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My dog's skin is turning black. This started on the tip of...

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Question by La Rae
Submitted on 7/31/2003
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Canine Allergies FAQ
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My dog's skin is turning black. This started on the tip of his tail and has now covered his body with the exception of some pink areas on his belly. His stomach also swelled, and his hair is falling out. I've taken him to two different vets to the tune of $1000. They don't know why his skin is turning black.

Answer by Bridget
Submitted on 8/19/2003
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Do you by any chance have a Pomeranian? My 10 year old Pom just started doing this too. I thought maybe he was just getting old. His tail has turned black and the tips of his ears are black and I noticed today that all of his nipples are now black but he has no stomach swelling. His hair is starting to look terrible!


Answer by Daisy
Submitted on 8/25/2003
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Are the black patches rough? Are they raised? Does the dog scratch at the patches? It could be an infection of the mange mite. My dog is found to be free of the mange mites so a fungal infection is suspected and she is currently being treated for that. Her hair is actually quite beautiful at this point of time.


Answer by Bridget
Submitted on 8/29/2003
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I did a little research and I found something called Black Skin Disease.Here is the info:



Answer by llmgrn
Submitted on 9/12/2003
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Yes, more than likely is Blackening of the Skin Disease... my beloved dog also had it.  Started off w/dark skin & pink spots, lost a lot of his hair, then got a scabby type substance on his skin and he stunk very bad. You must use special shampoo for this or it gets bad fast.  I live in a very humid environment and I think that also made it worse.  That I know of there is no cure, luckily it won't kill the dog, just makes life a little unpleasant.  Good luck.


Answer by smiley
Submitted on 9/17/2003
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I have a cocker spaniel and I'm having the same problem.  It is disturbing that nothing can be done.  It's the smell that is the hardest to live with.  I got some shampoo from my vet that contains Benzoyl Peroxide. If anyone knows of a good shampoo for this problem I'd sure like to know.


Answer by Sherry
Submitted on 10/10/2003
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Yes, I believe you are looking at black skin disease.  The research I have found is that it's over production of testosterone.  It is generally found in cream colored males.  I was told that you should have them nuetered and bath once a week with dawn dish soap..... I have been doing both, and have seen some improvement.  I also give him a Vitamin E supplement, but continue to research.  It takes time and you will probably notice that the hair will be stiff texture with an odor, if you don't bathe weekly and dry throughly.  It's not life threatening, but it is genetic, so they should not be allowed to breed.  Good Luck!


Answer by love my animals
Submitted on 12/11/2003
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Hello,my Pomeranian has the same problem,SHE,stinks really bad because of it,I bathe her with dawn dish soap,then condition her hair,which helps the skin from drying out from the dawn soap,I have put lotion on her back and that seems to keep her from digging and keeps the smell away for a day or two,CAN'T stand that odor..we had found the dog (app2 yrs old) abandoned in a parking lot,the clerk said she had been there for about 2 weeks,I took her home cleaned her up and this didn't happen till app 6 months later,I was wondering,does it come and go?she had started losing her hair and the black skin then it went away,now it's back,just curious,thanks.  


Answer by gem
Submitted on 12/17/2003
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I have a Pomeranian, I suspect that he has this black skin disease.  After he started shedding his coat when he was a puppy, his adult coat didn't grow back completely.  I hadn't noticed the dark skin right away but when I did a few months ago I took him to the vet. They told me they didn't know what it was so I bought a few books and did some research for myself. Turns out this disease is extremely common in male Pomeranian and will not affect their health, just causes them a slight discomfort. More recently he has developed a couple of raised bumps which I am actually surprised I noticed since they are so small, I have never noticed a smell.  Do you think it will get worse over time? He had seen 3 vets over the course of a year and none of them could help me out, I'm starting not to trust them since when I did research myself it was right in front of my face.  Even when I asked one of them if it could possibly be this disease he said he'd never heard of it!


Answer by ROBIN
Submitted on 12/19/2003
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Answer by Debbie
Submitted on 12/28/2003
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My dog, a 12-year old mix with lab and something with long blond hair, has developed blackened skin also.  The vet said it was a slight thyroid condition and gave her Thyro-Tabs.  After six weeks, I can't really tell.  She doesn't stink, but does seem itchy.  After reading about Blackened Skin Disease, I am concerned that she is taking thyroid medication.  It wasn't really elevated when they tested her originally.


Answer by slidbeck
Submitted on 1/19/2004
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Our black male neutered Pomeranian came down with this skin disease at 4 years of age.  His long, thick hair became cottony and lifeless, then fell out or broke off.  After a year the hair began growing again, but he has never regained his "top, shiny" coat.  His skin periodically gets scales, and the hair falls out in patches.
  Other than being itchy, our Pomeranian has lived with this disorder now for three years, and seems quite healthy otherwise.  We bathe him often, using medicated shampoo, conditioner and even baby oil to keep his skin soft.  I also keep his hair cut to under 2 inches, because it tends to get matted easily.
  I did research and apparently this is a genetic disorder which was first noticed in a Pomeranian in the 1930's. It doesn't show up until they are several years old, so is being passed on through continued breeding.


Answer by kay-kay
Submitted on 1/26/2004
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My pom is about 9 years old and began having the same problem about 6 months ago...I notice that his skin's areas where the hair is lost,there are black patches...thinks its the same skin disease...the dog used to have beautiful coat...poor thing, it breaks my heart everytime i sees him...not because he's without hair but because i think he's suffering with the occational scratching of his skin....anybody, please help give ideas on handling this case....


Answer by Reg Phillips
Submitted on 2/9/2004
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My Dog is an 8 year old pure bred Keeshond.
He began having dark patches on his skin 6 months ago, and then it spread with his hair falling out. He has lost all of his hair off his belly and around his neck.He was a champion show dog but now looks pathetic and sad.He does smell if I don't wash him at least once a week with a medicated wash.
He has a distended stomach and keeps getting abscesses on his elbows and between his toes.
He has been under the vet for about 4 months. is on thyroid tabs, iron tabs, and omega 2 and 3 liquid medication.He has picked up in himself since taking the thyroid
tabs but his fur is still falling out and fresh black spots have appeared on his neck.
I have tried changing his diet, currently he is on raw beef as apposed to cooked mince chicken, and I think that has made things worse. So it's back to the Vet tomorrow for another Guess.


Answer by itchebon
Submitted on 2/10/2004
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My vet did a thryroid test and found out my pet had a low thyroid.  After a week of medication, the black areas disappeared and the hair grew back and she is fine now.  Thank God for a good vet.


Answer by Genki
Submitted on 2/16/2004
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My experiences with black skin on my neutered male Pomeranian are slightly different but may be informative.  First instance was brought on by cat flea bites.  No hair loss, but bad "sewer" smell while black. Over the winter, skin resumed pink color.  Vet says many breeds can get black skin from irritation.  Subsequent summers,  black crusty or scabby spots appear on belly, legs, and eventually on shoulders and back.  Suspect grass contact as source.  These crusts cause black skin also.  They itch mildly.  No or minimal hair loss. Until this year (8yrs old), the crusts always went away in the winter.  I bathe weekly and then while scabs are soft, gently remove them and disinfect with alcohol.  This seems to work. Skin eventually returns to pink.  Dog has never been clipped and still has a uniform thick coat.


Answer by BBWnTX
Submitted on 2/25/2004
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My experience sounds like a combination of everything I read here.  My 5 yr old neutered pomeranian started getting these 'wet' scabby patches on his belly about 3 yrs ago. That's when I started going to a vet but nothing could be figured out.  Over the last 3 yrs, the wet scabs seem to get worse in the summer. He also has lost his hair on the backs of his legs, tail and back where his tail touches. In addition to the hair loss, the skin is dry and looks like light mold growing on the part where the hair is most scarce.  He does not itch or smell (thank God).  He is in general good health.  Last yr, my vet diagnosed a low thyroid but medicine does not seem to make a difference.  I took him to a different vet last week who checked his blood for possible difficencies...none found.  I told him I had heard about Black Skin Disease.  Neither he, or any of the other Vets at his clinic had ever heard of it, so he contacted an Animal Dermatologist at Texas A&M University who had never heard of it either.  So, of course, it was dismissed.  I have heard of taking Melatonin for it but not sure how much I can/should give.  I am at my wits end.  He used to have a gorgeous coat and comes from a champion show family.


Answer by BBWnTX
Submitted on 2/25/2004
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Here are some GREAT websites that discuss Black Skin Disease (also known as Alopecia X):



Answer by i_luv_poms
Submitted on 2/26/2004
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Hello, since this is an active, current discussion, I would like to share my (well my dog's ) experiences with this terrible skin disease.  

We first noticed this problem last year when my pom was 5 years old. His regular vet was  not able to help so he referred us to an animal dermatologist.

Before concluding that your dog has Black Skin Disease, you must first rule out:

a) thyroid deficiency
b) allergies - could be food, environment, flea bites, etc.
c) bacterial infection (those black patches could be bacterial infection)

If none of the above, then your dog may have black skin disease.  Not much is known about this condition (people started noticing it in the 80's) and research is still going on.  The dermatologist told me that the skin infection is easier to treat but the hair loss much harder.  Sometimes melatonin is useful if your animal has suffered hair loss (alopecia??) but the hair follicle is still alive.  A skin biopsy is necessary. As to dosage, each animal is different.  So don't play doctor, consult your vet.  As for treating the skin infections (the scabs, the swellings), a medicated shampoo and antibiotics must be used.  In addition, examine your dog's diet and environment.  Try to eliminate possible sources of allergens. (For my dog, it could be table scraps, Advantage or fleas.)

My dog's coat has grown back but he still has outbreaks of skin infections though mild in comparison to before.  Overall, his skin condition is now under control.


Answer by cece
Submitted on 3/1/2004
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our dog started out  with what looked like a sore on her back,the vet said she was so muscular that she didn't even know she got hurt,we went home month's later it was still there another vet put her on antibiotics, that's when the sores poped  out all over,and her hair started to fall out,now they have her on a thyroid pill, i'mnot really sure she's getting any better.


Answer by Gizmo
Submitted on 3/6/2004
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Hi everyone! Greetings from cold Norway. I have a 19 month old male Pom who lost his puppy coat, grew an adult coat, but failed his one-year-old-shed. His coat just would not fall out and became wooly and dead. When he finally shed, the coat never grew back. Now his chest is bare with grey patches of coarse skin. I talked to another Pom-owner who had great success treating her male Pom with Homoepathic medicine. I contacted my own vet who explained that she uses birthcontrol pills for cats(?!!) to treat Poms with Black Skin Disease with great success. Good luck everyone.


Answer by Nami
Submitted on 3/18/2004
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Hi Gizmo! What name have those "Birthcontrol pills"? Which homeopathic medicine can use with this sickness?


Answer by Nami
Submitted on 4/1/2004
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Do anybody else know something more about those birthcontrol pills or homeopathic medicine...?


Answer by MA
Submitted on 4/7/2004
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My 8 year old maltese has black skin under both rear legs and around her bottom.  She has little sores on her back where she bites herself all the time as she is so itchy.  I have been treating her with liquid antihistamine (polarmine) for the itch and took her to the vet who put her on Prednil (cortisone and antihistamine tabs) as well as Noroclav (antibiotics for yeast infection in her skin) and I have some Malaseb medicated foam which I have to leave on for 10 minutes then rinse.  The vet said the strong smell on her smelled like a yeast infection so I hope this works. Have been doing it for 1.5 days and she doesnt seem as smelly already.  Havent bathed her yet but will do that tomorrow.


Answer by sandyw447
Submitted on 4/28/2004
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My male Pom began losing his hair at 1 yr.  He has kept the hair on his head and back legs, elsewhere it comes and goes.
Got nowhere with vets until I took him to a dermatologist where he was diagnosed with an overactive adrenal gland.  I shampoo him with Sebolux, hold him 10 min., then rinse and do the same with Pyoben.  This helps keep the oils from filling the hairless pores.  We do this three times a week and it really helps.  He has some of those bumps but no smell.  You need a good dermatologist.


Answer by Mrs B
Submitted on 6/8/2004
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My 3 year old male Pomeranian started losing hair after clipping at one year of age.  He didn't shed all his puppy coat either. I first noticed darkening on his chest which progressed to his body.  The hair on his back hips fell out completely and the rest refused to grow back.  Even though it began post-clipping, I believe he has black skin disease.  He has hair on his legs (front continue to grow) and his head but is now losing hair behind his ears and the skin there is darkened.  The vet put him on Thyroid for 4 months during which the skin became lighter in color but not much hair came back so we stopped it.  I'm considering a biopsy at this time.  He was such a beautiful little dog, I hate seeing him like this.  He's our baby and is spoiled rotten but I would love to see him regain his coat. I also read about Melatonin and my info said to give 3 mg. but I'm afraid to do that on my own because of his size.  It causes sleepiness and I'm afraid that's too much. Will speak with the vet about this.


Answer by RanMyMan
Submitted on 6/8/2004
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I also have a Pomeranian, that is finally showing bald spots on his back legs, and the skin is turning dark. I have had him on hormones for 6 months now, I have bathed him once a week in dawn soap. I did contact University of Tennessee which is doing a study also. Only thing I have done to date is skin scrapping. UT Dr. Franks told me to use Melatonin, I am on my 2nd month with this. I wish the person from Norway that mention birth control, would give us more information, I would check into that also. He is 18 months old and everything it takes to be a top show dog, but his hair. I am now trying raw heart meat, Lets see what this does.  


Answer by Sams
Submitted on 6/10/2004
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I have had my 3 yrs old alopecia-dog on melatonin now about three months (9 mg per day), and he still have some bold spots. We luckily don't have any side effects :)

Next step is try medicin, that called trilostane (Vetoryl / Mondrenal). Does anybody have any experience about that?


Answer by a_lil_unwell2003
Submitted on 6/13/2004
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I have 2 dogs that have what seems to be black skin. They are from the same litter and only 2 years old. The male started first, after winter hair fell out, what winter hair he got here in TN, now his bottom, tail, back and stomach are all black and he bites at it all the time. I have notice now one of our females has the same thing, same areas, and does have some fleas, they are outside dogs. I also noticed the siblings did not get this, just the 2 with tan fur. They look so sad and look like they have been shaved and burned. I am at a loss..does this black skin hurt the dog? or does it kill them? what should i do.they do whine all the time and the male one howls and whimpers a lot, like someone is trying to kill him..please any advice would help.


