Several skin diseases have been reported in Dobies. They are susceptible to bacterial and fungal skin infections, inhalant and food allergies, along with several diseases in which the immune system behaves inappropriately. Symptoms include lots of itching, hair loss, and smelly skin, in addition to chronic ear problems. These can be chronic in nature so early diagnosis and treatment is imperative.
Often the First Sign of Health Problems
The Doberman’s coat was bred to require little maintenance. However, the coat and skin can be a good indicator of a problem. Poor breeding, poor diet, vitamin deficiency, poor hygiene, and stress can all cause coat problems. Hair loss, dandruff, and acne are good indicators that something is wrong.
Dobermans bred specifically for the rare colors of blue and fawn have a higher instance of coat and skin problems, as well as a host of other issues.
Hair loss usually occurs in two ways, a general thinning of the coat or a loss of hair in patches which if left untreated can eventually turn into total hair loss.
Thinning of the coat can be an indication of stress. Often this thinning is described as a blown coat. Females often blow their coats after birthing a litter of puppies. With all of her nutrients going to her puppies, it seems like a way of shedding excess baggage. Later the coat comes back full.
Hair loss in patches is an indication that something is wrong. Poor hygiene or immune deficiencies can be responsible for this by allowing bacteria to infect the pores. Immune deficiencies can be caused by stress or the depletion of certain vitamins and minerals, but for this level of severity, the stressor or vitamin or mineral depletion will have been unnaturally severe.

Canine Acne
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.
Acne is most common in younger Dobermans, usually occurring around the mouth and on the chin. The causes are hormones and bacteria. When food material and oils from food are left on the Doberman’s skin, it promotes the growth of bacteria. Puppies are most susceptible so bowls should be collected after eating and washed, and the puppy’s messy face should be cleaned with a warm washcloth. Improving overall hygiene will also reduce acne.
For Dobermans with acne problems on the face, human remedies can be helpful such as Stridex pads. Acne in some Dobermans can become severe even with rigorous hygiene. In these cases, a peroxide shampoo should be used for bathing. This shampoo is available in most pet supply catalogs, large dog food stores, or from the veterinarian. The instructions should be followed closely. These shampoos usually instruct that they be left on the dog’s skin for a specific period of time, around 15 minutes before rinsing off. Care should also be taken not to get this harsh shampoo in the dog’s eyes or on your skin.
Tip: Preparing a solution 2 parts water and 1 part Listerine and misting it onto the Doberman’s coat is also helpful in fighting acne and other bacterial coat problems


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.


Demodectic Mange
You probably won’t like this answer, but yes, your dog could fall prey to the nasty parasites behind demodectic mange. No dog is immune to Demodex mites. Demodicosis is far more common than other type of canine mange. If you have a puppy, your pet is particularly susceptible. The majority of the dogs that develop demodectic mange are younger animals with immature immune systems. When it affects a puppy, demodectic mange is commonly known as puppy mange. Dogs most susceptible to this sensitivity are dogs with short hair and oily skin like the Doberman. The reaction normally causes little else than blotchy hair loss, usually on the face, chest, and front legs. Dogs sensitive to this mite normally show the reaction during times of stress, often during puberty, or after any event that hinders the immune system allowing the mites to reproduce and eventually attack the hair follicles.
Demodectic Mange Predisposition - Which Breeds Get Demodex Mange?
While any dog can develop demodicosis, the condition is somewhat discriminatory meaning certain breeds have a higher tendency to develop the condition than others. The Afghan Hound, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Collie, Chihuahua, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, English Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Great Dane, Old English Sheepdog, Pug and Shar-Pei tend to be more susceptible.
Signs of Demodex Mites
Most cases of demodectic mange usually are localized, which means that the patchy hair loss (alopecia) appears only in several limited or confined areas on the dog’s body. Sometimes, the disorder becomes multifocal, meaning that there are defined areas of patchy hair loss that show up on many different areas of the dog’s body. When demodectic mange becomes generalized, it is a much more serious medical condition .
Owners of dogs with demodectic mange may notice one or more of the following signs of this condition:
  • Patchy hair loss anywhere on the body, but most commonly localized areas are the head, face (lips, muzzle, around the eyes), neck, front legs and/or shoulders.
  • Generalized patches of hair loss in patches that coalesce or merge to form large areas of sores and draining tracts all over the dog’s body.
  • Scabbing, scaling, inflammation and crusting of the skin in one or many places
  • Skin infection (redness, rawness, presence of pus)
  • Plugged hair follicles
  • Itchiness (this can very widely; usually more common with generalized demodicosis than with the localized form)
  • Scratching at affected areas
  • Skin redness
This problem is easily treated in the early stages by swabbing the affected areas with Amitraz, using a sulfur lime dip and/or treating the dog with Ivermectin; however, if left untreated can develop into a difficult problem to remedy and can eventually cause total hair loss.

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