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SKIN DISCOLORATION
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SKIN DISCOLORATION

I have an apricot Toy Poodle called Benji.  He is 6 months old.  When we purchased him at 2 months, his tummy was pink. Over the past four months his tummy  and other areas of his body have turned grey/black under his hair.( I had previously checked with the Vet before buying Benji, to ensure there had not been any allergy issues with the parents.) I thought this was due to the fact that the mother was pitch black, as were all the other siblings and he was inheriting the mother's  pigmentation. Benji arrived with a black nose and his pads.

Although he has developed an ear infection which he is currently being treated for, he shows no signs or actions that his skin is bothering him. He is high energy, digs in the dirt constantly and has  an extremely happy disposition.  Along with Medi-Cal Development Formula (wet and dry) , we give him raw beef bones that have marrow in them but next to no actual beef meat on the exterior of the bone. He has eaten raw bones for the past 3 months. He has also had many dried liver treats during our endeavours to pottie train him along with simple commands. There are days he is smarter than my husband and I.

My Vet has indicated to me that Benji's skin discoloration is a sign of ensuing skin allergies and  because of his  young age, could be very serious in the future.

I would appreciate your comments and suggestions. Many thanks!
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Hello, Your veterinarian is very astute.

Hyper-pigmentation of the skin and ear infections at such a young age are harbingers of allergies to come.  The bad news is that there are no cures for allergies.  The good news is that they can be controlled.  The allergens are either food items or environment allergies.  The earlier you get him under control the faster his symptoms will be neutralized.

I would find a veterinarian who is versed in Traditional Chinese Medicine, who is familiar with Kidney Jing Deficiency.  Kidney Jing Deficiency is responsible for diseases that occur in the very young patient, for example congenital diseases.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has many herbal remedies that can help negate or help to neutralize congenital problems.  It will help, but not cure allergies, of course.

Diagnostic tests for allergies include: blood tests for environmental allergies, skin testing is also good for environmental allergies.  Once the allergens are detected, an injectable serum for desensitization which can help to cause your dog to eventually be nonreactive to allergens.  There are no accurate tests for food allergens.  Food allergens must be diagnosed by a food trial.  Food trials are difficult because no cheating can occur or it causes the food trial to be null and void.

There are new products that will help for allergens also, such as Atopica that is used with ketoconazole.  New anti-histamines and acupuncture and Chinese herbal medications, and other protocols that are being developed all the time.  A good grain free diet using novel proteins (proteins that your dog has never been exposed to before) can also help.  You must always be on your toes with an allergic dog.  Keep an allergy diary, so that in the future you can anticipate seasonal allergies when your will need ear medication, for example and can begin utilizing medication before the allergy gets bad.
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