Breed: French Bulldog
Location: Anna Texas
About John Merrick:
He’s only 10 months old, he has a severe cleft lip and in addition his face and his ears are consumed with what I’m just not sure. We were told it was hyperkeratosis but if it is, it’s not like any hyperkeratosis I’ve ever seen before. Dr. Reno says we can’t rule out demodex that’s out of control, it could be fungal, or something else altogether.
Julie and I took him to the tub and began soaking and scrubbing and got a lot of it off but there is still much more where that came from. He has nothing on any other part of his body, it’s all on his face and his ears.
John Merrick went off to see the dermatologist yesterday and she got me on the phone while he was there with Julie. First thing she said was oooooh this is an interesting one and she took him off to go show all the other dermatologists in the office.
There’s a few things that we might be looking at but the one thing they are leaning towards the most is an abnormality in zinc absorption, they have seen this before and most of the dogs that have this do recover with zinc supplements. The second thing it could be is severe food allergy and the third is a problem with vitamin A.
They asked if they could take punch biopsies of a couple of places on his ears where they could send those off. The biopsies will take 7 to 10 business days to come back but if it is either one of those deficiencies ( zinc or vitamin A) it will show in the biopsy. If those are negative we would be looking at an odd food allergy so to start with we will be doing everything, the biopsies were done yesterday and he has been put on a hydrolyzed protein diet that will basically be different than anything he’s ever eaten. If the biopsies come back positive then we know its not food related and he will return to eating a normal diet. A zinc supplement will be started right away to see if it helps while we wait.
I asked if anything can be done for him in the meantime and she has put him on steroids and antibiotics for the secondary infection that he still has from all of this crust. She said we could try soaking it soft and removing it just like we have been but you need to know that it will always come back until we get to the root of what is causing it. The good news is if it’s the abnormality in zinc absorption they typically have good results with treating it so we are certainly hoping for that to be thee culprit.