How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. K Your Own Question

Dr. K
Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7413
Experience:  11 years experience as Veterinarian
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. K is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog has some black/brown spots on her skin. it appears about

Resolved Question:

My dog has some black/brown spots on her skin. it appears about 3 weeks ago. she scratches her itchy spots and she bites legs too. it seems itching.
i really need a answer for my dogs symptoms.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
Hi minlove,

How old is your dog?
Is she on a monthly flea preventative? If so, which one? When was it last applied?
Is the skin in the affected areas red, rashy or irritated-looking to you?
How large are these black/brown spots?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

my dogs is almost 4 years now.

 

i have applied flea control product about 4 or 5 weeks ago.

 

Spots are dark brown or light black. no red spots.

 

One spot is very small size of peanuts. it has appered about 3weeks ago and today i have found another spot. It size of ...um... half of redit card?.. haha but its round spot.

 

 

Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
What flea product did you use?
Are these black spots raised above the surface of the skin and rough to the touch, or are they flat and smooth with the surface of the skin?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am not sure about the products name.

 

my grommer did applied flea control product. i think she called first line but not sure.

 

These black spots are not rough to touch...just like people birth marks...(i guess).

 

they are flat and smooth. i didn't notice till i gave her bath today.

 

 

 

Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
If they are flat and smooth, then they are not likely to be cause of the itchiness. Usually, this type of dark discoloration to the skin is either just a normal pigment variation, or a reaction to chronic irritation from itching and scratching.

The first thing that is usually suspected in cases like this is flea infestation. Even if you do not see any fleas on your dog, if your dog is allergic to the flea saliva (a very common allergy) then just one flea will drive him crazy. Unfortunately, if the flea product you used was not purchased at your veterinarian's office, then it likely was not an effective one. You need to use one such as Frontline, Advantix, or Promeris. Also, if your groomer applied the product and it was Frontline, it likely did not take effect as I am assuming the groomer did bathe your dog before applying the product. Frontline needs to be applied at least 48 hours after the bath (and the dog should not be bathed for 48 hours after applying it, as well). So, in this case, I would not yet rule out the possibility that fleas are the problem.

Flea infestation can be complicated by secondary bacterial infections, so you should bring your dog into the veterinarian to be evaluated for this. These infections can also be a primary problem. They are generally treated with long-term antibiotics, usually for about 6-8 weeks. In some cases, there can be a yeast infection as well. This is generally characterized by a smelly, greasy exudate on the skin, often with yellowish/brownish crusting. This can be diagnosed by the veterinarian with something called an impression smear, where a glass slide is touched to the skin and then stained and looked at under the microscope. If yeast are present they are treated with a medicated shampoo twice weekly for several weeks and then once weekly for several weeks thereafter. In particularly bad cases, an oral antifungal may be necessary.

Another common reason for intense itchiness is sarcoptic mange (scabies). This is caused by a microscopic mite that burrows into the dog's skin. The disease can be diagnosed by a skin-scraping in the veterinairan's office. In many cases, the mange mite is not visible with the scraping, so if the vet suspects scabies they will usually go ahead and treat for it. The treatment is a topical solution called Revolution that is applied to the back of the dog's neck once, and then again in 3-4 weeks. This disease can also be complicated by secondary bacterial or yeast infections.

Lastly, chronic itchiness can be caused by either food allergies or atopy (seasonal canine allergies). Many dogs who respond to steroids have a true atopy problem, and not really a food allergy problem. Food allergies usually involve scratching at the ears and rear-end, as opposed to the constant licking of the paws. Unfortunately, most dogs do require steroids and antihistamines to remain comfortable. For some dogs this period is only in the warmer months, but for many it is an all year-round problem. Most of my atopy patients are well-controlled on a drug called Temaril-P, which is a combination of an antihistamine with a small amount of prednisone.
There are other treatment options that do not involve chronic use of steroids. One that is easy to try is a straight course of antihistamines. Different dogs will respond differently to different drugs, so it may be the case that several antihistamines must be tried before the right one is found. The most common ones used are benadryl (diphenhydramine) and chlorpheniramine. Many dogs will not respond to antihistamines alone, and another modality must be added. The most common is to use a special shampoo designed for allergic dogs. Because allergens that affect dogs do so by landing on the dog's skin (instead of being inhaled, as they do in people), the allergies can be decreased with frequent shampooing with an appropriate product, such as Histacalm. Your vet can recommend an appropriate product for you.
Another option is allergy testing, either using a blood profile or intradermal skin testing. With either of these tests, the dog can be evaluated for sensitivity to specific allergens, and then a unique "vaccine" is made for the dog to treat these. The animal is usually given gradually increasing amounts of the allergy serum over the course of many weeks to months. This is called hyposensitization therapy, and has the least side effects of any allergy treatment. This works in about 67% of dogs.
There is a new drug available now for allergic dogs called Atopica. This is designed specifically for veterinary use. It can be very effective, and does not have the negative side effects of using long-term steroids, however, it is also quite expensive. If you are interested in trying this, you should talk to your veterinarian about ordering you some.
Food allergies are treated with an exclusion diet such as Hill's z/d or Purina HA. It can take up to 8-10 weeks for a dog to respond to this diet, and they must be fed absolutely nothing else.

I hope that this information has been of some help to you, and better equips you to ask appropriate questions of your vet. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


Dr. K
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you.

 

But it still hard find why. yout answer was too wide for me. i still have no clue.

 

based on your answer, i think it's food allergy but...i am not positive.

 

The spots are on her back. i am not sure the spots are itchy. She can't reach it anyways. But her legs and face or ears seems itchy. Because she rubs her face on carpet and bites her legs. She doesn't have red ears or smally skin.

 

 

Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
I cannot definitively diagnose your dog without being able to examine her in person. This would be impossible. All I can do is tell you what the possibilities are.

Like I said, I do not think the spots are the cause of her itchiness. They are either a benign pigment change in her skin, or they are a reactive change from the itching.

If she is very itchy in her legs face and ears....and she rubs her face on the carpet and bites her lets alot...then she most likely is suffering from allergies. This can be further complicated by fleas (especially if she is allergic to fleas). So, your next step is really to go to the vet to have her examined....because, with any of these causes....medications are likely going to be necessary. I cannot prescribe or recommend a specific medication without being able to examine her in person, as I cannot tell exactly what the cause of her itchiness is over the computer.

I hope that this helps narrow it down for you some,

Dr. K
Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7413
Experience: 11 years experience as Veterinarian
Dr. K and 8 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.