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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28457
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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We have a 7 year old cockerspaniel that ha ben diagnosed

Customer Question

hi, we have a 7 year old cockerspaniel that ha ben diagnosed with under active thyroid. she has been on the medication for 7 months. She has now started biting at her paws and legs until it bleeds and her paws are starting to go a black colour on top. Her eyes have become extremely droopy. Is this still thyroid?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Tazzy. No, the pruritis (itchiness) you're seeing isn't consistent with hypothyroidism which should be well-regulated after 7 month of supplementation in any event. Biting at those areas is consistent with both atopy (allergies to environemental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) and food intolerance and the "black" you're seeing is consistent with a secondary yeast (Malassezia) infection but can also be seen secondary to any chronic inflammatory skin disorder. "Droopy eyes" can result from skin inflammation around the eyes which would be considered to be part of her overall allergic dermatitis but also be due to neurologic disorders such as facial nerve paralysis and Horner's syndrome. Cockers appear to be over-represented with idiopathic (unknown cause) facial nerve paralysis.

Tazzy will need to be re-examined by her vet at your earliest convenience. A cytology - microscopic examination of a small sample of her affected skin surface for abnormal numbers of bacteria or yeast - needs to be performed and testing for atopy and food intolerance should be considered. We can test for atopy with either blood or skin scratch tests and we can test for a food intolerance with presumptively hypoallergenic diets - the best of which are prescription diets available through Tazzy's vet.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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