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Why Does My German Shepherd Have Scabs After Flea Medication & How Can I Help?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a 4-year-old German Shepherd who was recently put on flea medication about a month ago. But he has spots almost like scabs in his fur. What could be causing this and how can I help him?


Dear German Shepherd owner,

Poor Max! We understand how concerning it can be to find scabs on your furry friend’s coat. It’s important to address the issue properly and seek veterinary help if needed. There are a few possibilities for what might be causing the scabs, and we’ll explain them in more detail in this article. We’ll talk about potential underlying causes for the irritation, ways to determine the right course of action, and prevention and treatment options. We’ve also included some helpful links for additional information.

Possible Causes for Scabs

The scabs on Max’s skin could be secondary to allergies to the fleas, or other environmental allergies. In some cases, these scabs might also result from a bacterial or fungal infection. If the topical flea preventative you applied is the cause and the scabs are only in that area, Max may be having a bad reaction to the medication. You can try giving him Benadryl if he is itching a lot to alleviate his discomfort.

Max might be dealing with dog allergies, which can manifest as skin irritations. Additionally, mange is another potential cause for Max’s scabs. To determine the root of the issue and implement the right treatment, consider consulting with a veterinarian.

Consulting Your Vet

If Max isn’t showing signs of improvement, it’s important to have your vet take a look at him. Your vet can help determine the underlying cause and recommend the proper medication to make Max feel better and get rid of the scabs.

Your vet might perform diagnostic tests to identify the issue – these can include skin scrapings, fungal cultures, or allergy tests, among others. Depending on the results, the vet will be able to provide a treatment plan tailored to Max’s specific needs.

Prevention and Treatment

Once the cause of Max’s scabs has been identified, it’s essential to address the issue and prevent it from reoccurring. Here are some prevention and treatment options for different types of skin conditions:

  • Allergies: Limit exposure to allergens and use medication or supplements to reduce your dog’s reaction, as seen in these simple tips for itchy dogs.
  • Mange: Consult your vet for specific treatment options, which may include topical ointments, medications, or special shampoos and dips.
  • Medication reaction: If the scabs result from a reaction to the flea medication, speak with your vet about prescribing an alternative flea preventative option that’s safer for Max.
  • Hair loss due to allergies, infections, or other conditions: Address the underlying problem (infections, allergies, parasites, etc.), and follow the recommendations shared in this article about hair loss in dogs.

Overall, it’s important to monitor Max’s skin and coat regularly, quickly addressing any potential issues you might spot. With prompt action and proper care, Max can be on the road to recovery and better health.

We hope this information is helpful and wish Max a quick recovery!

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