Doberman Skin Problems

Updated November 21, 2016

The Doberman is a breed of dog known for its sleek, shiny coat but its skin is prone to problems. Dobermans with skin problems require veterinary treatment to eliminate discomfort and keep future problems under control.

Pemphigus Foliaceous

This condition is an autoimmune skin disease, which means it is caused when the dog's immune system is responsible for the damage done to the skin. Most commonly affecting the feet, face and ears, pemphigus foliaceous alters the pigment of the skin. Lighter and darker spots emerge on the skin's surface, with the Doberman's normally dark nose fading to pink or white. The condition also causes photodermatitis, which is a lightening of the skin that becomes worse when the dog is exposed to light.


Lipoma is a condition that causes fatty tumours on the skin of dogs. The growths are benign (non-cancerous), most often growing on the throat, front legs and abdomen. The condition is most common in dogs eight years or older. Treatment of these fatty tumours involves surgical removal of the tumour and, occasionally, a change to a low-fat diet.


This condition begins as small, dark spots on the skin. The growths come from pigmented cells and are often brown, grey or black in colour. Melanoma growths may be benign or malignant (cancerous) and must be surgically removed by a veterinarian. Occasionally, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also used.


Hypothyroidism is not a skin condition but a hormonal condition caused when the Doberman's thyroid does not produce enough hormones. This condition is common in Dobermans and it is the cause of numerous skin-related problems. Hypothyroidism skin problems involve dry, scaly skin, hair loss, thickened patches of skin and darkened skin pigment. After treatment, the skin condition worsens for a time before improving.

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