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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 27420
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Just researching age spots - if that's what they are and any

Customer Question

Just researching age spots - if that's what they are and any approx age they might begin - trying to figure age of my rescue dog
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Can you upload a photo(s) of these spots to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see the icon) or you can use an external app such as If you're seeing lentigenes - flat pigmented macules - they're common in dogs with highest incidences reported in middle-aged to older dogs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are just flat spots - the dogs have a lot of fur so I have only noticed because one had a hot spot and fur removed - another had surgery and was shaved. I suspect both dogs to be younger than my 2 Goldens who are 10 and on whom I have not noticed any such spots - yet. The eyes on both dogs are a bit clearer than the 10 year old Goldens.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wondering if these spots could be a clue to age- is there an approx age at which they might begin? Perhaps more with certain breeds?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Yes, those flat spots are called macules and represent genetically predetermined pigmentation which can arise at any age in any breed or lentigenes which are more likely to arise in middle-older age dogs. Their eyes are a better indicator of age. The lack of clouding of the lens (nuclear sclerosis) supports an age less than 7 years. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
lens clouding about age 7 - skin spots any age? Attached file is best I could get - some are darker
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there loss of vision with the lenticular sclerosis? Enough to prohibit or keep them from going up/down stairs?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oops - nuclear sclerosis!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. It's difficult for me to see through all that hair but if the spots are flat and there's no evidence of inflammation, crusting, pimples, etc., I'm not worried. No, nuclear/lenticular sclerosis does not cause vision loss.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If no vision loss - would joint problems be possible cause for the dogs to stop using the stairs?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Yes, think of the dalmation which develops spots at 3-4 weeks of age!

Yes, joint (both appendicular and spinal) problems can result in reluctance to navigate stairs and jump up or down.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for th info. Very helpful.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Deb,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sam. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you all is well - I was just curious of what I observed - I think you have answered anything I was curious about. This was nothing serious this time. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good.

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