You are probably describing what we call an "Acral Lick Granuloma. Attempts to resolve this problem with antibiotics alone routinely fail, as do simple approaches like treatment with over-the-counter ointments and creams. The best solution we've found is the daily application of a liquid containing a form of cortisone called dexamethasone, plus a non-cortisone anti-inflammatory medication called flunixin meglumine, both dissolved in a liquid called DMSO dimethyl sulfoxide. All 3 of those medications reduce inflammation and swelling, and the DMSO gets rapidly and deeply absorbed into the skin, carrying the other two medications with it. Despite the ineffectiveness of antibiotics when used alone, the above treatment works faster when antibiotics are used concurrently.
Just Ask the Expert: How do you combat acral lick dermatitis?
Just Ask the Expert: How do you combat acral lick dermatitis? | DVM
Treat hot spots and lick granulomas with natural remedies that speed healing and tissue repair while clearing bacterial infections. If necessary, keep your dog from licking and irritating the area by applying a bitter tasting topical product or fitting the dog with an Elizabethan or cervical collar. Your dog has a weeping, oozing wound on her leg or a yucky red blob on the top of her head, and at first you wonder how she injured herself. Painful, irritating, swollen, and warm to the touch, hot spots can emit pus and smell awful. They can be triggered by bacteria, yeast , fungi, mange , fleas , irritating grooming products, swimming pool disinfectants, contaminated lakes or ponds, lawn-care products, or other environmental factors.
Acral Lick Dermatitis
The main concern with this condition is a secondary bacterial folliculitis and furunculosis. The infection often requires six to 12 weeks of oral antibiotic therapy. Spiegel welcomes dermatology questions from veterinarians and veterinary technicians. What is your diagnostic workup and treatment protocol for acral lick granuloma?
Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life. For more information click here.