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Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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My dog has progressively been losing hair on his tail. I have

Customer Question

My dog has progressively been losing hair on his tail. I have two dogs and the other does not have this issue. Any idea what it could be?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 5 years ago.
Hello there,

How old is the dog?

How long has this been going on?

Is the dog itchy or chewing the tail?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He is almost 6 years old

It seemed to have started about a year ago

I never seem him chewing or paying attention to his tail.
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 5 years ago.
Hair loss on the tail only can be a sign of several things. A low thyroid level is most common as it results in a condition called 'rat tail'. A blood test is needed to rule it out. Thyroxine is used for treatment. If the thyroid is normal immune mediated skin problems, seasonal allergies, food allergy,f lea allergy dermatitis and bacterial/yeast infection also need to be ruled out. Treatment depends on which is diagnosed.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I see that hypothyroidism also shows weight gain which he does not have. I believe mange is out since he's not chewing or biting and my other dog shows no signs of the same issue. Having this information do you still think Hypothyroidism is the way you are leaning?
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 5 years ago.
I have seen dogs with the only symptom being a chronic ear problem or skin infection turn up being hypothyroid. Not all follow the text book description. A dermatologist would run that test first and then rule out the less common problems second. Allergies, flea dermatitis and mites are much less likely if the dog is not itchy. In some cases the exact cause can't be determined.Some dogs lose hair every winter just due to the decreased sunlight exposure but it grows back every summer. It happens in some dogs and not in others.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok thank you for your time.
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome. Good Luck! Hopefully it is something easy to treat and alot of testing is not needed.