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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16514
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 6 year old Schneider...who has a story of an intra

Customer Question

My 6 year old Schneider...who has a history of an intra hepatic shunt and had surgery at uc davis by Dr William Culp..coil surgery has developed several liver colored spots on his back...otherwise he appears healthy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just waiting for an answer...we have quite an investment with Billy..like I wrote..he appears healthy, but these 2 rust colored spots are disturbing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Waiting for an answer? When can I expect one? Or I'm going to bed?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

A change in skin color can be from irritation (secondary to itching, or a yeast or bacterial infection), ultraviolet ray (sun) exposure, or endocrine imbalances such as thyroid or adrenal gland function abnormalities or if he isn't neutered, secondary to sex hormone imbalances.
If his appetite is very good, he's drinking lots of water and he has a "potbellied" appearance then adrenal gland disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is possible and should be tested for with either an ACTH response test or dexamethasome suppression test.
If he has weight gain, poor skin and haircoat health, and lethargy hypothyroidism or low thyroid gland function is possible. It is important to check a full thyroid profile, not just a T-4 when looking for this disease process. A T-4 can vary greatly throughout the day and thus isn't an accurate total picture of thyroid health. The level may have been taken at a single high point making thyroid gland function look normal, whereas the rest of the time it may be significantly subnormal. The Michigan State University laboratory does a terrific job with their thyroid profiles.

If he is not neutered then sex hormone imbalances may be the root of his problem. Sex hormone levels can be checked to determine that.
If his skin feels greasy or oily and there is hair loss a secondary skin infection may be involved. Yeast is most common but bacteria is possible too. A skin swab cytology will help to determine that.

But if he seems perfectly normal, with a normal coat over the area that is spotted, and his skin simply has spots that seem darker in color (they can be gray or liver colored) then he may just have more pigment in those areas, and this is no cause for alarm.

If you have pictures of the areas I would be happy to take a look.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Your response seems canned...so I get that Billy needs a full tyroid test..given his medical history..are there any other concerns?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
It really depends upon what the spots look like, whether he has any other symptoms or changes in eating and drinking.
If he is otherwise normal, these areas are normal looking skin, (not thickened at all), and his coat over the spots seems normal he may not need any testing beyond thyroid testing, and even that may be more of an assurance that this is normal for him.
Dogs can have pigment spots and not have any underlying problems.
If these spots looked more like bruises (purple or deep red in color) then we would need to be concerned about liver disease and clotting factor deficiency as the liver is responsible for producing clotting factors.
Does that help?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry I see now that you would prefer a phone call and I am not set up to offer that service.
I will opt out and see if there is a veterinarian that can give you a call.

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