Answer by Mary
Submitted on 6/14/2004
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I have a 4 year old maltese who develop brown spots when he was 1 years old.  I went to my vet and had him checked out for it because I was worried and scared at the same time.  My vet told me that it was sun spots.  But as each summer comes and pass he gets more and more.  Today I gave him a bath and realized that his whole back is covered in black patches with only so little pink showing.  Underneath his penis sleeve has black spots and his balls is 2/3 cover with black.  So I came online today to do some research and came across this post.  I am worried now and will be taking him to the vet on Tuesday.


Answer by lisadarkstar
Submitted on 6/21/2004
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Hi, my dog Marshall is a Chow/Shepard/BorderCollie. He also began gnawing at his hind legs, and has gone bald on both his hind legs due to constant biting on them.

We took him to the vet, who did a scraping and found nothing. He did prescribe him Cephalexin 500 mg which he is taking 2 times a day.  In case it is an infection.

Theyre may be a slight improvement, I can't really tell. He is not gnawing at himself, but the legs are turning blacker. I can't see any hair returning though. He has a beautiful coat aside from his legs.

I am very confused and unhappy about this. He seems to be just fine, just bald & black legs, but when he gnaws on his legs, it is as if he is losin ghis mind!


Answer by Darlene
Submitted on 6/26/2004
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I have an 8 year old Pekenese and his skin starting turning black about 4 months ago. He is now developing raised sore like patches on his back and under his neck. The vet seems to think it's skin allergies. We are trying the special shampoo and prednizone but I'm not too sure it will help any. There was a smell when it first started. It was awful. The smell is not so bad now but I feel so sorry for my Peke. He licks constantly. I hope that someone can find a cure for this condition soon.


Answer by Soverdirth
Submitted on 7/2/2004
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I have a brindle pit mixed dog who started out with patches and now has become much worse.  She has become scabbed all over. We have treated her with the shampoo and antibiotics that our vet gave us, but nothing is working. She said it is not mange.  Her skin has dried out and become wrinkled, she only has hair on her spine. She is getting dipped today.  I do not know what could be wrong with her.  If anyone has a clue pleas respond


Answer by Lily Rose
Submitted on 7/2/2004
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I have three Maltese around nine years old.  I noticed little black spots on Lucy's front paws the other day.  I gave her a bath and they were hard to wash off, almost greasy.  I thought they were probably excrement (YUCK).  Her skin also seems to be darkening in patches.  I checked the other two and sure enough they also have them although nowhere near as badly.  She is not loosing her fur.  They almost seem like the plant disease scale only harder to remove.


Answer by sully
Submitted on 7/5/2004
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I have a one year old Maltese/Poodle mix and he has recently developed black spots. Since he was groomed about two weeks ago, the spots have multiplied and now include large spots around his ears, his back, and belly. He also smells pretty bad,especially after going for a walk. Anyone have any ideas on what it could be. He itches his paws, base of his tail


Answer by dogpro
Submitted on 7/9/2004
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For the Pom owners, there is a condition in   which an adrenal enzyme deficiency has been documented.
The condition causes many of the symptoms you describe and is treated with a drug called Lysodren.
Keeshonds have also been documented with this condition. Hope this is helpful.


Answer by Niki
Submitted on 7/11/2004
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     I have two Labrador retrievers, brother and sister.  The female is yellow and the male is black.  
     Our black male lab, who is five, has epilepsy.  In the recent years,  every summer he has had sores develop on his abdomen.  They are red nodules, and then develop into crusty sores.  Hair is lost in these areas and then the skin turns black.  His skin is scaly and dry and his hair is greasy ans smelly.  His black coat is also turning reddish.
     I have gone back and forth to the vet.   We have tried antibiotics, shampoos, and allergy pills.  At first they said it was atopic dermatitis, then it could be seborrhea.  Does anyone know if it could be something like hypothyroidism? or anything else.  I don't think it is his food, because it only happens in the summer; he eats Iams for large breed weight maintenance. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tucker's mom


Answer by Charlene
Submitted on 7/12/2004
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I have a teacup poodle puppy,only 4 months old.  Has anyone heard of this with poodles?  She got very sick with Giardia about 2 days after we bought her.  We found out later that the same "breeder" has sold over 50 puppies, and only 8 have survive (may be coming from Mexico).  Anyway, she had to be in the hospital for over a week and get blood plasma transfusions.  When she got home we were so happy and now all of a sudden, her hair is falling out and the skin on her front paws and around her little rear is turning black.  We just charged our credit card over $3,000 to keep her alive and now it sounds like she may have this black skin disease. Can puppies get it, does anyone know?  Where do you find a dermatologist for dogs?


Answer by moussie47
Submitted on 7/14/2004
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I have a 13 year old female Pomeranian whom I have just found four black spots on her skin while bathing her a couple of days ago. One is raised on her neck. Although she is older, she is healthy and semi-active and happy. She has not complained about this, and because of her age, I do not bath her as often as I do my other two Poms. I take her tomorrow to our Vet to find out about these black spots, as I think after much reading on the internet that it might be black skin disease. I will keep you all posted as to treatment that my Vet suggests and treatment that I take with "Peaches" my precious Teacup.


Answer by Scoobie's Mom
Submitted on 8/8/2004
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Our four year old Lhasa Apso's underneath turned black and extremely smelly about six months ago. His hair fell out on his under side.  I took him to the vet and she said she thought fungal infection. She recommended using
"Miconazole" spray on him.  I have been using a cotton swab and putting it on him twice a day and it is helping.  His hair is returning and the black is clearing up. I also recently purchased a shampoo with the same ingredient in it since I bathe him frequently. Good luck.


Answer by PoMmYgUrL
Submitted on 8/10/2004
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On my pom I experienced the same thing, but they are not patches, they are in lines that branch off eachother, and also, it is only on one side.  Anyone else have similar black scabby markings?  The vet says he has no clue what it is . . . although he did put my dog in a cone and gave him anti-biotics - also had a skin biopsy done -- nothing.  So, $600 later I still don't know if there is anything that i can do.  The scabs have fallen off, now they are just black hairless lines.


Answer by deblynste
Submitted on 8/10/2004
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I have a boy who is a chow/beagle mix.  I have had him to the vet consistently at least once a month for over a year. He is four years old.  He has what appears to be this black skin disease.  The vet has treated him for allergies with pretnisol injections and tablets.  This medication caused him to swell and become very lethargic. Besides only helping temporarily.  The last shot did nothing as well as upping the dosage on his tablets.  He has also had antibiotic shots.  He has also been tested for hypothyroidism--negative.  I have tried many shampoos and home remedies.  So far, nothing works.  Some things seem to help temporarily.  I hate to see his suffering continue.  He has very little hair left on his body and is almost half black.  He itches BADLY!!  I hope someone out there knows or finds a cure soon.


Answer by Lord Robocop
Submitted on 8/10/2004
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I've had a pom with scaly skin and itchiness for a year now.  His hair loss is due more to the licking and scratching than anything else, I'm sure of that.  I had some success with expensive medicated shampoo from the Vet called KetoChlor.  She also suggested Miconazole conditioner, but I felt it had little or no effect.  This was used in conjunction with an antibiotic to squash secondary infections.  My Pom'scoat returned to normal, but did not last.  I noticed stepping up the wash helped tremendously.
Last: Here are two links I would read, very clear and discusses both ordinary dry skin and yeast skin in canines...



Good hunting.  Anyone finds a better answer, post...this battle has been long and non stop.


Answer by miecha12
Submitted on 8/12/2004
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I have a part springer spaniel...and cocker spaniel.Over the past 6 years we have been fighting this.The dog was tested for thyroid troubles.It was determined that he in fact has low thyroid problems.But this is not all.He suffers seizures frequent ear infections (yeast)his skin does turn black,hair loss,and smells awful during this phase.Our vet has said that the fleas in the summer triggers this reaction.However to cure it the thyroid medication works great.Amazingly enough in the winter months this condition disappears totally.It is also thought the dog has some sort of autoimmune disorder.Please have them tested for thyroid...the medicine returns the skin to normal color...and hair growth begins very quickly.


Answer by Golden Gizmo is SD
Submitted on 8/17/2004
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Golden Gizmo is a 12-1/2 year old Gldn Rtrvr mix. Since he was 2 yrs old, Gizmo has been getting 2 shaved haircuts every summer to keep him cool & minimize hot spots.  After his last cut, he came home with black skin.  The enitre area on the back of his neck, his back near his tail, and the backs of both his hind legs (about 70% of his body). He has not lost any hair and he doesn't itch.  In fact, if he hadn't gotten the cut, I might not have noticed.  He's not a Pom and he's not losing his hair.  Is this Black Skin Disease?  Any other non-Poms out there with these symptoms?


Answer by Rasqual
Submitted on 8/22/2004
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I have a 10.5 year old red/blonde akita.  As he was growing up he slightly developed black circular spots under his arms (dime size) and they have always remained with him.  Recently, within the last week he has black speckally spots on his stomach and hind legs, losing his hair which is also greasy and cotton-like.  I am wondering if he got bit by a spider and this is an allergic reaction.  He has the same energy, good appetite, and itches slightly.  However, I have also been around cats lately that have ear mites (but not in our home).  Could I have brought them home on clothes?  Please advise. Thanks!


Answer by miri
Submitted on 8/23/2004
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Hi I have a shi tzu with black on his tummy vet told me it was a fungus...gave him a couple of baths in good old diluted Iodine then started him on cod liver oil and frontline monthly he now gets his bath with sulfedene shampoo


Answer by Lourdes
Submitted on 9/21/2004
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I have a three year old Pekinese mix.  I just recently noticed her skin turning black, but months ago i noticed a reallly rank odor coming from her reproductive area.  She has been fixed and the smell doesn't last more than a day, but the smell comes back once or twice a month.  None of her hair has fallen out, and she's in high spirits.
    I usually give her Advantage, but not as of late.  We have also moved in with a cat.    
Lola, my dog, has had allergies in the past, she itches and sneezes.
    i'm not sure if it is just an allergy, or what.  Thing is i can't really afford to have every test run on her.  Bless her little heart, she knows when she stinks, and no one wants to hold her during those times.


Answer by redhead
Submitted on 9/29/2004
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Hi everyone:

Have a 10 year old, spayed female cocker spaniel.  Her skin is pale pink but around age 4 she started developing dime size circular in shape black spots on her body.  A few days later these spots would begin to form crusts and clump to her coat.  If left alone they would get bigger and harden (dry up) and flake off but not fully.  My vet said she had overactive oil glands and the buildup was just excessive oil that clumps to the hair follicle and dries.  We've tried many antibiotics, shampoos, change in dog foods, change in products I use at home, and went to a totally 100% cotton dog bedding.  Took her to a dermatologist that explained that what she has is called Seborrhea.

Here is a short explanation of the condition and what to do.  http://www.thepettribune.com/1998/101198/5.html

I am on the east coast in NC (the article above is from Florida).  I feed my dog Eukanuba FP, give her 1 DermaCap (fish oil cap) a day, bathe her once a week in Sebolux shampoo, use a flea comb to scratch off the buildup while the shampoo is on her, sponge bath rinse her with something called Humilac, towel dry-air dry as hair dryers tend to really dry her out, and due to her skin allergies to most meats, yeast, and flour/wheat, she pretty much just gets raw fruits and veggies for treats.  fortunately, she will eat anything heartily and considers the occassional not-so-good-for-her treats as truly special occassions!

What I've noticed is my dog's black,scaly spots occur heavily in her hot areas (arm pits, under her tail, around her private areas, chest/belly, insider her long ears, under her chin...her back and sides tend to be free from this frustrating condition.

She typically has bouts with this stuff in early Spring and early fall (this time of year is heck on her).  She has that awful smell, she's a cocker spaniel so her eyes and ears have issues as well as her skin during this time, she's an itching wreck and the only time she seams peaceful is right after her bath.

She's developed black skin on her rear end, belly, and armpits which led me to this group.  I'm thinking its part of a bacteria that may have developed due to her oily scabs sitting around on her skin and not getting air--have always been told that skin needs to breathe (ie be exposed to air) to help it heal and her tail doesn't allow that.  Heading back to the vet to get something hopefully for her rear end.  We'll see.

As far as why this happened to her, have been told she's everything from she has a poor immune system, or possible cushing'sdisease even though all tests were negative I was then told she's 'borderline' cushings, all the way to her breed is just prone to this stuff....i hear that one a lot.  

It's a cycle of trying different things and hoping you find some combination of something that works.  For us, the weekly shampooing, flea combing 2-3 a week especially at her bath, and dermcaps seam to be working for her.

I hope some find this helpful.  I wish everyone good health and lots of quality time with your best friends!

Melanie, NC


Answer by max
Submitted on 10/15/2004
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My 10 year old blond cocker mix started shedding his hair on his tail last year. I didn't really think to much about it.  He had a small sore at the base of his tail.  I did find a flea and treated him for the fleas.  But this year his skin has turned completely black now from tail to head.  He doesn't stink nor scratch.  My neighbor said it is a thyroid condition.  He is overweight but does not over eat.  The hair is not growing as nice this year either.  My neighbor said her dogs skin turned black but once the dog got on Thyroid pills twice a day that the dark skin returned to normal color.  My dog stays inside all the time except for walks.


Answer by Jack
Submitted on 10/17/2004
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Hi I'm Jack's Mom...


