Lick Sores In Dogs

dog lick soreLick Sores

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Lick sores in dogs are common.  A lick sore is also called a Lick Granuloma or Acral Lick Dermatitis.  It is a sore on dogs that is located on the lower foreleg, paw or hind leg.  It is seen in large breed dogs such as Retrievers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Labradors.  The dog constantly licks his paws and legs until a dog sore develops.  It is caused by boredom and lack of exercise.  The hair is lost over the affected area.  If left untreated, the skin sores will become firm, thick and will ulcerate.  It is common in middle aged dogs that are less active.

The skin becomes thicker due to constant pressure from licking.  It usually happens to the skin over the bony pressure points on the dogs outside elbow, hock or paw.  You may see a thickened, gray, wrinkled and hairless area.  It is seen in large or obese dogs or those that spend a lot of time lying on hard surfaces, such as cement or wood.

Why dogs lick?  Dogs lick to reduce pain and irritation.  The dog also licks to relieve itching and to keep wounds clean.

Since boredom seems to be the major factor, more companionship and exercise may help.  Take the dog for a walk every day or get another dog for companionship.  Bitter Apple can be used to discourage a dog licking sores on feet.  Unless a dog skin infection develops, or the skin lesions become large,  no treatment is necessary.  Cortisone injections may be used to help relieve the itching and inflammation.   If an infection occurs, an antibiotic may be prescribed by your vet.

Separation anxiety in dogs can cause excessive canine licking and skin disorders.  If this occurs, your vet may have to prescribe an anti-anxiety drug to help eliminate the licking and calm the dog.

Encourage your dog to lie on a soft surface to prevent nodules and canine sores.  Foam rubber pads or a blanket can help prevent further damage to the affected area.

Dog Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia2Dog Elbow Dysplasia

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What is elbow dysplasia in dogs? This is a condition caused by a faulty union of the elbow bone with the ulna.  Dog elbow dysplasia is the leading cause of arthritis in large breed dogs. It is of developmental origin. It primarily affects Basset hounds and German Shepherd dogs, but has been described in other breeds too. It is said to be inherited, but the exact cause is unknown.  Hormones and trauma may also cause this bone disease.

The loose fragment in the elbow acts as an abrasive and irritant. Arthritis is likely to develop in the joint. Dog limping is caused by pain.

Puppies around six months of age begin to show lameness in the front leg. It can be seen in dogs up to two years of age.  Some puppies are unable to bear weight and others limp only when they trot. The elbow is held outward from the chest. Canine elbow dysplasia is seen more in rapidly growing large and giant breed dogs.  It can be in one or both legs.

In mild cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be given to reduce pain and inflammation.  Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate which is a nutritional supplement has shown signs of helping this disease.  It can take up to a month before the dog shows signs of improvement.

In more advanced cases, treatment of dog elbow dysplasia is surgical removal of the loose piece of the bone. After five months of age, X-Rays can diagnose the disease.

Rapid weight gain and accelerated growth in puppies that are fed a high protein diet can cause this disease.  Dogs that have this disease should lose weight and puppies should bed fed a food formulated for large breeds.

Dogs that are know to have this bone disease should not be bred.

Types Of Skin Cancer In Dogs

Dog Skin CancerSkin Cancer In Dogs

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Skin cancer on dogs is very common.  There are several types of skin cancer in dogs.  It is important to learn the difference in canine skin cancer and benign tumors.  This can be difficult to do on the basis of appearance alone.  The lump or bump may have to be removed by surgery to establish a diagnosis.

The following skin tumors are common in dogs.  They are usually not malignant, but all have the potential to become malignant.

Sebaceous Adenomas are the most common.  They are caused from oil producing skin glands and occur in older dogs.  Cocker Spaniels are affected more than other breeds.  They are light colored and usually less than an inch long,.  They have a cauliflower like appearance.  The skin surface may become ulcerated.  About 25% are low grade cancers.  If any of the adenomas are large, they should be removed.  They are more likely to be cancer.

