Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello- and I think the first thing to make clear, is that although we can all list various scenarios that might have caused these lesions in this animal (and I will in just a moment), that's not much good to you or your lab. If that solved our cases, vets would have closed in the last couple of decades and a series of picture- matching apps would be busy taking over. I would no doubt be charging you for my services online.
The reason that this hasn't happened, is that our job is more complicated than that. For example, the symptoms we see here could be caused by multiple illnesses, and it is a very good idea to understand the correct cause of the symptoms before throwing treatments at them. Sure, some red blotchy skins can be cooled down by putting cream on them, but that only works in some cases and doesn't address the cause. So as soon as the cream wears off, the signs would likely continue. In some situations, the cream might even make the cause worse. If there is bacterial infection in these follicles, a vet might prescribe superficial antibiotics and research into why it got infected. If it is caused by demodex mites, it will need a specific treatment, which might include a particular medicated wash that is usually left on for a set amount of time. There are safety precautions involved with that. If the signs are connected to underlying endocrine issues, for example hypothyroidism, the underlying disease would need to be addressed. If an autoimmune disease is suspected, then anti-immune drugs might be needed. If an allergy is suspected, less strong anti-immune drugs are sometimes given and the cause of the allergy possibly addressed. If external parasites are suspected (Demodex is actually just one example of this), they will need to be treated with the correct antiparasiticide for the parasite. Most commonly, on first presentation, a combination of different possibilities are identified (we call this the differentials list) and the vet has to do tests to rule out some of them - for example, superficial skin scrapes for superficial mites, deep skin scrapes for demodex, biopsies for autoimmune diseases and cancers, blood tests for endocrine diseases (eg thyroid) and so on.
As you can appreciate, the possibilities list for signs like this is complex and varied. Guessing the disease and treating (trial by error) is a long game and unless the cause is identified first, then the symptoms can worsen while it progresses.