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Dry Scaly Rash/hairless Spots On Tail/hypothyroid?


Guest carriej
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Guest carriej

Hi Folks,

 

If anyone remembers reading my posts about Chance's pustuley rash, well this is an update. We have gone through extensive skin testing, cultures, scrapings, and even biopsies. There is nothing to be found.

 

My vet is pretty much stumped. She doesn't know how to treat this issue.

 

Here is an updated picture. It's an itchy dry red scaly rash now VS the pustule type rash before.

 

photo_zps4f9ab484.jpg

 

I also noticed he has two or three patches of hairless skin on his tail. Black, dry elephant skin too. Plus the hair texture is very thick/brittle in those areas. He has been wearing a cone for two weeks, so I know he didn't chew it. Doesn't look irritated, but makes me wonder about hypothyroidism.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions?

 

 

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I don't know what Chance's original problem could be--have you seen a veterinary dermatologist?

 

The tail is probably stud tail: absolutely normal, and there's not really much that can be done. You can search "stud tail" on this forum to find more posts about it.

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Guest carriej

We do not have a local veterinary dermatologist, however our vet had sent the biopsies to a dermatologist as well as a pathologist (I think) at the Veterinary University a few provinces away.

 

I have the report (it doesn't make much sense to me) and essentially there is no bacteria, fungus, mites, or anything like that present. They have listed what they found as far as inflammation goes (different types of cells and things), but it was essentially inconclusive and that they see the inflammation is there, but they don't understand why. My vet is perplexed, and there has been no mention of hypothyroid but Chance's hair all over is kind of thin (and it never used to be, and he came from florida and I'm in Canada - so it's not a weather thing) and it's kind of dull. I've been feeding him coconut oil for the past few days and I am hoping to see an improvement.

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Guest BlueCrab

I second the comment on "stud tail". Trixie (yes...female) has it too. It's a bit unsightly to have the bald spot on the tail, but it's apparently fairly common.

 

No real help on the rash, but I imagine you've ruled out food allergies and possible environmental allergies such as your laundry detergent...

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I'm not sure about the rash on the belly. Maybe a spider or bug bite and he had a bad reaction to it? Did you try putting some vaseline on it to sooth the skin at all, since it doesn't look broken, but it really does look irritated. Maybe even some calamine lotion?

 

I third the stud tail. Kasey has it too, nothing to be concerned about other than it looks funny.

 

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Guest carriej

We did a biopsy and a scrape, and there was nothing fungal present. Would these things normally show up on a biopsy? She has never mentioned/said anything about a woods lamp so I am not sure this is something she has, but I will inquire.

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If you know it is not fungal or bacterial, I would really be looking into some kind of environmental or food allergy. Contact allergies often show up on the belly as that is what is normally touching the ground when the dog lays down. Also, it is on an area where the skin has limited protection against allergens due to the lack of fur in that area. You may want to look into allergy treatments or even a food change to see if it improves. Does he lie outside on the grass a lot? Have you used any detergents or chemicals you normally don't use around the house?

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Guest carriej

We have been switching food proteins, but I'm almost wondering now if it's not a protein at all. I feel so helpless with it :(

 

He doesn't spend much time in the grass (we have an area that has pavers) and this also started before Christmas when there was 4+ feet of snow on the ground. If it's environmental, it's something in the house and not outside. We are changing his food regularly though, to try and find something that works. We do not use cleaners (steam sterilization for months to combat his allergy), we have no carpet, we started washing his blankets with bleach only, bought him a new bed, started him on coconut oil and probiotics... I have no idea what more to do.

 

Our vet did not mention allergy treatments... It's localized to that one area, which did previously have hair but it either all fell out or he chewed it off.

 

It looks even worse now, but the skin is not so dry. I am at my wits end.

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Then just maybe it is a complex vitamin issue you're dealing with.

 

Vitamin A is the most obvious one that benefits skin and coat when in the correct proportion.

 

But lack of Vitamin C can also hinder Vitamin E absorbtion and Vitamin E is essential for healthy new cell growth.

A good source of Vitamin E is wheatgerm oil and as little as 1/4 tsp per day could show a real difference in a couple of weeks

 

Or you could massage that oil or a shampoo containing it directly into that area.

 

 

There's a basic explanation of vitamins here:

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Food proteins: Folks tend to assume that "protein" means "meat" -- lamb, beef, etc. But most every edible except a highly purified oil -- more purified than you'd find in dog food -- contains proteins. Your oddball herbals, fish oil, quinoa, oatmeal, blueberries -- a dog could be allergic to any of those.

