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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11385
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 6 year old unspayed GSP has one very swollen red nipple

Resolved Question:

My 6 year old unspayed GSP has one very swollen red nipple in the middle of her chest. The next two nipples toward her anus are begining to swell and turn red. There are small cursty patches of red inflamed skin on her belly close to the nipples. She is NOT in heat. She is not as energetic and is shedding lots of hair.
Please help.

Thank you,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in.


When was her last heat cycle?


Are the mammary glands enlarged or just the nipples?


Are the swollen nipples painful or uncomfortable if you press on them?


What about any pain when you press on the corresponding mammary glands?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Last heat was approx 6 months a go it was a very light heat.
Mammary glands seen OK
They seem a little uncomfortable she did not cry when I touched it, just moved away.
Corresponding glands seem ok
Expert:  Dr. John replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the information. It sounds like she has a skin infection that has affected the nipples of these mammary glands. It could be an allergy issue or something she came into direct contact with. Being that the nipples are affected as well, it is possible it is a hormonal issue related to an impending heat cycle (if there is usually 6 months between each cycle for her). I would definitely have your vet look at this because most likely she needs to be on some antibiotics and possible anti-inflammatory medication. I would typically use an antibacterial shampoo on the belly a couple times a week as well until it is healed. If symptoms persist or comes back after treatment; I would start looking more for a hormonal cause. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Should I start her on cipro? I don't think this is a allergy, she has had the nipple problem before the rash appeared.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 5 years ago.

I would normally reserve ciprofloxacin if the infection doesn't respond to either a penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotic, but it is definitely an option. While generally safe for dogs, I would just check with your vet to make sure it is safe for her, and that you have enough to at least treat for 3 weeks. More information on it use in dogs is on the website below. Hope this helps.


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