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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, glad to join this forum - this is my first post!
I live in Bali and have a 15 week old male Doberman pup. I got him 4 weeks ago from a breeder in Java, Grandson of Rocky Von Frakenberg.
The issue is his skin. When I first got him he had a couple of small (4-5mm) bald spots on one of his rear legs and a few smaller ones on his front elbow. I did not think too much of it at the time.
In the last 10 days to 2 weeks it has spread prolifically, particularly down his back and other areas of his legs. Skin is flaky and hair loss.
He does not seem massively itchy, only scratches a little. It is not on his paws, his underbelly, armpits or around his nose or mouth.
Two vets and the breeder have said it is a fungus potentially brought on by allergy.
He has also had mild stomach upset since i got him. Not bad, but stools not maintaining their shape.
This week he is being bathed 3 times a week in shampoo with coal tar, salicylic acid and micronized sulphur.
Daily he is being brushed and massaged with coconut oil.
The breeder had him on Bravo dog kibbles with suppliments and cooked rice.
Since I got him he has been on Royal Canin Maxi puppy.
Yesterday the breeder came to see him and we put him back on his original Bravo with cooked brown rice. Last night his stomach upset was a little worse.
I am thinking of putting him on Pro Plan large puppy........but the only significant ingredient differences between these three foods is that the pro plan does not have any corn in it (the Bravo does also have fish in it).
Other background info - he drinks a lot - around 1.5 litres water a day (he is 15kg) and he pees a lot. If I try to limit his water a little then he drinks from the swimming pool!!
He had his tail docked and his ears cropped three and a half weeks ago, he pulled the stitches from his tail and got an infection. This was cleaned and fixed. He was on antibiotics and anti inflamatory for a week. His tail is now fully healed and his ears are doing well. His antibiotics finished around 10 days ago.
Recently a few of the patches have developed into slightly larger bumps.
Ticks are highly prevelant in this area but he has been treated with Bravecto.

My concerns:
Seborrhea - primary or secondary. The breeder says no history of skin problems in ancestry. No oily substance, no sign of yeast infection.
Allergy - no skin redness and itchyness does not seem to be than bad. No symptoms around toes, face or underbelly. No significant redness of eyes.
Cushings disease?? But he is only 15 weeks old - usually affects older dogs.
Immune system issue from surgery and antibiotics.
Mange is minor
possibility but again no redness and not much scratching. Skin scrape was done and no mites found.

So reallly I am looking for any advice or anyone who has seen this before.
I am going to switch him to the Pro-Plan to see if his stomach inproves. Will also suppliment Omega fish oils and vits A, D and E. Also will look for a pro-biotic to help his stomach.

Does anyone have any experience with this or recommendations?
And sorry for the long winded post 馃槄



Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
27,014 Posts
First of all--I am NOT a vet. So the things I say may not be worth much....but for your consideration:

Did your vet do a skin scraping or a culture?

1. A true allergy seems unlikely at his age, though he could have sensitivities to various foods which would affect his digestion.

2. In general, it is not a good idea to switch foods too often, or too abruptly. It sounds like he was at least doing OK on the Bravo when you got him from the breeder--the switch to another food could cause some tummy upset, as could the switch back to Bravo, if you did it too quickly. I would probably stick with the Bravo for at least another week or two and see if his stool doesn't firm up (unless you see it getting a lot worse) rather than switching to yet another food.

3. It's perhaps possible he is reacting to the coconut oil. It can be used to help with skin infections, but some pups will react to it.

4. But to me, this looks more like puppy acne, or a possible staph infection. You actually listed that as a possibility "Immune system issue from surgery and antibiotics"

A lot of pups have problems with skin infections because their immune system is still immature, so I'm leaning more in that direction than some kind of skin reaction to a food he is on.

I'm wondering if your pup could have a resistant staph which was not affected by the antibiotics he was on, but instead managed to go wild because other normal skin bacteria were killed off by those antibiotics. The timing of this spread with the timing of the antibiotics he was on seems suspicious (to me).

But puppy acne due to a bacteria is pretty common in dobermans, so much so that I would think that might be one of the first things the vets would consider. Did your vets mention it and explain why it was not near the top of their list of causes?

So that's the considerations I can come up with--but like I say, I'm not a vet, and I'm not there to see in person what your pup's skin really looks like. We may have different kinds of problems here in the US from you folks--your vets should be more aware of the common causes of skin conditions you see in Bali than anyone here is.

So my internet comments may only be worth what you have paid for them--nothing.

I do hope you get to the bottom of this. Best of luck.

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply Melbrod.
Yes skin scrape was done - no mites seen. Culture not done.
He did have a very few small patches at breeder when on Bravo, and his stools have never been as firm as they should - fairly consistent since getting him (apart from last night when he went back to Bravo and were a little worse). Agree about switching foods too often though - I am not feeding Bravo again at moment and today blending RC and PP. If it is a sensitivity then every ingredient in Bravo is in RC. as far as I can see. Will continue with this for a few days to see if stomach improves.

Cant be reaction to coconut oil as started that after skin issues began.

Puppy acne I have not looked into too much....will have a read thanks.

