If your dog has had this, you know what I'm talking about. According to the local vet, this is the #1 dog ailment he sees around here. He says some people bring their dogs in totally hairless and black and covered with lesions. Last year my dog got it with great drama and nastiness. If you've already heard this saga, skip on to the end. I took her to the vet and they did a skin scraping and sold me some betadyne soap. Four days later it had spread so badly that I made an emergency visit to the vet. They gave her a cortisone shot (even though she wasn't scratching, which they wouldn't believe) and sold me some antibiotic pills. The general conclusion was that if it's hot spots or a fungal infection, the betadyne should work but it will pretty much be lurking with us forever. If it's allergies, we can do tests for $100 and she will probably have to be on a restricted diet of very expensive nonallergenic dog food which we just happen to sell, plus monthly cortisone shots, and she'll still have the problem. Nobody really has a sure answer on what this problem is in any given dog, but it's extremely common and pretty much incurable. Anyway, by this time I'd spent nearly $200 and nothing had helped at all. I posted a message on this forum- this was about Dec of last year- asking for advice, and somebody suggested Bag Balm mixed with tea tree oil. This did more than any of the other stuff put together. I put it generously a really bad black hairless area on her tummy every day for about a month, and within a week it had stopped spreading and the skin was softening a little and looking pinkish again. So this stuff is great. Stinky and messy, but great. All was well for the spring, summer, fall, and early winter. Then last month, out of the blue, the dog hatched another lesion. This time it was on the side of her face. Not again, I said. It was like the others had been, oozing pus and bleeding, hair falling out, spreading like something out of a science fiction movie. I cleaned it up and put the Bag Balm stuff on it, but it was oozing so much gunk that I couldn't keep it clean to the skin even for a minute. I didn't want to take her to the vet again for the joy of futiley throwing money at them. My father then had the brainwave of calling a sled dog store in the area, figuring that since it's such a common problem they might have some insight. They instantly knew what he was talking about. "Oh yeah, it's a zinc deficiency." they said. "Some guy was in here recently who had spent $1800 on vet bills for his dog with this. He started giving the dog 35 mgs of zinc every day and it was cleared up in two weeks." Apparently zinc deficiency comes with the territory for many husky type breeds, and zinc isn't in normal dog food in sufficient quantities. So we figured what the heck and started giving the dog half a human zinc pill every day in addition to keeping the area as clean as possible. Once it stopped oozing, I put the Bag Balm stuff on it every day. From what I've been able to find on the net, zinc is necessary for the body to process vitamin E. Just to be sure there was plenty of that, I poked a vitamin E capsule with a pin and squeezed some out on a bit of bread and fed that to the dog. That may not have been necessary, but it couldn't hurt. Within four days the sores were healing, and after two weeks, sure enough, the area was totally normal and the hair was growing back. I'll be giving the dog a zinc supplement once a month or so for the rest of her life since the deficiency is apparently chronic, but at least now I know what's wrong and I can fix it. Just wanted to tell everybody about this. It was almost a miracle cure for me, and when I think of all the people who are paying huge amounts of money and seeing no results, and knowing how horrible it is to see the dog all diseased looking and not be able to do anything effective...I hope this will help. Why vets aren't giving out this information rather than expensive shots, tests, and meds, I can only surmise. I noticed in the last Drs Foster and Smith dog catalog I got there's a whole several page section on meds and such for dog skin problems, so this is apparently all over the country and not being cured. I'm going to try to tell everybody I can about zinc in hopes that this will no longer be a cash cow. I'm sure it won't work on every single dog in every case, but it works so well that it must be the answer for a lot of this. Sorry this is so long.