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Dry skin/scabs after bathing

Img_0120_thumb By Rae Ann | June 03, 2013 | Answers (14)

A few months ago I took my 1 y/o Black Lab Mix (rescue) to a "Bathe-it-yourself" place.  She hadn't had a bath in a while, and had been playing a lot with her best friend (lots of mouthing each other) so she stunk!!  I used their shampoo & their rubber shampoo brush and thought I did a great job. Since it was cold outside, I made sure I dried her thoroughly.  As a volunteer at a rescue, I was taught to run the dryer nozzle against the growth a few times to inspect the skin for infestations, rashes, bites, or any other abnormalities, and I did that with my girl.  I found nothing odd.

Two days later it looked like her hair wasn't lying right.  When I ran my hand over her back I could feel many bumps.  Upon further inspection, I found scabbing.  Some in clusters, some alone, large and small.  Most were concentrated on her back.  I was freaking out, but they hadn't seemed to bother her - no discomfort, no scratching, nothing.  Not even when I was separating the hair for closer inspection.  I immediately made a vet appointment.  Her fur seemed to be falling out quite easily, as it was all over the exam table, but she didn't have any bald spots or anything.  They ran tests, did a few skin scrapes and ruled out any kind of mite infection.  We got our antibiotic, and within a week she seemed better.  We decided it was probably a reaction to the shampoo at the place.  Fast forward 2 months, and it's time for another bath -- this time I brought my own shampoo!  Washed and dried thoroughly, no skin lesions with my blow-dryer inspection.  Two days later -- scabbing again!

I use an oatmeal-based puppy shampoo, so I didn't think that it would be too harsh for her, and I don't bathe her too often.  She's 18 months old, I got her when she was 5 months old, and she has only had 6-7 baths.  She eats Fromme brand food (and always has), green beans and a tbl of coconut oil at each meal time (& .5 tsp DE at breakfast).  Her treats are usually veggies or fruit (carrots, spinach, apples, etc), or holistic/organic treats from the store.  Fresh water at her disposal always.  

Right now her shedding is normal, but she has minor "dandruff" sometimes.  The scabs are gone again, but she's going to need a bath soon.  Do I try yet ANOTHER brand of shampoo?  Do I need to use conditioner, or a dandruff shampoo?  Should I up her coconut oil intake? Apply the coconut oil directly to her skin?  Is it from the DE?

I am open to any suggestions, ponderings, criticizms, answers, etc.


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My dogs have had the same issues. I now use a benzoyl peroxide shampoo for dogs. (The human version is too strong for dogs). It opens up the pores and gets rid of allergens that come out through hair follicles. It also helps with my dogs yeast issues. I got it on Amazon. Good luck.
The same thing started happening to my dog when I took her to a new groomer. They were using oatmeal shampoo. Finally I found an article online that said it is the oatmeal shampoo feeding yeast on the dogs skin. We switched to Zymox enzyme shampoo and no more problems.
I have a black lab who also has bumps with scabs. We noticed them after bathing, however, after many trips to the vet and 9 weeks of antibiotics and steriods, we found that she was allergic to a lot of food. Chicken, wheat, corn and dairy. We put her on royal canine PV (potato venison) and she is clear as a bell.
Earthbath-Tea Tree Oil Aloe Vera Shampoo has worked well for me, it is for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies. The tea tree oil is used to sanitize the skin and the aloe to sooth and moisturize. Most skin conditions also benefit from digestive enzymes and probiotics, they help strengthen the immune system.
To make sure that its not something in the water one can do a simple test. Rinse your dog thoroughly with just water and then wait a day or so to see if any symptoms occur. If they do then you know it's something in the water. If not then its something in the shampoo.
Is it possible your dog has a sensitivity to chlorine in your tap water. Has your dog been swimming in a pool.
My dog only has these sores after a bath -- they last about a week, and then they are gone. Next bath I will try Dawn. @Barbara - It's a brand new place, is always very clean and the staff is nice. And with the way my Eillie sheds, there would be no way that I could bathe her in my tub at home -- I'd need to be married to a plumber! lol
hi, its possible your dog has a dry skin condition which is triggered by grasses and such. Our rottie had something similar. We used to take her to get a spa bath treatment, and I think they mixed in tea tree oil or something. Hope it helps !
I should add that I tried multiple medicated shampoos from my vet (who I worked for) and nothing worked. I don't know if they were too strong or if it was something in the ingredients she's allergic to.
I would not take my dog to one of those places...sorry...just me...you don't know what kind of conditions you might pick up...better to bathe them at home. Should get shampoo from vet too. Medicated. Sorry for your baby and hope you find comfort for her soon.
I agree, Dawn is absolutely fabulous. It also gets rid of poison oak, which happens to be everywhere we end up hiking. It's also what they use for the wildlife that get covered in oil. Plus, it's WAY cheaper than the dog shampoos out there.
I've used Wildthyme all natural dog soap and it works really well for dogs with sensitive skin. It is not primarily an anti flea/tick soap but there are some anti flea ingredients in it too.
I have a yellow lab that has experienced the same thing. The only thing I have found that works is to bathe her with regular blue Dawn dish soap. I can't use any type of dog shampoo on her, not even the oatmeal or the most gentle of dog shampoos. Plus side of using Dawn, it also kills fleas if she happens to pick up any!
Hi there! I have a 2 year old terrier mix that has allergies and he just started to get the same thing. Little bumps or bites or something that scab up on his back. He doesn't seem bothered by them either. I'm wondering if maybe it's from the flea/tick (Frontline) that I used a month or so back. I'd love to hear what you find out.
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