How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Gabby Your Own Question

Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9417
Experience:  DVM 15 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
2263760
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Gabby is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an American Bulldog-Johnson type who is rapidly losing

Resolved Question:

I have an American Bulldog-Johnson type who is rapidly losing her hair. She is raw and scabbed over in all areas of her body. It looks like she has big flakes of what appears to be dandruff all over. She is 9 months old, but it started showing up when her food was changed from ProPlan to Alpo and has not improved since being changed again to Showtime 31%. She is around other Johnson American Bulldogs who are not experiencing this problem. No one seems to be able to figure out what this is. Is this something you can help with?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.
Food allergies and environmental allergies would be at the top of the list. They can show up as early as 6 months of age.
Beef, chicken, lamb, corn, wheat, and soy are the most common food allergens. Food allergies develop over months to years.
To determine if she has food allergies, she would need to be put on a completely hypo-allergenic diet for 6 weeks. The name of the hypo-allergenic diet is "hills z/d." It is a prescription diet and you have to get it from a veterinarian. There are no over the counter completely hypo-allergenic diets. It is only about $10-$15 more a month so it is not that bad if it fixes the skin issue. If her skin improves, then you know it is food allergies.
I feed my own dogs "proplan sensitive skin" which is low allergen but not completely hypo-allergenic and will not work for the food allergy test.
She could also have environmental allergies. This is called "atopy" or "atopic dermatitis." The dog's skin comes in contact with the allergens and then they are absorbed into the skin causing an allergic reaction. Your vet can do a blood allergy test to see what she is allergic to. Then she could receive allergy shots to desensitize her to the allergens. The allergy shots are 50-75% effective. We also treat atopy symptomatically with antihistamines, shampoos, topical creams and sprays, cortisone, and immune suppressing medications.
You can try human benadryl at a dose of 1 mg per pound every 12 hours.
Some dogs are sensitive to essential oils. Instead, I would use a mild oatmeal based shampoo.
Flea saliva allergy can also cause an allergic reaction. Make sure she is on a high quality flea control plan every month. Frontline, Advantage, and Comfortis are all good options. You can continue to treat the environment but that alone will not cause fleas.

Omega 3 fatty acids can help with skin inflammation. Fish oil is a good source of omega-3s. One teaspoon, per 15 pounds of weight, twice a day. You can buy it at the drug store or the health food store. Put it on her food.
To be thorough, she should also have a fungal culture to rule out ringworm which is a fungal infection. This is done by having a vet pluck hairs from an affected area and put those hairs on a special fungal growth gel. If she has ringworm, or a fungal infection, she will need topical and oral anti-fungal medications.
She should also have a skin scrape, done by the vet, to make sure she does not have demodex mange or sarcoptic mange. This is an easy quick test where the vet scrapes some skin cells, from an affected area, and looks at them under the microscope. If she has mange, he will need anti-parasitic medications.

Hypothyroidism is common in dogs. This means the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. Dogs will low thyroid levels have chronic skin issues. Your vet can take a blood sample and check her thyroid levels. If her levels are low, then a daily thyroid replacement supplement can be given.
I hope this helps.

If you have additional questions, please click "reply."

Dr. Gabby, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9417
Experience: DVM 15 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
Dr. Gabby and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alyssa,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Medusa. How is everything going?

Dr. Gabby

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Dog Veterinarian
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Dog Veterinarian
9417 Satisfied Customers
DVM 15 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.