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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

skin color
by Jennifer
I'm so glad you asked this question. I'm new to having a Maltese too. My little Chrissy is 5 months old, and last month I noticed a big brown spot on her back. I thought she was bruised, but she didn't act like it hurt. I was about to take her to the vet (I was beginning to think she had skin cancer or something.) I'm very glad to hear that she is normal. Thanks!!


skin colorHi. M.A.R.D.(pronounced marty, stands for "Mine And Rance's Dog, decided after a month of indecision and arguments over names) is almost 4 months old. When we got him, he had the tan on the ears but other than that he is perfect. His coat is sooo silky and soft and his skin was perfectly pink. Well, now he has dark brown splotches and freckles all over and this makes his coat appear darker in those places. I cannot find any info about skin in the AKC standard for Maltese. And when I called the breeder about it she has never returned my call. Can someone answer this for me?

Puff has spots and freckles, and they seem to be somewhat related to the sun (they get darker in the summer, lighter in the winter), and maybe to age too (he seems to have more as he gets older). There is some information on this in the archives and I think it is fairly common. It can't hurt to point them out to the vet at the next visit if you are concerned, and any raised or thickened spots should be shown to the vet. The ones that Puff has are just extra pigment, an look like liver spots in humans, or like freckles.
Jennifer, I had the same concerns about by female maltese six years ago. I immediately asked the vet what was happening to her as it seemed like the dark spots were getting larger and more of them were appearing. He assured me that these spots are normal pigmentation and as your puppy ages the spots will grow larger and darker as a type of protection from the sun. My Bailey will be seven years old in June and is almost completely dark under her silky white hair. The vet also stated that she should not spend a lot of time in the sun as she will receive a sunburn very easily even with the darker pigmentation. It is quite interesting watching over the years as her skin changes - normally. Don't be concerned.

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