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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24385
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My son has a 12 yr old mixed breed dog about 45-50 lbs which

Customer Question

My son has a 12 yr old mixed breed dog about 45-50 lbs which is a healthy weight for him. Because of chronic coughing my son consulted a vet (coughing going on for 2-3 yrs). Vet took chest X-ray. Fairly large lung mass. X-ray done about 6 mos ago. Dog still seems fine... eats and drinks well, energetic, doesn't seem to have any significant SOB. Responds to meds for chronic coughing. Here is my question. My son noticed last 3 wks seems very itchy...he has no fleas or tics. No skin rash apparent. Son also noticed in last few months his dander seems extreme. When he holds him close will have white dander/dandruff on his dark clothes. The change is so different that I wondered if this could be a result of tumor pressing on vital organs...liver, maybe? Could this be something like bile salts on the skin? As. I said, otherwise he seems in pretty good shape
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

There are only a few reports of cutaneous manifestations of paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs. Feline paraneoplastic alopecia/dermatits is a known and unique dermatosis in aged cats. Unspecified symptoms of flushing, alopecia, amyloidosis, pruritis (itching), exfoliative dermatitis as you've described, vasculitis, dermatomyositis, or necrolytic dermatitis have been associated with a variety of tumor types. You're quite perceptive. Your son's dog may, indeed, be presenting with a paraneoplastic cutaneous syndrome. Bathing in an antiseborrheic shampoo containing some combination of tar, sulfur, salicylic acid, or phytosphingosine should be helpful in controlling the exfoliation. These shampoos are available over the counter at his vet hospital and in pet/feed stores.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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