 

That said, you usually don't see food or inhalant allergy in a single spot in that type of location. That looks more like contact allergy, infection, fungus, or hot spot. I'd wash it once a day with mild soap or a dilute Nolvasan solution, flush well with running water, pat dry, and then leave it alone.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest carriej

Thanks. We agreed that it also seemed like a contact allergy, but it's strange because that is not the side he lays on or sleeps on... The vet thought he might be peeing on it, but we take him on the lead every time and he is not peeing on it. We tried a barrier cream, just to see and that actually made it worse...

 

I feel so bad for him :(

 

He has been on antibiotics, and they have helped but the last scrape showed no bacteria, and neither did the skin biopsy so she does not want to put him on antibiotics again. It's frustrating as that seems to be the only thing that actually works, but she said that it's not a bacteria. No fungus was found in the skin scrape or the biopsy either.

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Did you try a medium potency steroid cream? It would be a prescription. I am a human doctor ( I know I'm not a vet) but it really looks like eczema. I had same thing in my hound and triamcinalone 1% cleared it up within 1-2 weeks.

Also It looks really itchy and that isn't fun, so a steroid cream would at the very least decrease the itch.

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Guest SpeedBump

Did you try a medium potency steroid cream? It would be a prescription. I am a human doctor ( I know I'm not a vet) but it really looks like eczema. I had same thing in my hound and triamcinalone 1% cleared it up within 1-2 weeks.

Also It looks really itchy and that isn't fun, so a steroid cream would at the very least decrease the itch.

 

I'm not a doctor of any kind, but this seems worthwhile to explore. I personally have eczema and it causes my skin to have exactly the kind of texture shown in your photo, though I've never had that huge of a patch before. It itches horribly and no amount of regular old lotion/cream helps. I always need something specially formulated for eczema to get it cleared up, usually a prescription steroid cream but sometimes the Gold Bond eczema lotion with colloidal oatmeal will work if I start early enough. The most common places for me to get it are on my eyelids and around my belly button, neither of which would directly contact many irritants, so it can seem pretty random.

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Guest carriej

We tried some steroid creams (panalog, theraderm) and while they did help some it did not clear it up. We used the entire tube of each so our vet did not want to try again.

 

As for TBD (assuming you mean tick borne disease) would any TBD not have been cleared up by the several rounds of antibiotics we had him on? Cephalex for two weeks and clavamox for 3 weeks. TBD are essentially non existent here other than Lyme, the rest you don't see here. Even Lyme is pretty rare.

 

Our vets are very unfamiliar with TBD. What kind of TBD would cause this kind of rash without any other noticeable symptoms? He has had the rash now since November.

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Topical steroids: Genesis spray is a lot more potent than panalog/theraderm, so it might be worth a try.

 

TBDs wouldn't have been cleared by the antibiotics you gave -- need different meds, usually at a higher dose than for skin things and for a longer period of time, and which meds you need depends on which TBD.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest carriej

Ok so an update on this. Our vet did not think it was a TBD after making some calls, nor did she think it was a thyroid issue as chance is absolutely nuts (lol). She advised us to try and monitor and see what happens, and gave us a list of the top 20 dog allergies as she was adamant it was an allergy. We decided to just eliminate them all. Chance was on a fish diet, and we went through the other diets he was eating and every single one of those diets had fish in them. Sometimes just fish oil or whatever, but fish non the less.

 

We put him on a lamb diet with limited ingredients (NO fish), and after only a week and a half there has been about a 75% reduction in the rash AND for the first time in 8 months we are seeing hair regrowth! yay! It's not perfect, but the vet said it could take as long as 12 weeks. However he is not itchy any more and it's not red and blistery looking. We have him on the Acana singles lamb and apple formula.

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Whoa! I had one who was allergic to fish/fish oil, too. Hard to find a food without it. Glad you did and hope it keeps working for your boy.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Glad your seeing some sort of resolution. Just wanted to post a link to a medicated wipe that may help with a possible secondary bacterial infection. My boys derm vet recommended them . They don't smell bad nor do they leave a sticky residue. I wipe him down 2-3 times daily.

http://www.entirelypets.com/preva-medicated-wipes-120-count.html

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I will check out those wipes and see if I can find somewhere online in Canada that has them.

 

As for the bleach, we just wash his blankets in it, and we did not start doing that until after the rash was well established for months. Just a capful in the wash with hot water. The vet recommended it to see if there was some kind of bacteria or fungus that was surviving regular wash.

 

He seems a little more itchy today, god bless him. However, it's still looking A LOT better than it was. Our vet said it could itch as the hair grows in.

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