Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Which Brisbane Gets a Haircut

Brisbane has been itchy since we returned from Lake Tahoe, and none of the antihistamines were helping. He had been getting progressively more scabby, and last week when I gave him a bath I realized he was losing hair all over the place.

This morning we went to the vet. The doctor asked if it would be ok to shave some of the worst areas to get a better look at them.

Shaving hot spots is not usually necessary for healing. Normally, they heal up just fine when kept clean and dry. For dogs with thick fur, impacted undercoats, or stubborn sores, shaving can help get air to the skin.

Hairless areas are also significantly easier to treat with topical remedies like shampoos. The stuff can really be scrubbed down into the skin where it can be most effective.

So we started shaving Briz. We started with the red oozy areas, and kept uncovering older, darker spots from lesions that had healed up a little. In a few minutes his entire belly was hairless, and there were still more oozy spots trailing up his neck and shoulders.

My herding instructor really wants me to get Brisbane registered as an Australian cattledog with the AKC so we can do herding trials. We have been tossing around plans that involve slicking his floof down with hair gel, or cutting his hair. Knowing that he was likely covered in sores, and that I wanted to cut his hair anyway, the vet and I agreed that shaving him down would be a good idea.

Dr. Rugg said she started out with a longer comb on the clippers, intending to leave him with mostly longer hair. She was only going to shave the sore spots down super-short. Before long though, she realized that he was basically covered in sores.

See those dark spots all over Brisbane? Each of those is a sore or lesion. There are quite a few red ones as well. The vet said that his skin started looking better within an hour of the big shave though. Hopefully he's on the way to feeling much better.

Does you dog have skin issues?


  1. Interesting! Lily has never really had skin problems that I've seen, but she does have that "spotted skin" that we can see after she is groomed. This makes me wonder if she does have skin problems, as she definitely has some allergy issues.
    I hope Brisbane's skin is feeling better soon!

    1. I know a lot of dogs have spots on their skin that don't show through their coats, my cocker spaniel did. Hopefully most of those spots on him now heal up. He's got a few permanent ones, but the majority right now are sores.

  2. Awwh, Briz! Hope he gets better soon! Have you tried giving him coconut oil internally, and putting it on his skin externally?

    1. I've been putting it on his food for a couple of weeks. I'm not putting anything on his skin other than his prescription shampoo and conditioner yet, but I'll probably give the coconut oil a try once he's healed up a little.

  3. I see. Good thing he has been getting it internally! Hope using it externally helps him too! It really helped a dog I was sitting with an external allergic reaction - a bath and a rubdown with coconut oil helped her skin calm down go back to normal literally overnight. :)