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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19283
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My 7 year old schipperke, female, her hair seems to be

Customer Question

My 7 year old schipperke, female, her hair seems to be turning reddish brown on her undercoat. She also has a white flake rash. Yes, she has been licking. What is it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jacustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Has her food been changed recently?

Any change in cleaning supplies, residence, new carpeting, furniture, etc?

Is it happening in any specific areas such as around the mouth, eyes, vulva?

What have you tried so far?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Cassie. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jane,
Sorry about the delay. I actually only just got your answer today. Also my 93 year old mom has been ill and it has been really stressful. (I'm sure Ellie is feeling some of this.)
Ellie is my "now" dog.
Cassie passed 3 years ago.
Ellie is also a schipperke! (of course!!)
She is 11 lbs and prior to my getting her in 2012 December, she was an AKC grand champion and right now her son is #5 in the country! My first was a rescue, I had never seen a Schipperke before Cassie! Ellie was being retired and I had met the owner and she knew I would love her very much. Sadly Cassie passed very unexpectedly in June of 2012. A devastating loss.
But the universe saw to have sweet Ellie come into my life.Ellie has always been so sweet and very skittish around boxes and like boxes. She is extremely good, kind of so good it is weird. She's perfect and I wish she was a little more relaxed and playful and work on that frequently, though rather at a loss how to help her.
She is more of an introvert than an extrovert, but she loves people, when not in big crowds. Not real big on other dogs (she use to live with 10 of them.) She is very scared of suitcases, big boxes and big purses. Not super playful but fun and loves routine and has a beautiful smile! She sleeps with me (half a queen size) and has her bed there and water.
She has become very attached to me, and sometimes, nearly all the time, will not eat or drink when left in the care of the dearest of folk who love her, until I come home.
Ellie just turned 7.
I have come to understand that many dogs in my area, mid California, have been having skin problems due to the drought, allergies, or a variety of things. Ellie developed a white, heavy flake-looking rash that seemingly clings to her underside, and was having some bright reddish issues around her vulva. The urethra part has most cleared. Also for several months her underside has been a reddish brown color and no one has been able to tell me exactly why.
No food changes.
No cleaning changes.
I cannot let her go to my mom's senior care because she starts immediately itching, so now is not allowed there. Super reactive to, I think their carpet.
Cleaning supplies natural.
Hardwood floor with throw carpets.
No fertilizers EVER on drought sad lawn.
Poop habits the same.
I have just today washed her with Douxo seborrhea Shampoo and dried her naturally outside in the fresh air which a friend recommended.
Have tried Benydrl which does not help the rash but does help her sleep. (2X)
She licks at herself (paws and vulva especially) way more than usual.Thank you for help us. I love her so much.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Usually when the hair starts turning reddish brown it is due to an enzyme that is contained in a dog's saliva and tears. This is why many smaller dogs have such bad stains under the eyes. There are many products on the market to remove this. They are marketed as Dog tear Stain Removers. The following site has a good chart that discusses these.

The website below has a different approach suggesting altering your dog's pH levels to prevent the staining which you may wish to look at.

There is also an antibiotic that your vet can prescribe called Tylan that has been shown to be useful to stop tears and saliva from discoloring a dog’s coat. You will want to ask your vet about this.

Typically the rash and flaking are the result of an allergy condition. Determining what she is allergic to may be quite difficult to do, but it is likely to help stop the excessive licking of the paws and vulva as well since those are also symptoms of an allergy condition. You should look for those things that changed just prior to her starting either the licking of the paws or the rash appearing. Think about foods, treats, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, etc. Any of those things might be to blame. Given that it seems lower on your dog, it might be a contact allergy meaning her lower half is coming into contact with the item she is allergic to. It might even be grass or weeds especially if she came from a different part of the country where the vegetation might be different.

She is pretty old so many people would not find it cost effective to do allergy testing though that is the fastest way of determining the cause and avoiding the allergen. While benadryl at 1mg per pound every 8 hours is often effective for some dogs, it is treating the symptoms. You might ask your vet about atopica. It is often used to treat allergic conditions. Read more on it here:

When shampooing be sure to lather well and let it sit on the skin for 10-15 minutes if possible before relathering and rinsing. This gives the shampoo the opportunity to work. If possible dry the hair with a hair dryer on a low setting. Water trapped against the skin can lead to a yeast dermatitis as well which will continue the cycle of scratching or licking even after the allergen is eliminated.

These suggestions should help with the various problems she is having.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .