Scottie dog skin condition

Scottie dog skin condition before treatment and most of his hair lost © RSPCA

Bella, a crossbreed terrier, was found to be suffering from a severe skin condition. Her owners failed to seek veterinary care for her despite the fact that she was continually scratching and virtually bald, with only small tufts of hair left on her head and tail

RSPCA Inspector Rohan Barker, could immediately see that the small four-year-old dog required veterinary treatment due to the extent of her hair loss. Her head was crusty and scabby and she had cuts to her body together with a strong greasy smell. Her skin was extremely itchy and sore and she was scratching and shaking herself.

A vet examined Bella and confirmed that she was suffering. Skin scrapes were taken and she was found to atopic dermatitis. Bella was seized by police before being boarded at our Llys Nini animal centre and given antibiotic treatment.

Defendants were aggressive and showed no remorse

When Inspector Barker returned the next day with Inspector Coleman to interview the suspects they filmed the Inspectors on their mobile phones and refused to participate in the interviews.

The defendants showed no remorse at allowing their dog to get into a truly shocking state and were obstructive and aggressive throughout.

Proper care showed quick improvements 

Scottie dog looking sleek with fur again after dealing with a skin condition © RSPCA

It was almost Christmas when Bella was rescued and by New Year her skin was less thickened, more supple and was a normal colour. She had new hair growth on her head, body, flanks and hindquarters. The greasy feel and smell had all but disappeared and a further course of antibiotics and parasitic control were prescribed

The vet concluded Bella’s hair loss was likely to have been self-induced, due to the continuous scratching and biting at her skin. Her owners had caused her to suffer unnecessarily, by failing to provide her with veterinary attention and treatment.

Defendants failed to meet their dogs needs

The district judge disqualified the couple from keeping animals for three years and sentenced them to 90 hours of unpaid work with a 12-month supervision order. In addition they were ordered to pay £250 costs each.

Our Inspector Rohan Barker said:

This case highlights exactly what can happen if an owner does not ensure their animals receive appropriate veterinary care.

Fortunately, after getting the treatment she so desperately needed, Bella has undergone an incredible transformation.

Bella has since been successfully rehomed.


  • Investigating officer: RSPCA Inspectors Rohan Barker and Christine Coleman
  • Defendants: Male 25, call handler; female 22, caterer
  • Offences: Animal Welfare Act 2006 s4
  • Plea: Guilty
  • Convictions: Two
  • Sentence: Both disqualified from keeping animals for three years; one year supervision order; 90 hours’ unpaid work; £250 costs.
  • Prosecuted by: Wilson Devonald Griffiths John Solicitors
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