Patient Stories / Case Studies

Lucy "L"

Lucy "L" was a two-year-old female, spayed, Doberman cross who came to see Dermatology after having had skin problems most of her life. For the six months prior to her first visit to the Dermatology Service, she had been developing progressive hair loss. She was also very itchy.

The dermatologists during L's first visit took numerous samples from L's skin. They obtained scotch tape impressions of the skin and plucked hairs. Looking at these samples under the microscope, the staff saw lots of demodex mites, bacteria and increased numbers of a yeast organism called Malassezia.

"L" was sent home on medications to treat for generalized demodex, malassezia dermatitis, and bacterial skin infection. "L" was rechecked every month for the next four months. At the end of two months she was much improved, and after five months, she no longer needed any medications.

Photo: Lucy

Lucy Before

Photo: Lucy After

Lucy After


"S", a 5-year-old, female, spayed, black German shepherd cross, arrived at the Dermatology Service with a 3 year history of itchiness. "S" had been treated in the past with a number of therapies, including allergy shots, which had all failed to improve her comfort level. At her first visit she was diagnosed with yeast and bacterial infections of her skin secondary to her underlying allergic skin disease. She went home after her first appointment on antibiotics, antifungal medications, strict flea control and instructions to start an elimination diet trial. She was also given a short course of prednisilone to help her comfort level as she was miserably itchy.

Six weeks later she was markedly improved and was no longer receiving any prednisilone. The infections had resolved. The diet trial continued for another month. At the next recheck, "S" was considered a normal dog with no itching. The owners were instructed to return to feeding her previous diet and see if she developed itchiness. After 5 days of eating her prior diet "S" became very itchy confirming that she had cutaneous adverse food reactions or "food allergy." The owners returned to feeding "S" the diet used during the elimination diet trial, and she has done very well.


"L", a 2 year old, female, spayed Chihuahua, was brought to the Dermatology Service with a 6-month history of itchiness and hair loss in the rump area. She was diagnosed with a secondary bacterial skin infection and flea allergy dermatitis. She was treated with antibiotics and very strict flea control. On her recheck 5 weeks later, she was no longer itchy and her hair had regrown.

Photo: L

"L" Before

Photo: L

"L" After