This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
This is a very common complaint, indeed much more so than need be if proper attention were paid to the feeding and exercising of dogs.
That eczema is of a hereditary nature there seems abundant evidence to prove, the progeny of eczematous parents predisposing the offspring to suffer—when the exciting cause comes into play—in a like manner. Derangement of the digestive organs and impaired nerve force must be reckoned as chief amongst such causes.
Sarcoptic mange and certain other parasites are of course capable of producing eczema, but this is chiefly mechanical irritation, ceasing with the destruction of the irritant.
Not so, however, with eczema of a constitutional nature, the irritation requiring internal medication for its subjugation.
Eczema is denoted by the appearance of one or more patches of inflamed skin, and unless checked, the whole of the skin may become inflamed, the hairs broken and shed, reducing the dog to a condition of misery and suffering.
Any portion of the body or extremities are the seats of eruption, but where the parts can be licked or scratched by the dog, the worse the zone of inflammation.
In the moist form of eczema small vesicles appear; the rupture of these and the dessication of their contents, along with scales, hair, etc., forms a scab or crust on the surface.
Many sporting (and other) dogs have a dry form of eczema known as Psoriasis, showing itself upon the points of the elbows and buttocks.
Here the patches are very intractable, the skin having a dry and leathery appearance.
Between the toes, around the eyelids, margins of the ears, are common situations for eczema to make its appearance.
This must be both local, i.e., applied to the diseased part or parts, and general, i.e., directed towards improving the constitution.
Plenty of exercise and a reasonable supply of good, sound, boiled flesh, mixed with bread, night and morning, will do much towards a cure.
Give a bath of sulphurated potash (2 ounces of sulphate of potash to 6 gallons of water) weekly, dry 2 b thoroughly and then dress the parts with sulphur ointment, or boracic acid ointment.
If the disease has spread more, or less, over the whole skin, dress with the following liniment.
R Paraffin oil . . .4 ounces.
Sulphur flowers . . .4 ounces.
Oil of tar . . . .2 ounces.
Olive oil . . . .30 ounces.
Mix. Wash off in six days' time, and repeat once every ten days until cured.
N.B.—A cheap oil (rape, colza, etc.), can be substituted for the olive oil, though these are all distinctly inferior for the purpose.
In addition to the treatment, give the dog a 5-grain blue pill, say once every three or four weeks, and have the following mixture compounded.
R Liquid extract of sacred bark . 2 drachms Acetate of potash . 1 drachm.
Ammoniated citrate of iron . 1 drachm Tincture of orange . . 1 ounce.
Fowler's Solution of Arsenic . 80 drops Water to 8 ounces Directions: Give one tablespoonful night and morning before food. Several weeks' or months' treatment will be required ere a complete cure can be anticipated.
Mild cases of eczema are not difficult to bring under control, but those of long-standing demand perseverance. If skin scaly, use tar ointment daily.