A Dog Can't Change His Spots- So What The Hell Are Those?
April 18, 2007 9:10 PM   Subscribe

My 3 year old chihuahua has suddenly developed small black spots. What are they?

We're going to the vet tomorrow, but I'd love any information on what could be causing this tonight. I noticed a week or so ago that she had what looked like little bug bites on her left side that were bleeding. I figured she had scratched them open. So then a few days later I saw that they were scabbed and dried over, and I figured things were working themselves out. But in the last 24-48 hours, she's developed black spots in their place- they sort of look like moles? And they've spread from just her left side to a few on her back (under her fur, where they can barely be seen). What is this? And how much is it going to cost me to fix it? She's had some skin problems in the past (a case of mange about a year ago that got really bad due to a lazy vet who didn't diagnose her properly, and that cost me a bundle).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It could be a tick or mite infestation? We took in a stray that had ear mites really bad; the vet just gave us a spray to spray on her for a week or two and she was fine. She was just a pup then, back on 97; we still have her.
posted by Doohickie at 9:44 PM on April 18, 2007

It sounds like flea dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Dogs (and cats) can suddenly develop this even if they've never previously had issues.

It will clear up once the fleas stop biting her. Have your vet Rx a topical flea drops: I'm found of Advantage or Revolution. Do not buy or use the crap one finds at pet stores, such as Hartz. If you're already using flea drops, switch to another brand—sometimes a particular kind will lose it's effectiveness on a particular dog.

If she's scratching the areas, you can sooth her coat with a nice oatmeal bath.
posted by jamaro at 10:22 PM on April 18, 2007

MacKenzie (here) gets the scabs from time to time. She gets hers because she won't stop fucking scratching! She also has these black freckles - not sure if that may be what you're talking about. She gets the freckles every summer, and by October, they've faded to dull grey.

My vet told me that it's nothing serious, and to just keep her skin moisturized as much as possible to soothe her itch.
posted by damnjezebel at 10:23 PM on April 18, 2007

Er, my link didn't work. I meant here.
posted by damnjezebel at 10:27 PM on April 18, 2007

Do any of these fit the bill?
posted by hindmost at 11:33 PM on April 18, 2007

Actually, if she has a flea infestation -- get your vet to give her a 'capstar' first, which will kill any fleas currently on her. Then coat her in a dog-friendly flea repellent, PLUS frontline or advantix or whichever your vet prefers, PLUS flea-bomb your house, your yard, and wash your dog's (and your) bedding in flea shampoo. Repeat the bombing of the house, yard, and bedding every thirty days for the next four months, and you'll be flea-free.

Fleas aren't fun for dogs OR humans, and the only way to get rid of them is to go banzai on their little bug heineys.
posted by SpecialK at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2007

Response by poster: We're back from the vet- the doctor thinks it's probably a flea-related issue. We got flea stuff, and antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in a week. The dog is resting comfortably on the couch after a stressful morning (she hates the vet). Thanks all for your reassurance!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Then coat her in a dog-friendly flea repellent, PLUS frontline or advantix or whichever your vet prefers...

The Frontline kills fleas that come in contact with your pet- if you douse them in repellent, you're just delaying that cycle as well as potentially adding more toxins to your pet's system (unless you just powder them with diatomacious earth, which is also redundant). Nor do you need to go crazy with "flea" shampoo- dry skin from frequent bathing can make your dog's skin more sensitive.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:16 AM on April 19, 2007

Oh, and:

In one study, children in households where flea collars were used showed between 2.4 and 5.5 times greater odds of developing brain cancer. (Arch. Environ. Contamination & Toxicology, Jan. 2000.)

Most pet poisonings are the result of pesticides used to control fleas.

posted by oneirodynia at 11:19 AM on April 19, 2007

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