Since you are offline, I will touch on your current history until you have the chance to provide the further information I have requested.
First, if Bailey has chronic skin issues then it is most likely that the darkening of the skin is due to hyperpigmentation (example on the groin
, example under armpits
, severe example)
. It the melanocyte of the skin's reaction to long term irritation (a phenomena similar to the way our skin darkens when the skin is irritated by sun). In these cases, then skin can become thickened and we see the development of black pigmentation. This is often non-reversable but doesn't cause any issue for them as long as the skin irritation (be it allergies or infection) is treated and settled. Rather it is a side effect of having chronic skin and ear infections.
Furthermore, hair loss at the tail base will also be part of his chronic skin disease. Often it arises because they dog chews this area to relieve the itching. If the area has just balded recently, then this would suggest that the allergy or skin irritant that has been triggering his chronic skin disease is causing him issue at the moment. If you know what allergen triggers his reaction (ie flea saliva, certain diet proteins, pollens), then you do want to make sure he is being treated against these (ie flea preventative, special diet, anti-histamines) to minimize the irritation and thus the need to chew.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX growths, there identity can be one of a few. If they look like pimples or pustules, then they are a sign that he has an active bacterial infection and treatment for his skin would be indicated. If they are firm tissue growths (that are not nipples), then the next most likely differential are warts or skin tags. Otherwise, since he is an older lad, we do have to appreciate that we can see growths and tumors of the older age dog. If those are suspected, the best way to identify them is via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the mass. If pus is removed, then an infection is likely and antibiotics can be dispensed. If clear fluid is found, then it is a cyst and just needs to be monitored. Otherwise, the cells from the FNA are stained and they allow the vets to identify the nature of the mass. Depending on the findings, the vet will be able to guide you on whether these lumps are sinister and require removal or not. (And if he is itchy now, then it may be a good time to have his vet check these while he is being seen for his skin).
Finally, the potential constipation. If he is struggling to pass feces, then there are some home treatments you can try with him. First, we sometimes find that milk can be helpful at getting things moving along. As well, cat hairball medication (ie. Catalax, Laxatone, etc) can be used to get things moving. This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. . Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose (LINK
) or mineral oil orally. If he is eating, these can be mixed into food. If you have to administer via syringe, do take care to avoid aspiration ( since that would cause problems we'd best avoid).
Furthermore, if he is eating, you can mix in some canned pumpkin or a 1/4t teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease him eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into him (as canned food is 35% water). I would also encourage him to drink as constipation can be complicated by dehydration. Make sure he have fresh water and you can even offer low sodium chicken broth if they won’t drink.
While you are doing this, I would advise that you monitor fecal and urinary output.
I would advise trying the above measures, but if you aren't seeing feces in the next 12-24 hours, or your lad begins to vomit, show belly pain, or worsens, then they should be evaluated by a vet. Severe impactions of feces can sometimes be due to more serious health issues and sometimes won’t respond to our gentle colon cleaning treatments requiring more aggressive treatment (ie enemas under sedation).
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
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