Mast Cell Tumors are commonly seen in older dogs.  They are prevalent in Boxers and Boston Terriers.  The average dog with a mast cell tumor is eight years old.  The dog tumors may be seen on the lower abdomen, hind legs, and prepuce or foreskin of the penis.  They are less than an inch long and are multi-nodular growths.  When growth is rapid and size is greater than one inch dog cancer is more likely.  Malignant mast cell tumors can metastasize to organs that are close.

Cortisone may be given to decrease the size of mast cell tumors.  Surgical removal is the treatment of choice.

Epidermoid Carcinoma is a hard flat grayish looking ulcer that resembles a cauliflower and does not heal.  The size is variable.  it is most commonly seen on the feet and legs, but can be seen elsewhere.  Due to constant licking the hair may be lost around the tumor.  This dog tumor is malignant and should be removed.

Melanoma is a malignant neoplasm that sets its name from the brown or black pigment that is associated with it.  It often develops in a pre-exiting mole.  When a mole starts to enlarge or spread out, becomes elevated above the surface of the skin or starts to bleed, you should suspect melanoma.  Melanoma skin cancer is more common in Scottish Terriers, Boston Terriers and Cocker Spaniels.  All suspicious moles should be removed.  Melanoma spreads widely and at an early stage.

Histiocytomas occur in younger dogs and are rapidly growing button like tumors.  They are seen on the feet, face, and ears.  They are dome shaped, raised, red irritated-looking and painful to the touch.  Some Histiocytomas grow smaller and disappear on their own in a few weeks.  Others may have to be removed.

If your dog has any canine cancer symptoms such as lumps, bumps, lesions, infections, ulcers, abrasions, diarrhea and loss of appetite, you should make an appointment with your vet.

It is important to check your dog from head to tail on a monthly basis for any signs of skin cancer.  Early detection of dog cancer may be the key to saving your dogs life.

Your pet should be protected from the sun for long periods.

Epiphora Or Excessive Tearing In Dogs

Epiphora in dogsEpiphora or Excessive Tearing In Dogs

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Epiphora or excessive tearing in dogs is when water or discharge from the eye overflows the lids and runs down the sides of the face which causes eye stain.  You will notice a constant wetness to the area under the eye.  The skin may become inflamed and secondarily infected.  Eye discharge in dogs can be caused by simple allergies or can be a sign of serious eye problems or dog illnesses.

Dogs do not cry as people do.  A tearing eye can be a sign of a dog eye infection.

What causes watery eyes?  Runny eyes can be caused by irritative diseases of the lids such as Entropion or Conjunctivitis.  Foreign bodies can cause tearing of the eyes too.

Inadequate tear drainage can cause tearing eyes too.  The dog tears are secreted in normal amounts, but are not adequately drained away.  The overflow is due to an obstruction in the nasolacrimal drainage system.  Causes of the obstruction are:  congenital narrowing or occlusion of one or both of the tiny ducts in the eyelids which collect the tears at the inner corners of the eye, congenital absence of the ducts; scarring of the ducts or the openings, active infection in the ducts or in the main nasolacrimal ducts which causes plugging by cellular debris; and lodgement of a foreign body in the system.

Flushing techniques are used to show the point of obstruction.  Flushing may open the duct and remove the problem.  A minor operative procedure or an opening may have to be done to remove the problem.  Antibiotics and steroids may be given to reduce inflammation.

Ectropion In Dogs

Ectropion In DogsEctropion In Dogs

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What is drooping eyelids?  Ectropion in dogs is when the dog’s eyelid is rolled outward from the face exposing the eye to irritation.  The condition is usually seen in dogs with loose facial skin such as Spaniels, Hounds, and Saint Bernards.  It is seen in older dogs in which the facial skin has lost its tone and sags.  Saggy eyes can be seen in hunting dogs after a long day in the field.  The upper or lower lid may be affected.

To tighten the lid and protect the eye, plastic surgery may be necessary.  This will  help correct the drooping eyes.

Dogs with long hair around the face are subject to eye irritation.

In some cases the eye lids droop exposing the cornea.

Ectropion can cause conjunctivitis, excessive tearing, inflammation of the cornea and discharge from the eye.

Treament for Ectropion in dogs depends on how severe the condition is.  Mild ectropion may not need to be treated.  Moderate cases can be treated with medicated eye drops.  More severe cases may require surgery.