dog hyper pigmentationI won’t completely disrespect my vet for this, but its very annoying to find this out now.

But then again why not blame a vet. Make no mistake, we traveled far and wide to get the exact vet we wanted, who had skills plus the ability to relate … but every now and then your vet is going to forget to tell you something critical related to your dogs health.

This story started a few years ago when we noticed our dog getting black spots on its skin. It has a light colored coat so these new spots were very obvious. We were concerned that they had picked up some kind of parasite, and while he was itching the usual amount, from a skin allergy, Large doses of Omega 3 generally minimized the problem. Then I read this:

One site says ” Hyper-pigmentation is a darkening and thickening of the skin seen in dogs. It is not a specific disease but a reaction of a dog’s body to certain conditions. Hyper-pigmentation appears as light-brown-to-black, velvety, rough areas of thickened, often hairless skin. The usual sites are in the legs and groin area.”

Yet the cause is still eluding us right?

It turns out that there are two main causes – primary or secondary. Primary diseases hyper-pigmentation is rare and occur almost exclusively in Dachshunds up to 1 yr old.

My dog is not a Dachshund.

Secondary hyper-pigmentation is relatively COMMON and can occur in any breed of dog, but are most common in those breeds

  • prone to obesity
  • hormonal abnormalities
  • Skin allergies
  • contact dermatitis
  • skin infections.

We were told that our dog had the equivalent of freckles that can come with age. And that it was not cancer or a parasite.

What this above information ads to the mix is that his breed is prone to obesity (a hunting dog that was bred to put fat on to protect from cold waters). At age 7 he could also be undergoing some hormonal changes.

But the biggest kicker is the last three causes: Skin allergies, contact dermatitis, skin infections.

The reason I say this is that he has had major skin allergies all of his life, and the vet was aware of this. We believe that it is through contact dermatitis with grasses in dog parks rather than the more rare food allergies.

THE REASONS that this is important is that we are not being fobbed off, and if you can find a probable cause, you are more likely to know other symptoms and know how this skin disease is likely to progress.