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Strange Dog Skin Condition

by Erica
(Denver, CO)

under side front paw

under side front paw

under side front paw
Inbetween toes
Low belly(also apparent in this photo the black bump I mentioned)

My dog has a strange skin condition. I have spent some time looking online at symptoms and pictures and nothing seems to fit the bill.

Troy is apx. 7 year old (I got him at the dumb friends leauge in October of 2007 and they told me he was around 1.5 or 2) male border collie mix with some giant breed. He's about 80lbs.

He has been becoming increasingly itchy in the past few weeks on his belly, groin and paws. The hair has become pink tinged which does not go away with washing. The follicles seem to be excreting a small amount of dark brown discharge which can be seen around the root of the hair or drying into tiny black balls clinging to his long hair.

There are also about four black bumps which do not shrink or grow, seem hard to the touch and don't seem fluid filled or scab like.

Two years ago I noticed this on a smaller scale after a visit to Nebraska where he got off leash and disappeared into a cow field for a few hours. His vet prescribed benzoyl peroxide shampoo which seemed to clear it up at the time.

I noticed him itching a little more than usual about a month ago but didn't see the symptoms described above until about 2 weeks ago. I would guess that this is a fungal or bacterial infection but maybe parasitic.

I shy away from prescription drugs for my self and my whole family but would get them if that was the best thing for it.

I feed Troy a brand of food called Kumpi which I think has great ingredients and he has done very well on for about 3years now. Any suggestions would be great. Troy is the best dog in the world and his discomfort is a distress to us all!


Comments for Strange Dog Skin Condition

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Jul 16, 2012
My Online Vet Response For: Strange Dog Skin Condition
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Erica,
From the photos you submitted of Troy's skin, this is a common condition caused by a contact allergy. Troy has caused saliva staining of his hair on his feet/toes from licking, and the brown exudate is from yeast buildup. The 4 dark bumps you see are his nipples, that have darkened due to chronic inflammation of his skin.

"Kumpi Dog Food" from Aurora, Colorado, is a DRY dog food. Although it has an adequate source of Omega 3 oils (which should help the skin and hair coat stay healthy), it seems that Troy has developed a contact allergy to something, and with chronic itching/licking, he now has a secondary yeast infection which a DRY dog food is NOT going to clear up.

Troy needs more moisture in his food. You will need to start introducing a canned food or better yet, a RAW diet for Troy. See our page on Raw Dog Food Diets or our 10 Best Dog Food Options page.

Also, vaccinations should be eliminated until he is completely healthy and his skin is back to normal, for at least 3 years. You may need to obtain an exemption form from a holistic veterinarian to exempt him from Rabies.

He will need an oatmeal shampoo one time per week to control the itching and make him more comfortable, and daily apple cider vinegar foot baths to soak his feet for a few minutes every time he comes in from outside to treat the yeast (you may need to dilute the vinegar slightly with water, since some dogs are VERY sensitive to the smell!). Dry the feet after the foot soak, but do not rinse off the vinegar.

Make him wear a white cotton T-shirt when inside, or whenever he may try to scratch himself, to protect his skin while you are improving his diet over the next 3-6 weeks. You might also need to consider immune support, such as the following:

1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder


Jul 16, 2012
My Online Vet Response For: Strange Dog Skin Condition-PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Erica,
Here is the rest of my response-
A holistic veterinarian could help 'fine tune' treatment even more with homeopathic remedies.

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

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
. 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

Jul 24, 2012
so helpful! thank you Dr. Tillman
by: Erica

This was exactly the help I needed. Your advice was wonderful and I'm incredibly grateful for the service you provide. Troy is doing very well on his new diet and his skin is healing already. I don't think I could have received care/advice this good from any vet I have ever seen.

Again, from someone who loves their dog very much and trusts their ability to care for their well-being, but doesn't have a lot of money, the service you provide is invaluable.

Thanks so much. I will share this site with all my animal loving friends and check in next time I have a question.

Jan 07, 2015
Thank you so very much
by: Rhonda

Greetings Dr. Tillman,

Thank you so very much for providing such a detailed description of the steps to take to get my dog on the road to recovery. My dog Winnie is experiencing the same exact symptoms as the young lady that wrote earlier. I will take this information and put it to use. I will be in touch in a few weeks regarding my results. Again, thank you.


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