Jack is a Cane Corso.  He for years has had ear infections, bad odor, loss of hair, rashes, soars, redness in between the pads of his paws and now his skin is turning black.  So I began research because Vets didn't have a answer.  They would just give antibiotics that would help the problem for a little bit.  I have now found my dog has an allergy to his foods.  This has caused a systemic yeast infection.  Which means there is a build up or over abundance of yeast in his body.  I have had to change his food and give him supplements.  Which is curing all of his health issues.  For whatever reason most Vets do not tell you this could be a problem.  Most dogs who have skin and/or ear and paw problems with a funky smell are for sure to have systemic yeast infection...this is very common.  Please for all of you who are having black skin problems with your dogs...please do research on yeast infection in dogs.   It causes many different kinds of health issues...even intestinal problems which can be the answer to your dogs stomach swelling...along with black skin condition.  This is something that a lot of people miss because the Vets never tells you about it.  There are great home remedies for your pooch.  There are tons of information on line regarding this health issue.  After reading all of these emails...I'm concerned you guys have missed what is really going on with your pet which can lead to other major health issues.


Answer by mjc
Submitted on 10/28/2004
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My dog had the odor and scratching all the time.  It is yeast.  The vets all want to give him steroids.  I stopped all the steroids.  I give him super potent acidophilus from Walmart. He weighs 15 pounds.  I give him 3 of these a day.  If he has an outbreak I give him 6.  I bathe him in Dandruff 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner, Suave brand every 3 days.  I feed him canned tuna in oil. baked sweetpotatoes. Nothing processed at all.  I also treat him with
Monistat 7 that I warm up and put in his ears. It can be kept under control but you have to keep up his restricted diet. It can flair up at any time.  I had him to several
vets that never really cleared him up. When he went back for his shots the vet was shocked that he was doing so well. I do feed him meat without any kind of seasoning on it when it is available.


Answer by Rosebud in Ohio
Submitted on 12/3/2004
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I have a yellow Labrador mix and she has black skin that comes and goes and her hair
is also very greasy/falls out and she smells VERY bad.  She has been tested and diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.  The proper medication will allow her itching to stop and her hair to grow back but will not help the odor.


Answer by Michael
Submitted on 12/5/2004
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Hello folks, I was just popping around trying to solve some issues regarding a problem my pet has and I stumbled upon this thread - black skin disease isn't what mine has but I just thought I'd put my two cents in just in case it helps any of you.  I've run across the disease here and there in my readings and have found that yeast infection seems to be the central idea experts are accepting regarding the symptoms of black skin disease.  It fits as well, when you consider the symptoms and the typical reactions to the treatments that have been tried.  Thus I would recommend asking your vet about superficial yeast infection control tactics - it may be the ticket for your darkening dog.  I don't have any links off the top of my head except www.nzymes.com
  ... which is a specific treatment for dogs with yeast/candida problems.  Just follow the 'smelly skin' link under the skin problems heading.  Good info there too.


Answer by cjrv5
Submitted on 12/10/2004
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My male cream Pom is only 4 months old, but I can already see that his coat does not look like a normal pom's- it's very thin on the body and he has guard hairs around the neck only. Does anyone think this sounds like early signs of the Black Skin Disease being discussed here? Does anyone have advice, or know if there are poms out there who have this type of coat normally without having disease?


Answer by Shawn43
Submitted on 12/12/2004
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I have a 5 year old Shih Tzu. About 6 months ago she developed what looked like a bad rash on her belly. Eventually it started to turn black. I changed her diet to an all veggie dog food, to most recently a fish and potato dog food. I have tried Derma Care Antibacterial Shampoo, and Epi Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo, both help with the itch. I have had her on Apo-Prednisone, this worked very well at keeping the itch at bay, and the redness around the black calms down. However the black never goes away. My vet recently switched her to a drug called Vanectyl-P. After 3 days things are getting worse not better, I guess it will be back to the Prednisone, until I can figure out what is causing this.


Answer by Lola
Submitted on 12/14/2004
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My cat seems to have the same problem.  The tips of her ears are turning black...at first I thought it was just dirt and touched it to see, but then she responded as if she was in pain.


Answer by bits of guy
Submitted on 12/19/2004
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We have a 2 year old F/S Chow Chow, developed black skin Disease at 1 year. Vet recognized it immediately. She does not have any sores, but her fur fell out on flanks first, stomach, mane, front legs and ribs pretty much in that order.

If your dog truely has Black Skin Disease, it is a growth hormone deficiency.  Anything else and it is not BSD.  Could be thyroid, or fleas or something else rare and strange.  But BSD is a growth hormone deficiency and shows up in light fur dogs of northern breeds which there are 5 common.
Males more often than females get this disease.

At 1 year to 24 months as the puppy fur falls out it is not replaced by the adult fur and the skin turns black.

We tried the following herbal remedy. Off label use. If you use it, you are in uncharted territory.

Ultimate High(tm) Human Growth Pro-factors that support the anti-aging process.  
Great American Products
101 Mattie Kelly Blvd.
Destin, Fl, 32541  
Questions/comments/order  1-800-466-8615

So far she has regrown her tail fur, legs, chest and her back is starting to fill in, and tonight I noticed peachfuzz on her flanks were there was no fur last week. She has been on it for 7 months, 1 pill a day, she weighs 35 pounds. We give it to her in a slice of cheese every morning.  The new fur is incredible. It is full of life and healthy.
The black skin on her flanks has changed to a fleshy pink color.  It has felt like a long time coming because changes are gradual, however, we noticed fur growth after only being on the pills for three weeks.  It is just that it takes a long time to grow full length fur from nothing at all.

Her ribs are still bare, and her mane is not showing any signs of recovery, but it may be a slower process for her body to build those parts, or it may never regrow.  But the fur that she now has is not the wool that was left after her puppy fur fell out.


Answer by QueenofTUT
Submitted on 1/14/2005
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My little 9 year old female pom started developing black spots about 3 years ago.  It looked like mold and she was bald over these patches.  She also itched constantly and had some raw places.  She had a slight yeasty smell, too.  It just killed me to see her like that.  She used to be a show dog and was well on her way to champion status when she was abused and I rescued her.  The vet did everything he could think of, thyroid tests, skin scrapings, etc.  We tried various diets, medicines, shampoos, etc.  She does have an under-active thyroid, but that was not what was causing the problem.  My vet believes it to be a form of psoriasis.  We found a combination of medicated shampoos, conditioners and sprays that have worked wonders.  I use Malaseb (spelling?) Shampoo every other week, leave it on for 10 minutes, rinse, then use Resichlor full strength and leave it in (do not rinse!).  There is a new spray on the market (only through vets) for skin conditions called Genesis.  I use it once a week, including after her bath.  I also spray an aloe vera solution (1 tablespoon pure aloe vera gel in 2 cups water) on her every other day (make sure skin is wet).  She gets brushed every time she is bathed or sprayed to get the old hair and skin off.  Her skin has cleared up almost completely and her hair is growing back.  Her hair seems to be more cottony and is more prone to matting, but it's so much better than the baldness and constant itching.  She was miserable and now wants to play.  Talk to your vet about this combination and see if that works.  Oh, I also cut out all food except Science Diet Dry Food for Seniors, and the only treats she gets are treats I make myself so they have no chemicals and preservatives in them.  I don't know if that has made any difference, but it makes me feel better!  You also don't need to have any concerns if you have other dogs that like to lick the sores, none of these treatments will harm them.  Most of all, be patient!  It took 2 years to find the right combination.  Once we found the right treatment, the itching stopped almost immediately, but the spots took 3 or 4 months to clear up completely.  You can never stop treating this.  It's just like psoriasis in humans, it will come back.


Answer by Kathy
Submitted on 2/12/2005
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My Pom who is female started with a few spotty black spot I originally thought was dirt but it would not come off well it gradually advanced to where her tummy and tail and butt area are solid black now, no infections though but she has lost her hair. The vet said it is common in poms bu has no idea what causes it or what can be done to cure it. My Pom friends do call it black skin disease


Answer by Brianne
Submitted on 2/12/2005
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My dog has a black spot on her lower stomach.  It looks like a spider web, it is not raised and is not bleeding. It is just white and black? What could this be??


Answer by ava&zsazsa
Submitted on 2/28/2005
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We have two poms--one year & the other is 4 years old.  We noticed that the older one, who is a little larger than the baby, had been scratching her back on the rungs on our bar stools.  When I was sweeping, we noticed large chunks of fur on the floor.  Now she has a good sized bald spot.  We've put creams & antibiotic sprays, but nothing yet.  Any clue what else this might be?  PS  we live in Louisiana which is EXTREMELY humid--please respond to a.matherne381@cox.net


Answer by Jodie
Submitted on 3/4/2005
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I have a 5 month old pom, which we are pretty sure came from a puppy mill situation, but he has been sick since the day I got him with everything from kennel cough to mites.  Now that we have the mites cleared up and he is on Nutra puppy food which contains no wheat or by-products because the vet thought he may have allergies. We have noticed that his skin is extremely dry and he has a ton of dandruff and hair loss, do you think this is the black skin disorder starting?  He has been put on 3v skin capsules to try and help he is also scheduled to see a groomer that handles show quality poms to see if they can help with this.


Answer by wopaho
Submitted on 3/10/2005
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I have a Lhasa Apso female, who recently had a litter of pups./ Beautiful puppies! They are all sold and gone except for two that we are keeping. Now my baby I just noticed that she is losing hair around her neck and her skin is pink and areas of black too. I don't know what has happened to her. She has never had any problems with anything health wise. I am wondering if she is sad or if since I have changed her food that she might not be able to eat the new stuff. If you have any answers for me, please don't hesitate.


Answer by Nikki
Submitted on 3/17/2005
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This is all very interesting. My dog, a sharpei/chow mix, has been having a few of these symptoms as well

At first I saw some discoloration of her coat on her back. I thought it was just her bottom coat shedding like it normally does. When I took a closer look I noticed that it wasn't the undercoat shedding. It was simply that the top coat had just come off.

Ginger has always had an odor and has been an itchy dog so I try to keep her washed every week. I noticed the smell getting REALLY bad (and that is something because I'venever really been able to smell her odor before when everyone else could)I looked at her back again and some some hair trying to come out..still thinking it might be shedding I gently pulled it away and it started to bleed. She has patches like this all over her back and they seem to be spreading. As many others who have posted said...the smell is just unbearable. Can this be contracted to humans? Or is it just me being grossed out and paranoid because I'vebecome itchy as well.. has anyone else had this happen?

Oh, and on a last note. We did take her to the vet and he said she probably had skin allergies and prescribed benedryl. SHOCKER- it didn't work. Where are dependable vets these days???????


Answer by putty_tat007
Submitted on 3/24/2005
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My little two year old Pom is starting to show signs of this problem.  I have checked into everything and I hear it is an allergic reaction to store dog food. I found two of the best books and I think this is the most likely way to get the whole problem to go way.  It is a little work but I think well worth it.  I have to books for you guy's. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health for Dog's and Cat's and Anitra Frazier The natural cat for those of us who also have cats.  Dr Pitcairn's book is also for dog's and cat's and it talks about every thing it's really great.  It has recipes for different conditions and even what to do about emergency's.  They are both less then 20 dollars and I know you'll love it as much as I do.  Just got mine and can't stop reading it.  It really has everything even places to buy certain things mentioned in the book. I wish you and your little one's much health and long life.  


Answer by Ketzie
Submitted on 4/9/2005
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I have a Red Dapple Dachshund and he has black spots which look like a bunch of small moles on his chest down to his private area.  I was wondering if anyone had pictures of this black-skin disease so I can see if my dog resembles it.




Answer by fee
Submitted on 4/13/2005
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hi, i have a cream male pom (snowie)which is now 3yrs old. about a year ago i noticed his hair beginning to fall out in chucks until all of his hair was gone except for his head, his feet and tail. However he dose not have a strong smell that others have been describing. However, since his hair loss his skin has progressively turned dark and seems to look dry except for his stomach which is still pink. He seems happy and healthy other than this extreme hair loss. My vet also does not seem to know what this is, could it be this black skin disease? He also seems to sneese extremely alot- what could this be caused from?


Answer by malty
Submitted on 4/21/2005
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I have a three-year old male Maltese.  I noticed long ago that he had black patches all over him, but they were not raised, rough, or smelly.  Most have disappeared except for one that I noticed tonight.  He has no hair there now, and he has been lethargic all day.  He has not eaten at all today.  I read about black skin disease, and this doesn't seem to fit the description of what my dog has.  Any ideas?


Answer by nikki
Submitted on 5/2/2005
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My maltese has experienced somthing quite similar, her skin has actually turned a  pink colour, apparently there anal glands are blocked therfor you must squeeze around the emmm....ring and this will push a poo out and it's all good after that...good luck!


Answer by shoe
Submitted on 5/3/2005
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My male boxer has spreading blackness on his belly.  He doesn't stink and doesn't seem to be itchy.  No sores.  Reading these posts doesn't make me feel better...

weird thing.


Answer by glory
Submitted on 5/8/2005
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I have a mix poodle/cocker spaniel, I trim her hair every year toward the summer.  This time I notice her skin is getting real dark, almost black on her outside legs and getting worse.  There are no other symptoms so far.  I noticed a tick of some kind on her back and was afraid it had to do with that tick.  After reading other e-mails, I can hope it is not harmful.  


Answer by bungjet
Submitted on 5/12/2005
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I have a four month old western highland cross maltese puppy.  We are just coming into winter here and he has stated to lose a lot of his fur especially on his back tummy and legs.  Is this him just shedding his puppy fur or should i be more concerned.  He is looking rather bald at this time but head and front half appear still to be fully haired.  thanks Jane


Answer by Gabi
Submitted on 6/6/2005
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I've got an 8 year old German Shepherd/Beagle cross. She's very sweet and loves to roll over and have her belly rubbed... so about 1.5 months ago, we noticed that the skin on her lower belly was turning black. This is about a 4x8 inch area, including her nipples. There is no smell, scabbing, or severe itching(or atleast noticeable by us humans). Probably the same thing, although no one seems to have this on their beagle/german shepherd...


Answer by Kaci
Submitted on 6/6/2005
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My 8 yr old teacup chihuahua began having dark brown/reddish spots on her skin some time ago. At the same time, HORRIBLY dark tearstains appeared under her eyes. I noticed that she would be licking these darkspots and biting at them, so I thought maybe the darkening of the fur was from her saliva, which was a possibility of the new vitamins I had started her on. She NEVER had tearstains before, and her fur was always clean, white, and soft.

We stopped the vitamins and noticed no improvement, so we began giving them to her again.

