Carolina Dog: American Dingo?


A pair of Carolina dogs. Characteristic features include a fishhook tail, large upright ears and using the snout to dig holes.
Image: wikicommons/Flaxseedoil/Riverside Rescue
      Jack Hitt of the New York Times recently wrote about what is considered ‘A Truly American Dog’. In South Carolina, Don Anderson owns seven of what may be dogs that preceded the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
      These are Carolina dogs and to the casual observer, they certainly look like dogs but careful observation highlights the uniqueness of this animal. They have jackal-like ears fully erect and fishhook tails that twitch eager in anticipation. Walking in their habitat is a challenge in agility because of the Carolina dogs’ defining habit of digging pits or gallon-sized holes in the ground. Dogs digging holes is nothing new, but the Carolina dog attains this feat with his snout; perhaps it was to find roots or nutrients in the ground. Additionally, he covers his droppings using his snout, not his hindquarters as do other dogs.
       Most Carolina dogs are ginger-colored, but they can be black and piebald and usually short-haired.
But where did they come from if they were possibly present to witness the landing of Europeans on American shores? (cont. page 2)


Four Residents Join Animal Dermatology Clinic in July



      Animal Dermatology Clinic is pleased to announce the arrival of four new residents that have accepted an invitation to join our group.
      The Veterinary Dermatology Resident undergoes a rigorous 3-year program in preparation to take board examinations to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. All residents who are selected for the program are licensed veterinarians who have proven skill and knowledge along with a keen interest in the specialized field of dermatology.
      This month introduces Dr. Catherine Milley. Dr. Milley grew up in western Canada where she earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Calgary and went on to graduate from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Upon graduation Dr. Milley worked for one year at a mixed large and small animal practice in a small town in Alberta seeing her patients in-clinic and on-farm. Her next six years were spent practicing small animal medicine and surgery at a busy hospital in St. Albert, Alberta. It was here that Dr. Milley discovered her passion for dermatology and decided to pursue a specialty career in the field. Dr. Milley accepted a (continued, page 2)

Carolina Dog, continued

       There is much discussion of the origins of the domesticated dog. Some say the Middle East while others have identified an area south of the Yangtze River in China. During the Ice Age, the land bridge connected North America to Asia and migration of people and pets may their way across some 12,000 years ago. As the migration headed south through North America, Carolina dogs, then, could have followed their masters and wandered off to take up residence in swampy areas to seek shelter from predators. Canine DNA study validates that the Carolina dog is absent of genetic markers indicative of European origin, suggesting they arrived in an earlier migration from Asia.
      Efforts were rewarded to get the Carolina dog recognized by the United Kennel Club when its unique and rare traits were identified. Besides their fishhook tail, pointed face and habit of digging with their snouts, it is the cooperation of the pack when hunting that further defines them. When hunting, it is said that they use their white hindquarters as signals. Their fishhook tail can be raised in the air and switched back and forth and rest of the pack will honor the signal. Carolina dogs typically go into heat once a year, like wolves. Domesticated dogs usually go into heat twice.
       The Carolina dog is part of a unique club of canines with a dingo-like appearance and withstanding difficult living conditions: the Canaan dog of Israel, the Santal hound of India, the Jindo of Korea, the African basenji and more. Images of these dogs are oddly similar to the Carolina dog.
What further underscores their similarity is that these primitive dogs started living near human encampments and steadfastly remained along with probably the first origins of “Mom, look what I found, can we keep him?”
Source: New York Times, July 16, 2013

New Residents at ADC, continued


residency position with Animal Dermatology Clinic - Louisville and is excited to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the country.
Away from work Dr. Milley enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs. She loves to travel, bake and spend time outdoors.

      Dr. Kimberly Lo completed her bachelor's degree at UC San Diego and in 2012, graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Prior to accepting a Residency position at Animal Dermatology Clinic in 2013, she completed a one year rotating internship at VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists.
      Dr. Lo has a strong interest in both allergies and autoimmune skin diseases. She is excited to start seeing cases in our Tustin and San Diego, CA offices.
In her free time, she enjoys dancing, traveling, and spending time with her friends, husband, and dog, Trudy.

Next month’s issue of Derm Digest will introduce two more new Residents.

Ask the Dermatologist:  Swimming and Ear Infections?


     Summer is here and our leisure activities often include our dogs’ participation. Most, if not all dogs, enjoy a dip every now and then to cool off.
     As our first question for our new column, Ask the Dermatologist, Connor P. of Yorba Linda, CA asks:
Is it true that ear infections can be caused by swimming in the pool or ocean?
     That is an excellent question! There are numerous factors that lead to a dog developing an ear infection. First, there is the primary cause or underlying condition. This is most often allergy related, but there are other conditions such as parasites, anatomic abnormalities, genetic skin abnormalities, hypothyroidism or metabolic disorders and even cancers that can affect the ears. Then there are what is called perpetuating and predisposing factors such as excessive cleaning, the use of inappropriate cleaning products, chronic changes to the ears because of past infections and even swimming that contribute to development of infection or worsening of an already present problem.
     Generally, canine ear disease is a prevalent and persistent problem and accounts for up to 15% of all canine veterinary case presentations! The large variety and quantity of products sold to treat and prevent ear infections (both over the counter and prescription medications) demonstrates the demand for a wide range of therapeutics for this condition. If your dog has a primary condition that could lead to ear infections, such as allergies, addressing that condition is the most important factor in controlling ear infections. When allergic dogs (or dogs with other primary conditions) go swimming there are products that can be applied after the swim to prevent the development of ear infections. The product chosen is individually chosen based on your pet’s condition and your veterinary dermatologist can help you with that. It is also important that dogs with such conditions swim in clean water as environmental organisms can cause severe problems in already damaged ears. Dogs that do not have allergies or other underlying conditions should not generally develop ear infections from swimming or normal ear cleaning.
     Response provided by Dr. Collen Mendelsohn, Diplomate ACVD. She sees cases in Tustin and Ontario, CA

Have a question for our doctors? Please send your question via the Contact Page on our website. Sorry, we cannot provide an answer to a specific ailment which requires a physical examination of your pet.


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As specialists, we stay current on new research and treatments and are actively involved with the research. Our dermatology practice is not limited to small animals and we often have equine and occasionally exotic patients. Learn More >