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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Forum!

Our 2 year old golden retriever is having skin problems for a while now(1 year) especially it gets worse in summer and we went to the vet, but he keeps saying that our dogs skin is weak and gives us antibiotics which helped only temporarily. (3 weeks amount of antibiotics and it costs about 300 dollars) To keep paying 300 dollars each time is above our budget so we tried the following:

• Put virgin coconuts oil on his skin daily
• Put organic apple cider vinegar on his skin daily (very effective with his hot spots that he gets often too in summer)
• Shower him weekly
• Make him wear elizabethan color to not make him bite his skin
• He is also wearing a shirt so that if he scratches it doesn’t effect his skin that much
• As food we give him Taste of The Wild Pacific Stream (gluten free and no eggs)

I was wondering if someone knows what is causing this to our golden retriever.
Also does anyone know a solution to cure his skin and remove these black patches on his skin?

Any help or advice would be really appreciated as we really want him to be skin problem free.

The pictures below show our dogs skin.

As you can see his armpits skin became black and around it is red irritated skin
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Black skin around his eyes and his nose color changed a bit (it used to be totally black)
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Around his scrotum same black skin and his belly button is irritated(red)
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UPDATE

3 months have passed since this post was created. To know about his current situation please check out the thread below (I also answered comments in the new thread)):

 

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That looks terrible. First you need to find a new vet. They need to run tests. They need to do a skin scrape and look for mange mites, and fungal or bacterial infection, they need to draw blood and run a full blood panel, including tests for thyroid deficiency.

Did the antibiotics help at all? He may have allergies and you may have to put him on daily medication to control the allergies. You may also need to see an allergy specialist.

Where do you live? Maybe some of the board members can recommend a vet in your area.
 

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That looks terrible. First you need to find a new vet. They need to run tests. They need to do a skin scrape and look for mange mites, and fungal or bacterial infection, they need to draw blood and run a full blood panel, including tests for thyroid deficiency.

Did the antibiotics help at all? He may have allergies and you may have to put him on daily medication to control the allergies. You may also need to see an allergy specialist.

Where do you live? Maybe some of the board members can recommend a vet in your area.
Thank you so much for your message.

We think that it might be caused because of possible mold in our house(old house),
we are moving to a new house from next month.

We have one more dog that also has similar problems in this house. (Maltese, which is owned by my parents)
When we told about it to the vet they again didn't give any advice... and they keep giving medicines.
The Maltese got meds and injection and it healed (for a while... and then it got back).

If it doesn't improve in the new house we will go to a vet and let them check all which you advised to checkup.
Do you know around how much it would cost to do all tests?
Our current vet said that it is very expensive to test and didn't recommend it.... which is odd as the medicine that he gives us also costs a lot every time...

We live in Tokyo Japan, if someone knows a good vet please let me know.
 

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That looks awful.

Your weekly bath- I would not 'shower' but deep clean, every week, and dry the dog. Use a medicated shampoo like this:KetoChlor Medicated Shampoo for Dogs & Cats (Free Shipping) | Chewy because you want to get rid of any fungus and any bacteria lurking.
Dry the dog completely.
Probably needs some cephalexin, and probably also needs an allergy panel run and that'd cost you about $300 total including the injections to make him more tolerant of whatever it is he's allergic to. Also ask for a skin scrape, and use a cone so dog doesn't lick the scrape site.
Don't wait thinking you're moving and maybe it'll go away- it won't.
 

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I agree, find a new vet. I know that they don't always scrape for mange because it often gives a false negative, but they will go with a "maybe mange" treatment which would help with a variety of skin issues. Some flea treatments also treat mange mites. Be sure you're up to date!
 

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That looks an awful lot like what my older boy has, he gets those infections in all the same spots and had a pigment change for a long time too. Unfortunately for him, it's all seasonal allergies. Unfortunately for me, it's also really expensive to deal with LOL. I have not had any luck with any OTC type stuff like ACV or skin topicals that you can get at a pet store. It took me 3 years to get a handle on all of his issues.

We finally have a routine that works for him though. We're at the vet at least once a month - we usually get 2 weeks worth of antibiotics (usually Cefpodoxime, but sometimes Cephalexin) and a Cytopoint injection. Cytopoint injection lasts 4-8 weeks depending on the dog. For Kaizer, I have found 4-6 weeks works best for him (4 weeks preferably). He gets a 10mg Zyrtec tablet twice daily (ask your vet about dosage information). I think the combination of Zyrtec + the Cytopoint injection have been his saving grace this year. We were at the vet last week and my vet said his skin looked really good for this time of year - we only got one week's worth of antibiotics!