Last week, we noticed her belly seemed very swollen, which went away the next day. My dog has always been a little chubby, and now seems to have lost quite a bit of weight.

Her hind legs and bottom seem to be where all the dark spots and most of the hairloss are. She does have a problem with one of the joints in her leg, which causes her to drag them sometimes. It's a possibility the grass or blooms from the tree in the backyard gave her an allergy. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow and I am going to ask about this Black Skin Disease and also have her thyroid checked (I myself had a thyroid disease, so I know how dramatic and horrible it can be, but can't imagine how it would be for a poor little dog!)

Thank you to everyone who posted information about how they treated their dogs. I have never heard of this condition and am trying to find as much info as possible now!

Did anyone else notice any weight gain/loss in their dogs? Tearstains?


Answer by thestray911
Submitted on 6/9/2005
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My Sheltie is 3 years old and has black skin disease.their is a shampoo that you can get at Tractor Supply Co. called Happy Jack mange medicine for dogs and horses.it works on a wide spectrum of animal skin problems and if they have ticks, and fleas their is happy jack flea, tick spray, and it really works to


Answer by jules
Submitted on 6/23/2005
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I have two pomeranians, male and female. Both have had there own set of hair problems.  My 3 year old male started losing his hair, not just in patches but all over, and was itching and biting excessively.  Then my older 8-year old female started getting dark patches on her hind legs and losing her hair back there.  I took them to a Holistic Veternarian and he told me dogs get allergies to their food and to their enviroment,(Seasonal Pollen, dust, etc.)just like people.  He did testing to determine what food they could tolerate, I made my own at home and he gave some thyroid and adrenal supplements and Homeopathic remedies,  and I just changed their food and they have not had a problem since. So try changing their food to the best food you can find, or make your own with meat, veg, and grain or rice. Find an Holistic vet, even if you do not believe, It does work!!


Answer by kevsumtur
Submitted on 6/24/2005
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I've heard if you bathe your dog in Neutrogena T-Gel every other day, after a few weeks you will see tremendous results. It worked for my part Beagle/Lab.      


Answer by Deloris Caffey
Submitted on 6/26/2005
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I had a westie that has black skin disease the lady i bought from gave me back my money. would like to see that she don't sell any more dog. He was just 6-month but stilled loved him.


Answer by HELP
Submitted on 6/30/2005
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we suggest you open all windows and doors, if the smell persists you should invest in some nose pegs.


Answer by jat
Submitted on 7/2/2005
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I have a boxer/pit mix fawn color who has the black spreading over her belly and onto her limbs. At first I thought it was part of her markings & puberty, she is just a year but now she is losing chunks of hair. I am reading so many different possiblities I don't know if I can even rely on my vets results!?!  What works? My dog has chewed up her ears because of this.



Answer by Patricia 
Submitted on 7/3/2005
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I have a 7 year old Pomeranian who had this black skin problem. We live in Sydney Australia. I discovered a remedy by accident when he was savage by another dog and to heal the wound a neighbour suggested that Papaw Ointment would help. It did ! I then noticed several weeks later that it had helped the back skin also  and his fur was growing back. The black skin has now completely gone from his body, only the fur on his tail has yet to come back fully but I am working on that and having results. I would  be happy to supply and further information to anyone interested.


Answer by Kedar
Submitted on 7/4/2005
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Has anyone seen this in German Shepherd/Alsatians ? I have one which is 8 years old and has started developing this disease in the past 6 months. I am guessing this is due to his age but then again, after all the medical mumbo jumbo, I am afraid this is hurting the poor chap. Any concrete research yet on this?


Answer by peggy
Submitted on 7/5/2005
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I have 3 male poms. One is the daddy dog
(all 4.5 lbs), the other 2 came from 2 different litters. One lost his puppy coat and the adult coat didn't grown-in. The other two were beautiful for 3 years. Then I had those 2 clipped close last summer. Both of them developed black skin and no hair returned. They all had hair on their head and legs but no where else. I was sick because I had the 2 with hair clipped. I didn't know it wouldn't grow back.
I knew nothing about treating the problem. I had taken my poms to 3 different vets for tests.
I finally read an article in "Pomerian" magazine. A canine dermatologist cited all the reasons for "Alopecia X", "Black-Skin-Disease","Sudden Skin Loss Syndrome" related to genetics: the X gene, testosterone production, etc., as possible causes.

She also gave a treatment recommendation AND It works if you will take the time to do it!

1.Bathe your pom in GOOP hand cleanser. I use a soft  bristled brush and lightly scrub their skin. Use a lot of GOOP on them, scrubbing several minutes, using the soft brush.

2. Rinse and then apply SELSUN BLUE SHAMPOO. Scrub lightly and massage into skin several minutes. Rinse.

3. Apply an ANTI-BACTERIAL DISH DETERGENT. Massage well. Rinse.

4. Apply a canine conditioner. Massage gently. Rinse.

5. Towel dry, rubbing skin softly.Blow dry.

This can be done 2-3 times a week. It sounds unreal but my poms had little patches of new hair growing back in spots within a week!Really!

I now have finale found a vet that knows the problem. He recommended OxyDex Canine Shampoo. OxyDex opens the pores of the skin which helps the leathery, scaly, black skin. With that you apply shampoo, have dog sit for 5-10 minutes with OxyDex, then condition.

Overall, I found alternating the two treatments above works best. (I use a tearless baby shampoo around their eyes).
Good Luck.


Answer by cairnfamily
Submitted on 7/5/2005
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Our 5 year old male Cairn Terrier has been on antibiotics for bladder and ear infections in the past. The first indication of any problems was the chewing of his paws.  He has black skin over most of his body, scratches himself constantly, and SMELLS AWFUL.  His Vet ruled out different skin diseases by doing a scrape/test and says he probably has allergies. We have tried antibiotics,
steroids, benadryl and medicated shampoos.
Unwilling to continue the steroid/antibiotic route, we sought help from NZYMES.COM.  We have been following the their advice for 2 months with little progress but we knew from the start that it can take around 5 months to get some results. If you are at your last resort like us, you may want to check out the website and see if your pet has similar symptoms.


Answer by maggies mom
Submitted on 7/6/2005
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I have a beagle mix with this 'black skin'.  She is about 9 years old and this is the first year it has shown up.  It is raised and looks similar to that of a pig skin, except it is soft.  It is on her abdomen and around her rectum area.  She constantly licks and scratches.  Has anyone else had this issue?  It doesn't seem like it would be the black skin disease, as it's not scaby/crusty and the only place it is located is her bottom and belly.  Any suggestions?


Answer by Veggiebabe4
Submitted on 7/7/2005
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I had My Pomeranian clipped for Spring in April. Her fur grew back woolly, short and ugly. It never grew back on her bum and hind legs. Now it's turning black and has a bit of an odor starting. I went to the Vet but he never heard of black skin disease. He wouldn't listen and just kept saying it had to be her thyroid. I haven't had any tests done yet. I gave her a bath tonight with hypoallergenic oatmeal shampoo and conditioner for dogs. Then I rubbed a little beeswax cream in to the skin. Was the cream a mistake? Should I keep it dry?


Answer by lisa marie
Submitted on 7/8/2005
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I have a pom and his hair fell out and his back is black.. does this mean he has black skin disese?


Answer by pshawed
Submitted on 7/17/2005
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have a 30-pound mixed nine-year old female dog.  at the first sign of spring her skin starts turning black.  this started years ago.  my first instinct was this is an allergy and i cut a benadryl (generic brand) into thirds and give a.m., lunch, and p.m., and continue doing this until the first snow.  she has been fine.  a few weeks ago i went to the health food department of my local grocery store and bought Nelson histaminum hydrochloricum 12 and give her 2 three times a day.  it's too early to be able to say this is working but if not i will put her back on the benadryl.  if you suspect allergies, which is what i think she has, before you try steroids you might try benadryl.  a vet never told me to do this so you might check it out with yours before trying this.


Answer by jessica39574
Submitted on 7/27/2005
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Answer by chris
Submitted on 7/27/2005
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my question is the same as the first persons my dogs skin is tuning black but this started at the head and when the hair falls out his skin starts to get soars on it and i dont know what to do?


Answer by carraher
Submitted on 7/31/2005
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My pomeranian had rough smelly blackening skin with hair loss on tail, body from behind the neck to the tail and top half of legs. I had read about black skin disease and it sounded like it, but I started using Hartz medicated for the last month and have much of the hair lost is starting to grow back.


Answer by helpme!!!!
Submitted on 8/9/2005
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hi i have a 4 year old chihuahua who has black on her underarms and under legs. the skin peels sometimes and it didn't seem to spread. after awhile though it is now on her foot she doesn't smell and no one from her breeders has a dog with this could you please help me!!!!


Answer by scooby luver
Submitted on 8/11/2005
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it is alopecia X


Answer by scooby luver
Submitted on 8/11/2005
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.the usual areas the dog can get it are the back,hind legs,chest,rump,and tail
. the disease usualy begins in dogs from 9 months to 3 years
. also loss of the hair may cause a drop in temperature in the area that adversely affects the blood supply to the area
. also this may not only be one disease but many diseases
. possible treatments are NZYMES and OX-E-DROPS i wish u all luck w/ your dogs


Answer by Jennifer
Submitted on 8/17/2005
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I also have a pomeranian who happens to be cream colored. he is experiencing the same problem i have been doing some research on it and so far lamb and rice dog food along with vitamin E and frequent baths seem to be helping he also takes a skin and coat supplement and no longer has an odor.


Answer by Jady2
Submitted on 8/18/2005
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The skin on the back and front legs of my Sheltie mix have turned black.  She had chewed herself raw under the "pantaloons" on her rear legs before I discovered it - and scratched her stomach and under one front leg.  The vet said "food allergies" (I'd been feeding her a premium dog food for 4 years but was told allergies can develop at any time). We put her on a limited ingredient dog food from the vet and immediately everything got better (except the black skin). I've been reading extensively online about dog food and got quite an education about it and the pros/cons of different approaches.  The old adage "you are what you eat" applies to our pets as well as us.  I started sharing some of my organic meals with her - meat, vegetables, fruit - by adding it to the vet dog food and it seems she's fine with it.  I'm still worried about the black skin and may request a thyroid test (my vet said it's about $300.00 dollars). I so appreciate finding this forum.


Answer by Daze....
Submitted on 8/31/2005
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I have a Westie Highland Terrier thatís turning black, but doesnít have rough skin or hair falling out (its only 1 year old).  It started on the tip of her tail and the tip her ears.  Now, it covers her body with some patches of some pink areas on her belly, head, paws and a small portion of the chest area.  


Answer by Amanda
Submitted on 9/7/2005
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I have a 5 year old yellow lab.  Recently this summer she has developed a skin problem. First she started itching until her hair fell out and she basically itched her skin raw.  Then her skin started to turn black.  It has recently gotten much worse. Her skin is black on her belly, bottom, back, hind legs, tail, neck, and she has had terrible ear infections that wont seem to go away. We have had her on some medication for her ears but it hasn't had much effect on the infection.Her skin and ears smell terrible. I am so worried about her she just cant stop the itching i feel so bad for her can any one help??????  


Answer by Jo
Submitted on 9/14/2005
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Another disease that you may want to research is Cushing's Syndrome.  If you do a search on it - you will find a wealth of info.  


Answer by Rusty Red
Submitted on 9/14/2005
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Our dog is 17 yrs old. Developed leathery black coating on his underside causing itchiness and nasty smell.  After reading the above we decided to try maximum strength hydrocortisone cream 1% with aloe.  Have use for apx. 2 months every other day.  Smell disappeared almost immediately and pink skin is coming back to affected area.  Used Kirkland brand from Costco.    


Answer by bmergrl
Submitted on 9/17/2005
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HI all.. I have a 18 mo old pom/peek mix. She has horrible itching and will chew herself till she is very bloody and bald. She has no black spots. Have spent so much money at vets just to be told its fleas, then when I ask the vet to show me the proof, she has no fleas. Dog is now bald 1/2 way up her back, down tail,back of legs and behind ears.. And she has to be miserable. Any suggestions???


Answer by Tina
Submitted on 9/23/2005
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Answer by Barbara
Submitted on 9/24/2005
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I have a question.  My daughter has a dog with an itchy skin problem.  He has chewed half his fur off and has raw spots.  His skin is extremely smelly.  What could be wrong with him?  Is it a yeast infection?


Answer by Dotsie
Submitted on 9/28/2005
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I have a Lab/Shep mix and finally found out that these black patches are from a YEAST INFECTION. The patches would start out small and scabby, and then he would lose his hair - but skin would remain black.  He was very smelly!!!  I found this site with a photo of another dog with the same problem - it looks just like my dog's problem.  I keep looking for answers and thought perhaps that he had Black Skin Disease.  At least now I know what he has and can pursue getting him the correct treatment.

Here's the link to the photos:

Hope this info helps someone else in search of the right answers.


Answer by lizz
Submitted on 10/11/2005
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I have a 1 yr. 8 month old Chihuahua and I recently noticed black spots under her neck where she has no hair.  In about 3-4 weeks time the spots have grown.  They don't seem to bother her, she has no hair loss, and no bad odor however, I'm concerned.  Does this sound like black skin disease?  Also, she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy about 8 months ago, we just got rid of her mites 4 months ago and a nail fungus 2 months ago.  My poor puppy has been through so much and I am in a state of confusion when it comes to the spots.  Does anyone know what it might be?  *She will see the vet (her 2nd home) in 3 days but I would like a heads up on what I might hear from him.


