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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Blue Doberman skin issue

Hello guys, my 1 year old blue dobie has been going through some rough skin issue. I do know that blue dobies tend to have more skin problems, but he has finished 2 rounds of antibiotics prescribed by the vet, and it did look like it died down for a bit, and then a month ago, these big bumps appeared. They started small, and got larger over time. Iíve been trying every home remedy to try and ease the spot, but Iím not sure itís working. Due to the pandemic right now the vet doesnít have any availability until end of this month, so Iím going on here to ask for help.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 01:09 AM
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I'm no vet, but that looks like ringworm? I'd see if your vet could look at the pictures.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 08:07 AM
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That's what I thought, Fitz (though I'm not a vet either.) Those are distinctive enough that I think with a picture, since your vet has already been working on skin problems with your pup and given the circumstances, that your vet might be able to tell you something to try. Call him and ask.

A warning--if it is ringworm (which is actually caused by a fungal infection), you can catch it from your dog, so use good hygiene--wash your hands after you've handled him (sound familiar?) and wash his bedding; try not to let him on the furniture and vacuum frequently. The spores can hang around a long time.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 09:30 AM
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That could be ringworm, if it's a circular patch. Antibiotics would do nothing if so. It's fungal. It would respond to a topical treatment - you can actually get it yourself over the counter - it's the same thing used to treat athlete's foot. As Mel said, it's pretty contagious. You can also use chloracare in addition to the other topical. And wash, wash, wash...often the humans in the house get it, too.

I would try to do a virtual consult with the vet if at all possible. I don't think that has anything to do with being a dilute. That looks like something fungal, or it could be staph, or...it's hard to say with a photo. Even a virtual consult where you can video up close would help. I'd want to try something rather than stay the course...
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 09:44 AM
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Not all dilute dogs have more skin problems than the black or red dogs. But they are more likely to lose hair due to CDA (color dilution alopecia) which is a genetic problem.

But all doberman puppies have a tendency to have miscellaneous skin problems when young because their immune system isn't fully developed.

Those lesions look like ringworm to me as well and it is very catching. So follow the suggestions given above--and look carefully daily at your hands and arms for typical ringworm circular patches--that where they most often show up on people.

Where did your dog get it? From dirt with spores in it--a dermatologist I know says that most human cases he sees are from people who do a lot of gardening (wear rubber gloves doing that) or from old papers (boxes of stored records will harbor dormant spores for years) and from animals (your dog, your cat or your friends).

And at a year most dilutes--even the blue dogs still have pretty good coats--the skin problems are not necessarily related to the dilution.

So good luck with this.

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PS As an afterthought--if your vet doesn't want to see the dog or take a look at the pictures you might look for a local dermatologist/allergist vet--if it is ringworm you really don't want to leave it untreated.

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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 10:27 AM
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Also not a vet, but as someone who's had way too much experience with ringworm, I'm adding my vote in the "looks like it could be ringworm" category. And yes, very contagious to humans, and very, very itchy.....

As MeadowCat mentioned, it's worth while trying an OTC athlete's foot/jock itch medication. There are a few different ones, so if you're not seeing a response, try changing medication (the actual drug, not just brand).

ETA: If you happen to have a black light handy, take the dog to a dark room and shine the black light on him. A lot of times, fungal infections, like ringworm, will flouresce under a black light.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I was able to bring him to the vet today. He did the backlight test and trichogram and came back negative for ringworm. Heís doing further skin testing (DTM and bacterial cultures). He has prescribed antibiotics and anti-itch for the meantime while waiting for the skin test results. I donít see the use of the anti-itch because my boy displayed very minimal itching, but Iím not the doctor. He said right now it looks like it could be an allergy that got infected and turned into lesions. So I have 3 days of waiting for the bacterial culture test, and 10 days for the DTM test. Fingers crossed. I feel like such a horrible owner right now, I feel so bad for this poor boy.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 02:02 PM
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Update: I was able to bring him to the vet today. He did the backlight test and trichogram and came back negative for ringworm. Heís doing further skin testing (DTM and bacterial cultures). He has prescribed antibiotics and anti-itch for the meantime while waiting for the skin test results. I donít see the use of the anti-itch because my boy displayed very minimal itching, but Iím not the doctor. He said right now it looks like it could be an allergy that got infected and turned into lesions. So I have 3 days of waiting for the bacterial culture test, and 10 days for the DTM test. Fingers crossed. I feel like such a horrible owner right now, I feel so bad for this poor boy.
Don't feel like a bad owner...you got him in today and you are getting on top of this. Skin stuff can be very frustrating!

