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Doctor H
Doctor H, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 299
Experience:  5.5 years experience practicing small animal medicine in a large urban setting
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My dog is losing a lot of hair, it comes out in clumps and

Customer Question

My dog is losing a lot of hair, it comes out in clumps and sometimes he pulls it out. He seems to be suffering from allergies but cannot find anything to help him. He has had 3 seizures 4 years ago and 6 months ago he had 10 teeth pulled. He is almost blind, especially when it comes to seeing things up close. I have had him to the vet numerous times and cannot get a satifactory answer.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doctor H replied 3 years ago.

Hi, my name isXXXXX and I'd be happy to help. First, let me ask a few questions.

How long has this skin issue been going on? Besides temaril P, what other medications has your vet prescribed?

Where are the clumps of hair missing? Is there any redness in his armpits, inner thighs, at the base of his tail, around his eyes, or in between his toes?

Did your vet tell you if your dog has cataracts? If so, has he been urinating and drinking more since the skin issues? Has your dog had bloodwork performed recently?

Is he on any flea prevention right now? If so, what? When was it last applied?

Please let me know so that I may help you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He use to only itch in the spring and fall and I could control it with benydryl. That no longer works. It is all summer and fall now. He really started gettting bad last fall when he lost a great deal of hair but it came back. Now for the last 2 months he has been losing it again. I would say at least half. The hair loss is mostly in the hind area by his back legs and butt. His stomach area and some up the sides by his ribcage. I can't tell you what other meds hes been on at this time I have to call the vet to get those answers. His skin looks great, no redness. I asked the vet if he had cateracts and she looked into his eyes and agreed with me. There wasn't a seperate exam done on his eyes. I would say yes, he has been urinating and drinking more. He also wants to eat all the time. He has had blood work in the last 6 months and they didn't find anything. He is not on any type of flea prevention and has not been for 2 years. I asked the vet if she thought he had mange and she said no.
Expert:  Doctor H replied 3 years ago.

Whenever a dog has lesions on only the back half (i.e. usually only uncluding the base of tail, legs, around the butt, and abdomen) I'm always worried about fleas or a flea allergy. Regardless, I would recommend year-round flea control with a reputable flea preventative such as Frontline Plus, Advantage/Advantix, or Vectra 3D. Any other flea product (Zodiac, Biospot, etc) does not work.

When your dog has areas of hair loss, he needs to be examined by a vet (even though its occurred before). Your vet should do skin scrapings to check for mites (or mange), skin impressions to look for bacteria or yeast organisms, and even a fungal culture for completions sake.

During this time, he should go on a course of systemic steroids, antibiotics (the skin is a huge barrier to bacterial organisms), and topical therapy (medicated shampoos, steroid sprays).

Even if he gets better, you should still continue the shampoos anywhere from once a week to three times a week. Steroid sprays are good as well since the weaker ones have no systemic effects.

Now there is a chance that the skin disease may be secondary to a metabolic disease such as Cushings (hyperadrenocorticism) or hypothyroidism. A urine sample collected at home is a good screening test for Cushings (its called a urine cortisol: creatinine ratio) and a thyroid level can rule in or out hypothyroidism (if its low then you should do a full thyroid panel). If he really does have cataracts, then your vet can also check for diabetes, although this is less likely to have effects on the skin.

If everything comes out normal, then I would recommend continuing the benadryl (1 mg/pound two to three times a day), omega-3-fatty acids, and shampoo therapy while maintaining flea prevention every month.

You can also consider a food trial, but typically food allergies are year-round. Still, it would be part of a comprehensive workup for allergies.

And if you have a dermatologist in the area and just want some answers, you could always have your primary vet refer you.

I really hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions!
Expert:  Doctor H replied 3 years ago.

If you received and are satisfied with my answer, please click the green accept button so that I may be reimbursed for my time discussing Auggie with you.

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