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Ask the Veterinarian
Labrador scratches, Cocker Spaniel nose & Great Dane skin

Q. We have an eight year old black Labrador with a sedentary lifestyle who scratches himself more than usual and is now biting his tail which causes bald spots on it.

How can we stop him from chewing his tail? Thank you

A. I would have him evaluated for fleas especially if he is not on any type of flea prevention product such as Advantage, Program, Frontline, etc.

Other problems may be allergies of some other cause. There are simple blood tests for allergies that can be done as well as skin tests for allergies that are more involved.

Food allergies may also cause a problem but a lot of dogs have a history of licking their paws and have other skin issues.

Also have your dog tested for hypothyroidism, it can cause hair loss but generally does not cause itchiness.

Q. I have a Cocker Spaniel, who is about 8 years old. Recently she has developed a growth of some kind on her nose. It is on the tip of her nose and goes straight across.

She doesn't scratch it or seem to even notice it. It is disgusting to look at and is actual more bothersome to the family than to her. Please replay with any insights. Thank You.

A. The growth on your Cockers nose could be serious and should be biopsied so an accurate diagnosis and treatment can be given.

This could be a benign growth and easily treated or it may be an aggressive form of cancer and should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Q. I have a female, fawn, Great Dane. She is 2. Over the past few weeks I have noticed patches of discoloration in her fur (coat).

She has patches of brown mostly on her back and toward her rear quarters. It isn't her color and she is full Dane, not mixed. Please help me.

A. I am not a skin expert but this may be normal for her.

First contact your breeder and ask if they have seen anything like this in their line before. If not then ask if the dog had those areas shaved before.

If the answer is no from the breeder and the shaving then I would contact a veterinary dermatologist in your area for some advice.

Your regular vet should be able to guide you to the closet dermatologist.

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Veterinarain Gregory Herndon DVM

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