After dealing with his skin issues for so long, I did cave and take him to a veterinary dermatologist last year. I had a skin allergy test done on him (tests for seasonal allergens only) and found he's pretty badly allergic to a lot of grasses/trees/weeds (basically the outdoors). This was after a 10 month food elimination trial the year before where we found he was NOT allergic to any food items. Food allergies would have been much easier to deal with! I would recommend seeing a dermatologist only if to know what he's allergic to and to find out how you could proceed (allergy injections were an option for my dog that I'm still considering). But again, that isn't cheap. I think I dropped like $800 between the initial consult and the follow up appt to do the actual test - and I'm pretty sure they were nice to me and gave me a discount because I didn't pay for the sedation, bio-hazard, or for an office visit the second time.

I have found that bathing him after every extended period of time outside has helped a lot. We're outside a lot, so I dropped that to rinsing him off every time and then baths once a week. I have had good luck with the Duoxo Chlorhexidine shampoo, but I like the KetoChlor that Prism linked above. Drying thoroughly is super important as well.

I wish I had a better answer for you. I just have not found a magic, easy fix for these infections. My vet says my dog may have the grey/black belly forever, but that doesn't mean he actively has an infection. Last winter was the first time the black/grey disappeared in about 2-3 years, so I'm excited to see if it happens again (he was clear from October/November to March-ish).
 

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Thank you so much for your message.

We think that it might be caused because of possible mold in our house(old house),
we are moving to a new house from next month.

We have one more dog that also has similar problems in this house. (Maltese, which is owned by my parents)
When we told about it to the vet they again didn't give any advice... and they keep giving medicines.
The Maltese got meds and injection and it healed (for a while... and then it got back).

If it doesn't improve in the new house we will go to a vet and let them check all which you advised to checkup.
Do you know around how much it would cost to do all tests?
Our current vet said that it is very expensive to test and didn't recommend it.... which is odd as the medicine that he gives us also costs a lot every time...

We live in Tokyo Japan, if someone knows a good vet please let me know.
I would not wait until you move to get this diagnosed. A skin scrape should not be expensive, it just scraping the skin with a blade, putting the sample on a slide and looking at it under a microscope, they can immediately see if there are mites or not. Unfortunately, sometimes there won't be mites on the slide when there is an actual infestation and it just didn't show on the slide. The bloodwork to check for thyroid function you would have to ask for a price, but whatever it costs it has to be done to either rule out or confirm thyroid deficiency.

Don't wait to have these tests run. The longer it goes the worse the skin will be.
 

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That looks terrible. First you need to find a new vet. They need to run tests. They need to do a skin scrape and look for mange mites, and fungal or bacterial infection, they need to draw blood and run a full blood panel, including tests for thyroid deficiency.

Did the antibiotics help at all? He may have allergies and you may have to put him on daily medication to control the allergies. You may also need to see an allergy specialist.

Where do you live? Maybe some of the board members can recommend a vet in your area.
Thank you so much for the advice, I created a new post that updates about his current situation in the thread below:

 

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I would like to add that a mange diagnosis doesn't mean that they lack proper care. It means the dog came across mites. It happens.
Thank you so much for your comment, I created a new post that updates about his current situation in the thread below:

 

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That looks an awful lot like what my older boy has, ......
Thank you so much for sharing your story, I created a new post that updates about his current situation in the thread below:

 

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I agree to needing a 2nd opinion. This presents more of a thyroid issue than mange but certainly should have been tested. A skin scrape takes minutes to do so no reason not to.
Thank you so much for the advice, I created a new post that updates about his current situation in the thread below:

 

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That looks awful.

Your weekly bath- I would not 'shower' but deep clean, every week, and dry the dog. Use a medicated shampoo like this:KetoChlor Medicated Shampoo for Dogs & Cats (Free Shipping) | Chewy because you want to get rid of any fungus and any bacteria lurking.
Dry the dog completely.
Probably needs some cephalexin, and probably also needs an allergy panel run and that'd cost you about $300 total including the injections to make him more tolerant of whatever it is he's allergic to. Also ask for a skin scrape, and use a cone so dog doesn't lick the scrape site.
Don't wait thinking you're moving and maybe it'll go away- it won't.
Thank you so much for the advice, I created a new post that updates about his current situation in the thread below:

 
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