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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11037
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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my golden retriever puppys skin is turning almost black around

Resolved Question:

my golden retriever puppy's skin is turning almost black around his belly. he is not lethargic, acts like a typcial puppy, happy, sometimes a bit hyper but not more than what would be expected. he has periodically had some minor rashes on his behind and recently a yeast infection in his ear. vet appt. set for monday, what do you think might be going on?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in.

Is he currently scratching at this area?

Does the black area look like debris or actual change in skin color?

Is it possible to take a picture of the area and post it to your next message, using the "tree" icon on the toolbar above or posting it to a picture sharing website and sending me the link?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He is not scratching anything on his belly but periodically licks around his penis but not excessively or more than any other male dog (have had several). skin looks like a change of color. at first we thought the skin color change was from laying on a rubberized mat we had in his "dog jail" but our labs skin did not change, still we removed the mat (about two weeks ago). see photo belowgraphic
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the picture. It was great. This definitely looks like hyperpigmentation of the skin. Sometimes, as a puppy gets older, they can develop different areas of pigmentation on the skin. If he has had chronic skin infections on his belly, though, I suspect that the color change may be in response to that. It looks very similar to what the skin from a dog with chronic allergies and skin infections looks like after it is healed. It is difficult to tell from a picture, but have your vet confirm it doesn't look like plugged hair follicles (like blackheads). If it does, I would probably do a skin scraping to look for Demodectic mange (very common skin mite infection in puppies). Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
he has not had any infections on his belly. when he was about 10 weeks old, he was biting his hind quarters. the vet advised to stick with one food and not try to change it around in an attempt to chase a food allergy. his fur overall is in excellent condition, shiny and silky unlike my last golden who always had dry fur. we have been giving this one a fish oil supplement also to aid in his coat and fur and we've noticed a good improvement. the discoloration began to appear when we started to keep him outside in a fenced area with no obvious toxic elements. the weather has been cooler and damp this year. my lab has stayed in the "dog jail" when we leave and he's 12. I have read that darkening sometimes is due to a low thyroid condition sometimes accompanied by a yeast infection of which he had recently in his ear. first time i've seen that in a golden so young.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
True, thyroid conditions can cause this but would be very rare in such a young dog. Congenital hypothyroidism in puppies is not very common at all, but worth checking into. Most likely this is just regular pigment change, but if the skin in this area seems thickened or rough, it would be worth it to check for a yeast or demodex infection. I would expect a yeast infection to be red as well, though. If the skin is smooth, it is most likely just pigment change. Hope this helps.
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