, but after reading the bottle’s caution I didn’t know if that was actually the case or not.
    Thanks so much in advance for ANY help, anyone can offer! 🙂

    • yourolddog

      Hi Ashley:

      Using the Povidone Iodine treatment as directed in my blog post should be fine to use twice daily until the sores are healed. Dr. Becker recommends it twice daily for minor infections of the skin.

      Janie

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