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My 2-year-old dog keeps getting hot spots on his neck, back, chest, stomach, legs -- pretty much all over his body. My vet tested him for fleas and mange; he did not have either, so the diagnosis was skin infection and he prescribed a two-week course of an antibiotic called Simplicef. The drug worked like magic as my dog's skin cleared up a week into the treatment. However, about two weeks after the end of the treatment, the hot spots came back. My dog has now been on five courses of Simplicef, but the hot spots have come back every time.

I am concerned that he will eventually build up a tolerance to the antibiotic and would like a more permanent solution. Any suggestions on how to prevent this infection from coming back?
 

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When my mastiff had hot spots like this we cleaned them twice a day (in the morning and at night) with hydrogen peroxide and then putting a little bit of neosporin on afterward. I hope this helps. =]
 

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Is the vet sure it's just hot spots and not a staph infection.

I would suggest having skin scrapings and/or biopsies done.
 

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It could be that your dog has an allergic reaction to something. That could cause red areas (very similar to hotspots) and usually it is caused by a reaction to the food they get.
 

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We have started using Zymox shampoo on our bc mix for hot spots she has gotten from irritating black fly bites. Her belly was all irritated and scabby from these pests and the shampoo really cleared it up. Has your vet ruled out food/enviromental allergies as the root cause.
 

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My dog (Jaia) also had chronic hot spots. He was allergic to the protein (chicken) in his food. What food are you feeding him? I suggest a change to a food that has none of the proteins he's been eating in the past. For example, change to venison, fish or duck. Something with a single protein. I love Natural Balance LTD (limited ingredients). My crew eats Sweet Potato and Venison and Jaia hasn't had another hot spot since the switch.
 

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Hi, thanks for all the replies. I feed my dog Purina Dog Chow.

Staph infection is the most likely diagnosis. Because of how effective the antibiotic is in treating it, the vet has more or less ruled out allergic reactions and parasites as possible causes.
 

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I agree that switching foods would be the first step. The Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish or the Sweet Potato and Venison would be a place to start.

Chronic staph infections can be a result of low thyroid. Have you had a blood panel done?

Some dogs with compromised immune systems require a regime of antibiotics to keep the infections from erupting. The key is finding one that works for your dog and is easy on the wallet. Cephalexin is a good one. You can get it at Walmart for $4 with a prescription from your vet.
 

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Staph infection is the most likely diagnosis. Because of how effective the antibiotic is in treating it, the vet has more or less ruled out allergic reactions and parasites as possible causes.
Your vet put your dog on 5 consecutive courses of the same antibiotic for the same problem? I could be mistaken, but I think most hot spots will respond to antibiotics, regardless of cause.

Seems to me a food change would be a simple thing to try. The advantage being you could rule out a food allergy and possibly hit on a solution.
 

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Hi, thanks for all the replies. I feed my dog Purina Dog Chow.
Theres your most likely culprit. here are the ingredients in puring dog chow. I have bolded the most common causes of hot spots from food.

Ground yellow corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of vitamin E), brewers rice, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, malted barley flour, salt, Animal digest, potassium chloride, L-lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, vitamin supplements (A, E, B-12, D-3), manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, brewers dried yeast, riboflavin supplement, biotin, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate.

look for foods with meat as the first ingredient, and a second meat source in the first 5 ingredients. Avoid corn, wheat, and soy as these are very common allergens for dogs and cats. There are many many MANY cost effective dietary options out there that are readily available that will help reduce your issues. Even if the bolded allergens are not the cause of your dogs hot spots, finding a food that is more nutritious will help your dog fight the real cause of the hot spots.
 

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Try a different food, with no grain, and an alternative protein source, as suggested previously.

Taste of the Wild is good, or one of the others suggested.
 

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Chronic skin issues can be treated with antibiotics, however that alone will only work on the breakout and not on the root cause. A vet's job is to diagnose a medical issue and treat it. If the issue is nutritional, it will not respond over time to medical treatment.

So, this sounds like it may be a nutritional issue, and especially since the dog is eating Purina Dog Chow as his main or only source of nutrition, this is likely the case. And, as the antibiotics are not really working, but masking the problem, it sounds like a nutritional issue.

First step would be to find a quality, meat based dog food. There are lots of really great discussions here on this forum regarding good dog foods. Finding one where the first ingredient is meat is an excellent suggestion. Ingredients are listed in order by weight, the first being the "main" ingredient and going down in weight from there.

Then, I would look at adding a nutritional supplement. Of course, I would recommend Dinovite...and if you continue to use Purina Dog Chow, I would recommend CarnOyum because it's meat based. And, with it comes SuprOmega, an Omega Fatty Acid supplement. I truly believe that this would be a huge benefit for your dog and that within 60-90 days you would see major improvements, without antibiotics.

This would give your dog the delicate nutrients that are processed out of his food...as commercial foods are processed at high temps that destroy many nutrients that are actually required by canines. And, it would give him digestive enzymes and live beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that he needs as well, especially since he has had the antibiotics that can strip his digestive tract of the things needed to digest the nutrients from his food.

Basically, getting the best and nutrition into your dog will give him required nutrients (just like us, there are problems if we take required nutrients out of our diet)...and it will build your dog's immune system so that he can fight infection on his own. And, with the correct nutrients, the largest organ in the body, the skin, will be healthy and free from bald patches and hot spots.

If a condition is not responding to medical treatment, then it may be a nutritional deficiency.

