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Daisy's Mom
9th November 2009, 02:41 PM
I titled the thread like that because my other option was "Crusty Nipples" and I didn't think that was appropriate! :rolleyes:

I made a vet appointment for tomorrow because Daisy has been itching a lot and she has given herself a raw spot in her right armpit. She also often startles and jumps up turning around to bite at her rear end. So, of course, I am worried about SM and I'm planning to talk to him about that.
But in addition to that, 2 of her nipples have turned very black and the area surrounding them is very dry and "crusty" looking. The skin is kind of thickened around the nipple, but I wouldn't say there are any lumps (thank goodness). There is also a small black dot directly above each nipple. They almost look like seed ticks, but I'm afraid to pull them off in case they are part of her. And they are exactly the same size in exactly the same place above each nipple. Weird.

The darkened nipples have been coming on a while, but it has now gotten to where I definitely think it needs to be looked at. I actually asked the vet about them probably 2 years ago because they were slowly getting darker and kind of dotted-looking and he looked at me like I was crazy. At the time, I had removed a tick from near one of her nipples and I was afraid that the head was still embedded there, but he said "That is her nipple!" in kind of a surprised voice and I felt stupid and never mentioned it again. They have continued to grow darker since then, but the crusty appearance is new.

That does not seem normal to me for a 3 1/2 year old dog who was spayed at 8 months. My other dogs who were all spayed had such tiny nipples that you really couldn't even see them. I looked online (of course), and the major thing I could find consistent with this is an excess of estrogen, which could only be happening if the vet who spayed her accidentally left in one of her ovaries. The website said that if this happens, the chance of an ovarian tumor is quite high, higher than if she was never spayed.

Anyone else's Cavalier have large, very dark, dry nipples? (She's a Blenheim if that makes any difference.)

Kizzys Mum
9th November 2009, 03:58 PM
Hi,
Our situation may be a bit different to yours, as Kizzy is approximately 4 and was used for 3+ years as a breeding bitch. She had pretty much what you were describing - a dark, crusty buildup on 2 nipples (closest to her bum). We took her to the vet who said it was nothing that concerned her. She recommended using a gentle moisturising cream (such as E45, but not sure if you can get that in the states). Well, I applied it twice and the crusty stuff began to come off! So now they are completely fine. I'm not sure if this is exactly the same as what you're describing, it's hard to tell without pictures. But I hope it's nothing sinister and can be sorted as easily as Kizzy's problem.

Margaret C
9th November 2009, 04:04 PM
Not sure about the 'seed ticks' but the dark area around the nipples is not uncommon.
Some dogs can also develop a crusty area each side of their sheath. If you rub vaseline on this crusty dark area you may find, over time, that it will loosen and fall off.

Wagtails
9th November 2009, 08:47 PM
I've had several bitches with this condition, but it's never been a real problem. Will try the E45/vaseline tips though - thanks to Kizzy's Mum and Margaret.

I think I do know what you mean about "seed ticks" too - little black raised spots, a bit like blackheads? They do come out if squeezed, but it's probably not to be recommended as the girls don't like it one bit!

Good luck with your visit to the vet and don't be put off. If you have concerns, they should be addressed sympathetically - otherwise, you could always change your vet icon_nwunsure

Karen and Ruby
9th November 2009, 11:39 PM
When Ruby was spayed at 16 months the plaster she had left behind sticky black stuff on 3 of her nipples and the stickyness went away but the back didnt.
But yes she has 2 very flat largish nipples that are very dark in colour and the rest are quite nipply (cant think of another word)- not flat but they stick out and are pink.
I always just thought it was theplaster but then she has many baths and swim sessions since and it is still there!!:rolleyes: And yes they are dry also

Karlin
9th November 2009, 11:49 PM
Well this has to rank as one of the more interesting threads! :lol: Of course I hope you have nothing to worry about on all counts. I like the choice of thread title but bet we'd have gotten loads of hits on the site if 'crusty nipples' had been picked up by search engines as a thread title. :wink:

Sounds like maybe this particular oddness is nothing to be concerned about.

Of my girls only lucy who has had puppies has really large nipples. Not dry though, but they did go black, some of them (she's blenheim).

I remember on one board or list someone posting a funny thread about how she was really alarmed at black spots appearing on her blenheim's paw pads. She was sure this was oil and had scrubbed and scrubbed but couldn't get it off. Of course it was just that some of them do get black spots on their paws over time for some reason. :lol: She felt bad that she'd been scrubbing this poor puppy's little feet to wash off the 'oil'. It is curious though how the pink skin can go black. Happened with some of Jaspar's paws.