I keep a big bottle of Chloracare in the house all the time. It's generally very safe to use in addition to most treatments and seems to help with a lot of things. You might ask your vet about it and see if you can use it in conjunction with the other stuff you're doing. I've found it helpful in many, many different circumstances. https://naturesfarmacy.com/clora-care/
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 03:23 PM
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If you don't get anywhere with the antibiotic and can't get a handle on it after looking at the results of the skin tests, I'd recommend heading to a dermatologist. There are a bunch of things that can affect a dog's skin. Allergies often show up as skin problems, and they can predispose a dog to skin infections too. This time of year, with everything growing and pollinating e.e, is also a common time for allergies to show up.

(Incidentally, not every kind of fungus infection (ringworm, etc.) flouresces--but a fungal skin culture will show it if that's what's going on.)

There are even some auto-immune and tick-borne illnesses which cause skin problems.

If it turns out an allergy is at the root of this problem, you may want to head to a dermatologist for skin testing anyway, to ID what he is reacting to. Food allergies are MUCH less common than allergies to various things in the dogs environment like pollens, for example.

Of course, that is likely for later, given the world situation today. I hope you can get a handle on the immediate problem right away, even if you have to dig a little bit to see if there is some kind of underlying problem making it flare up.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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I did ask his opinion on the allergy test as well as a thyroid test since thatís what his old vet recommended if the antibiotics did not work (before he closed his business for good). But this vet told me that allergy and thyroid tests are not necessary right now as my boy is still young (1.2years old) so the test might not show everything.
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 04:34 PM
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There is another member who's boy had a lot of skin issues. They finally ran a thyroid test, and he was low, even though he was young (less than two, I'm thinking?). Once they started medicating him, he started improving. this is a thread about it. https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...-s-health.html
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 04:42 PM
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How long ago was his last round of antibiotics? A dog may develop a resistant bacterial infection after antibiotics if the previous antibiotic wasn't given long enough, wasn't effective against the particular bacterial culprit, or killed too much of the dog's normal flora (which help the body take care of infections naturally.) A culture and sensitivity should pick up if there is a resistant bacteria present and what antibiotic will treat it. If it is there, you will need to give the correct antibiotic for a longer period of time than is usual.

Hopefully the culture should help you see if a bacteria or fungus is the cause of this flare-up.

But there may be an underlying problem which makes your dog more susceptible to infections--that is where allergies or low thyroid function can come into play.

Low thyroid is certainly more common (especially in dobermans) as the dog gets older, but a young dobe can have problems too. The same with allergies. It is very unlikely that a dog under, say, 6 months, has true allergy problems (not just a sensitivity or inability to handle to certain specific foods) But the typical age for allergy development is 6 months to 3 years, I've read.

If your pup keeps having repeated infections or you can't get a handle on this one (after this go round of treatment), a trip to a dermatologist should probably be your next step. Or at least, that's where I would head.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thank you so much for that. I did suggest to this vet multiple times regarding the thyroid test and even said his previous vet did recommend a full thyroid test, but the new vet kept insisting that Titan (my boy) is too young for that. What can I say to make him agree to do the thyroid test without sounding pushy? I donít want to sound like Iím undermining his diagnosis as he is the professional.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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How long ago was his last round of antibiotics? A dog may develop a resistant bacterial infection after antibiotics if the previous antibiotic wasn't given long enough, wasn't effective against the particular bacterial culprit, or killed too much of the dog's normal flora (which help the body take care of infections naturally.) A culture and sensitivity should pick up if there is a resistant bacteria present and what antibiotic will treat it. If it is there, you will need to give the correct antibiotic for a longer period of time than is usual.

Hopefully the culture should help you see if a bacteria or fungus is the cause of this flare-up.

But there may be an underlying problem which makes your dog more susceptible to infections--that is where allergies or low thyroid function can come into play.

Low thyroid is certainly more common (especially in dobermans) as the dog gets older, but a young dobe can have problems too. The same with allergies. It is very unlikely that a dog under, say, 6 months, has true allergy problems (not just a sensitivity or inability to handle to certain specific foods) But the typical age for allergy development is 6 months to 3 years, I've read.

