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Heidi Chambers
Heidi Chambers, Vet Tech, Hosp. Mngr since 1990
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  Your friendly Vet Tech who's here to help YOU!
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what are black spots on my dogs skin

Customer Question

what are black spots on my dogs skin?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 5 years ago.
Hello, Betty. The most common reason for black spots is due to fleas. Fleas leave feces on the pet which resembles pepper. If you have your boy stand on a light floor and brush him or rub your hands vigorously around his hair and skin, you may see sprinkles (like pepper) fall to the floor. Veterinarians have some great flea control products. There are now several highly efficacious, long lasting and very safe new products to choose from. Advantage Multi, Comfortis, Promeris, and Frontline Plus are the leading brands most recommended. If this is the problem, you want to treat him and the environment right away. (ONE flea alone can lay up to 50 eggs per day!)
I hope this information helps you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
my dogss dont have flees, they are inside dogs only.They are kept very well groomed so I'm sure there are no flees.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
also my condo is flee free. It is sprayed regularly.
Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX do hope you didn't take offense to my suggestion, as the cleanest homes and regularly groomed pets can get fleas. (Even if the dog goes outside only to eliminate.) However, if you could describe the spots & the location, that will assist me in helping you with your question. Also, is your dog irriated by this (i.e. scratching or biting?) Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am not offended at all.But both my dogs are trained on piddle pads because I cant go out anymore due to my illness. I have had dogs all my life (I am 65) so I truly understand.

He has these spots all over his body front, back ...all over and itches them alot.They started small spots but as he itches them they are getting larger

I was wondering if he could be allergic to his dry food. I changed it about 1 1/2 months ago

Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. Rashes and skin irritations can be caused by several different things, but most commonly they are bacterial in nature. Other rashes can be related to allergies, yeast or even fungal infection. Without being able to physically see your dog, it‘s difficult to say exactly what is causing this, but I can tell you it is most likely either an allergy or skin infection if there is an odor present. Each condition has a different treatment. Because of this, I recommend having him seen by a vet again so they can accurately diagnose the problem.
If you want to try something first, before seeing the vet, minor bacterial infections can be treated by washing the area using benzyol peroxide. You can try washing the area and make sure to thoroughly rinse the area. You can do this twice daily for a few days to see if it is improving. If that turns out to be the case, antibiotics will probably be prescribed by the vet and possibly a medicated shampoo. If it is an allergy, it could possibly be a food allergy as you suspect, especially since you changed his diet and then the problem came about. This makes me very suspicious of a food allergy.
Allergies can be very frustrating. Many dogs (as with people) have food allergies that contribute to the symptoms your boy has.
It is a really good idea to rule out food allergies when itchiness persists for a long time, so choosing to do a food trial to rule out food allergy is a good option. The problem with determining if food allergies are present is that dogs are usually allergic to only one ingredient, or to a small number of ingredients and not to the entire diet. Isolating the food that is causing the problem is the route to take here.
The first step is by making a diet that is composed of foods that he has never eaten before. Since food allergies are thought to occur only to foods that the dog has been sensitized to, there should not be an allergic reaction to a food that has not been eaten previously. Lamb and rice was a diet we would first recommend trying with dogs but both are now common ingredients in many dog foods. However, a newer approach is to use a diet composed of artificially created very low molecular weight proteins. (Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies.) Hills z/d diet and Purinas HA diet are made from hydrolyzed proteins. These diets would be a good choice for determining if a food allergy is present and should be more reliable than novel protein diets. If the itchiness lessens or disappears while he is on the diets (which may take 8 weeks or more) then it is reasonable to assume a food allergy is the culprit. After determining this, food ingredients such as beef, wheat, chicken, milk, corn, etc. are added back into the diet one at a time to see if symptoms return. If and when they do, it is reasonable to assume that the ingredient being added at the time is the cause. Obviously, future diets shouldn't include that ingredient.
Also, Antihistamines, Fatty acid supplements, soothing shampoos, and Corticosteroids are often very helpful and can ease his discomfort during the “diet process.”
I hope this information is helpful for you and your boy. If you need any further help, please let me know.
Heidi Chambers, Vet Tech, Hosp. Mngr since 1990
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience: Your friendly Vet Tech who's here to help YOU!
Heidi Chambers and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thankyou so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

Betty

Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome, Betty. I do hope the information I provided helps you and your little guy.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I recieved my bank statement and I was charged $9.00 and $10.00 for the answer even though the first answer didn't help me. WHY???

I only accepted one answer.

Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 5 years ago.
Betty, I am sorry this happened. I do not have any connection with payment processing. I have reported this issue to JA customer service so they can fix any problems for you.

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