Daisy's Mom
10th November 2009, 02:40 AM
Thanks, everyone! That does make me feel better that it is probably not some sort of scary estrogen problem, but just some weird Cavalier skin thing. And like some of you said with your dogs, it is just the two nipples closest to her bottom. The rest look what I would consider to be normal. BTW, Daisy does have black on the pads of her feet, too.

If the vet says something useful or interesting about the nipple thing, I'll be sure to post back. He is a real sweetheart, by the way. I hope he has some knowledge or experience with SM. It'll be interesting to see what he says about that. I actually think her itching has been less frequent the last few days. I've been putting an aloe/lydocaine itch cream on her underarm, so that may be helping. I tend to be paranoid about the SM issue, as I'm sure many of us on this board are.

murphy's mum
10th November 2009, 11:58 AM
When we got Misty all her nipples were black. She had been used a breeding bitch before we rescued her. The vet had said it was ingrained dirt, poor lamb.

Now after bathing and moisturising she only has 2 dirty black nipple, the ones closest to her bum as well. We're working on them at the moment, as the skin underneath is lovely and pink.

dyrojo
10th November 2009, 08:09 PM
Just to be a little different, some of my Charlies nipples have recently turned black (mainly around the outside with some pink in the middle) but they're not dry. Maybe it happens to boys and girls, but then when we're in the park people are always asking me if he's a bitch so maybe he's just very in touch with his feminine side :lol:

Daisy's Mom
11th November 2009, 12:04 AM
Well, we just got back from the vet and she said Daisy has allergies, inflamed skin, and a yeast infection. Her skin is very pink all over, and she said that the nipple crust was definitely a yeast infection. She scraped a lot of the crust off with her fingernail and it came right off.

I had seen the spot under her arm was really red where she had been scratching, but I never really noticed the rest of her skin being so pink until she showed me. I guess I forgot what color normal skin is. So now Daisy is on a special shampoo twice a week, an anti-fungal twice a day, an anti-inflammatory with a steroid twice a day, an antibiotic for the bacterial infection she got under her arm from scratching, and a stool hardener for her soft poops! Whew! Quite an arsenal! Luckily, all of this is temporary, at least as far as we know. She goes back in 2 weeks to look at her skin again.

The vet said that the extremely rainy summer and fall we have had here in Tennessee is causing lots of dogs to be allergic (probably to mold) that have never shown any signs of allergies before. I asked her if she thought this was now going to be a constant battle with Daisy, and she said it might be a seasonal thing that would recur, but most dogs with chronic allergies present much younger than Daisy, so she is hoping it is just a one-time thing from the long period of rainy weather.

So the good news, though, is that it definitely looks like the scratching is due to allergies and the yeast infection, and not SM. So that's a relief at least. She said we should see a stop to the scratching really quick on this medicine.

Just thought some of you might want a "crusty nipple" update!

Wagtails
11th November 2009, 09:11 AM
Oh dear, poor Daisy - but glad to hear that it is something treatable and, hopefully, temporary. :)

So perhaps those of us who still have the "crusty nipple" brigade will only have to worry if there's a lot of scratching. I can't say any of mine have ever been bothered by their "little problem", thank goodness icon_whistling

Karlin
12th November 2009, 07:44 PM
Oh, poor thing, what a range of treatments! But she will feel so much better. Hope it's just a once-off as well. :flwr:

Daisy's Mom
12th November 2009, 08:25 PM
She's doing really well already. I think I've only seen her scratch once in the last 2 days, so that's great. She's happy and energetic and hasn't thrown up since we were at the vet on Tuesday. I've been looking at her skin and it really isn't that pink. In fact, I had kind of forgotten about this until it dawned on me the other day after we got home from the vet. When Daisy gets upset or stressed, her skin does turn bright pink, or at least it used to. We used to talk about it when she was a puppy. Her belly would turn bright pink like she is blushing/flushing. So honestly, I don't know that her skin is really inflamed as the vet thought. I think Daisy was just stressed out being there. I could be wrong, though.

So maybe some of this medicine is a bit of overkill, but since it's working on the itching and hopefully on the yeast, I'll finish it all out. Hopefully the crusty nipples will clear up soon! If it ever dries out a little bit around here and gets cold, whatever is causing her allergies might go away, too.

Poor beautiful Daisy. Not so pretty right now when she turns over for a belly rub. :( I may try the Vaseline idea and see if I can get some of it off without hurting her. She didn't react when the vet scraped some of it off, but I'm too afraid I will hurt her or cause an infection or something.

diddy
12th November 2009, 08:34 PM
Glad to see she's feeling better now.:)