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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 6 year old shep lab mix has had a rash on her underbelly

Customer Question

my 6 year old shep lab mix has had a rash on her underbelly that has spread to her hind legs and paws. Also, the hind legs are now swollen. Within the pastyear she had had to have her tail docked because it split open due to an unknown cause and would not heal. Shortly after the tail was docked she began having the same problem with her ears. The vet thought the ears were getting chewed by horse flies but we don't have horse flies where we live. The ears continued to worsen and 1/2 of the ear has "fallen off" I do not know what is happening.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

The history you've provided is most consistent with cutaneous vasculitis which has many presentations but may include variable alopecia, crusting, hyperpigmentation, erosions, and ulcers and necrosis (tissue death) on the pinnal (ear flaps) margins as you've noted, periocular areas, skin overlying bony prominences, tip of the tail, and footpads. Dogs with cutaneous vasculitis may have concurrent anorexia, depression, fever, arthropathy (joint pain), myopathy (muscle pain), and pitting edema of the extremities - the swelling of her hind legs. Vasculitis is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that is usually secondary to immune-mediated disease from underlying infections, malignancy, food hypersensitivity, drug reaction, rabies vaccination, metabolic diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus, or exposure to cold (cold agglutinin disease), or it may be idiopathic (unknown cause). Biopsy of affected areas is necessary for confirmation. If confirmed, steroid (prednisone, e.g.) therapy is one of the most reliably predictable treatments for autoimmune skin disease. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Lucy. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin