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We are going through the exact same thing! Vet did a test for Hypothyroidism but came back negative. They recommended we come back in a month for a biopsy. Vet hadn’t come across this in a goldendoodle but has seen in poodles. Will keep folks updated as we learn more. Curious to hear others progress as well.
 

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Vet hadn’t come across this in a goldendoodle but has seen in poodles
Considering the number of doodles vs poodles, I'm surprised to hear that your vet hadn't seen this in a cross before. Poodles can have an injury (bite, sting, cut, etc) response where the affected area will revert back to the color and texture of when they were puppies but does grow back eventually to the adult color and texture without any medical intervention. This will happen anywhere on the body that the injury was sustained.

I did find one thread by an owner reporting on their toy poodle with a very similar pattern. The suspicion there was topical flea preventative as the culprit.

With the doodles mentioned in this thread, the change is on the spine area almost exclusively. Have you read thru the whole thread? The confounding factor here is the gene mix from the two (or more?) breeds. The location common in the doodles is on the spine.

With poodles, it's not location specific. There are other skin conditions which may affect the coat as well, but the change down the spine isn't how they present. The exception I've found so far is that thread linked above.
 

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Any idea if her hair will grow back normal based on this cross breeding issue? Seems like others growing through this might have started to see some normal growth. We don’t use topical tick meds, just chewable simparica.
 

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The bottom line seems to be, regardless of genetics, that if it's a response to an external source which isn't an ongoing source, that the coat is very likely to grow back as it was before whatever it was that caused the change happened. It takes time, tho.

Another factor mentioned by several was a recent grooming as a possible outside source or a dog of the right height to rub their back under the edge of something repeatedly, maybe to scratch or self massage. It may feel relieving to do that but may also be just enough catalyst to cause the effect.

How far you want to or need to go with diagnostic procedures is something that you and your vet should decide.
 

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I am so happy to find this post. My 18 month old mini golden doodle has developed 2 spots like this! So happy you all have posted so I know we are not alone.
 

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My 2 yr old goldendoodle (Multigen - F1B mom x F1B dad) is going through the same thing! He has dark patches of hair starting at his rump and they are spreading up his spine towards his neck. The hair coming in is coarser and straighter (Vet said it almost looks retriever-like) than the rest of him which is loose curly. We live in South Denver, CO and we got Murphy from a breeder in NC. I'm part of a facebook group called Denver Doodle Club and just this morning there was a post about someone with this very issue followed by over 30 comments of people with doodles in Colorado going through the same thing. I'm beginning to wonder if there is something environmental going on. Consensus on that group was that it could be due to an injury to the hair follicles in the area. We took Murphy to the vet today and they believe it could be allergies, hypothyroidism, or early stage sebaceous adenitis. They took some labs, we're awaiting the results. I'll post with the results soon as we receive them. Please keep us updated on your pup's progress!
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Thinking on this some more. I was disappointed that the Denver Doodles FB group was private. This particular discussion could have been very informative.

I see that most everyone has sensibly contacted or been seen by their vet but without answers.

It just occurs to me to ask, have any of you contacted your breeder to ask
1/ if they might happen to know what this is
2/ if they have any dogs that have had this
3/ if any other owners of any other pups from the litter yours came from have contacted them about this

Another possibility might be to do some DNA testing. DNA health testing and breed identification are included in most companies tests, I think. Several do coat DNA for color and texture so there might be something helpful in that. There may also be some genetic skin conditions which could show in the health testing. One company at least, possibly Embark, will also give you info on close relatives and contacting those owners might be helpful.

I'm not sure if any company does all of these so if this idea seems useful, it could be worth it to investigate.

I'd start with the breeder first, tho, just to see if anyone gets an answer and particularly if more than one of you gets the same answer.

Given that there seems to be more of you than coincidence alone could account for, it seems very likely that a forthcoming breeder will know or at least have seen this condition before. The very specific nature of it and what appears to be the prevalence in Goldendoodles yells to me that someone breeding them must know something helpful.

If we had this many members with purebred poodles showing this condition, we'd be checking with the breeder for the reasons noted above. They'd want to know of this. They might know what it is,
 
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The vet said we could actually biopsy the area and they can confirm if it is this or that. It is light sedation and a few stitches . I will tell you what the dermatologist says when I go. I am just worried it is some deeper issue .. an endocrine or hormone problem. Did you do lab work? Many times hair issues with dogs (like humans) can be deeper things so I want to rule out any auto immune disease that may be rearing it’s head. She did have elevated Triglycerides and cholesterol which they said was because she ate breakfast that morning… But increases in those two items are also the beginnings of Cushing’s disease which also impacts the color of hair… Extra panting… Excessive thirst… Bloating. I doubt it is any of that but I absolutely want to rule out those as well. I have a friend whose dog had Cushing’s and their vet missed it the first time around delaying treatment. To be continued.
I just cam across this thread and glad I did because my 2 year old Goldendoodle just starting showing the same issues on her back after a grooming. Much like both of your dogs, my
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Rudy Rose was up to date on all her vaccines too. I’m stumped by this! What have you learned of your dog’s condition since and has it cleared up any?
 

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The posts on the Doodlekisses site go back as far as 2013, iirc. No one seems to have gotten any diagnosis from the medical community.

Because of this, I'm bumping to ask again

have any of you contacted your breeder to ask
1/ if they might happen to know what this is
2/ if they have any dogs that have had this
3/ if any other owners of any other pups from the litter yours came from have contacted them about this

Another possibility might be to do some DNA testing.

I'd start with the breeder first, tho, just to see if anyone gets an answer and particularly if more than one of you gets the same answer.

Given that there seems to be more of you than coincidence alone could account for, it seems very likely that a forthcoming breeder will know or at least have seen this condition before. The very specific nature of it and what appears to be the prevalence in Goldendoodles yells to me that someone breeding them must know something helpful.

If we had this many members with purebred poodles showing this condition, we'd be checking with the breeder for the reasons noted above. They'd want to know of this. They might know what it is,

I truly believe that someone who is as close as a breeder is to seeing litter after litter thru the years, and hopefully stays in contact with the pups owners will have seen this condition and know what it is and what causes it.

goldendoodle discolored fur on spine - Google Search
 

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2 Week update on our Murphy

Vet Visit -- Our vet did a ANTECH - Thyroid Profile 2 panel to rule out hypothyroidism. Everything came back within normal ranges. We started Murphy on daily regiment of Zyrtec. So far no change to the hair along his back. The darker/coarser hair is not spreading, just getting longer like the rest of his hair. We will continue on Zyrtec and keep an eye on it for worsening symptoms such as oily skin or bald spots which could point to sebaceous adenitis. If this happens, vet will do a biopsy first to confirm before treatment.

Discussion with Breeder -- I reached out to our breeder who has full (and clear) genetic panels on both of Murphy's parents. She said she has seen this happen when a dog is injured or has a hot spot and hair comes back darker. She is also aware of many forums like this one where possible causes such as topical flea meds have been discussed but no definitive diagnosis has been reached.

In short, the mystery continues.
 

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I did some more digging thru PF and found more instances of this happening with poodles too.

The general consensus still seems to be a cosmetic issue related to some kind of "injury" to the area. I'm coming back around to that as most likely.

SA or other skin conditions are a reasonable concern, but they don't present this way - the skin doesn't seem to be affected - but I don't remember anyone ever reporting back in any threads on any forum that SA or any other skin condition was diagnosed. It just seems unlikely to me still that this is anything but cosmetic.

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Poppy has dark regrowth on her back on the bare patches around sebaceous adenomas - they were amongst the first areas to lose hair when she started steroids, and the first to regrow since we reduced the dose. Regrowth in other areas is also darker. It would seem to be an effect of hair follicles damaged in some way - quite possibly there are therefore many different causes that have what appears to be the same effect.
 
