Dogs make us happy, but they may also make us worry.
This woman can’t help feeling anxious about a malnourished pit bull whom she has adopted after it was abandoned by its owner at her apartment.
She wrote about her concern on PetHelpful’s Ask A Vet section, which provides expert answers from Dr. Mark dos Anjos, DVM. With more than 40 years of experience working in various parts of the world, Dr. Mark has been helping pet owners resolve problems with their beloved animals — be they dogs, cats, or other fauna species.
In this article, a woman named Nicole wrote about her worry over whether her rescue pit bull has a serious skin infection. She related the following: “I have recently taken on the ownership of a 7-month-old pit bull puppy that someone just up and abandoned at my apartment. Just now, when I gave him a bath for the first time, I noticed that there are 2 welt-looking bumps on one side and 4 others on the other side of his groin area. I’m very concerned about what these welts are, considering I don’t know much about the pup’s health or anything. I do know, however, that his old owner was homeless, so he and the pup were sleeping in bad places that probably weren’t at all clean, and I’m almost certain that he wasn’t feeding the pup what he was supposed to be eating (like pizza, etc.). Can you please let me know what you think I should do? Thank you.”
Dr. Mark answered this with the following information: “The small swellings on your new dog’s belly may just be mild contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is usually seen on the belly when a dog lies down in the grass or a dirty environment that they are allergic to. The skin becomes infected, and they develop a secondary bacterial infection, which is called pyoderma.”
According to Dr. Mark, these small swellings can be treated with a mild chlorhexidine shampoo, which can be obtained without a prescription. It is safer than antibiotics, and it will heal it if the skin disorder is an infection secondary to contact. A person just has to make sure that the shampoo is in contact with the dog’s skin for at least 15 minutes. Then, simply follow the instructions on giving a medicated bath, and coconut oil can also be applied if the area appears dry after bathing.
In case the problem does not clear up with shampooing, the dog must be taken to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
There are times when a skin disease requires skin scraping and analysis under a microscope, such as Demodectic mange, which is also called Demodex or red mange. This disease is caused by Demodex mites, and it needs a different medication. A local vet can help a pet owner resolve this skin problem and other health concerns — paving the way for a happier and longer time together between humans and their cherished animal companions.