Yoko is an adorable eight-year-old French Bulldog that was relinquished to Bulldog Haven NW by her prior family. They loved her very much, but she had developed severe skin issues and her family exhausted all their abilities to treat her. They had to make the very difficult decision to surrender her to the rescue so she could continue to have all of her growing needs met. Bulldog Haven NW brought her into the Animal Medical Center of Seattle’s dermatology clinic for chronic pruritus (itchy skin) July of 2020. Initially, Yoko’s skin looked thick and dry (think elephant skin). She was severely itchy and when she didn’t have an e-collar on, she would scratch uncontrollably.

Yoko had an infection that was secondary to the underlying cause of her skin issues. Yeast overgrowth and bacterial infections are common during a flare due to breakdown of the skin barrier and trauma from scratching. At first, the focus was on getting the infection under control so we could get Yoko more comfortable. She was placed on antibiotics, an antifungal and topical antiseptic treatment. At Yoko’s recheck a month later, her infections had almost completely resolved. However, she continued to have abnormal and itchy skin. A skin punch biopsy was performed and she was ultimately diagnosed with zinc responsive dermatosis. Zinc-responsive dermatosis is a disorder where there is abnormal skin production due to a deficiency in zinc. She was started on steroids and will need to be on zinc supplementation for the rest of her life. Thankfully, the zinc supplement is very affordable and easy to administer as a chewable which Yoko eats willingly.

Yoko has become very well known in the dermatology department at AMCS getting to know Dr. Edginton as well as her dermatology technicians Alexia, Meg and Jessica. Her adoptive family continues these checkups to maintain all the progress she has made. Yoko is always so excited to go in for her appointments. She’s a great patient and knows she will get lots of attention. It’s not just our dermatology team who have started a Yoko fan club. She has also been seen by our internal medicine and surgery teams for some GI issues, palate resection and hernia repair. She is doing great and we’re happy to report she’s a 1 on the itch scale when she was easily a 9 or 10 when she started her journey. Her skin is healthy and free of infection and her hair has started to grow in nicely.

Yoko is now able to enjoy her crinkly toys, playing tug of war, chase, and protecting the yard from bunny invaders, itch free!