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Paw Problem

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Jubilee

Littlest Lee- Lee
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 10:00am PST 
Jubee has a re-occurring paw problem. She's been diagnosed with discoid lupus (sometimes called collie nose). She has the peeling, crusty nose. The nose stays pretty much in-check and doesn't worsen. But her paws will get very red and inflamed between her toes and the pads turn a pink color and build up extra tissue around the claws, then crack. I've been to the vet and he said it could be related to the nose condition or allergies and he prescribes antibiotics, prednisone, and a anti-bacterial foot wash that she soaks daily until it clears up.
Has anyone else with a husky experienced this or have any information on this condition?
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Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 8:00pm PST 
I'm not familiar with "Collie nose." Is your diagnosis based on a symptom picture, or was there an actual test for it?

From reading a bit online, it looks like you should do a biopsy of the area if you haven't already. If that comes back positive, actively work to keep her protected from the sun, and look into alternative medicine for ways to manage the condition. There is no cure for DLE, so anything you give her will be for management. Prescription anti-inflammatories and steroids work, and work quickly, but over time will suppress her system further instead of building it up. They may be necessary from time to time, but the goal should be to stay off them as much as possible.

The only thing I would add is that Huskies are also prone to Zinc Responsive Dermatosis, which presents a very similar symptom picture. It's also almost unheard of outside of Huskies and Malamutes, so many vets are not familiar with it. I have even had vets argue over whether the condition exists. What happens is the dog simply stops absorbing zinc correctly, and needs to have it supplemented back into their diet. It's best to do this with a vet's help, as zinc is not a water-soluble nutrient and you can overdose it - however, it takes a LOT to overdose. There is no test to diagnose ZRD, you start giving supplements and look for improvements in 2 - 4 weeks time.

I don't know if ZRD can happen in addition to DLE, or if zinc - which is good for the skin - is something you should try giving for DLE anyway. Good questions for your vet and further research.
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Jubilee

Littlest Lee- Lee
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 8:17am PST 
Thanks for the all the information.

I diagnosed "collie nose" myself from the Internet. No biopsy has been done. I'm a little disillusioned with my vet. He prescribes without specifically diagnosing. Kind of a "one size fits all" mentality. I've read about the dangers of those drugs so it would be great to fix the problem rather than just treat the symptoms. I've also read about the zinc deficiency and something called hyperkeratosis.

I think I need to find a new vet and get a proper diagnosis so I can resolve the problem or at least know what I'm dealing with.
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Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 9:33am PST 
It's definitely worth looking for a new vet, then. You could also try talking to your current vet about further testing and more specific treatments. It's definitely not a hallmark of a GOOD vet to prescribe NSAID/antibiotics to everyone who walks in, but sadly that's what most people want. Rather than argue, vets just comply. If you do some research, come up with good questions, and start a good conversation you may get further than you think.
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