Your noble Dobie companion is prone to a variety of genetic problems, some of which affect his skin. Many of these common skin disorders respond well to medication, while others don't clear up readily but are primarily cosmetic. For best results, take your dog to the vet when symptoms appear.
If your Dobie's thyroid gland isn't producing enough thyroid hormone, all sort of symptoms ensue. That's because the thyroid gland helps regulate the dog's metabolism. One of the most common conditions affecting the breed, among the first signs is hair loss and scaly, dry skin. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America notes that hypothyroidism is probably an inherited condition in the breed. Your vet diagnoses the condition via blood testing. Thyroid pills can get your dog back on track and restore his coat to good condition.
Also known as muzzle folliculitis, canine acne bears little resemblance to human acne other than occurring most often in youngsters. Dobermans are among the breeds most commonly affected. Symptoms include swellings, ulcers or pustules around the chin and muzzle, which can cause itching. If the infected hair follicles rupture, the condition is known as furunculosis. Once that happens, your dog might develop secondary skin infections. Your vet makes a diagnosis via skin scrapings. She might prescribe internal and topical antibiotics to treat the infection, along with antibacterial cleansers to clear up the folliculitis.
Color Dilution Alopecia
If you've acquired a blue or fawn Doberman rather than the standard black or red, be prepared for your dog developing color dilution alopecia. According to the University of Prince Edward Island, as many as 90 percent of blue Dobies and 75 percent of fawns are affected by this hereditary condition. By the age of 2 or 3, your dog's hair starts falling out, exposing dry, scaly skin. You vet diagnoses the condition via a skin biopsy. While it doesn't affect your Dobie otherwise, his hair won't grow back. Your vet can recommend skin moisturizers for the dryness.
Although all dogs can develop allergies with symptoms reflected in hair loss and skin lesions and infections, Doberman pinschers are often affected and there may be a hereditary component. Your vet will take blood samples and perform a skin scraping to get to the bottom of the problem. If it's a food allergy, she might prescribe a special diet. It can take a while before finding the right foods that won't trigger an allergic response. Other allergies result from environmental causes, such as pollen and molds. Your vet can come up with a treatment plan to suit your dog.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.