If your pup keeps having repeated infections or you can't get a handle on this one (after this go round of treatment), a trip to a dermatologist should probably be your next step. Or at least, that's where I would head.
His last round was about 1.5 months ago. I was supposed to bring him back for the thyroid test since I did not see any significance change, but his vet closed down and covid-19 happened.
I think at this point Iíll wait to see what the cultures show and see what the vet says before asking for a thyroid test one more time. I can bite the costs of the tests and vet visits, but I donít want to keep going a roundabout ways If we can get to the problem with a thyroid test.

He is currently on Apoquel 16mg and Primor 1200 for 10 days while waiting for the culture results. Based on yíall experience, is it a good idea for me to wait for the culture results before asking for a thyroid test or just go ahead and request one? I am very conflicted and troubled that Titan has to go through this, I feel horrible that Iím not able to help him.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 09:42 PM
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Wow thank you so much for that. I did suggest to this vet multiple times regarding the thyroid test and even said his previous vet did recommend a full thyroid test, but the new vet kept insisting that Titan (my boy) is too young for that. What can I say to make him agree to do the thyroid test without sounding pushy? I donít want to sound like Iím undermining his diagnosis as he is the professional.
If nothing else, tell him that since low thyroid is so common in Dobermans, you want a baseline to compare future tests against. And that you want a full panel, not just the in-house test.
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post #16 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
If nothing else, tell him that since low thyroid is so common in Dobermans, you want a baseline to compare future tests against. And that you want a full panel, not just the in-house test.
Just out of curiosity, how much would a full panel thyroid check usually cost?
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post #17 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 12:50 AM
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It's been a while since I've done one, but I want to say it was a bit over $100? It was several years ago, when my muttigator was starting to have some serious behavioral issues, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't thyroid related. (Turned out she just basically had some screws loose.) I was going to have my GSD tested this year, and then all this *ahem* hit the fan.


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post #18 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
Don't feel like a bad owner...you got him in today and you are getting on top of this. Skin stuff can be very frustrating!

I keep a big bottle of Chloracare in the house all the time. It's generally very safe to use in addition to most treatments and seems to help with a lot of things. You might ask your vet about it and see if you can use it in conjunction with the other stuff you're doing. I've found it helpful in many, many different circumstances. https://naturesfarmacy.com/clora-care/
The active ingredient of Chloracare is chlorhexadine and I keep a bottle of it around all the time too--use it for lots of stuff and the dog shampoo I use is also one that has chlorhexadiine added.

Yeah, ditto what MeadowCat said--you shouldn't feel like a bad owner--you are on top of this--running test for stuff like this (where it isn't instantly apparent what the basic problem is) just takes time.

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post #19 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 10:47 AM
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Wow thank you so much for that. I did suggest to this vet multiple times regarding the thyroid test and even said his previous vet did recommend a full thyroid test, but the new vet kept insisting that Titan (my boy) is too young for that. What can I say to make him agree to do the thyroid test without sounding pushy? I donít want to sound like Iím undermining his diagnosis as he is the professional.
It's hard to deal with this kind of mind set with a medical professional (even for your dog). Sometimes real life experience with a breed that is prone to certain types of issue beats what one particular vet might have learned in vet school.

I always appreciated one of my vets attitude--he had a fairly big practice and lots of breeders and he always said that when his breeders told him about stuff that was common in their breed--he listened and made notes.

Dobes have a very high incidence of hypothroidism and low thyroid can cause a multitude of issues--including allergy like symptom. And although most cases show up in older dogs there are a couple of types that are genetic and can show up in very young dogs.

Good luck with this--I don't often tell people they need a new vet that will listen to them but when it comes to Dobes with skin issues that don't seem to clear up and/or various allergies I'm inclined to believe that if an owner want a test to be done for thyroid--the vet should do that test--they might be surprised at the results.

Good luck--hope the additional tests give an answer but if they don't I'd sure find someone who will actually take the blood sample and sent it to MSU for a full panel test.

