Hoping someone on here will have had a similar experience an a successful treatment plan...
My two year old, neutered, blue male is having skin issues. He's had them his entire life, but they seem to be getting worse.
When I first decided to get a blue I was aware they had some skin issues but his seem to be getting worse with age.
It started off with bumps when he was a puppy. We switched him to a grain free, limited ingredient diet and that seemed to help for a bit. Found out he was allergic to chicken. But the bumps never completely went away.
He also has the "frito" body odor. I've taken him to three different vets, had him on antibiotics, prescription shampoos and thyroid testing done with no results.
He is now two years old, with most of his body covered in small, whitish scaly bumps. His skin is itchy and flakey, to the point of developing hot spots. The frito smell is still there and now it appears he is developing vitiligo.
Over the past two years I've tried various diet changes, multiple OTC and prescription shampoos, Dino Vit supplements and two rounds of antibiotics. Has anyone else had issues like this? I'm frustrated because I dont know what to do to help his skin.
Other than the skin issues he acts normal, good energy levels and appetite.
OK--I'm here--if you haven't seen a dermatologist/allergist about your blue dog that should be your first step.
The bumps that he's had for most of his life sound like staph and many Doberman puppies have bouts of staph (generally caused by the fact that Dobe's immune system tends to be slow to mature) and it doesn't make any difference what color they are. The fact that they never really cleared up in spite of treatment with shampoos and antibiotics. The odor is often the result of infections of the follicles.
I suspect that the problems you've encountered so far with his skin aren't necessarily related to his color--CDA usually doesn't really start to be an issue until the dog is older--2 or 3 years or more. And CDA doesn't necessarily appear in conjunction with skin issues. CDA really is associated with hair loss. Some dogs do have additional problems with skin problems but what you are describing sounds more like un4resolved problems with plain old puppy staph.
I've been looking at dilute dogs for years (because I looked for a show quality fawn male for years) and while sometimes you see blues wth more hair loss and skin issues than fawns--it's going to show up in both.
when you got your blue puppy had you seen any of his relatives? CDA has a genetic component and usually dilute puppies who have relative who retain good coats will also have good coats. Or at least better than average coats.
CDA does tend to get worse with age. That's a given. I don't know what kind of protocol the vets you've seen have used on the skin problems the puppy has had. A lot of general practice vets don't put them on a long enough regimen of antibiotics to actually clear up the problem and an unfortunate number of vets (including some dermatologists) will simply shrug off the skin problems, saying that it's because they are blue or fawn.
Which vet thinks he's now developing vitiligo? Because of the whitish spots?--bad, unresolved skin infections (usually because of staph infections) can cause scarring at follicles which will leave unpigmented spots.
Some of the directions for using medicated shampoo can actually aggravate the skin issues. The general rule for bathing short coated single coated dogs like Dobes is they don't need to be scrubbed and that can irritate folliciles enough to cause folliculitis (infections in the follicle itself--that's often the cause of the corn chip/frito like smell).
Making sure that all shampoo is thoroughly rinsed helps and a final rinse with a couple of cups of plain old white vinegar added to a gallon of water will--leave it on the coat and the dog will stop smelling like a salad when it dries but the vinegar does two things--it'll get rid of any residual shampoo and the slight acidity is very good for dog skin.
And use cool to cold water when bathing and rinsing. Dog skin really doesn't like warm to hot water although the dog may like it--it too can cause problems.
My fawn dog who will be 14 in November has other fawn relatives (or did have) who retained good coats. He is hypothyroid but when he started showing signs of hair loss I had his vet run a full thyroid panel and he was very low normal--on appropriate dosage of thyroid meds his coat grew back and even now he has a full coat.
I did look for over 40 years for this dog--trying to find show quality and fawn in the same dog wasn't easy but I have to tell you that even if you try to do all the right things (like get your dilute dog from a breeder who is known to produce dilute dogs who actually tend to retain good coats) and get lucky you may still have a dog who ends up with a less than wonderful coat.
And if you search DT using dobebug + dilution you can find a bunch of posts from me about dilution and how to handle it.
By the way--my fawn dogs eats the same kibble that all of my other dogs have eaten for the last 20 years or so--Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach.