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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23843
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a cavachon that is 4 years old, her paws are constantly

Customer Question

I have a cavachon that is 4 years old, her paws are constantly being licked and are turning black even around the nail. The groomer thinks she has a yeast infection because in the last few weeks her eyes are getting a black wet area by her nose, she is on a prescription dog food for urinary to keep from getting Chrystal's and this seems to be more so when she eats food that is not grainfree
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Molly
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Molly?
Customer: No to
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Customer: No this is my primary concern
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. When the extremities are as pruritic (itchy) as Molly's appear to be both atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) and food intolerance need to be considered. Atopy is usually addressed with a course of low dose glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone and we hope that the offending allergens disappear by the time that the course of therapy is completed. The new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) should be considered instead of a steroid because it works as well without the steroid's adverse effects. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Molly'simmune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.It's important that Molly's vet perform a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of affected skin surface) to check for abnormal numbers of both yeast (Malassezia) and bacteria and if found treat appropriately prior to her being treated for either atopy or food intolerance. Secondary infections are very common in my allergic patients and her blackening of the skin is suggestive of Malassezia. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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