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Black Flakes on Dog Skin

by Pam
(Chicago, IL)

Flaking Dog Skin

Flaking Dog Skin

i have a shih tzu that just turned 11 yrs. old. her skin is peeling and flakes are all over her back. there are hundreds of black flakes. i brushed her on a white sheet today and it was just loaded with black flakes.


Please Help!!

Vet Suggestion on Care for Black Flakes on Dog Skin

Hi Pam,

It is possible that the black flakes you are describing are actually flea dirt, which is a polite way of saying flea poop. Take a few of the flakes and add just the tiniest drop of water to them. If the liquid turns a rusty red color, it is caused by the digested blood present in flea feces.

You might also be able to see the fleas themselves running around if you part your dog’s hair (particularly on her rump in front of her tail) or look in the sparsely haired areas in her groin, armpits, or around her eyes. Not seeing fleas doesn’t mean they aren’t there, however.

If fleas are the problem, bathe her with a flea shampoo (follow the directions on the bottle) and apply an effective flea preventative like Frontline once she’s dry. You’ll need to use it monthly, all year round to stop the fleas from coming back.

If fleas are not to blame for your dog’s skin problems, get her in to your veterinarian immediately.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM


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