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Itchy by tail

Species: Dog
Breed: Japanese Chin
Age: 1-2 years
Dr. Marie, my dog always kind of chews/bites/scratches under the right side of his tail. I looked at that spot and noticed that bits of hair were being held by dry blood over a lump the size of a quarter. As i peeled back as much hair as I could to see what it was, a small amount of puss seemed to leak out. The area seems slightly swollen and there is a ring of dry blood around it. He does have fleas, I don't think he has any ticks. What could it be?? Thank you.

Related Article: How to get rid of fleas!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Teddy is having these problems.

If Teddy has fleas then this is likely the source of his skin irritation. Most likely Teddy is allergic to flea bites. When a dog has a flea allergy then the area around the tail is the most common area that is affected. The second most common area is the back of the neck.

The skin irritation sounds like it is infected. It may have become something called a hot spot which is a localized area of infection. If this is the case then he will likely need to see a vet for antibiotics and possibly some steroids for the itch.

Another possibility, if the lump is just below and to one side of the anus is an anal sac abscess which would have nothing to do with the fleas.

In either case, it sounds like a vet visit is necessary. Until you can get there it is a good idea to wash the area a few times a day with warm water. There is likely no over the counter medicine that is likely to be effective.

I hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.