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Brown Flaky Skin on Dog's Tail

by Jeannette
(Bowie, MD USA)

My dog's tail problem

My dog's tail problem

I have two Flat-Coat Retrievers that have the same problem on their tails. About mid-way through the length of their tail, and on the top side, they both have a nasty build-up of a brown flaky substance.

When I bathed them yesterday, I was careful to gently rub all of the flakiness from their skin. Underneath the flakes, their skin looks irritated and almost like it will bleed. They both have hair missing from these areas as well. I bathed them yesterday, and today, it's still flaky and red.

Thank you,
Jeannette

Comments for Brown Flaky Skin on Dog's Tail

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May 02, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Brown Flaky Skin on Dog's Tail
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jeanette,
From the description and photo, I am suspicious of condition called 'stud' tail in dogs. It is most common in intact male dogs, since this area about 1/3 down on the top or dorsal aspect is the location of a collection of large oil glands. In some cases with a higher level of testosterone, these glands can become inflamed and enlarged, and develop superficial dermatitis, either from bacteria or yeast.

You may need to neuter the dogs to lower the level of testosterone. If the dogs are already neutered, then follow this advice:

Keep the area clean, no need to apply topicals as the dog will just lick it off. Using astringents such as witch hazel, or rubbing alcohol, if it does not sting, will help to remove the excess oil production and shrink the pores.


Feed a healthy wholesome diet, see our page on 10 Best Dog Food options, and consider feeding a raw diet.

Use a minimal dog vaccination schedule. If this condition started after a vaccine was given, then I would consider obtaining an exemption form to 'excuse' them from any more vaccinations. Also, consider an antibody titer for Rabies, Distemper, and Parvo, to check on what their protective levels are, at this time.

In many cases, decreasing the frequency of vaccination is the key to resolving this issue. In some cases, a visit to a holistic veterinarian is in order to reverse or correct the effect of 'vaccinosis'. A holistic veterinarian will discuss supplements and perhaps a homeopathic remedy to help. See our page on alternative medicine for dogs to find out what to expect from a holistic veterinarian.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

May 16, 2011
Brown Flaky Skin reply
by: Jeannette

Thank you very much for this assessment. Both of our dogs are "in tact males", so I'm trying the topical treatment you suggest as my first choice in treatment. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!

May 17, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Brown Flaky Skin on Dog's Tail
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jeannette,
If you do not have any response in three to six weeks (with topical cleaning and diet improvement), you should seek out the help of a holistic veterinarian.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section


Aug 31, 2012
Stud Tail in Labs NEW
by: JC

My male labs tend to have stud tail as well. 2 of them were "cured" as they needed to be neutered for other unrelated reasons.

I do not over-vaccinate or use flea/tick meds. The only vaccination is the 3 yr. rabies as required by law.

While not on a raw diet or premium holistic food, I feed a good quality diet.

I have yet to find anyone that can recommend anything other than neutering the animal.

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