Answer by Sammie's Mom
Submitted on 10/22/2005
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Pomeranian Black Skin Disease can be cured with... Melatonin... I met a man on a plane while I was traveling with my 7 year old Pom, Samantha. Samantha is a 5 pound, teddy bear faced, black Pom...She started losing her hair a few months ago, her skin underneath went from pink to black, it was very dry, but not oily or smelly.I took her everywhere to try and find a cure, but they just offered me shampoos or medicines, none of which worked. Then this man sitting next to me on the plane told me that his neighbor has a Pom and it too lost it's hair and the skin turned black, they found a vet that told them to try Melatonin, he said within a few months the Pom was a big puffball again. I was so excited, I immediately called my vet and asked her to look into it for me and find out possible side-effects, dosage information, everything that she could. She called me back a few days later and said, dosage is .02 micrograms per pound, and it can make them sleepy, just like humans, it should be well tolerated given at bedtime. So I went to my pharmacy and had them compound a liquid Melatonin with a chicken flavor. I gave it to Samantha every other night for 3 weeks, then every third night for a month, and then once a week for about 2 months. All of a sudden, Samantha is growing long, black, silky hair all over.. She never lost the hair on her head or her legs, just her torso and now it's all coming back in.. I am so happy and I needed to share this will other Pom mommies & daddies. Please call your vet, talk to a pharmacy that does compounding, give it a try, Samantha did not experience one negative side effect, and now she has hair again to keep her warm, and I can tell that she's much happier. I hope this works for you...It did for us..


Answer by Molly's Mom
Submitted on 11/6/2005
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I too have problems with my dog's skin.  She has been said to have allergies and has been on allergy shots for grasses for 3 years for bumps and resulting infections.  Now the black skin on her abdomen, front leg pit area, and anal area has developed with a smell.  Her skin feels really hot in these areas and she constantly wants to lick or bite these areas.  I've read all of the entries here and see there have been no responses since 2004.  We were getting ready to try a raw meat diet.  Has anyone found success yet?


Answer by bubblibee
Submitted on 11/8/2005
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I have a 9 year old pom. she is the only that I have had. She has had this black skin thing for about four years. Her ears also get stinky. The vet has prescribed melatonin also. What the vet says he thinks is the sex adreanal glands dont produce like they should and this is what happens with their skin. Some thing about a skin yeast infection. It is not a fun thing to go through with our beloved animals. I wish that there was a cure.


Answer by Nicole
Submitted on 11/9/2005
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My pomeranian, Bonnie who is blonde red haired* is 4 years old, she has lost the hair on her back and legs, her backis bleeding* and she did have scabs- before she scratched them all off.
I feelso bad- I don't have the money for allthem test to find out what it is. Her back legs looh realy bad- the veins are all broken, he legs look brused......... she is getting the black skin arounf her tail and mouth
.......god i have no idea what to do!


Answer by Shera
Submitted on 11/10/2005
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Hi all. My 7 yr old female Pom had started losing hair like crazy, black skin and only seemed a little itchy. Visits to several different vets resulted in buying expensive shampoos, sprays and antibiotics in spray and pill forms.

After months of shoving pills down her throat, having her squirm like a speared toad as soon as I grab a spray bottle and getting deathly ill over some "vitamin supplement", I said "Enough!"

Started looking into the nature of commercially prepared dog food. If you love your dog, you may be physically sick over what they sell you to feed your dog.

I started both my "old girl" and her 3 yr old "puppy" on the BARF diet. It stands for Bones And Raw Food. Dogs have a digestive system better suited to raw meat and vegetables chopped finely.

It took awhile for their systems to clean out and I honestly considered going back to that crap baked "totally balanced" garbage they had been living on. Just think what your body would do if you had been eating nothing but kraft dinner all your life and then started to eat healthy meat and vegetables.

You may be aware of what a treat a Pom with diarrhea is. Expect it if you plan to try the BARF diet for them. I think it was worth it.

Gizmo's fur is thick and soft again, her breath smells good and even her arthritis seems much better. No more diarrhea. No black spots, no itching.

Their favorite is ground lamb, a cube of home pureed liver and ground carrots. ooooo such yummy slop.

Good luck everyone. We all know what it's like to have a suffering animal.


Answer by Lorraine
Submitted on 11/21/2005
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I have a 5yr old that about a year ago started with the black skin disease.I was waiting on it though do to the fact that a breeder let me know it was going full blown in poms and was bred into mine a couple generations back.I was hoping that the writer RanMyMan,could maybe let me in on how to get in touch with the Vet at UT for the skin disease.I know this is a great University and we are from Tn and this did not go full blown until we mover to Mo.i am wondering if the climate change made it worse..


Answer by Audrey
Submitted on 11/25/2005
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I have a Shiba Inu that is eight years old. It sounds like he probably has this black skin disease. I use to not be able to get rid of the smell. After using a whole bottle of "de flea" all natural pet shampoo and really scrubbing with my finger nails did I get the smell out. I rinsed him really well and dried him throughly. Its been almost three weeks and he doesn't smell at all yet. Yee! He seems a little happier. His skin is still dark though.
I'm going to get him neutered next week so he wont be able to spread the disease and I also heard it may helps get rid of it.
Poor dogs. Good luck.


Answer by Sammy
Submitted on 11/26/2005
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Hi all -- My dog had black skin with fowl smell on her chest.  It was spreading fast. but she never lost her hair.  Here is waht cured her condition:  1) I shaved her completely down to the skin; 2) I made up a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and Tea Tree Oil in a spray bottle and sprayed the affected areas throroughly twice a day until the pink flesh returned, which took about two weeks.  She is OK now.


Answer by Brittany
Submitted on 11/28/2005
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hi my dog is getting little red and black bumps on her belly on the lower part and she keeps geting more and now shes geting them under her far by her theighs do you have any clue what that might be?


Answer by April
Submitted on 12/12/2005
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I have a wired haired terrier that we got from the pound at first it look like a hot spot but now its all over the body and the skin is turning black and she stinks really bad she is tan and white so I dont know if hair color matters. We been trying med. shapoos and hot spot stuff it seems to help a little not a lot. We got this stuff from the store that supposed to stop any sore on a dog so we well see if that works. Dont know what to do


Answer by luckydoodle
Submitted on 12/21/2005
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My dogs a sheltie, he only has the black spots. And does not appear to scratch himself, or gnaw on himself, at least no scratching that wouldn't be perceived as not-natural. Nor does he smell. He has two half inch diameter circle spots on his chest, but he scratched them, one was even indented, but recently they have disappeared. Now he has some more spots down near his tail on his stomach. He has already been neutered, and is anywhere between 8-12 years old. I was just wondering if this disease could occur on shelties? Or at least part shelties?  
I am only 15 but I will tell my parents, that he should go to the vet and get checked out. I'm thinking it could be some kind of bug, because my cats are scratching a little more then normal too! (not that, that has anything to do with it)


A worried animal owner.


Answer by jane
Submitted on 1/6/2006
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please help
I have a six month old male maltesexwestie.

at about 3 months he started loosing his fur on his back end.  It started to regrow but summer has come and he is almost completely bald from his front shoulders back.(can send pics if need be)  His skin is discoloured all over where there is no hair. no smell and not overly itchy.

Any ideas



Answer by jane
Submitted on 1/6/2006
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please help
I have a six month old male maltesexwestie.

at about 3 months he started loosing his fur on his back end.  It started to regrow but summer has come and he is almost completely bald from his front shoulders back.(can send pics if need be)  His skin is discoloured all over where there is no hair. no smell and not overly itchy.

Any ideas



Answer by Beau's Mom
Submitted on 1/8/2006
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My 5 year old male pom, started balding last year very slowly. His skin also dark, but it seems normal dark, no smell no sores or itching. I believe it started from clipping. Going to the dermatologist tomorrow, I'll let you know, this is a good forum. I have many extra questions for the vet from this information.


Answer by Ashelie
Submitted on 1/30/2006
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Wedding Date


Answer by Ashelie
Submitted on 1/30/2006
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I have a tan female Min-Pin mix who is only about 10 weeks old. She had a lot of fleas when I purchased her so I gave her some flea medicine that was perscribed by my vet. I then started to notice that her under body was turning a greyish black color. Just her chest, belly, inner thighs and genital area. She's not itching or licking and she doesn't stink, she seems perfectly healthy. I asked my sister who is a vet assistent and she thinks it may be a thyroid problem. Has anyone seen this problem with puppies? Has anyone heard if flea bites can do this? I'm hoping and praying that it's not Black Skin Disease. She is only a puppy! If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. :O


Answer by Bob O
Submitted on 1/30/2006
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I have a 4 year old keeshond and she has this condition on the inside of her back legs. I have not noticed any odor but she does itch, and ends up scooting to relieve it. I have tried melatonin and it helped slow  down the spread but did not cure it. Also I have been told that melatonin does not effect dogs like it does humans. Nothing seems to work,,, breeder has stopped breeding her dogs because of this condition. If anyone has any ideas please e-mail me at mrgdfellow@cox.net
Thank You


Answer by lily
Submitted on 2/13/2006
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My male yellow lab has black skin, and also spots of black in circles.
I shampoo him with 'murphy oil soap' I have not tried dawn dish soap, but someone suggested Murphys as it doesn't strip his natural oils..It helps but wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cure..


Answer by masonkitten37
Submitted on 2/17/2006
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I have a 2 year old terrier mix. I have had her since she was 7 months old. She was abandoened by her previous owners by being place outside to tend for her self.I did find them but still they did not want her back.When she turn 1, her skin began to stink bad and her ears was very black and crusty. I took her to the vet and they  gave me some antibotic lotion to put in them that worked. But then her condition turn to her entire skin stinking awful like a nasty foot smell and she scrathes awfull all the time. Some patches of dark skin is there and she lost hair from back next to her tail up to back to her back. I do wash her with medicated shampoos but she only stops stinking for about 2 to 3 days. I put conditioner on her after her baths to help the itching but she scrathes continueously.
I have even tried oatmeal baths to help the scratching which didn't work. I heard of the Black Skin Diease but I havent read upon it yet. Her hair is so dry and dull.Her hair grows back after winter but its not shining as it use to be. But once winter comes again, the hair lost does to.  If anyone could help me or give me any suggestions, please e mail me at bird82004@yahoo.com subject: Black Skin Diease. I havent tried the bathing in Dawn dish soap yet, but I am going to. The smell of her skin is so bad and she is such and loveable dog. But to pet her is impossible cause of the smell of her skin and her coat is to much to take.


Answer by Billie
Submitted on 2/17/2006
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I had a little three pound female Pom. Molly was about six years old when I noticed , some black spots on her belly. The Vet didn't know what it was. As time went on she started loosing her beautiful hair. Her skin became terrible . It was like an elephants skin. By the time she was eight years old she had very little hair. But she still had her personality. We took her to several vets and pet stores . we tried the tar baths and thyroid medicine etc. nothing ever helped. There was no smell.She had started laying around a lot and you could tell she didn't feel good. Then one night she started running and playing like a puppy. Later that night she crawled under the covers ( she always slept with us) and went to sleep snuggled up next to my husband and never woke up. So now I have a new pom. I got her when she was 8 weeks old. She is now one year old and my husband called me to come look at her last night and her tummy is looking blackish instead of pink. I got a cloth with some soap on it and tried to wash it off.My heart dropped , it wouldn't wash off. I have been on the computer for quiet a while now. Trying to see if a can find something that will help. She is wonderful, If any one has found any thing I can do to stop this in the early stages I would appreciate hearing from you. My name is Billie Belew , my e-mail address is www.bjbelew@comcast.net   Thank you


Answer by Mr5ISOOmWM
Submitted on 3/2/2006
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Answer by Marsha
Submitted on 3/4/2006
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does anyone have information on the cat birth control pills.  My Pomeranian has suffered with black skin since he was 2.  He will be 6 in June.

You can contact me at MFH730@aol.com



Answer by dashie lover
Submitted on 3/4/2006
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I have a 11 year old daushound... She has had this smelly scabbie bogus black skin infection for a long time.  the vet gives us antibioes and shampoo and we just deal with it.  IT is not easy.  She has now developed a peeing disorder that I think could be from insipidus although test taken proved negative.  If this is a yeast infection I was wondering if I put monistate cream on her if that would help.. it works on ring worm.  any info would be welcomed.


Answer by hETEII4cUr
Submitted on 3/14/2006
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Answer by Leah
Submitted on 3/15/2006
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I "adopted" a rat terrier from a friend of mine because the dog is having a severe allergy to something. After reading these posts I think she might have a yeast infection because she has an odor 1 day after a bath. She smells a bit like urine or something like burnt urine. That is just what comes to mind when I smell her.
She is missing hair on her back which is from biting. I think this was from fleas, as she had a number when I picked her up. After her bath, I applied flea stuff. I was thinking the rash was from fleas, but she does have allergies because her eyes are swollen and crusty. She also has some hair loss around her eyes. I'm thinking about giving her some microbes for yeast infections.
I will post again in a few days after I can make some discoveries. Oh yeah, she does have some black spots on the inside of her hind legs. it looks like mold. I hope it's not black skin disease. I'm happy to read that it isn't fatal!


Answer by Red
Submitted on 3/19/2006
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I have a female Shih Tzu that just had a weaned a litter of pups. When the milk began to dry up, her skin began to turn dark under her belly. This was our first litter, so, I thought this may be normal. She has lost the hair on her chest & has dark spots & pink spots on her chest. It looks like her skin is turning dark on her hind legs also, & her hair seems to be wiry. I have read all the answers on this site, but did not see anything about shih tzu's Does anyone know what this could possibly be in a shih tzu?


Answer by HELIK
Submitted on 3/26/2006
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Submitted on 4/13/2006
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Submitted on 4/13/2006
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Submitted on 4/17/2006
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I had a little three lb Pom that had black skin disease. Her intire body turned black, and she lost all her hair except on her head and tip of her tail. Her skin looked just like an elephants skin.There was no oozing or smell. This started when she was six, and when Molly was eight she went to bed with us and went under the covers , curled up in the bend of my husbands legs and died. My husband says the way to help heal my broken heart was to get another puppy. So we get another Pom , Rosie is now one year old and the absolute joy of my life. About two months ago we noticed Rosie'sbelly turning dark, today it is pretty black and the black is spreading fast. I am at my wits end, I had taken my other dog to several differant vets and pet stores etc, trying to get help. No one knew what was wrong with her. after she died I went on line and discovered Black skin disease. I am not very good on the computer , and I am so thankful to find this site. Any way I have taken my Rosie to the vet and am trying to explain BSD to them and they still have never heard of it. I am at a loss of what to do. I don't want to loose Rosie too. I am thinking of taking her to University of Tennessee , their Vet. Dept. But I don"t want to put my puppy through to much. I really don't know what to do. If anyone has any ideas I would appreciate hearing from you.       Thank you, Billie & Rosie  


Answer by Barbie55
Submitted on 5/2/2006
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I have a dog that had black spots on skin, been to vet treated for mites not working.I think that new medicecincine might work.


