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Hot humid weather = skin and ear problems

This is Luna. She is a gentle three year old Bull Arab, and is one of the hundreds of dogs with skin and ear infections in this hot humid weather. Minor skin and ear problems are exploding into bigger and bigger problems.

Luna presented at the vet with sore ears and mildly crusty eyes….but by the way can you look at some marks on her skin.

  • First her ears… they are red and sore with a black discharge coming out. Note the thick red skin on her ear flap. This is commonly seen in ear infections.

Under the microscope this black discharge is full of a yeast called malasezzia.

Her ears are cleaned and long acting ear preparation applied. This should decrease inflammation and hopefully decrease the number of organisms. It will make her ears more comfortable in a few days.

  • Next she has hair loss and redness under her neck.

Cytology samples show a massive yeast infection of her skin plus yeast and bacteria around her mouth.

Yeast on the skin of Luna’s neck
Yeast and bacteria around Luna’s mouth

Luna will need regular antifungal shampoos, clean bedding and antifungal capsules.

  • Luna also has circular skin lesions on her thighs. These are epidermal collarettes that are classic for bacterial skin infections. However, for an accurate diagnosis of the cause of skin conditions, microscopic examination is needed.

Under the microscope there are very few yeast, but lots of bacteria and neutrophils (pus).

Luna also needs antibiotics to treat the bacterial skin infection. Poor Luna, if she wasn’t treated promptly in this warm, moist weather these problems would have made her very sick.

  • Lastly, what about Luna’s crusty eyes? With all the inflammation of Luna’s ears and skin it is unsurprising that her eyes are irritated. Her eyes will be observed closely but are likely to improve as her infections come under control.

Luna is given intensive medication and washes and will hopefully be on the improve in a few days. Occasionally infections of the skin are so severe that our patients need intravenous fluids and antibiotic treatment in hospital. Luna will be watched very carefully.

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