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Q: I noticed that my 8 month old medium size local breed dog, Rocky started growing pimple-like spots near his groin area. They appeared five to six days after he was sterilized. After sterilization, I noticed that the fur on his front legs was getting patchy and there are three spots that seem to be losing hair. What is happening?

A: Pimples and fur loss are often the result of bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. These infections can lead to dry and flaky skin, intense skin itch and patchy fur loss. Dogs that are under stress have higher chances of these skin outbreaks. Your dog might be stressed after his surgery. He may be licking himself more and this causes the skin layers to be vulnerable to infection.

You have to keep a close watch if your dog licks himself excessively. You also need to assess if there is an increase in moisture in the places that he sleeps or plays in. Increased moisture in the environment could encourage bacterial and fungal growths. Sometimes, your dog could be allergic to any new detergent or cleanser that you use for the cage, floor or towels. Some skin infections are made worse by the introduction of new treats or changes in the food. Hence, it is important to be careful with his diet.

You should try to prevent him from licking himself excessively. You can put an Elizabeth collar on him. This is especially important to protect his sterilization wound. Keeping his environment clean and dry is important to prevent further outbreaks. If the skin problems persist, veterinary attention is needed. The veterinarian will assess the integrity of the skin and the severity of the infection. Oral and topical medications may be prescribed to control these infections.