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2 Week update on our Murphy

Vet Visit -- Our vet did a ANTECH - Thyroid Profile 2 panel to rule out hypothyroidism. Everything came back within normal ranges. We started Murphy on daily regiment of Zyrtec. So far no change to the hair along his back. The darker/coarser hair is not spreading, just getting longer like the rest of his hair. We will continue on Zyrtec and keep an eye on it for worsening symptoms such as oily skin or bald spots which could point to sebaceous adenitis. If this happens, vet will do a biopsy first to confirm before treatment.

Discussion with Breeder -- I reached out to our breeder who has full (and clear) genetic panels on both of Murphy's parents. She said she has seen this happen when a dog is injured or has a hot spot and hair comes back darker. She is also aware of many forums like this one where possible causes such as topical flea meds have been discussed but no definitive diagnosis has been reached.

In short, the mystery continues.
 

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The posts on the Doodlekisses site go back as far as 2013, iirc. No one seems to have gotten any diagnosis from the medical community.

Because of this, I'm bumping to ask again

have any of you contacted your breeder to ask
1/ if they might happen to know what this is
2/ if they have any dogs that have had this
3/ if any other owners of any other pups from the litter yours came from have contacted them about this

Another possibility might be to do some DNA testing.

I'd start with the breeder first, tho, just to see if anyone gets an answer and particularly if more than one of you gets the same answer.

Given that there seems to be more of you than coincidence alone could account for, it seems very likely that a forthcoming breeder will know or at least have seen this condition before. The very specific nature of it and what appears to be the prevalence in Goldendoodles yells to me that someone breeding them must know something helpful.

If we had this many members with purebred poodles showing this condition, we'd be checking with the breeder for the reasons noted above. They'd want to know of this. They might know what it is,

I truly believe that someone who is as close as a breeder is to seeing litter after litter thru the years, and hopefully stays in contact with the pups owners will have seen this condition and know what it is and what causes it.

goldendoodle discolored fur on spine - Google Search
So we have done biopsies and bloodwork to rule out endocrine issues as well as SA. Today we finally made it to a dermatologist for dogs and they concluded that this is fairly common in poodles and mixed poodle breeds… Where they have extremely sensitive hair follicles. This could’ve happened after a grooming incident or something like that which we will never truly know but because they Don’t shed it could be a year and a half before the hair ever grows back. But no overall health concerns.
 

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]
So we have done biopsies and bloodwork to rule out endocrine issues as well as SA. Today we finally made it to a dermatologist for dogs and they concluded that this is fairly common in poodles and mixed poodle breeds… Where they have extremely sensitive hair follicles. This could’ve happened after a grooming incident or something like that which we will never truly know but because they Don’t shed it could be a year and a half before the hair ever grows back. But no overall health concerns.
 

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We are going through the exact same thing! Vet did a test for Hypothyroidism but came back negative. They recommended we come back in a month for a biopsy. Vet hadn’t come across this in a goldendoodle but has seen in poodles. Will keep folks updated as we learn more. Curious to hear others progress as well.
]
So we have done biopsies and bloodwork to rule out endocrine issues as well as SA. Today we finally made it to a dermatologist for dogs and they concluded that this is fairly common in poodles and mixed poodle breeds… Where they have extremely sensitive hair follicles. This could’ve happened after a grooming incident or something like that which we will never truly know but because they Don’t shed it could be a year and a half before the hair ever grows back. But no overall health concerns.
 

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Thanks to you both, Angel 88 and GBColorado for keeping us updated with all that you've been trying and that you've learned.
It's not the definitive "Oh yes, that's the cause" we might have hoped for, but by ruling out so much it seems to leave only the cosmetic result of some kind of "insult" to the skin, with poodles most likely the common denominator.

I didn't extend my online research to other crosses but we have our Wheaten-Poodle cross as a start. I'm now going to be surprised if more crosses with poodles don't show the same thing if they should have a similar "insult" to their skin.

If there's nothing but fur changing color, and possibly texture, it's probably just that reaction described above.

If the skin itself is showing changes, or there's loss of coat, I'd be quicker to check with the vet since there are skin conditions that affect the coat.

Keep in touch, please. Your experiences will help others :).
 
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