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Raw skin condition around eye & mouth
04-12-2017, 08:35 PM,
#1
Raw skin condition around eye & mouth
I'm looking for any insight to my dogs skin problem.  She has raw skin areas around her eye.  It gets worse daily and is spreading.  She has spots on her lip and now nose.  Been to the vet and dermatologist several times.  Took biopsy and found nothing.  Dr says it's an occurring allergic reaction or an auto immune disease.  She's been on meds, steroids, ointments, and it will get a little better temporarily but she can't be on those meds forever.  The last visit they prescribed atopica but I'm not sure about giving that to her or if it will help.  She is 12 years and around 5 lbs.


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04-13-2017, 12:24 PM,
#2
RE: Raw skin condition around eye & mouth
Poor baby, I am so sorry you are going through such a frustrating ordeal. If allergies, has your vet talked about doing some allergy testing? My vet has a panel of tests that cover allergens of my local regions which includes, pollens, grasses, fleas, food, etc. I am not sure how accurate these tests are but it could be a starting point. Is the skin itchy? Is your dog pawing at the area?

I guess your vet and dermatologist ruled out Demodex mite which would have showed up if multiple skin scrapings were performed. The fact she responds to steroids, may be indeed suggestive of an immune system problem or allergy, but you are right to be concerned about being on steroids all the timr. It would be important to therefore try to find out any triggers. Has the vet already ruled out an immune mediated disease such as lupus?

Are you using plastic bowls? If so would switch to aluminum or ceramic. Has your vet suggested fish oil supplements? How about a food trial?
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04-13-2017, 01:22 PM,
#3
RE: Raw skin condition around eye & mouth
(04-12-2017, 08:35 PM)Desaztor Wrote: I'm looking for any insight to my dogs skin problem.  She has raw skin areas around her eye.  It gets worse daily and is spreading.  She has spots on her lip and now nose.  Been to the vet and dermatologist several times.  Took biopsy and found nothing.  Dr says it's an occurring allergic reaction or an auto immune disease.  She's been on meds, steroids, ointments, and it will get a little better temporarily but she can't be on those meds forever.  The last visit they prescribed atopica but I'm not sure about giving that to her or if it will help.  She is 12 years and around 5 lbs.

Given the age of the dog, it could well be an autoimmune disease such as Pemphigus. 

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/a...se-in-dogs

The Atopica or Cyclosporine is an immuno suppressant used to prevent the immune system from attacking the muscosal surfaces around the eyes, nose, and mouth.  

It might be worthwhile for more biopsies to be taken from several spots (mouth, nose) to confirm auto-immune disease.  Unfortunately if it's auto-immune disease, then the dog would have to be on immuno suppressants the rest of its life.  Where dosage becomes trial&error.  Even might involve finding the optimal immuno suppressing drug by the Vet.  Being able to avoid long term use of steroids (Prednisone) would be a small win. 

An alternative is to just assume along with the Vet that it's an auto-immune disease, skin the multiple biopsies, and give the Cyclosporine along with antibiotics.  If the Cyclosporine were to bring your dog's disease under control, the link provided mentions  chlorambucil (Leukeran).  It might be a good "maintenance" drug at low dosage.  Something to discuss with your Vet if, and when you reach that stage.  My Leukemia puppy has been on chlorambucil since Nov 2015.  No chemo side effects such as nausea.  Requires monthly blood work to monitor the immune system, as would any immune suppressing drug. Inexpensive if a compounding pharmacy is used. Otherwise expensive at a regular store pharmacy.  With any immuno suppressing drug you must be on high alert for potentially life threatening infections.  Typically a systemic bacterial infection accompanied by a high fever.  But it's better than the auto-immune disease itself.
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