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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24868
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Awhile back my dogs ears, tips of her tail, back of her

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Awhile back my dogs ears, tips of her tail, back of her legs, and under her stomach turned black and she lost most of her hair in these areas. We live in alaska and at the time assumed it was frostbite. It had never bothered her. She’s shown no signs other than hairloss and skin discoloration. Over time all her hair has grown back and her skin color changed back to normal, except her ears. But today I cleaned them and all the black stuff started wiping out and falling off. Any ideas what this could be and what we can do about it? I do have an appointment with the vet,but they couldn’t get us in until later this week.
Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: There isn’t
Assistant: What is the Dog's name and age?
Customer: Kiara and she’s 5
Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kiara?
Customer: No
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also at the time her skin started to become discolored she also completely lost her undercoat ( Australian cattle dog) and her coat became very dry and didn’t look healthy. It slowly seems to be growing back and getting better also

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Did the black material have any particular odor?

Can you take a photo of this for me to assess? To post it, you can use the paper clip button on the tool bar above the text box (last icon). Or if you cannot see that, then post it on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr Instagram, etc) & paste the link here for me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She does have a weird smell. Not awful anymore but it’s still there. This is her ear. It’s not always shiny looking like that I just got done wiping them out when I took the picture
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the back of her ear. It was like this on her nose, ears, tail, and down the back of her legs but all the other areas have almost completely cleared up and hair is growing regularly there now. Just her ears now ����‍♀️ they seem to be getting better, but until stuff started coming out when I cleaned them we really thought it was just frostbite. I feel so bad she’s had something else going on all this time
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don’t know if this will help but this is what it looks like when I clean her ears out. She’s had this going on for some time now but the black stuff just started coming off the other day and it looks like she is slowly getting more color in her ears. The black stuff is kind of sticky and her hair is falling out with it some

Hello again,

It can be tricky especially when they cannot tell you what is going on. In any case, some of what you described is likely hyperpigmentation which is a skin darkening reaction to chronic irritation. Though with what you are removing, I suspect its an overgrowth/build up of yeast. This can occur in some dogs that have underlying allergies or immune suppression, so we do want to keep a close eye on Kiara as we try to reduce this build up for her and prevent recurrence.

For that, you can wash these areas a few times daily with dilute chlorohexidine as that can reduce yeast load. There are also OTC wipes/shampoos (ie MalaKet, Malaseb) that work well for keeping the yeast levels down. Most vets carry them or Amazon do as well. Finally, just in case she has any irritation or if there is a concern of an underlying allergy, you can also consider an antihistamine at this stage. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight every 8-12 hours) to reduce allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first. But again this material looks like yeast based discharge, so we can use the above topical treatments for her. Of course, if it were all over or she didn't settle with the above, then we'd want her local vet to swab this for culture +/- provide systemic/oral treatment so we can treat from the inside out for her.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok :) great! I’ll go get some of those wipes and shampoo first thing tomorrow. She does have a vet apt also but they weren’t able to get us in until the end of the week. Thank you so much for getting back to me and all your help! ��

You are very welcome, my dear.

I am glad to be of help and you only would need one or the other of those products. Though if its just the ears at this stage that we need to treat, the Malaket wipes are likely the easiest to use here. :)

All the best,

Dr. B.