Q. He gets hot spots and rashes frequently. Vet gives him steroids & antibiotics. When these stop they return.He's on prescription diet, doesn't work.

A. Hot Spots and rashes are difficult to diagnose and treat, although steroids are usually effective it is not recommended to use them for a long period.

In order to try and diagnose the problem, other factors need to be ruled out if they where not already: fleas, mites, fungal infection and bacterial infection.

In order to try and find the allergy source, a special blood test for allergies can be performed, hopefully this will revile the source of allergy.

Great alternatives for steroids are Atopica (cylosporine) or Apoquel, both expensive but very effective drugs with minimal side effects.

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A. Prescription diets can sometimes still contain allergenic ingredients such as wheat, rice and corn that can cause skin issues and allergic responses. If you see these ingredients in your dog's food, then switching to a grain-free diet (one without wheat, corn, soy or rice products) may be helpful in stopping the allergic reaction. Some dogs may also get allergies to certain protein sources such as beef, lamb or chicken, so a novel protein such as rabbit or venison may also be helpful. Adding in a longer-term allergy medication may also help until the underlying cause of his issues can be found.

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