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The testing for thyroid should not just rely on a T4 (often one of the inclusions in a general or senior blood panel but should be a FULL thyroid panel which consists of 6 parts and the gold standard for that test is at MSU--the parts that should be included are T4, T4 by ED, T3, T3 by ED, TSH and TgAA. The last two are basically markers for the genetic forms.
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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No results yet as of now, I donít think the antibiotics is helping since I donít see any difference. the vet did mention that if the tests all come back negative, that he recommends a skin biopsy. Do you guys think that itís necessary? Or do the full panel thyroid test first? I did read somewhere on the forum that melatonin helped with their dobie hair regrowth and was thinking of putting Titan on it. Do you guys have any suggestions?

Everyday has just been filled with anxiety for me. I feel terrible that heís going through this and feel so helpless that Iím not able to alleviate any of this for him.
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post #21 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by t_ranle View Post
No results yet as of now, I donít think the antibiotics is helping since I donít see any difference. the vet did mention that if the tests all come back negative, that he recommends a skin biopsy. Do you guys think that itís necessary? Or do the full panel thyroid test first? I did read somewhere on the forum that melatonin helped with their dobie hair regrowth and was thinking of putting Titan on it. Do you guys have any suggestions?

Everyday has just been filled with anxiety for me. I feel terrible that heís going through this and feel so helpless that Iím not able to alleviate any of this for him.
I think you need to get to the bottom of what the issue is before you worry about hair regrowth.

I might be inclined to consult a veterinary dermatologist at this point.

I've seen MSM anecdotally give decent results for hair regrowth, but like I said, I don't hink you're anywhere near worrying about that yet.


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post #22 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 09:35 PM
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Yeah, I think I'd head for a dermatologist too. If you keep trying random supplements and over-the-counter topicals hoping you can find something that might work, there's always the possibility you may make it harder for the vet to diagnose the problem.
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post #23 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I just got off the phone with the vet. The bacterial culture showed 2 forms of bacteria, staph and something else that he said heís never heard
of before. He consulted a dermatologist and she advised that those bacteria can be usually found in contaminated shower curtains and recommends for Titan to stick with Primor 1200 antibiotics. I do see a slight difference as lesions arenít as raised and theyíre drying up. Fungal culture is still negative so far and weíve got 4 more days to go. Fingers crossed!!!

PS. Now I wonder if itís his bath brush that caused the infection. I do know that after showering I rinse the brush and store it inside a bucket and never paid too much attention to it. But I have stopped using the brush since his last shower already
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post #24 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 11:43 PM
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Update: I just got off the phone with the vet. The bacterial culture showed 2 forms of bacteria, staph and something else that he said heís never heard
of before. He consulted a dermatologist and she advised that those bacteria can be usually found in contaminated shower curtains and recommends for Titan to stick with Primor 1200 antibiotics. I do see a slight difference as lesions arenít as raised and theyíre drying up. Fungal culture is still negative so far and weíve got 4 more days to go. Fingers crossed!!!

PS. Now I wonder if itís his bath brush that caused the infection. I do know that after showering I rinse the brush and store it inside a bucket and never paid too much attention to it. But I have stopped using the brush since his last shower already
I'd have a quick discussion about the drug your vet is recommending. Primor 1200 is a combination of two sulfonamides. Which makes it a potentiated sulfonamide. In general it is recommended that Doberman's who have exhibited a higher than normal sensitivity to sulfonamides in general and to far greater than normal sensitivity/allergy to potentiated sulfonamides.

It used to be when there were far fewer antibiotics on the market most vets knew about this and didn't prescribed sulfonamides for Dobes or any of the other breeds that have shown greater than normal reactions to such drugs but I found out a few years ago when a fairly young vet prescribed them to one of my Dobes that they don't all know about this.

Actually a lot of people are also allergic to sulfonamides--I'm one and have learned (the hard way) just how scary a reaction can be.

Not all Dobes are reactive but it's something vets should be aware of before they prescribe them and I'd have thought that a dermatologist would have known about it--makes me wonder if your vet told her it was a Doberman being treated.

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post #25 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I spoke to the vet regarding Primor. He skipped all his food yesterday and would throw up whatever little food I was able to get him to eat. I rushed him to the vet and they did a full CBC blood test and everything came back normal. Vet said it might be a reaction to Primor, so now heís on clindamycin. They also performed a full panel thyroid test on him and the results should come back tomorrow. Itís very odd, because he didnít have a reaction to it until the last day of his medication.
Also, do you guys know how long a full panel thyroid takes for results to come back?
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