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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28335
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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my black shih tzu is turning brown hind legs and butt area..can

Customer Question

my black shih tzu is turning brown hind legs and butt area..can you tell why this is happening and what to do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Andy :

Hello.

Dr. Andy :

What you are very likely describing is saliva staining from excessive licking and/or chewing, most likely caused by food and/or environmental allergies.

Dr. Andy :

The food is a big concern for the breed, and considering how often you are switching the protein, could be a real contributing factor.

Dr. Andy :

So, here is the best info I can give on dealing with both types of allergies.

Dr. Andy :

So, to rule-out food allergies you need to do a diet trial.
Summary: The primary protein in most dog foods is lamb, chicken, or beef. The primary carbohydrate is rice or corn. So, we need to change both. The most popular alternative diets are Venison and Potato, Duck and Potato, or Fish and Potato. It is available in prescription formulas (i.e. Science Diet D/D) or you can find some similar foods at the big pet stores like PetSmart or PetCo. Just make sure that when they say Venison is the "main ingredient" they don't sneak in other stuff like lamb meal or fish meal. Those would be poor choices. A non-prescription option would include Dick Van Patten's brand called Natural Balance. Keep in mind, holistic or all-natural foods are not necessarily any better when trying to remove a food allergy. Chicken is chicken, and rice is rice. When you perform a diet trial, you must stick with the food for 2-3 months to see if there is any benefit. NO OTHER treats or human food can be given during this time period. Another option to really chase after food allergies as the cause of the problem, is to start a prescription food called Science Diet Z/D or Z/D ultra.


Here is some more information about food allergies:


 


Food Allergies


 


INFORMATION ON SCIENCE DIET D/D, Z/D, and HYPOALLERGENIC TREATS:


SCIENCE DIET FOODS


.


Also, definitely read about ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES (atopy). Some pets, suffer from both environmental and food allergies:


Atopy (environmental allergies)


 


If you want to actual diagnose what in the environment may be causing the allergy, you can do an allergy test. Now, you don’t have to shave half the body and do the old grid test on the skin. There is now a rather good blood test that looks for allergies to weeds, trees, grasses!, molds, even house dust mites. You can read more about it here:


 


Testing for Environmental Allergies


.


VARL allergy testing


 


If your veterinarian does not offer VARL, they may offer a comparable company to perform the blood test.


 


It is important to also recognize, once the skin is inflamed or has an odor, there is likely a secondary yeast or bacterial skin infection present. .


Skin Odor/Discharge


 


Especially in younger pets, never forget about mange (mites). Demodex is not contagious, however, scabies or sarcoptic mange is zoonotic. So, keep in mind, when ever someone mentions mange, it is important to distinguish between which mite. To diagnose if there are mites, your veterinarian can perform an easy skin scraping test in the hospital. It is not always 100% accurate, but a good start. It can be difficult sometimes to scrape out the mites.


Demodex


Scabies


Skin Scraping


 


 





TREATMENT OPTIONS (A small representative list - some suggestions you may have already tried)


1. Steroids. Veterinarians will either give an injection that can last from hours to weeks, or send home oral steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone. Steroids can be safe if not used long-term (several months) and if used as directed by your veterinarian. Frequently, the oral steroids will be weaned down to the lowest dose necessary to keep the allergy suppressed.


2. Antihistamines. A prescription of hydroxyzine is common. Sometimes, over-the-counter Benadryl will help. However, for many allergies, antihistamines alone frequently are not good enough to control allergies.


 


Benadryl can be given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight. Keep in mind, Benadryl tablets and liquids come in different sizes. So, an approximately 25 pound dog can get a full 25mg tablet or a half of a 50mg tablet. I usually avoid the liquid Benadryl in larger dogs (you would have to give too much of it). You can give Benadryl every 8-12 hours.


Benadryl


.


Hydroxyzine


 


3. Essential fatty acid supplements. Definitely, if you plan to give an antihistamine long-term,


combine it with an EFA supplement. I prefer the veterinary products, which are already dosed for pets. Your vet


should carry a product on their shelf, or over-the-internet you can look for Aller G3, 3V caps,


EFA-z, or Derm caps. Some vets use a product called Temaril-P. It’s an antihistamine with a low-dose steroid built into the same tablet.


