Birkenshaw – December 2017
This is 9-year-old Coco, a Boxer dog, who is the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for December 2017.
Coco has had a long history here at Yorkshire Vets. Way back in 2011, she came to see us with sore ears, which we treated with ear drops. Then, in 2012, she came in to see us with skin lesions between her toes. These lesions were inflamed and sore, so we prescribed some antibiotics to help them heal. After a few weeks, Coco’s lesions had dried up and healed. At this point, we were able to sign her off but also advised her owners that skin problems such as this are prone to recurrence.
Recurrent Skin Problems
Around a year later, Coco was back again. This time, she had developed skin problems on her neck, as well as another lesion between the toes on one of her feet. Initially, we were able to clear this issue up with medication, but unfortunately, only a month later, the problem returned. At this stage, we performed some tests in order to find out why these skin problems were recurring. After the results of these tests came back, we discovered that Coco was suffering from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). The symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary hugely from dog to dog but can include skin problems such as those experienced by Coco.
Over the following years, we continued to support Coco’s hypothyroidism with medication. Throughout this time, we regularly tested her blood to ensure that her medication remained effective. She suffered from occasional skin flare-ups and developed a couple of lumps, which needed surgical removal. One of these surgeries involved the amputation of a toe. Unfortunately, Coco’s skin recently took a turn for the worse and became flaky. We discussed the best options for Coco’s continued treatment with her owners and decided to refer her to a skin specialist.
Following further investigation, the specialist found Cheyletiella mites present on Coco’s skin. This is a very uncommon mite to find and is completely unrelated to her other skin problems! The specialist prescribed some further medications, which were able to resolve this additional problem. Coco was also diagnosed with allergies, which have been contributing to her skin problems over the years. She now appears to be doing well and, because of her long-term health problems and repeated visits, we think she is a worthy winner of our Pet of the Month award. Well done Coco!