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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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The edge of my dog's ears are turning black and the hair appears

Resolved Question:

The edge of my dog's ears are turning black,hair is falling out where the ears are black.i am not entering into a monthly plan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to answer your question about Bess' ears.

Dr. Jo :

Are you able to upload a photo?

Dr. Jo :

There is no charge for responding to my information request.

Dr. Jo :

I am curious to see exactly what this looks like, and will be able to give you a better answer with more information.

Dr. Jo :

You will be able to join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say, then clicking REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.

Dr. Jo :

While I wait for you to return online, I'll type in some information about the things that commonly cause ear margins to turn black and lose hair, especially in an older dog.

Dr. Jo :

The most common cause is ear margin necrosis. The edges of the ear simply lose circulation over the ears. The skin turns darker and the hair falls out. The edges of the skin can even break off and fall away (without bleeding), leaving sort of a rough, raggedy edge.

Dr. Jo :

This is very, very common. It usually isn't harmful at all, but a drug called pentoxifylline can help.

Dr. Jo :

The second most common cause would be a skin infection. This could be fungal (yeast) or bacterial in origin. Your vet will need to look at a sample from the dark, hairless skin under the microscope to determine if this is the problem. They would also do a fungal culture, where they "plant" a sample of the skin flakes and maybe some hair from the edge of the area on a special medium that grows the types of fungal organisms that cause the disease commonly called ringworm.

Dr. Jo :

The third most common reason would be a hormone problem. Hypothyroidism is very common in dogs as they age, and it's one example of a type of hormone problem that can be associated with darkening of the skin and hair loss.

Dr. Jo :

It is most likely that Bess has one of those three problems.

Dr. Jo :

Oh! I forgot to add that blood tests are necessary to determine if there is a hormone problem.

Dr. Jo :

So, please do rest assured that this is not an unusual problem for a dog like Bess.

Dr. Jo :

I'm sorry she has you worried, but am glad you're looking for the information you need.

Dr. Jo :

Please remember you can return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more at no additional charge to you.

Dr. Jo :

I want to be as helpful as possible.

Dr. Jo :

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Dr. Jo :

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Dr. Jo :

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Dr. Jo :

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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dr Jo
Thank you for your reply, I am sorry I am unable to upload a photograph of Bess. Bess has had a problem with her inner ear for some time now, her ears are cleaned regularly with Cleanaural from the vet. She had a course of antibiotics recently to treat blood in her urine. She has also had a problem nibbling at her feet. Could any of this be connected to her ears turning black at the edges.
Dr Jo I do not wish to enter into a monthly payment agreement.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
Thank you for your reply. I'll do my best to answer your questions about Bess, but I will direct your questions about payment and the website to the customer service HELP department. Please contact them by clicking on their link.
Yes, this may be related to Bess' ongoing inner ear. Any skin tissue that is chronically infected or inflamed will become darker and lose hair over time. This may be a result of that.
I do NOT, however, expect any antibiotic use (like that for her urinary tract) to cause this.
Nibbling of the feet is most commonly associated with allergies. Not surprisingly, so are chronic ear infections. Allergic itch is a very common source of chronic irritation and infection that can cause the skin anywhere on the body (including the ears) to turn black and lose hair.
I hope that helps to answer your questions.
Again, please direct your questions about payment to customer service.
Thank you.
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