 


4. Atopica. Neat stuff. Can take a few weeks to be of benefit. Not the most cost-effective, but can


be incredible for allergies when the above does not work. Read the link below for more


information.


Atopica


 


5. Your vet should also carry some special sprays and shampoos designed for whatever skin condition your pet may have. One of my favorite product lines is called Douxo. They carry various shampoos designed to calm the skin, treat bacteria infections, and help with seborrhea.


Douxo products


 


6. Lastly, oral antibiotics and/or anti-yeast medication, if indicated. Generally, your vet will recommend a simple skin cytology test to see what is on the surface of the skin.

Dr. Andy :

That really should cover your question.

Dr. Andy :

Please let me know if I have not covered something.


Thank you for using JustAnswer. I also greatly appreciate positive feedback, after you click accept, if you have found the advice helpful or informative. Please remember, it is important that you click “accept” when finished so I can move on to other questions, and so JustAnswer recognizes I have addressed your question. Thanks. XXXXX

Customer :

how can i print out the info you have told me?

Customer :

also...that is not my email addy..it's XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Dr. Andy :

I apologize for the delayed response. Another expert would not enable me to get back into the question.

Dr. Andy :

Unfortunately, no personal emails can come through the website. It's a privacy and safety thing.

Dr. Andy :

I would recommend cut and pasting the answer into word.

Dr. Andy :

I will also exit chat. I will resend the entire response, that may make it easier.

Dr. Andy :

Dr. Andy

Customer :

i cant print it

Dr. Andy :

I wish I was more computer savvy. I can't say why it won't print. But, if you cut and paste it into a microsoft word document first, then you can print it like any other document you make.

Customer :

what do i do?

Dr. Andy :

You will always be able to come back adn view my answer after accepting. You won't lose it or any of the links I have provided.

Customer :

iam still trying to print this....

Customer :

iam no dumby..there is no way your site will let me cut and paste this article

Customer :

you send me this text that dr. andy gave me to my email address , and i will come back and accept it for payment okay?

Customer :

will you do this?

Customer :

you want you money and i want my info....can you do this???

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Ended

If you are still working with your Expert on this question, you can post additional replies and receive additional information on this page.  If you received a satisfactory answer in Chat, you can accept the chat conversation above.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.

Hello.

8:10 AM

What you are very likely describing is saliva staining from excessive licking and/or chewing, most likely caused by food and/or environmental allergies.

8:11 AM

The food is a big concern for the breed, and considering how often you are switching the protein, could be a real contributing factor.

8:11 AM

So, here is the best info I can give on dealing with both types of allergies.

8:12 AM

So, to rule-out food allergies you need to do a diet trial.
Summary: The primary protein in most dog foods is lamb, chicken, or beef. The primary carbohydrate is rice or corn. So, we need to change both. The most popular alternative diets are Venison and Potato, Duck and Potato, or Fish and Potato. It is available in prescription formulas (i.e. Science Diet D/D) or you can find some similar foods at the big pet stores like PetSmart or PetCo. Just make sure that when they say Venison is the "main ingredient" they don't sneak in other stuff like lamb meal or fish meal. Those would be poor choices. A non-prescription option would include Dick Van Patten's brand called Natural Balance. Keep in mind, holistic or all-natural foods are not necessarily any better when trying to remove a food allergy. Chicken is chicken, and rice is rice. When you perform a diet trial, you must stick with the food for 2-3 months to see if there is any benefit. NO OTHER treats or human food can be given during this time period. Another option to really chase after food allergies as the cause of the problem, is to start a prescription food called Science Diet Z/D or Z/D ultra.

Here is some more information about food allergies:

 

Food Allergies

 

INFORMATION ON SCIENCE DIET D/D, Z/D, and HYPOALLERGENIC TREATS:

SCIENCE DIET FOODS

.

Also, definitely read about ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES (atopy). Some pets, suffer from both environmental and food allergies:

Atopy (environmental allergies)

 

If you want to actual diagnose what in the environment may be causing the allergy, you can do an allergy test. Now, you don't have to shave half the body and do the old grid test on the skin. There is now a rather good blood test that looks for allergies to weeds, trees, grasses!, molds, even house dust mites. You can read more about it here:

 

Testing for Environmental Allergies

.

