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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16106
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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BLACK SPOTS ON MY DOGS BACK ....LOOKS LIKE DIRT

Customer Question

BLACK SPOTS ON MY DOGS BACK ....LOOKS LIKE DIRT
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your fellow has black spots on his back and I understand that you are concerned. Are these spots under the skin and do they look like blackheads do in people?(see this link for a picture: http://www.dermatologyforanimals.com/images/schnauzer.jpg )If so this is likely due to plugged hair follicles and are called comedones. They can be due to an abnormality in skin cell turnover but can also be related to a skin mite called demodex. Demodex mites are a normal skin inhabitant but in dogs with weak immune systems they proliferate and cause symptoms. I recommend a skin scraping or biopsy to look for demodex mites. Sometimes these can be secondary to endocrine diseases like hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism, but these are less likely in a 2 year old dog.In the meantime bathing with a shampoo to flush hair follicles like Sebalyt or Pyoben and spot treating affected areas with Pyoben gel between baths can help. In some cases with secondary infections antibiotics are needed and in severe cases retinoids are prescribed. If the black spots are flat and seem to be more part of the superficial, thickened skin layers and he has hair loss in those areas then they may be hyperpigmentation due to chronic irritation from licking and scratching due to allergies, such as flea bite or inhaled allergies.See this link for a picture:http://www.lbah.com/images/canine/T4/lichen.jpg But if he isn't itchy, there is no hair loss and he just has black spots on his skin then this may simply be normal pigmented skin coloring. No treatment is needed and these are of no concern. See this link for an example:http://www.webanswers.com/post-images/A/A2/66187662-101D-B13D-FF34126A1986E484.jpg Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara