My big guy Chico has developed an itchy spot with lots of big dandruff flakes. I first noticed it 2 weeks ago at the centre of one of his "swirls" in his fur, where the skin is naturally a bit exposed. It was quite mild, so I suspected it was just a bit of dry skin (our winters are very, very dry here) so I put coconut oil on it for moisturizing and for the anti-fungal properties of coconut oil, and made an appointment with the vet just in case.
When we saw the vet a few days later, they indicated that it was likely mites, not fungal, and applied a topical mite treatment. They also told me that the coconut oil wouldn't do anything and to not apply it anymore.
10 days later and the itchy spot is getting bigger and worse, which leads me to believe the mite treatment isn't working. I suspect its not mites at all, as he doesn't bite or scratch at the spot at all, and it is only the centre of his swirl that is affected. His ears, nose, eyes, paws, everything else is fine. He only seems bothered by it when I touch it.
Suspecting that it is in fact fungal, we began applying an antifungal cream (clotrimazole) and I've made another appointment with the vet. We've been applying the cream 2x a day for the last 2 days and it seems to still be getting worse. I've attached pictures to show the progression.
It should also be noted that his 2 brothers, who live in separate but adjacent cages, are completely unaffected.
We wont be meeting the vet until 2 days from now, so any thoughts or suggestions are incredibly appreciated!
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And your vet is wrong about coconut oil, as long as we're talking about the cold-pressed kind. It has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, and will help a mild infection of either. It won't, however, do much for a bad infestation except keep the skin supple.
We took him back to the vet, who recommended we stop the clotrimazole (Canestan vaginal yeast infection cream) and prescribed an oral antifungal instead.
We are on day 3 of the oral antifungal and no improvement yet. It isn't getting worse, just not getting better. His brothers are both still fine as well, and he still only seems to be bothered by it when its touched.
I suppose we need to give the oral antifungal more time, but now I'm wondering if maybe it was mites all along and the coconut oil and clotrimazole cream caused them to burrow deeper, hence the mite treatment not working.
I really don't want to bring him back to the vet for skin scraping tests. Poor little guy has been through enough poking and prodding already, but I wish I knew what the problem was.
Haven't tried the Nizoral shampoo yet, but I have a bottle of it ready to go. I don't want to bombard him with too many treatments at the same time, although there are no sores, scabs, or lesions, so the shampoo wouldn't get into his system anyway.
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Shampooing with Nizoral also won't hurt, even it he's taking other medication. They're often recommended together.
However, with all this antifungal treatment that hasn't worked, I'd be ready to discontinue it and start with an antibiotic treatment. The problem is almost certainly either bacterial or fungal -- there's not much else that infects the skin.