Scaly Skin Growth on Dog's Elbow
(Indiana, PA, USA)
Scaly Growth on Left Elbow
A few weeks ago, while brushing Max, I found something 'stuck' in his fur on his left elbow. He had just visted the groomer a few days before, so I found this very odd. It looked like dirty chewing gum, roughly the size of a quarter.
I tried to tug on it a bit to remove it from his fur, with no luck. Upon further inspection, I realized it wasn't gum, it was his skin! I panicked for a moment, and then checked the rest of his body for any other crazy patches, finding he had a smaller patch on his right elbow, about the size of a dime.
Max, an 8 year old Lab/Rottweiler mix, has always been in good health since I adopted him as a puppy. He's the correct weight. He's never had any pressing health issues other than an allergic reaction to fleas several years ago.
I treat him with Frontline during the warmer months, and he is up to date on his vaccines. Being that he is older, Max gets a multi-vitamin, a dog aspirin, and a glucosamine tablet daily. I've noticed this has improved his mobility; he went from acting stiff and sore to bouncing around like a puppy again.
I've done numerous internet searches trying to find out exactly what it is, but found nothing. The skin protrudes out through the hair, much like a skin tag would, but is flat so it's a flap of skin instead of a ball. It's very scaly, and gray, with a very reptilian feel and appearance.
At first I thought it could be some type of wart, but all the pictures I've seen of warts on dogs are round and pink, not flat and gray. I tried to take pictures, but they turned out blurry.
I've been keeping an eye on both of his elbows, and there seems to be no changes, good or bad. However, I've noticed Max does lick and chew at them occasionally so I know they must be irritating him.
I'm very concerned. My mom suggested that maybe it's a callous caused by friction when he lays on the carpet. I considered this idea, but noticed that the growth is higher up on his elbow and doesn't come in contact with the carpet when he's laying on the floor - it's at least a good inch above the point of contact.
I'd like to know what this growth is and how to treat it, if I can treat it myself, or if I should make an appointment with my vet.
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