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Dirt-like substance on the underbelly and elbows of my dog

by Camden
(Buckhead, Georgia)

I recently noticed this dirt-like substance on my dog's underbelly. My dog, who is a cocker spaniel, recently had fleas. I treated the fleas with a flea bath (organic oatmeal shampoo) and advantage II. The fleas are no longer a problem.

The dirt-like substance (not sure what you call it) is also near my dog's elbows. There is also a red rash alongside the substance that is on his skin. I've tried wiping the skin, but nothing seems to come off. There really isn't much of an odor, it is a mild smell, but nothing like a yeasty smell.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Dirt-like substance on the underbelly and elbows of my dog

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Dec 14, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Dirt-like substance on the underbelly and elbows of my dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Camden,
The "dirt-like" substance is due to chronic inflammation and debris within the keratin layers of the epidermis. As you have controlled the flea problem, the inflammation will subside from the flea bites and the old superficial skin layers will slough off-- this 'dirt-like' substance (the keratin debris), will disappear as new epidermis is created. He must have been scratching or had some inflammation around his elbows, since you are noticing the same thing in that area.

Different individuals, whether dog, human, cat, etc. will react differently to inflammation, especially when it is secondary to allergic type reactions. It depends on how 'sensitive' they are to the offending antigen.

To help your dog heal, improve his skin even more, and prevent him from future problems, it is important to feed him an optimal diet. Check our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options. Consider feeding your dog a RAW dog food diet. DRY DOG food diets are not healthy for your dog, and certainly not good for healthy skin and hair.

Seeking the help of a local holistic veterinarian will aid you in considering supplements that your dog may need to improve your dog's health.
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

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

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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

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