Itchy dogs, acanthosis nigricans, and naked armpits.

pinkspore

Bat Ears Only
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
976
Likes
1
Points
18
Location
Central California
#1
Briz has secondary acanthosis nigricans from years of being an itchy, itchy beast. It tends to lighten when he's doing well, and darken when he's really irritated...except for today. He's doing pretty well, no red or irritated spots, only a little dandruffy. It's weird.

Secondary acanthosis nigricans manifests as a black lace pattern on the skin of a chronically itchy dog, on Brisbane it is most obvious on his belly, inner hind legs, and armpits. These are also places where the hair is thin or absent. His armpits are totally bald.

Anyone else have a dog with magic color-changing skin? Does your itchy dog have normal hair under their armpits? Have you tried to decrease the pigmentation or grow some hair on that dog? Did it work?
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
6,405
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Minnesota
#2
It's a pretty common reaction of dog skin to chronic inflammation, usually allergies. For an allergic dog, if you can get the allergies under control early in life when the skin changes are mild, they can normalize.

For Pip, allergy shots were a miracle. This year I don't think I had to medicate him once, but it's been a weird allergy year up here anyway.
 

pinkspore

Bat Ears Only
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
976
Likes
1
Points
18
Location
Central California
#3
I know that it's common, hence my attempt to compare observations and experiences. I wasn't able to find a vet who would even consider allergy shots for Briz until a couple of years ago, so it's probably too late to try to unblacken him.

I do think it's odd that Brisbane's black is so much darker than normal right now with no irritation, but I assume most people aren't staring at their dogs' bellies quite this intently.

Does Pip have baked armpits? Do either of your other two?
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
7
Likes
0
Points
0
#4
Itchy skin

Have you tried a change in diet. There are sooooo many possible allergens in dog food. You could try a simple diet of brown rice and chicken or some other non-allergenic meat that is not that common. Just a thought.
 

Torch

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
859
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
#5
It's a pretty common reaction of dog skin to chronic inflammation, usually allergies. For an allergic dog, if you can get the allergies under control early in life when the skin changes are mild, they can normalize.

For Pip, allergy shots were a miracle. This year I don't think I had to medicate him once, but it's been a weird allergy year up here anyway.
How long did it take for the allergy shots to be effective for Pip? We have been going that route with Rhys for a couple of months, and while we have seen drastic improvement, I'm curious what our end game looks like. I need to have a sit down with his dermatologist to discuss our long term plan now that his immediate issues are under control.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
6,405
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Minnesota
#6
How long did it take for the allergy shots to be effective for Pip? We have been going that route with Rhys for a couple of months, and while we have seen drastic improvement, I'm curious what our end game looks like. I need to have a sit down with his dermatologist to discuss our long term plan now that his immediate issues are under control.
Unfortunately, I can't really answer that question in the way you're asking it because he wasn't symptomatic when I started the shots. His allergies have always been seasonal and I timed things to start them over the winter (his non-allergic season) to give him a jump on the following summer's allergy season, kwim?

But big picture, they did help him tremendously. That very first season (so, maybe 3-4 months after starting the shots) there was a significant improvement and each year they have gotten progressively better and better. Honestly, I haven't done them at all for about 9 months and he had zero problems this summer. He's 9 now, and we started I think when he was about 3.

I can't say enough good things about them, they were life changing for us. He was SO miserable before them and at this point, at his worst his symptoms are mild enough to control with bathing. I can't remember the last time I had to give him anything orally.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
155
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
Georgia
#7
I have recently had a bit of an epiphany in regards to allergies and my dogs.

My PRT bitch has allergies. Her main culprit is fleas. I do everything I can, but I live in the deep south and fleas are there. I have brought fleas home from dog shows this summer. She is also sensitive to many of the topical flea meds. But with most flea treatments, the flea has to bite the dog to die. It is the bite that she is allergic to. And I really cringe at putting chemicals in and on my dogs. But I do it anyway, because they cannot be miserable either. I had to pull her from a dog show and mark her as abscent because 3 days before a cluster show in less than 1 hour, she ate a hole in her hair and chewed her back and looked horrible. She created a giant hotspot. I was not going to put that in front of a judge.

So my point to this is I was talking to another breeder friend about allergies. He says he would never breed a dog with allergies because allergies is an autoimmune deficiency and we as a dog show breeder and enthusiast will do what it takes for our dogs, but many pet people are not willing to work so hard for 'just a pet'. There are exceptions such as yourself, but we know not everyone is like that.

But a light went off in my head "autoimmune deficiency". DING! In that second my mind went to zinc. I did some homework that night because I could not get it out of my head. I figured it would not hurt. Allergies, itchy skin, goopy ears, red feet are an overgrowth of yeast in the body.

I put my bitch on a limited ingredient diet. Some say grain free, but I have different opinions on grain free food. So I went with limited ingredient. I added to her food Probiotics Max. That will help push the yeast out of the body. I know it will have a final burst and get worse then start getting better. I also added (my bitch is only 13lbs) a half a zinc pill 2 times a day. I get the zinc at dollar general, it is 3 or 4 dollars for 100 pills. Then lastly, on top of the chemical flea treatments, I began to spray her once a day with essential oils as my imaginary "flea forcefield" for her.

Within 2 days, she started growing hair. This bitch has always had a bit of a thin coat. I always considered her coat one of her faults. She started growing hair. Then her entire coat thickened all over her body and she grew an undercoat. That bitch had hair so thin that when she was wet, she looked bald, you could see thru her hair. (she is white). Now, she has a beautiful coat and a very respected judge (this one is loved or hated) even commented to us what a beautiful coat she had. She even grew in the undercoat she was supposed to have, but did not have before.

So something in what I did was working. My older boy started licking his feet and digging his ears. He started that off and on a few years ago. I gave him zinc, it cleared up.

Cookies to you if you read all this. I thought I would share my more recent experience. Now all my show dogs are on zinc. I find cuts heal faster and rubbed off hair comes in faster.

:cheers:
 
Top