Answer by susy
Submitted on 5/3/2006
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I have a pit bull dog and it also has spots all over. I am very sad. It does not want to eat. Its not active anymore.What should I do.Ive tried everything. There was a improvement but it just got worse.


Answer by Pomowner
Submitted on 5/3/2006
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Our 14 1/2 year old pom was diagnosed with adrenal enzyme deficiency about 9 years ago by a dermatologist.  It seemed to help with hair growth when we gave him Lysodren.  About 2 years ago the vet took him off the medication saying because of the long period using the drug may now cause a heart attack.  He has now lost his hair on his tail, back of rear legs and back.  His head, front legs and front of back legs still have hair.  He does not suffer from any itching or discomfort and does not smell.  At the time of his diagnosis the University of Tennessee was the only place that could do the test.  Hope this helps.  


Answer by Cris
Submitted on 5/3/2006
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I have a 23 month old Pom which seems to be losing her hair, her tummy is quite pink, and some of her skin is turning black.  My vet doesn't know what it could be so what I am going to do is try a tar shampoo from my vet and feel this will work as it did for my Chow when he started with the problem.  It really cured him and will let you know if this works.  Wish us all luck to help our babies.


Answer by kattykat
Submitted on 5/7/2006
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I was doing some research on the net for my 8-year-old Maltese, Casey.  About 3 months ago, I noticed a black, scaly sore on her left hip.  I also noticed that her skin, mainly on her back and sides looked peppered and if I softly scratched at this the little peppered spots would flake off.  It did not seem to bother her, but in the past 3 months, her skin has turned from pink to black.  The only area that is still somewhat pink is her abdomen.  The hair on her back has also seemed to become brittle and has not turned to her soft spring coat, as it should have.  She does not seem to be in any discomfort, only a little licking of her legs.  I found this site for blackened skin treatment and they talk about the majority of symptoms discussed on this site being caused by a Yeast Infection.  The treatment they offer worked for the dog discussed and her symptoms were bad.  I will be taking Casey into the vet again soon to have them test her thyroid and check for a yeast infection.  Good luck to all of you!


Answer by Adriann
Submitted on 5/11/2006
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I have a 2 year old male teacup chihuaha and a couple weeks ago i noticed some dark spots on his stomach that looked like bruises, over the weeks it's gotten darker...he has no odor though and i was reading about the black skin disease. I was wondering if anyone knows if thats what my dog could have and if so, would it be bad to bathe him once a week since he's only 4 lbs and his skin would dry out quickly?


Answer by Izzy3
Submitted on 5/23/2006
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I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi i noticed around Easter time that she has a medium sized black spot on her stomach. I thought it was just a Bruis or something. But its not going away and its getting worse. The spot is on both sides of her side now. It doesn't smell at all and she's not bothered by them at all. She doesn't have any other problems. Although today she is seemed to be more tired then usual. I think I'll take her to the vet.


Answer by Lisa
Submitted on 5/28/2006
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What you are describing is a fungal infection! I am a Chihuahua breeder but I also have a male maltese. Estrogen appears to have an inhibitory effect on the fungus, that's why the males are more affected. The fungus looks like black skin around the maltese ears, underarms and rear legs. On some of my other dogs it can form a lump, cradle cap, loss of hair, odor and tear stains. The fungus can probably do alot more too! Vets and Dr.s dont seem to know about the fungus. Use over the counter topical antifungal creams and Miracle mist. It is  rumoured that Program tablets can also help.


Answer by peanut
Submitted on 6/3/2006
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my minature pinscher gnaws on his front legs and bites at the air. this is after the recent death of his owner. the vet said he is neurotic. please help.


Answer by Dee
Submitted on 6/7/2006
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I have a purebred neutered Pom and I recently got a female puppy that was Pom mixed with miniature American Eskimo.  When I brought her home I noticed a spot on her belly that looked like a hive or a bee sting.  I immediately took her to the vet.  He wasn't sure what it was and they did a scrap and tested it.  It was ring worm. We didn't know until a week later when the test results came back.  We treated it but it was tough to get rid of and my purebred Pom also got it because he and the pup would play before we knew what it was.  Anyways several weeks later we noticed the skin on my Poms back looked black almost bruised.  We also noticed that my new puppy's skin on her belly always looked dirty though I had just given her a bath.  I think that it is connected to the ringworm or a reaction to the antibacterial soap that I used to bath them.  I wish I knew for sure though.  This has really been frustrating to deal with.


Answer by Anno
Submitted on 6/11/2006
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Thanks to all for this interesting information. Our black, non-neutered, 3 year old female lab has developed something similar. Itchy belly, underarms, which begin red and turn scaly. Happens only in the summer so far. No "black skin" as described above - skin remains pale grey. No thyroid abnormalities shown in tests thus far.

My stopgap emergency treatment seemed to deliver some comfort to the dog: I spread Nivea and, when I ran out of that, Zinc Oxide cream (for diaper rash) on the dry, scaly, irritated skin on the belly and underarms. Skin became smooth and scales disappeared within 24 hours. Then I powdered the red,damp, irritated areas on her belly with cornstarch based, non fragraced talcum. CAUTION: I have no idea whether this treatment will affect a long-term cure. It simply relieved the dog until we can get her to the vet.


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Submitted on 6/15/2006
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Answer by ringtones free
Submitted on 6/15/2006
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Answer by Gary
Submitted on 6/15/2006
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I had a Bulldog and we spent thousands of dollars (vet, University Vet clinic (scrape tests, allergy tests, thyroid tests) trying to figure out why her skin was turning black and her hair fell out in the places that turned black. She got hers on both sides of her abdomen.  I don't know for sure but I think it had to do with Frontline.  When I switched to Bio-spot it went away.  Two times I ran out of Bio-spot and used Frontline and the spots started returning about a month after using it and then after using bio-spot for a while, they went away and the hair grew back.  Like I said, I am not sure but it looks awfully suspicious.  Also, note that after ceasing Frontline it took months to see any change and almost a year for the spots to totally go away and the hair to grow back.

I have nothing against Frontline (except the price tag), have used it on all my other dogs (we have 8) with no problems and recommend it to my customers (we own a boarding kennel). Something in my Bulldogs constitution just did not seem to like it.   I told the vet my suspicion, but have no idea if he did anything with the info.  All I know is giving the experts thousands of dollars could not find a cause.  If your dog is on Frontline, just try one of the others and see if the condition gets better (remember it takes a very long time to go away after the last dose of Frontline)  If that proves not to have any effect, by all means go back to Frontline, in most cases it is an excellent product.  If your dog is not on Frontline, maybe just switch your flea protection product and see if there is a change.


Answer by tinkerbell the pommie
Submitted on 6/15/2006
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hello, my little pommie is 2 weeks from being a yr old , and when i brush her her hair just come off and she s thin yet very full of life.
can sombody help me out there

Sharon kross


Answer by Sooz
Submitted on 6/22/2006
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I have a German Shepherd pure bread and a "pound puppy" lab shepherd, whatever else mix.  The Pound puppy started showing black spots on her hind quarters and then it traveled to her belly and now her chest region.  We put her some sulfur medication and bathed her weekly.  It stopped it from continuing further but it is still there.  My shepherd just starting showing a spot on her belly this week so we loaded them up and took them to the vets office for a biopsy of both where they will be sent to dermatologists for review.  I will reply witht the results.


Answer by Stella
Submitted on 6/23/2006
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I am having somewhat similar problems. I have a nine year old Maltese and I notice, esp. while bathing her that she has a few black spots, one on her head and another on her body. I haven't seen her scratch at them and she doesn'tsmell that bad- but I gave her a bath right after we took a walk and I noticed the spots. Can anyone please tell me what could this be? Thank you very much


Answer by Tanya
Submitted on 6/28/2006
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I have a 9 yr old spayed female short haired Chihuahua who has had complete blood work done and a mite test and a fungal test run.  The vets cannot find anything wrong with her. She has lost 30% of her hair and her skin is turning black.  I do not know what to do.  She smells bad too.  She has had her thyroid tested and been tested for Cushings and Addisons.  All have been negative. What do I do?      


Answer by kaitlyn
Submitted on 7/1/2006
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i have a pom who is 5 years old.  i just shaved him in the beginning of the summer because he gets hot.  i went away for two weeks while my husband watched him. when i came back i noticed hair loss on the top of his back and his skin turned black where the hair loss is.  please help "taz" my pom. if anyone knows what is going on please e-mail me at kyj00@yahoo.com


Answer by guestdog
Submitted on 7/5/2006
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It might be sebaceous adenities.....just a guess though


Answer by carol
Submitted on 7/5/2006
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Answer by gina
Submitted on 7/5/2006
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I also have a 1 year old mixed female dog tan in color.  I first started noticing little black spots on her they were bald and the skin was black.  There was an awful smell also. most of the spots were on her back legs shoulders and face.  I didnt know how bad it was until i shaved her today and found very large patches of black raised scabs all over her probally covering 2/3 of her body. She itches constantly. I am using medicated shampoo and antibacterial dishsoap and will continue to do research.


Answer by 60dzKYJepE
Submitted on 7/7/2006
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Answer by animal lover
Submitted on 7/17/2006
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I truly believe your dog has a yeast infection. I have just gone through this with my pug. Does the dog have an awful, rancid odor? Here is a website that I have found about the condition. Good Luck.


Answer by Allison
Submitted on 7/18/2006
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I have a boxer who has been experiencing a skin problem.  He was found to have a lump in his testicle.  Based on Vet advice, we had him neutered.  I am also treating him with melatonin & a vitamin supplement.  I have seen some minor improvement thus far, but it has only been two weeks.
The reason I am chiming in is a co-worker of mine who is a master researcher found the follow site that has many different types of skin problems (including what my dog had) that may be of help to some of you.
Sorry it is so long, I couldn't get access without sending it cached.


Answer by boyblu
Submitted on 7/19/2006
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my westie recently started turning black, we have had weight problems and our vet said it was to do with his thyroid, his skin just started turning black after being put on the meds along with that his stools are soft and he urinates multiple times an hour, the meds have helped him gain weight and energy but hes now black with urine and bowel problems, is all this related?


Answer by Allison
Submitted on 7/19/2006
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Sorry, this may be a duplicate!....

Here is a site some of you may find helpful.  I highlights many different conditions and potential treatment.  A co-worker of mine found it.  Sorry the link is so long, the site is locked to non-members unless you use the cashed version.  Highlighted is what my dog (a boxer) had.  He was neutered and is showing some improvement.  We are also supplementing him with vitamins and melatonin.


Answer by junkite
Submitted on 7/29/2006
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My dog Jethro started getting black spots and raised bumps along his back.  Has anyone had raised bumps?  He started having problems last year when we found he was allergic to flea medicine -- all kinds.  He had hives everywhere that lasted for 3 days and kept everyone awake.    The same thing happened this year as soon as we noticed the first flea on him.  Cool baths seemed to calm him.  Then he started having red spots on his stomach and was running a temperature so I took him to the vet who went epileptic when she noticed he had not been fixed.  Wanted to make an immediate appointment to cure that for $430.  I don't have that for a 6 year old mixed breed light-skinned half bichon half yorkie dog at the moment.  I went home with antibiotics and stuff for itching.  I started looking and so far have found that sebaceous cysts form on some dogs and are "dermoepidermal to subcutaneous in location. They may open and exude a gray to white-brown, cheesy material" which is very smelly (yeast-like).  This describes my dog to a T.  Have not found what "cures" this, but since it's not fatal, I'm hoping this is what he has.  I am going to go to the above referenced web sites on black skin disease and see if this is the problem.  I'll check back again if he gets "cured."


Answer by My_Baby_Dana
Submitted on 7/30/2006
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My dog is a full Labrador, and we have noticed that there are some spots appearing on her legs and chest. I read somewhere up towards the top about a special shampoo. What is it called?


Answer by kimbely
Submitted on 8/1/2006
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I have a 3 year old pug that I rescued from a bad enviroment. She has black bald spots on her bottom and on her legs and where her tail starts. She Itches constantly espeacially when she tries to get ative and she smells really bad. Other than that she eats well and drinks good and likes to play. I bath her in medicated shampoo every other day but nothing helps her itching,bad oder or her bald spots. She Was an outside dog and I think that she has had it for a long time. What is it and what can I do for her.The Vet Is to costly for me right now espeacilly because I already owned a Pug that has to be taking to the vet.Please Help.  


Answer by Jan
Submitted on 8/2/2006
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Check out this link...I know that many dog foods are, simply put, "garbage" and that more and more dogs are suffering from diseases due to diet.  I've never tried the nzymes product myself but I'm going to order for preventative maintenance since I KNOW most grocery store dog food isn't good for dogs and even the all-natural ones leave a lot to be desired.

(I've done a lot of research because my sons bakes non-allergenic dog treats and what I've found is truly horrifying..)  This does NOT mean that you shouldn't go to a vet or that genetics and thyroids are not culprits (among other things) but if you love your dog, do the research!


Answer by Kerry
Submitted on 8/8/2006
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I too have a Lab Akitia cross with this black skin thing.. It is awful to see this once beautiful dog look so raggy and scruffy.  Some people have told me to change the drinking water and add garlic powder to the food mix.  I'm willing to try anything at this point.  The vet is robbing me blind and still no improvement.


Answer by Chuck
Submitted on 8/11/2006
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My dog was suffering from black skin, bald spots, itching, and odor. Two vets were no help. HE IS NOW RECOVERING. With the help of a wonderful vet he was diagnosed with a fungal infection on his skin. A month on antibiotics, weekly sulfur dips and special shampoo bathes worked great. The smell is gone and his hair grew back. The hair is still black but not the skin! He is much more active and NOT bald or itching anymore.