After being treated for skin disorders my entire life, as a "medical" condition, I researched and found several things that might work "nutritionally". I then added a few key nutrients to my diet, as well as an overall, highly absorbably vitamin and mineral supplement...and I have not been treated for this skin condition for the past 20 years! No ammount of medical care was replacing the nutrients lacking in my diet but making a few small changes, I was able to "cure" my skin condition (I had eczema and a couple of other medically diagnosed conditions). I actually take a number of the individual ingredients in Dinovite :)
 

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Many times these bacterial skin infections are secondary to some other underlying condition. Allergies many times are accompanied by skin infections. I agree about having a skin scraping done if you haven't already. Simplicef is a wonderful antibiotic, although fairly pricey. There are antibacterial and antimicrobial shampoos that you can use regularly as well to give relief. Check with your vet about those and possibly doing a 2-day per week burst on the Simplicef.

After a normal course is given you then go to a 2 consecutive day a week burst and this can be done for several months if need be. Essentially all this means is you pick 2 days each week and give a tablet each day then your good till the next week. Sometimes just having small amounts of the antibiotic in the bloodstream is enough to keep these stubborn infections from returning. But as the previous poster stated if there is some other underlying condition these will only treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

For added nutritional supplementation try fish oil and probiotic supplementation as both can play a big part nutritionally to clear up skin conditions.
 

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I know this is an older thread but i thought id throw my 2 cents in. My 7 month old Beagle/Lab mix had an ear infection that the vet said was caused by her diet (Purina dog chow) and recomended i change her diet to science diet, i have not yet done so becuase i want to ask around and see what other sort of diet would be more benificial.

I was also curious if to many dog bisquits could play a role in her ear infection, ill admit that she gets quite a few of them every day. Other than her ear infection she has been a verry verry healthy dog according to the vet.
 

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My 7 month old Beagle/Lab mix had an ear infection that the vet said was caused by her diet (Purina dog chow) and recomended i change her diet to science diet, i have not yet done so becuase i want to ask around and see what other sort of diet would be more benificial.
Science Diet is no better than Dog Chow. So don't bother with that. Try looking for a food with actual named MEAT as the first ingredient, and a meat meal as the second ingredient (i.e.---#1 Chicken, #2 chicken meal, etc.). Avoid corn, wheat, and soy, as they can cause problems in a lot of dogs. By-products should also be avoided, because you never know what's actually in those by-products.

What stores are in your area? If you have a PetCo, they sell Solid Gold and Natural Balance (both pretty good), Petsmart sells Blue Buffalo. Independent feed stores usually have a better selection, though.
 

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Science Diet is no better than Dog Chow. So don't bother with that. Try looking for a food with actual named MEAT as the first ingredient, and a meat meal as the second ingredient (i.e.---#1 Chicken, #2 chicken meal, etc.). Avoid corn, wheat, and soy, as they can cause problems in a lot of dogs. By-products should also be avoided, because you never know what's actually in those by-products.

What stores are in your area? If you have a PetCo, they sell Solid Gold and Natural Balance (both pretty good), Petsmart sells Blue Buffalo. Independent feed stores usually have a better selection, though.
I have several places i can get most of these brands at, after reading up on diet and comparing, i decided on "Chicken Soup For The Puppy Lover's Soul", yesterday i went and bought a big bag of it to try out, It seemed like a good and healthy balance without breaking the bank. If that does not work out, i intend to try out "Taste of the wild"

After reading up i feel guilty as hell for feeding my dogs the crap i have been, i was under the impression that Purina was a great brand, i also heard something about many vets having some sort of deal with "Science Diet" and that being the reason they recommend it so much, true or not, i don't know, personally, with what i have learned recently i can't believe any vet would recommend it.
 

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OMG, I can SO relate to your post!

My pup itches and scratches constantly. He's just healing from an enormous hot spot on his back. It was terrible ... oozing like nothing I've seen before. He went thru a v tough time with it, poor guy, he was sooooo miserable.

He had a shot of penicillin and is on 2 wks Cephalexin. The vet wanted to give him cortisone also, but I refused and gave him Benadryl for a couple of days instead. I'm normally so anti all these meds, but I simply had no choice this time.

It's very, very frustrating and very difficult to get to the bottom of it.

OK, firstly, don't feel guilty about feeding him that crap ;) At least now you know. There are unfortunately tooooo many people who aren't aware of what goes on. I used to be one of them!!! I fed BENEFUL ... I hate to admit it, and my stomach also thuds every time I think of it. My last doggie died very young. So who knows?? But I certainly understand the guilt feelings.

This site may also help http://www.dogfoodscoop.com. Take a look also at how to read the labels ... there's a lot of really shocking info there. They've also got rating comparison charts of all the major brands. And this helped me a lot too, now I can really just glance at an ingredient list and pretty much know what's good or not http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/best-commercial-dog-food.html

Hope that helps.

You may want to start with diet and see if he has food allergies. I went that route but I believe its environmental. Try eliminating chicken or beef first and definitely grains. So look for a grain free, high protein food. there's many around. My pup's on Solid Gold Barking at the Moon. Others off the top of my head are Orijen (he had bad gas on it tho lol) ... GO! ... Merrick Before Grain ... Innova evo ... Wellness Core.

Yea, don't touch Science Diet. I think its v wrong that vets are allowed to sell dog food IMHO.

Also ... sorry to go on and on (but this is close to my heart :) ... what type of dog is he? Mine's a fluff ball so when I shave him down very close, he improves by 90%. A HUGE difference.

Sorry such a long post, but really hope i can help. Its so hard watching them go thru such sheer agony.
 
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