Have not crossed bacteria off the list. Vets said was fungal and checked with UV light.....although what I have just read a Woods light will fluoresce with bacteria or fungal infection.

Thanks for your input mate.

Premium Member
479 Posts
I would offer that the vet needs to check for giardia. It is not commonly tested for upon initial testing when loose stool is present. In fact, I had to demand my vet tested for it when my puppy had persistently soft stool, despite high-quality food and antibiotics. Once giardia was diagnosed and treated, it cleared right up.

Remember, that feeding a puppy too much will also cause loose stool.

Regarding skin, I will add that my pup had similar spots that cleared up as he got older. I kept him on the kibble from the breeder and augmented with hard-boiled egg, olive oil, sardines, and vegetables. The spots cleared up and now, when he has the occasional spot, I treat it with a spray of chlorhexidine spray.

Finally, I will add that at 12 months, he is just now getting puppy acne under his chin, so yay.

Welcome to the forum but PLEASE post a photo of your pup鈥檚 face. We love puppy faces around here. :D
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the heads up on Giardia. I will check to see if any of his other treatments will have covered that and if stomach issues persist into next week then talk to my vet about it.
:)I will get a photo of him tomorrow after his ear postings have been changed.

Big Lil pup
6,735 Posts
OK... I am not a vet and lay internet diagnosis is lame at best.

Still... That looks to me like it could be a pretty advanced case of Staph. Staph infections are quite common in puppies with developing immune system. Most of my pups have had Staph at some time or another, but generally just a few localized bumps. It is usually easily treatable.

Staphyloccoccus is a bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics. Some resistant strains may need a longer or second treatment regime. In severe cases, a vet may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or antibacterial shampoo. As in all bacterial infections, it is important to follow treatment completely and to the end.

Again, this is just my speculation and perhaps something that you may want to bring up to your vet.

BTW... A Staph infection has never caused my dogs to have bowel movement issues.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR

Premium Member
10,576 Posts
The skin issue looks a lot like staph to me too--and is so common in young Doberman puppies (because their immune systems tend to be slow to mature) that it is the first thing I'd consider for the problems you describe and the way his skin looks now in the picture you sent.

As far as the loose stool goes--I don't think that has anything to do with the skin issue. And I don't think that your pup was on antibiotics even with the infection of the tail long enough to deal with the skin infection. Usually that's treated for three weeks with antibiotics and since it's now so wide spread I'd guess it'll take even longer to clear up. Usually when on antibiotics for a skin issue that looks like that the vets generally also have them being bathed with a chlorhexadine shampoo. They will give how many times a week for the first week and fewer for the second week etc.

I would stop applying coconut oil (or any other kind of oil the the outside of the dog--dog skin is sufficiently unlike human skin that generally you would not want to apply stuff all over the dog. A medicated ointment on the spots themselves perhaps but mostly skin condition is dictated by what the dog gets internally.

I gave quite a few additives to my puppies and some I give all their lives but some things I don't start until they are over six months old. I would not add most oils--while I give fish oil and Vitamin E in an oil base starting at six months and then i give it for life at under six months too many things, especially oily things can really cause the stools to be soft. As as McCown pointed out be careful with how much you feed--all by itself overfeeding is one of the most common causes of everything from diarrhea to soft stools in puppies.

But I do add yogurt or cottage cheese (both very good for the skin and coat), In small quatities--a tablespoonful. Eggs--another thing easily digested and very good for the skin and coat and the white is full of digestable protein. I hard boil them in batches (so I don't have to do it daily) and start with part of an egg and work up to an egg a day.

The other thing I do use on skin--I keep a spray bottle of a vinegar and water mix around(plain old white vinegar and water--about 10% vinegar and 90% water. If the puppy is itchy I would spray some on the spot he's scratching. Any place he has any of the little scabby places. It might not help but it won't hurt and he'll only smell like a salad until he dries and the vinegar leaves his skin at the proper pH for a dog. (Don't use human shampoos on dogs--the formulation is just plain wrong for them.

Good luck--sometimes when it comes to feeding puppies you just need to keep them on a suitable kibble long enough for them to adjust to it--if I change foods for a puppy, they eat that and only that for at least 3 months--sometimes 4 months. And a make very sure that the soft stools aren't becuase I'm feeding too much.


Super Moderator
22,322 Posts
I'd also be suspicious of staph, which doesn't always show on a skin scraping, and can often require a pretty long course of treatment in a Dobe pup.

I concur with dobebug in that I wouldn't use coconut oil topically (and don't particularly like it for use as an oil fed, either - I prefer fish oil). Basically, I agree with everything Bug said!
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys, i will talk to my vet about staph.
I use the coconut oil because it was recomended by both vets and the breeder. It contains Lauric acid which is both an antibacterial and an antifungal. It also contains capric acid and caprylic acid which are both antifungal. It also aids digestion if given orally but he just gets it topically.
I will supliment the fish oils in his diet to help his skin.
It should only be a few days to see if his stomach improves and he had a sensitivity to the Royal Canin.
If no improvement i will look at probiotics in case his previous antibiotics knocked his stomach bacteria out of sync.
I will speak to my vet about possibility of staph next week.
Thanks folks
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