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Sorrel's Lip Fold Dermatitis

Sorrel, a lovely 3 year old Cocker Spaniel, was brought to us with a recurring dermatitis of the lower lips at each side of her mouth.

The skin was red and swollen, covered with matted fur and smelled bad.

She clearly found the dermatitis irritating and frequently tried to rub her lips with her paws and rub her face along the carpet.

Lip fold dermatitis is a common skin disease of the lips of dogs, especially those with a little more skin on their face than they really need.

Excess skin results in skin folds which, once they become inflamed, swell and deepen, further encouraging bacterial growth. Mild cases can be managed by regular facial hygiene, washing the folds 2 - 3 times a week with antiseptic shampoo (usually Malaseb).

Sorrel was treated with Malaseb and antibiotics but the condition kept returning.

Surgical correction involved removal of the skin folds, a sort of face lift of the lips.

Sorrel under general anaesthetic with the lip fold dermatitis clip and cleaned ready for surgery.

Surgical removal of the inflamed skin folds

Surgery completed, skin sutures placed.

The same procedure was performed on both sides of the mouth.

Sorrel was given anti-inflammatories and antibiotics for a week.

There was a partial breakdown of some of the sutures during healing but the wounds healed well without further intervention. The stitches were taken out after 2 weeks and Sorrel was back to normal.

She has had no further problems with lip fold dermatitis since.

Skin fold dermatitis can occur wherever excess skin causes skin folds:

  • Facial folds in Boxers
  • Pekingese and other short nosed breeds
  • Corkscrew tail folds in Bulldogs
  • Vulval folds in overweight dogs
  • Anywhere on a Shar Pei!

Most can be corrected by nip and tuck surgery.


Page updated 19th Mar 2014, 18:19
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