Can you believe that all these years we were told that our dogs sudden black spots were just freckles? A strong chance for a dog that does have major skin allergies is that they are another sign of those allergies and either medicated shampoo needs to be applied or maybe even medication itself.
These black spots on your dog’s skin are more likely to be hyper pigmentation IF:
” The edges of these abnormal areas are often red, a sign of secondary bacterial or yeast infection. With time, it may spread to the lower neck, groin, abdomen, hocks, eyes, ears, and the area between the anus and the external genital organs. Itching is variable. When it occurs, it may be caused by the underlying disease or by a secondary infection. As the condition progresses, secondary hair loss, fluid discharge, and infections develop.”
The reason we doubted that it was sun damage or just old age is that our dog hasn’t had much greater exposure to the sun lately than in the rest of his life, and he is mostly an indoors dog that doesn’t like lying in the sun for long periods.
IF this is the cause of the pigmentation in our dog, then we need to look out for reddening of the skin and secondary infections. In fact we were told to use medicated shampoo over his paws at night time to kill off the yeast and bacteria. We didtn think to put this on the lumps because we were told that they were just sunspots/ freckles.
IF this hyper pigmentation is a result of a skin allergy then knowing that it might spread to “lower neck, groin, abdomen, hocks, eyes, ears, and the area between the anus and the external genital organs.” is vital information. We were told to keep an eye on the spots and we think that there are a few new ones … but this gives us a new imperative to treat each spot area too with anti fungal and anti bacterial topical lotion.
IF we don’t then his general skin itching is likely to increase and drive him mad. Also we know that if the feet become infected by secondary infection that his ears will go next, this happened all of the time when he was a pup, having three major ear infections requiring steroids each year.
TESTING for SECONDARY HYPER PIGMENTATION in dogs
” Depending on other signs, endocrine function tests for thyroid and adrenal disease may be used to check for underlying hormonal abnormalities. Skin testing, a food trial, or both may be necessary to test for allergies. Skin biopsies may be made to check for secondary bacterial infections not previously recognized. In most cases, your veterinarian will want to treat any secondary bacterial infections before proceeding with other diagnostic tests.”
Our vet looked our dog over, had a look at his skin with a scope but again, we were not told that it is likely to be hyper pigmentation rather than just good old freckles.
SECONDARY HYPER PIGMENTATION TREATMENT for dogs
” In secondary hyper-pigmentation, the affected areas will go away on their own after identification and treatment of the underlying cause. However, this will not occur if secondary bacterial and yeast infections are not treated and controlled. Many affected dogs benefit greatly from appropriate antibiotics and medicated shampoos (2 to 3 times per week).”
So here is the thing if you have a dog that might have these black spots that are not hormonal and are most likely another manifestation of skin allergy . MOST vets and owners will tell you not to wash your dog more than once a fortnight as it washes their natural oils out of their coat and can dry out the skin.
BUT if your dog has this condition you are told to wash them THREE TIMES PER WEEK ! We have the right antibacterial and anti-fungal shampoo, and we give our dog a leave in conditioner to combat any drying out – but now perhaps you can see why knowing that a skin allergy dog that gets black freckles can be a LOT MORE than simple freckles and unless treated immediately can spiral out of control causing secondary infections on places like the feet and anus, causing ear skin allergies and major health issues for your dog!