Beginning last August, our 9-year-old Golden Retriever started having inflammatory outbreaks on her head. The vet refers to them as hot spots but has not been able to decide whether it is an irritation that becomes an infection or an infection per se. Our beautiful girl usually looks like this:
But we came home from a trip to find her looking like this:
She was on several rounds of antibiotics and a cortisone injection to calm the initial outbreak. It calmed down. Then it came back. I would say that it recurs roughly around every six weeks. I can almost tell when it is about to break out again because she becomes somewhat listless a day or two before.
The last couple of times we have had good luck with catching it early and treating it with hydrogen peroxide and Neopsorin, so we have been able to avoid the antibiotics. But it keeps coming back.
The vet suggested that it might be a food allergy. We've been feeding her the Purina OM (Overweight Management) kibble and Wellness canned food for a long, long time and I wonder if she may have developed a sensitivity to it over time. My dog groomer recently noted that our dog has developed "brown spots" on the skin of her back which the groomer thinks may be related to a food sensitivity. This is, of course, complicated by the fact that we often also give her cooked chicken as a supplement instead of the the Wellness and that she gets table scraps here and there.
My husband is loathe to change out the kibble/canned food because it has kept her weight down so well. She was once up to 113 lbs (she is an English Cream, so bigger frame...) but she has maintained 75-80 lbs for a long time since going on the OM regimen.
It's also, of course, possible that the outbreaks are related to environmental allergens of some kind. The fact that our vet is stumped by this has been frustrating to us. I am hoping that someone on BYC may have seen something like this and have some helpful advice. TIA!
See my chicken blog at: http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Ginger, an EE and three babies added January 2016 - Bella the BO, Ava the Australorp and Nugget, a RIR.