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jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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I have a female Yorkie with severe itching for the past few

Customer Question

I have a female Yorkie with severe itching for the past few months. My vet has tried many different medications on her and has yet to solve the problem. A few days ago I noticed swelling on two of her breast / nipple area. She is not nursing pups and is not "fixed". What could be causing all these issues?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 11 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

It sounds like mites have likely been ruled out.

It says she is 8. Is that 8 years old?

Have you moved recently?

Any change in food or new treats?

Any new cleaning supplies, etc?

Has she been scratching her breast area as well?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
she is 8 years old. Haven't moved. Haven't changed her or used any new cleaning supplies. She has not been scratching her breast area, however, she has been licking the area that's swollen constantly. This area also is a bit discolored. It's a few shades darker than the rest of her chest.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Changed her food***
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

It sounds like she might be having an allergy reaction especially if the scratching started after the change in food. Often manufacturers change a formula as well and a dog is suddenly itchy without a change in diet. It can even be a new dye or preservative in the food. I asked about moving because sometimes if you move to a different area, the dog is exposed to new plants which can set off a reaction.

In addition to allergies causing a reaction, there may be a skin condition such as staph dermatitis or yeast dermatitis. These skin conditions are generally seen with allergies. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching which sounds like what your dog is experiencing on her breast area. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief until your pet can see a Vet. Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours for itching due to allergies.

You can read about allergies here:

Here is a site that goes over itching in dogs.

If the change in food happened before the itching, then you need to switch back and seek treatment for the skin dermatitis again. The allergen needs to be eliminated and then the dermatitis cleared to stop the cycle. If the food was changed after the symptoms, you are going to need to try and isolate what might be causing the allergic reaction. Your vet may have treated a dermatitis but if the underlying cause was not eliminated, the dermatitis might come right back.

Now the swelling of the breast area could indicate a localized reaction to an allergen, but it might also indicate an infection of the breast or a mammary tumor. You can read about both of these conditions here:

I'd probably give the benadryl a try to see if you notice a reduction in symptoms and have her breast area looked at by your vet if there is no improvement. A breast infection can cause serious problems if not addressed quickly.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.