VARL allergy testing

 

If your veterinarian does not offer VARL, they may offer a comparable company to perform the blood test.

 

It is important to also recognize, once the skin is inflamed or has an odor, there is likely a secondary yeast or bacterial skin infection present. .

Skin Odor/Discharge

 

Especially in younger pets, never forget about mange (mites). Demodex is not contagious, however, scabies or sarcoptic mange is zoonotic. So, keep in mind, when ever someone mentions mange, it is important to distinguish between which mite. To diagnose if there are mites, your veterinarian can perform an easy skin scraping test in the hospital. It is not always 100% accurate, but a good start. It can be difficult sometimes to scrape out the mites.

Demodex

Scabies

Skin Scraping

 

 

 

 

 

TREATMENT OPTIONS (A small representative list - some suggestions you may have already tried)

1. Steroids. Veterinarians will either give an injection that can last from hours to weeks, or send home oral steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone. Steroids can be safe if not used long-term (several months) and if used as directed by your veterinarian. Frequently, the oral steroids will be weaned down to the lowest dose necessary to keep the allergy suppressed.

2. Antihistamines. A prescription of hydroxyzine is common. Sometimes, over-the-counter Benadryl will help. However, for many allergies, antihistamines alone frequently are not good enough to control allergies.

 

Benadryl can be given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight. Keep in mind, Benadryl tablets and liquids come in different sizes. So, an approximately 25 pound dog can get a full 25mg tablet or a half of a 50mg tablet. I usually avoid the liquid Benadryl in larger dogs (you would have to give too much of it). You can give Benadryl every 8-12 hours.

Benadryl

.

Hydroxyzine

 

3. Essential fatty acid supplements. Definitely, if you plan to give an antihistamine long-term,

combine it with an EFA supplement. I prefer the veterinary products, which are already dosed for pets. Your vet

should carry a product on their shelf, or over-the-internet you can look for Aller G3, 3V caps,

EFA-z, or Derm caps. Some vets use a product called Temaril-P. It's an antihistamine with a low-dose steroid built into the same tablet.

 

4. Atopica. Neat stuff. Can take a few weeks to be of benefit. Not the most cost-effective, but can

be incredible for allergies when the above does not work. Read the link below for more

information.

Atopica

 

5. Your vet should also carry some special sprays and shampoos designed for whatever skin condition your pet may have. One of my favorite product lines is called Douxo. They carry various shampoos designed to calm the skin, treat bacteria infections, and help with seborrhea.

Douxo products

 

6. Lastly, oral antibiotics and/or anti-yeast medication, if indicated. Generally, your vet will recommend a simple skin cytology test to see what is on the surface of the skin.

8:12 AM

That really should cover your question.

8:12 AM

Please let me know if I have not covered something.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I also greatly appreciate positive feedback, after you click accept, if you have found the advice helpful or informative. Please remember, it is important that you click "accept" when finished so I can move on to other questions, and so JustAnswer recognizes I have addressed your question. Thanks. Dr. Andy

Customer says: 8:18 AM

how can i print out the info you have told me?

8:19 AM

also...that is not my email addy..it's XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Dr. Andy says: 8:38 AM

I apologize for the delayed response. Another expert would not enable me to get back into the question.

8:38 AM

Unfortunately, no personal emails can come through the website. It's a privacy and safety thing.

8:39 AM

I would recommend cut and pasting the answer into word.

8:39 AM

I will also exit chat. I will resend the entire response, that may make it easier.

8:39 AM

Dr. Andy

Customer says: 8:40 AM

i cant print it

Dr. Andy says: 8:40 AM

I wish I was more computer savvy. I can't say why it won't print. But, if you cut and paste it into a microsoft word document first, then you can print it like any other document you make.

Customer says: 8:40 AM

what do i do?

Dr. Andy says: 8:41 AM

You will always be able to come back adn view my answer after accepting. You won't lose it or any of the links I have provided.

 

 

Please let me know if I have not covered something.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I also greatly appreciate positive feedback, after you click accept, if you have found the advice helpful or informative. Please remember, it is important that you click "accept" when finished so I can move on to other questions, and so JustAnswer recognizes I have addressed your question. Thanks. XXXXX

 

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.

Well I sent the entire response again, so you can cut and paste. That is the best I can do from here.

 

Dr. Andy

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    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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