Answer by shovelcadet
Submitted on 8/18/2006
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I have a 2 year old english bulldog who started having "worm" like patches of hair fall out in mass quantity's when i brush her and bath her.  There are black spots all over her and some of the bare skin has a soft crust like all over her.  I have been doing homework on this for about a week and a halve now and think she has the black skin thing I have been seeing, and it seems that a $500.00 or so trip too the vet is not the answer.  Does anybody know if the hair will come back?  It is coming out in clumps and you can grab ahold of some hair and pull it right off, I'm freaking out as I can imagine what my poor dog is feeling!  I got her from a breeder out west who has been breeding for some time and was wandering if it is in the gene pool or something.  I bought her on the hopes too breed her with my 3 year old male and wonder if anybody can tell me if it is a good idea or not and is it contaches.  Thank you.....My dog thanks you.


Answer by Pat
Submitted on 8/24/2006
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ANOTHER POSSIBLE REASON for blackening:  Dogs seem to get black or darker skin when given HEART WORM PREVENTATIVE.  I don't know why this is, but especially their tummies, seem to get dark during the summer months when we are giving them Heart Worm Medicine.  In the fall and winter in MN, we don't give these (as no mosquitoes), and then their skin becomes beautiful and pink again!
Then, when the next year's dose is given in the spring, the skin grows dark to black again.
I suspect folks living in the south, give these pills year around, (?) and thus may never see the beautiful pink skin return, once heart worm prevention has begun.
Thank you Lord, for our furry babies!


Answer by cris
Submitted on 8/27/2006
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I have a Pomeranian, and I noticed that the skin on the "knuckle" of her paws started to turn black, its no scabby though, I looked up to research the subject and now Im freaked about this black skin disease??? Ive noticed she had been chewing at her toes for a while now, and at first I thought it was allergies??? Has anyone else experienced this?


Answer by Fluff
Submitted on 9/2/2006
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I have a dog Jack Russell went through Chemo last year for his cancer diagnosed 22/08/05 with weeks to live. Awful time but came out all clear. So his imune system is low - now black skin disease! Which because he didn't know how bad the cancer was, the current symptons are affecting him more because of the intense itching and hair loss. He was low when he had cancer ... but now he is beside himself. Say this with other pet owners back up - WE CAUSE THIS WITH WHAT WE FEED OUR DOGS AND HOW WE TREAT FLEAS/TICKS. Go to a good and established homeopathic vet in your area - trust me - you will be surprised!We love our dog and know we have many more years together!


Answer by BitsOfGuy
Submitted on 9/14/2006
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A solution to Black Skin Disease.
We have a F/S Chow Chow, she is coming up on 4.  She developed the disease when she turned 1 year old.  Our vet took one look at her and diagnosed her on the spot. Told us it wasn't Thyroid for sure. No Cure. Knit her a sweater.  

My wife found "Ultimate High" from Great American Products http://www.greatamericanproducts.com/pages
It is sold as an overall good health product for people and kick starts the human growth hormone.  We gave one a day to our chow 2 1/2 years ago.  She started growing fur within 3 weeks of going on it.  She gets one a day for the rest of her life.  The vet told us to keep giving them to her. It works. It is not listed on the label for dogs, but the vet says there is nothing in it that can hurt her.  As far as we know, we are the only ones giving this product to a dog for Black Skin Disease. She has the best fur coat again.  It took a while for it to fully grow in, and she lost parts of it along the journey a couple of times, but it is now stronger and thicker and she doesn't have to wear a coat this winter.  She should be good to -35C, like she was when she was a puppy.
email me at PGXPSMPJKEGD@spammotel.com for pictures and more info.


Answer by chococat
Submitted on 9/16/2006
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i found a dog that is roughly 3 years of age and she has some sort of skin condition.I believe she is a terrier mix.At first her skin had ant-sized black dots. She would constantly scratch, lick, and bite them.They are located on her lower abdomen. Then i noticed her getting larger pink dots that would ooze a yellow liquid.Now she has very large purplish spots that look like large bruises.All of these symptoms have occurred on her lower abdomen. I am getting very concerned and am not sure what i should treat her with. She doesn't show signs of pain, but she is constantly biting right above her tail and licking her abdomen. I have also noticed a horrible oder, especially right after i walk her. I would greatly appreciate anyone's help.


Answer by Guidou
Submitted on 9/16/2006
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I have a 4 year old female sheltie and she appears to have the same problem.  It started 2 years ago and was diagnosed with food allergies than pollen allergies and it seems to come back every summer.  I think she might have black skin disease because of all the symptoms presented in all your comments.  She was on antibiotics but now she's finished and it's  still coming back!  I have to wash her twice a week with special shampoo and I had to shave her.  I just bought a male sheltie and he is now 6 months old.  My intention was to breed them but now if this is genetic, I don't know if I should breed her... I saw 2 vets and I still don't know what she has... I was watching the news on TV few weeks ago and they were talking about bacterias in public pools.  The first symptom on children was ear infection and 4 of my children had it.  My female is always in the pool, could it be the bacterias? and if so, should I completely forget the idea of breeding her?


Answer by Ida's Mom
Submitted on 9/23/2006
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Ida has some golden retriever in her, possibly collie or German shepherd.  She suffers from allergies every year.  This year her hair has fallen out on her abdomen and she chews and licks her skin until it is red and spotty.  Has some dry patches too.
Did an allergy test and she's allergic to lamb, wheat and barley, peas, venison, kelp, brewer's yeast, grasses, pyrethrins, thistles, some molds and cat dander.  

Its tough to find this girl something to eat! Finally put her on van patten's natural balance for allergies.  It hasn't really helped.  She's still suffering, although the rashy areas are now more spotty and she has black skin in places.  

Wondering if this could be a result of the "overvaccinating" some vets talk about.  We haven't had her vaccinated since she was a pup except for a couple yrs ago for rabies.
Anyone know if there is something that can be done if this is the culprit to clean out her system and get her healthy again?

I've been washing her in dawn cut w/vinegar (sposed to help keep the fleas away), sometimes use 100% aloe gel on her but she usually licks it off.  I was using listerine before the allergy tests on some of the spots and it seemed to help somewhat.  I didn't want to "burn" her sensitive skin so I stopped in case it was hurting her.  Also used hydrocortisone cream but since she licked that off too, decided to discontinue it.  Any ideas? T


Answer by BreBree
Submitted on 9/26/2006
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i have a year and half maltese mix... and he hasnt been nuetured yet .. and just notice that on his undercarriage there are grey/brown/ black spots appearing is this black skin dieses? he doesnt smell at all no fur loss... i need to know wht this could be i was just at the vet for other reasonings and spent alot of money , and im thinking im going to have to do it again i would do anything for my dog but i would like to now wht this could be thank u


Answer by Bandito
Submitted on 9/29/2006
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I have a Keeshound with black skin and raised bumps too. He has been on antibiotics and antifungal shampoo on and off now for about 6 weeks. He doesn't scratch much but then he's rarely scratched or groomed himself, I think Keeshounds are like that. Now, though, he's quite irritable;barks for no reason very frequently. I have another appointment with the vet on Tuesday, but don't like dropping all that money for questionable results.Also, I think he is quite miserable, and that' why he's talking to us these days. He had a bad smell at first when this all started, now though I don't notice it.


Answer by D
Submitted on 10/5/2006
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I have a cream female lab who is losing her hair on her sides and her skin is turning black. The problem didn't start until I used a type of shampoo that was supposed to make her coat white. I'm not sure if that is the problem, we have quit using that shampoo and have switched to one with oatmeal in it. The vet said her condition was hormonal and would probably go away when she went into heat. Either way we are playing the waiting game to see if anything changes.


Answer by MissVickii
Submitted on 10/19/2006
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I don't have the answer, but my mom's Pomeranian recently has black spots on her stomach.  It started with a few spots around her nipples, now spread all over her stomach, and gave it to the other 2 dogs also, who aren't Pom.  It seems to be very itchy b/c all 3 dogs are scratching their bellies like crazy.  Does any know what it is, and how to treat it?


Answer by Jane
Submitted on 10/24/2006
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Good luck to all with this black skin disease. Roscoe is 90 percent better, he's a brindle cardigan corgi.  I treat him with now weekly or every 2 weeks with alternating malaseb shampoo or dawn dishwashing liquid or a sulpher tar/salicylic shampoo and every other day ketoconazole pills a dosage perscribed by a vet. He is a show champion and when he turned 7 yrs, I neutered him.  I think this is about the time the black skin got really bad or it went wild.  He never lost hair, he just lost his energy, became slow, a bit cranky and limped alot,his paws once large, became larger. Its a long story, and I think he contracted a case of bird or rat mites too just to complicate matters.  I spent an absolute fortune sterilizing the house, all bedding, carpets, clothes, flooring, outside yard removing pine mulch for both dog and 2 humans. I removed all bird feeders and bird food from the yard. Roscoe was dipped in sulpher forever to the tune of another fortune. Finally, I found a slightly understanding vet who,for whatever the reason recognized that his red toes and feet had a serious infection,he was itching,I was itching, and his skin had black areas that had never been that way before. The feet were treated 3 times for 3-4 weeks with twotypes of antibiotics. They are so much better, no limping. Whatever this black skin is from, it is not permanent. I see it gradually clear up and then sadly a spot reappears.  I suspect several possibilities.
I told you what's helping Roscoe.

Now, I can tell you that, I had no idea how bad the house stunk till I cleaned it throughly and through out the latex backed grasswoven mats in several rooms.
       Do not let your dog sleep with you and do not let him eat scraps off of any humans plates. Now Roscoe eats vegetarian unless he cheats, but thats not often. In the past he's been hiking and camping, wading and drinking lake, river and stream water. Perhaps we are dealing with and endotoxin from and water or food contaminent and a weakened immune system. There may be a connection.

I am seriously concerned that vets are not telling the whole story and this may be contracted by humans and given by humans, skin dosn't turn black, it itches.

If this blackskin disease has a thyroid connection, recently I read is some vet magazine, that ketaconazole is a treatment for Cushing's (another name for a thyroid condition) For Roscoe's feet I also found that Epsom Salt soaks helped discomfort and kept his skin less oily. Keeping him dry is a very good thing too. Blow drying is necessary for him after baths.

Each dog described in this blog is a little different with symptoms however I note similiar trends. What a finanial nightmare.


Answer by Joyce
Submitted on 10/25/2006
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I have a black Lab, she just turned five years old. She has "grey" coarse skin where she was shaved when spayed. The vet called it "Elephant Skin" but never said anything else about it. Now it is in the arm pit areas.  She licks her feet, scratches and has some hair loss. This just started this Fall. I'm giving her Omega 3 Gel caps & Allergy Tabs.  Time will tell!! I adopted her when she was 1, so I don't know her back ground. Has always had a jet black shiny coat, still does so far.


Answer by Sandy
Submitted on 10/29/2006
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Try looking up yeast infections on skin of dogs, this also causes blackening of skin.


Answer by Tracey
Submitted on 11/2/2006
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I have a 9 month old male pom whom we just bathed yesterday and noticed that his testicles are black. Actually more of a dark purple almost looks more like a hematoma birth mark. Is this what this black skin starts like? No odor and not itching or scabby like some of you are saying. I did a little research and found a site www.nzymes.com that says they have had good luck treating this.


Answer by drea
Submitted on 11/4/2006
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well my dog daisy which is only half POM has the same problem losing her hair and black on in its too the point where it got worse i mean do they have a cure for this>


Answer by vet nurse
Submitted on 11/16/2006
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Sounds like a hormonal deficiency although each individual case could be different. See your veterinarian and avoid using any washes that are not prescribed by your vet.Under no circumstance should you use dishwashing detergent or wool washes to wash your pet.


Answer by loiho5
Submitted on 11/24/2006
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My twelve-year old peek-a-poopoo (3/4 toy poodle)has these little scabby black spots on his back that itch but don't smell (that I know of), and, in view of all I've read, I'm going to try rubbing ceyenne pepper on one and see what happens; listerine doesn't help that much, although it cures toenail fungus in people.


Answer by hank
Submitted on 11/29/2006
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The majority of the cases above are probably due to a yeast infection.  Black skin + smell + greasy feel = yeast infection.  It is made worse by antibiotics.  Forget prednisone.  Plenty of online info regarding home remedies for a yeast infection.  Watch the diet and watch summertime conditions.


Answer by brandie
Submitted on 12/5/2006
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Our 3.5 year old male Pom also has this....we noticed that on August 1st of 2006.  He small scabby spots.  We went to the vet.  Treated him with human cortizone cream, which helped a little, but the areas got worse.  The spots on his ears then turned black and itchy, with yellow crusty things.  The vet than gave us Luferen, which is a flea control pill.  Program flea pills are the same thing.  This has had a good effect on him....although his ears are not completely better they have been healing.  Thought this might help......he is a neutured cream/buff colored male also


Answer by Shir
Submitted on 1/5/2007
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A couple of years ago I noticed that the fur of my now 14 year old Pom was getting scrappy and sparce.  I thought it was just from old age and didn't worry about it.  I've always fed him premium foods, and once, when the store was out of his regular, I bought Nutro Natural Choice, Lamb and Rice Small Bites.  Later, I saw that his fur was coming back, and was soon as lush as when he was young.  I couldn't imagine why that would be, couldn't think of anything different in his life....then I remembered changing his food.  I saw on the bag that it says "Guaranteed to improve coat"....hadn't noticed that before.....and now I'm convinced it's what has helped my little old Pom.

Don't know if it's related, but he also had Black Skin.....has had it for several years, and doesn't seem to be bothered with by it.  The new food hasn't made any difference in this.


Answer by nancy
Submitted on 1/11/2007
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I have a 5 year old Bichon frise and her skin is turning like a dark brown and she has lost alot of hair at the back part of her body. She also chews and bites herself alot.


Answer by KAMS
Submitted on 1/17/2007
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I have a 4yr old Bichon/Cocker Spaniel and he has very sensative skin. He has developed black "specs" on his tail and lower back. His skin is not changing colors and the "specs" are NOT ALIVE, they are just small black oval things and I can see them in his fur and also inbeaded in his skin. Besides being a little bit itchy he is a normal happy dog but I would like to get rid of these black things. I took him to the vet and they said just to bath him regulary and wash the "infected area" with special shampoo but it has beed several months and I haven't got rid of them or found out what they are...any suggestions?


