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. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
55012488
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 18-month old German Shepherd's lips have turned from black

Customer Question

My 18-month old German Shepherd’s lips have turned from black to pink. I am confident it is not from trauma. Most of her toys are made of plastic or rubber but I have no way of knowing if any of them contain p-benzylhydroquinone. One recent change is that I switched her topical tick prevention from Frontline to Advantix II. Her change in pigmentation seems to coincide with that but I have no way of knowing for sure. I am pretty convinced that this is not a naturally occurring condition. The condition is localized to her lips and the area just under her nose. Her pads, belly, ears, eyes, genitalia and all other areas are normal. My vet dismissed it as vitiligo but I believe the condition is chemically induced.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Camille and I’m a moderator for this topic. We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit. I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of our Experts? Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question. Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Pet to Legal. Thank you, Camille~Moderator
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question has not been answered. I must say that I feel somewhat misled because when I posted my question, there was supposedly a DVM that was on-line ready to answer my question.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Hypopigmentation is an uncommon lesion in dogs but when it occurs is usually due to vitiligo, autoimmune skin disease or the uveodermatologic syndrome (a rare disorder most common in Akitas which also involves the eyes). Biopsy would be necessary to distinguish vitiligo from an autoimmune skin disorder such as discoid lupus erythematosus which affects the areas you've mentioned. Can you upload a photo of these affected areas to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as imgur.com or dropbox.com. I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attached 2 image files. The change in pigment is also on the inside of her mouth, including the roof of her mouth. She is a Czech import with one of the best blood lines I've ever seen. Her hips and elbows are OFA Excellent. You will have a hard time convincing me that this is related to a genetic disorder or immune deficiency. In the absence of research-based evidence, I am hypothesizing that this issue is a chemical response to one of her many plastic or rubber toys. I would also have a hard time believing that if this is the result of a chemical response, that there are no other health impacts. There just does not seem to be much research on this other than some limited information on reactions to p-Benzyl Hydroquinone, which is common in plastic and rubber products.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the pics! The absence of obvious inflammation should remove an autoimmune disorder from our differential diagnosis list. While plastics have often been incriminated in these dogs, my dermatologists are in agreement that plastics have been over-emphasized and shouldn't be considered an important etiology of such hypopigmentation. At this point, you have two reasonable paths forward. You can have her regular vet punch biopsy a representative area or you can have a specialist veterinary dermatologist (please see here: www.acvd.org) take a look at her. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the pics! The absence of obvious inflammation should remove an autoimmune disorder from our differential diagnosis list. While plastics have often been incriminated in these dogs, my dermatologists are in agreement that plastics have been over-emphasized and shouldn't be considered an important etiology of such hypopigmentation. At this point, you have two reasonable paths forward. You can have her regular vet punch biopsy a representative area or you can have a specialist veterinary dermatologist (please see here: www.acvd.org) take a look at her. Please continue our conversation if you wish.