Q. My dog has dry crusty patches on her skin and she scratches till fur is gone, what can it be?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Crusting of the skin, itching and hair loss can all be caused by a number of things, most commonly skin infections (from bacteria, yeast or fungi) or from external parasites. Checking for parasites such as fleas and ticks and then treating them can help the skin. However, if a secondary infection or primary skin infection has occurred (hair loss, redness, itching, hot to the touch or oozing debris) then it is best to have it examined by your local vet. Antibiotics and medicated shampoos will usually help the skin to recover and heal. Until you can get to your vet it is best to prevent your dog from scratching or chewing at the area with the use of an Elizabethan (cone) collar or T-shirt so that she cannot introduce any bacteria into the skin from her tongue or nails.