Answer by GISMO
Submitted on 1/21/2007
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I have a 4 year old pom that has black skin disease. I had adopted him from someone who lied to me and said she shaved him in the summer because of the weather where she lives is to hot for him. To this day she still wont admit he has it even after the vet confirmed. We have been bathing him with Dawn dishsoap and that has removed all the blackness from his skin. Its only been a month now that weve done this so lets hope the hair grows back. Otherwise, hes a healthy happy dog. I just need to keep him covered with clothing in the winter because its so cold for his skin.


Answer by YorkieOwner
Submitted on 1/24/2007
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This can be a very expensive trial-and-error journey, even with a vet, or many vets.

I would definitely see your vet, but insist on the least expensive method of treatment first, because likely in this case, with the black skin, you will find it is not costly to fix....but you WILL get taken down the road for a LOT of money otherwise.

As mentioned by i_luv_poms, the three main things that contribute to the black skin are usually:

1. an imbalanced thyroid - PLEASE insist that even if the levels come back "normal" that you try a low dose treatment because MANY dogs' results end up in the grey area of values

2. allergies - can be many things, which can cost hundreds of dollars to find out, and often the shots don't even solve it once you go through the whole process; the food allergy...can be worth doing and I would try that but usually vegetables and chicken and rice are pure enough supplemented with a vitamin that includes fatty acids

3. bacterial infection and/or yeast infection - constant licking and possible allergies together with the licking can cause yeast infection, which untreated can go to bacterial infection; or bacterial infections from licking in genital areas also; the bacterial infection definitely needs to be treated by a vet - the yeast infection needs to be treated with weekly and in some cases twice-a-week baths with a shampoo that has a yeast killing agent. Rinsing with a vinegar solution at the end of the bath is beneficial too. The smell is gone once the dog is dry and the vinegar fights the yeast.

I have done the Prednisone/Hydroxyzine for years off an on. It always becomes a problem once the vet stops the Prednisone. I think the Thyroid is the key together with grooming maintenance for these special dogs. Some may indeed have allergies but the grooming itself helps keep that at bay unless it is severe.

Give it a month. It worked for me and saved me a bundle and made my dog happy.


Answer by cherylesq
Submitted on 1/24/2007
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My pomeranian Fuzzy is 10 years old and he started losing his fur at 3 years old.  Doctor's call it "Alopecia X" but all similar problems I read online call it "Black Skin Disease".  My pom came from a breeder and was from a family of show dogs, I had him neutered, and perhaps that contributed towards this problem.  Over the past 7 years, my pomeranian has lost more and more fur...and now only has fur remaining on his legs and head/ears.  The fur loss began years ago above his tail (on his back), and on his upper back - - then slowly spread.  

We tried everything.  UC Davis Vet school and about 5 different local vets.  Most experienced vets identified the problem, but of course, had no cure.  

We tried Melatonin therapy for 1 1/2 years.  It minimally helped.  Along with Fuzzy's fur loss, he has become increasingly 'frightful' of his environment.  Very scared and jumpy. Perhaps this fur loss condition and 'fright' condition go hand-in-hand and the theory is melatonin helps calm them and helps their fur grow?  who knows, but it did not help us.

Fuzzy did get a few skin infections where his skin smelled bad and had a watery/damp surface.  The vet/dermatologist prescribed antibiotics and a medicated shampoo and it went away.

The quality of Fuzzy's fur eventually reduced itself to just the inner coat (very cotton-like and easily matted) and no more outer coat whatsoever.

I am still hoping/waiting for a cure.  We can help by donating your dog's blood to places that are doing studies on this condition and need blood samples.  (they are checking DNA, etc.)

Visit for how you can help: http://www.pcoc.net/black-skin-disease.htm

Otherwise, Fuzzy appears healthy and happy.  Please love your dog, even without fur!  And buy dog-clothes to keep em' warm.



Answer by Diana
Submitted on 2/13/2007
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My dog (English Bulldog) has small black spots all over his back with lack of hair.  This comes after years of skin allergies.  The Vet has put him on Atopica.  He has been on it for a week now.  We're waiting to see if this helps his skin allergies.


Answer by maryanne butler
Submitted on 2/28/2007
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I also have a 3 year old pom named Cheyenne. She started in august 2006 stomach with black spots, legs etc...I've tried the melatonin since nov 2006 and no good news but, I did use 3 mg only. maybe I need to step it up. no sores or smell. but, it's time to try something new.


Answer by annie
Submitted on 3/28/2007
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I have an 8 mo old Pom. Her stomach has started to turn dark. I read in the book that it is call Alopecia X (alopecia is hair loss). I was told by a breeder to use an antigerm dish soap bath, then rinse well and use a dog shampoo and conditioner,then rinse well again. This should be done weekly. Don't know what the results will be.


Answer by lil8t
Submitted on 3/28/2007
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My male 2yr. old Chihuahua just got back from an overnight stay at the vet three weeks ago when he got fixed. After he had a raised nodule on his abdomen. This past week he started turning black on his underside. It is gradually taking over his body. He doesn't smell or scratch but is beginning to look like quite a different little fella. After reading all of this here I am beginning to think I should worry in a large degree.


Answer by Twinkles89
Submitted on 3/31/2007
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I have a 2 year old toy poodle, beige color and he has developed a spot the size of a silver dollar in which the hair fell out and the skin turned black.  My Vet said it was an enzymine disorder caused from his rabbies shot.  I am questioning this now that I have read other post on this site.  I am not a happy camper and feel so bad for my pet. He does not lick or bite the spot and I am putting Vitamin E on it. I will keep you posted.  Cheryl


Answer by kemeva
Submitted on 4/28/2007
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Hi! We have a 5 years old Labrador/Golden Retriever Cross dog and his skin problem started three months ago: his skin turned into black under his front leg, he was itching and developed a sore skin. He was treated with antibiotic and got better - the black skin is still there though. Few weeks later he developed an itchy sore skin on his abdomen and again he was treated with antibiotic. Now he developed the sore skin again on his abdomen and his skin is turning black around his genitalia (he is neutered). This time it started with small red spots, developing into red bumpy inflamed skin. Currently he is treated with a cream called FUCIDERM Carbonel gel, which is a anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. At the point of examination he was also given and antibiotic/anti-inflammatory injection. The vet now is trying to find the underlying cause, so the dog is having some tests: blood test, Thyroid function tests and a possible biopsy (performed under anasthetic) Initial result shows that the dog might have an under-active Thyroid, but to be sure he needs a specialist test. In the meantime we use a special shampoo and the Fuciderm Gel and it seems to help the symptoms. I will keep you posted. Hope this info contributes to this discussion. Thanks.


Answer by Jody
Submitted on 5/2/2007
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I have a sharpei/golden mix with same blackened spots, itchy skin and hair loss.  If indeed this is fungal or bacterial then we should be seeing improvement with the antibiotics and baths.  I am using an antibacterial soap/shampoo and then i slightly watered down an antibacterial facial creme so that i can spray it more effectively on her skin right after bath.  I blow dry so that she doesn't get a chance to lick off the meds.  It DOES relieve her for several days...but it is not a cure.  Odd that no vets can help us.


Answer by maxine
Submitted on 5/6/2007
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Well, my little Maltese is 5 years old and she just recently, literally in the last couple of months, formed what seems like hundreds of little brown spots on her skin.  Her hair isn't falling out and there is no odor, but its just so sudden and scary.  I'm gonna take her to the vet to find out what's wrong with her.  I hope its nothing serious and that it's just age spots or something... do dogs even get age spots?


Answer by AMANDA
Submitted on 5/7/2007
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I have an beautiful 8 yr old German Shepard husky mix. He started itching really bad as a result of allergies, so they said. And he also started to vomit right after eating. He has been in and out of the vet numerous time with everything from blood test to steroids and everything else. But still no change. Then we noticed his skin started to turn black all over. There is no odor but its really flaky. He is so itchy it is sad. I don't know how to help him, he goes in tomorrow for x-rays so we will see. Anyone have any suggestion for my poor boy. He needs help!!


Answer by maryanne
Submitted on 5/9/2007
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Cheyenne my pom started august 2006 black skin hair loss. nov 2006 started her on melontin 3mg a day feb 2007 5 months later no change. april 2007 DOVE bar soap with lanolin. washed her one time first week twice the second week. now May 2007 her hair is coming back in. stomach is pinker. new hair growth black specks coming off. she is fuller than she's been since august last year. try it. it worked for Cheyenne 3 years old.
maryanne   maryanne72856@cox.net


Answer by Leslee
Submitted on 5/20/2007
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I have a male pom, that lost hair after a clip. I have battled with this for 2 years now. He has a bald area around his neck tops of his rear legs, and sides. With only short hair on his back. His skin is not black,but darker, and it does not smell.
I took him to a naturalpath and she put him on raw meat, blue-green algea, and vitamin b-12. His hair came back beautifully, and I was so excited. Well now it has happend again, and nothing is working. His skin is also dry.


Answer by Roki
Submitted on 5/24/2007
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My two year old male Pom, has started losing his hair on his belly, and where it was clipped on his back side has never grown back. The skin is darkening from pink to dark gray.

No odors. He behaves the same, eats well, plays well, and is generally well, but his coat looks dry and unhealthy. At first hypothyroidism was considered, but the tests left him in the low but normal range. Then problems with the adrenal gland were suspected, or as they call it a sex hormone problem.

Two tests could be done, a blood test, and a biopsy of the skin (under anesthesia) to determine as best as possible which hormones  were causing the loss of hair, and the darkening of the skin. The identity of the hormones would be approximate.

If the tests were indicative of adrenal gland problems, then they would put him on Lysodren, a very strong drug for the rest of his natural life.

The vet sent me medical articles that discussed this issue. As the articles indicated, an das the vet said any such test results would be INconclusive.

Ultimately the vet told me, if it was her dog she would not put him through all the tests, and the strong drugs, for what was merely a cosmetic problem.

With a heavy heart we have accepted this decision, as the best available approach, and today I bought Joey a rugby doggie shirt. The vet said, we will have to worry about sunburns, and cold weather.

It is very sad, he is a truly beautiful dog, full of personality, and a true love. I guess, we'll just keep buying cool sweaters.


Answer by paul
Submitted on 5/28/2007
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i have a cross pitball haha and he has got 2 black bald patches on his side of his body any1 out there who may have a answer for what it is as no offence the 2 vets i have are telling me anything any 1 plz cheers much needed info as its doing his head in and mine he aint scratching at it just happened cheers


Answer by Norma
Submitted on 5/29/2007
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This Black Skin Disease seems to be pretty common.  I have had several dogs in my lifetime (I'm 58) and have never had a dog with this problem until now.  My dog is a mixture of Lab and Bassett hound.  So this Black Skin Disease is not just a Pomeranian thing.  Anyway, my dog has the same symptoms as everyone is describing here but my dog seems to have it inside his ears as well.  The stink (smells like rotten meat) is coming from his ears.  When this first began, I asked the vet to flush out his ears and then put medicine down inside the ear canal, but the stupid vet would not flush out his ears.  How can the medication get through all the gunk?  His ears are getting worse all the time and I hope it doesn't make it to his brain.  I have tried everything.  I even mixed up a solution of peroxide and distilled water and tried flushing out his ears myself.  There is a lot of black crud in there and the underside of the ear flaps are very rough like the patches on his body.  The thing is, I don't have hundreds and hundreds of dollars to keep paying a vet to treat the dog, and to top it all off, the vets aren't making any headway at all.

Some scientist somewhere needs to do an intense study of this problem and come up with a cure.


Answer by charlotte
Submitted on 5/30/2007
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my dog's skin turned black, though she's not having any problems like losing fur or itchiness, does that mean there's no serious problem?


Answer by Barb @ Central Bird & Animal Hospital
Submitted on 6/5/2007
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Your problem could be food allergies!  Does your dog food have corn or wheat in it in any form?  Get rid of it!  some dogs are allergic to chicken and beef to, that is why you see more and more fish, sweet potato, millet, venison, etc food.  Does your dog have a scratching or licking problem, do they scoot a lot, do they scratch and shake their head?  Check for allergies!!!


Answer by adri
Submitted on 6/15/2007
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Hey, my dog has the black skin diease as well, BUT i found a "cure" bathe them with organic dog shampoo (nothing medicated or it will irritate there skin) and put PURE olive oil on them mostly where the black skin is, and put a puppy shirt on them (so they cant lick off the olive oil) you have to wash them like every two or three days and the blackness goes away and there hair WILL grow back.

good luck


Answer by Schroder
Submitted on 6/18/2007
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My 9-year-old pom has problems with some kind of seasonal allergy.  Recently his ears turned black and his hair is falling out at his ears - no problems anywhere else and he's not itchier than normal.  Anybody have any ideas?


Answer by DAIZA
Submitted on 6/25/2007
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Answer by maria
Submitted on 7/5/2007
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Can l give my dog liquid iron to open his appetite?


Answer by carol
Submitted on 7/12/2007
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This may help all of you dog owners with a dog with black skin disease. My son's 10 year old pug had this, the odor was unbearable. HE took him to the vet to no avail. He went on vacation and I got to dog sit, I could not tolerate the smell, so I looked in an herbal book and found APPLE CIDER VINEGAR will cure fungus infection and odor. I started using it on a Thursday and by Saturday there was a great improvement in the skin and the odor. I has now been a month and it is nearly gone and his skin has returned to normal and the hair has grown back and best of all the odor is gone. He gets sprayed three times a day. He is also now on a no grain food. Bio- spot is also said to help, I'm not sure about that as we just started using it. Good Luck


Answer by jewlz5519
Submitted on 7/13/2007
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sorry this is probably not really related at all. my 14- year old wire haired dachshund has this black scabby-like thing on his back. i don't really think it bothers him but if you pet him to hard or try to pull it off you can tell that you're hurting him. we've just let it go (he hasn't been to the vet since they recommended putting him down- for age, not the scabby thing) but it just gets bigger. he hasn't lost any hair, but he sure does stink! that might be with age, though. anyone have any ideas?


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