Causes of Chalky Dog Skin Growths

by Caon and Veterinarian Suggestions for causes of dog skin growths
(West Yorkshire)

Reader Question: What could cause a chalky dog skin growth that snaps off.

Question: Hi, my male King Charles Cavelier aged 7 has something growing out of his coat. It started about 6 months ago. It is chalky and just grows and grows till it snaps off.

If I touch it, it irritates my dog and drives him mad. Can anyone please tell me what it is. My vet did not say anything about it when I pointed it out to him at his last booster date.

Vet Suggestion regarding types of chalky dog skin growths

Hi Coan,

I can’t tell you exactly what the growth is based only on a description, but I can give you a couple of possibilities. Middle aged or older dogs sometimes develop skin tumors that manufacture keratin. This can result in a hard growth that protrudes from the skin.

Another possibility is a tumor that secretes sebum. This is normally an oily/waxy substance, but can dry to a consistency that is similar to what you describe. The last thing that comes to mind is a condition called calcinosis cutis in which calcium is deposited in the skin making it hard and somewhat “chalky.” Cacinosis cutis is most often associated with Cushing’s disease, which also usually makes dogs eat, drink, urinate, and pant more than normal.

If you are not happy with your veterinarian’s response to your concerns, you should schedule an appointment at a different clinic for a second opinion.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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