Skin issue of french bulldog
by Ronald Robertson
(Seattle, Wa USA)
brown on skin and bump close up
My dog has a chain of small bumps (that ooze when scratched) from her righ paw, up her leg, across her chest and neck and up to one ear. The bumps are followed by "brown stuff" where she scratches that won't wash away.
She is a 3 year old fawn french bull dog that has been on Levothyroxin for about 2 years. I got her 4 months ago with a file folder of vet records.
I understood that she had health issues and familiarized myself with her needs. The change of environment from central Texas to Seattle, Washington was an adventure for her health.
She has food allergies that are known from observation, such as chicken. Having given her the wrong foods in our first month I saw directly how she reacts: hot red skin that is very itchy.
When I got her she also had some ear and groin yeast, which got significantly worse after her reaction to foods and a consequent period of being on Temeril-P and benadryl for the allergic reaction.
Fortunately, she is fawn-colored and skin issues are fairly easy to spot as they happen even if I don't know what is going on.
The rash and hives from a combination of yeast and allergens left her quite itchy. She would scratch at her neck and chest and sides of her head, and she would drag her belly on the carpet to scratch herself, leading to inflamed skin and irritated teets.
At that point I had begun giving her the Temeril-p that came from her previous home, since they had already established what would happen with the dog's allergies and thyroid condition.
Before the skin got bad I took her to the vet for her ears, which I cleaned regularly with "mad about organics" "Fresh Ear" rinse alternated with aloe juice, using a rolled up cotton pads. Went from loads of brown guck to nearly clear, but I coudn't get it all.
The vet told me to continue Temeril-P and to use banadryl for the itchiness. He gave me Gentizole for the brown smelly yeast in the ears and a keticonozole shampoo and leave on lotion for her body. At that time he said the yeast could spread from ears to underbelly.
I was diligent about the ears and got them clear, but as my vet said the dark brown went to her underbelly.
I couldn't get the groin yeast to clear up. There were brown flakes on her groin folds that wouldn't wash off, blistering around the brown flakes and increase in the brown coating on the hair and follicles at the groin. This led me to consult a nurse friend who also has a frenchie.
She said to try myconazol for the groin and cautioned against using steriods like temeril-p while there was a yeast infection. She said fungal infections and steroid are a bad combo.
I solved most of the itching problem by having clean laundered kid's shirt for her to wear, I washed her with the soap as needed and kept her dry.
Her face skin folds during this time would get inflamed. With the allergies, her weepy eyes would keep the skin folds wet and irritated. Hypoallergenic baby wipes helped, but I found a daily wipe with a white vinegar water solution was good and organic coconut oil on her face and paws cleared up irritations and pinkness.
Yet the skin got a weird dark brown stuff on it. At first I discovered that if I put the ketaconozole lotion on without wiping the skin clean, that the lotion that was applied to the skin would just get dirty looking.
At one point her whole under belly was brown.
But even after I started rinsing the old lotion off there was a brown tinge that remained. The skin irritation would not stop despite far less scratching and rubbing.
The scratching and rubbing inflamed the skin and I used bactrim ointment on the spots she couldn't lick.
Speaking with her former owner, I was told that the skin develops staph and an antibiotic was required.
I spoke with the vet and went over the situation and he concurred. A round of Cephlexin was prescribed. About 3/4 the way through that everything cleared up beautifully.
Through this I also chose to switch her from the established Limited Ingredient Diet by "Natural Balance" ( potato/duck, sweetpotato fish, and sweet potatoe venison ) to a raw frozen diet called Instinct by Nature's Variety - mostly from me researching dog diets and allergies. What I saw taught me that a dog has a harder time digesting starches and has better digestion of meats.
I also began adding a dollop of yogurt to her food as we went through the antibiotic and also using Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotic.
Following directions from her previous owner I had been giving her "dermapet" "Eicosaderm epa 360 mg/dha 240 mg" in the morning. And at night "k-9 liquid health" "Glucosamine & HA. As the skin conditions got real bad I suspected that this combo was also putting a stress on the dog. So at the time I switched from kibble to raw meat diet I quit using both the dermapet and k-9 liquid health.
Everything has been going well. From what I read the diet change can take months to see lasting results. And my hope is that reducing the digestive stress from hard to digest food and supplements with the addition of enzymes and probiotics will provide her body with what it needs to function better.
Then a a week or so ago I noticed a lot of itching by my dog. This time it was not accompanied by the allergic type reaction and after about a day I noticed she had a chain of small bumps from her right paw, up her leg, across her chest and neck and up to one ear. Where she could scratch the bumps she would do so until red and oozing.
I kept washing, drying and applying batrim ointment. I gave her a dose of frontline. She had not had any flea guard since I gave her Advantage in October.
The last few days the brown stuff has come back in the area she itched. Though the bumps, which I assume are bites, have healed enough they aren't itchy anymore. But this brown skin amidst the dark scabs from the bumps she scratched raw give me concern.
The brown looks like dirty skin, but when washed with soap and water it does not go away completely. There is no noticeable odor. The skin is not thickening. It just looks like brown smeared in the pores of her skin. The picture shows her neck, though the flash reveals more pink than I had seen without the bright light.
Is this brownish stuff on her skin a sign of bacterial infection? Fungal infection?
I applied the myconozol once but it had not immediate effect. I washed with the keticonozol once but no effect. Everything else seem okay. Skin folds, toe folds, groin, underbelly, etc.
It seems to get darker and lighter. She has three of the scabbed bumps at the peripheral of the brown spot, but I keep them cleaned and moist with ointment so as not to get dry, crusty and itchy.