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.
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.