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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30032
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My three year old Labrador has recently started losing some

Customer Question

Hello,
My three year old Labrador has recently started losing some hair in a small spot around the tarsal area. If I could send a picture, that would help a lot. I noticed it about three weeks ago and I'm thinking it has grown by a small amount. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

There should be a paperclip icon in a text box near where you type that allows you to add a photo.

If not,

http://ww2.justanswer.com/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attached the photo, thank you for the quick reply.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Good photo.

I assume it does not look at all like that on the opposite hock (back leg). Is there anything to suggest similar hairloss and the back of the other ankle area.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, her other leg is normal. Were you thinking it's a callus?
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Based on the image, I cannot rule-out a few things:

1. A weight-bearing irritation/callus. Really common on the front leg elbow area, but can form in other areas when it keeps rubbing against the ground.

2. Mange (mites). So, that can be either demodex or scabies and can be easily tested for at the vet with a skin scraping test.

3. Allergies and self-trauma. So, if either doing any excessive licking or chewing, it could look just like that image.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Can't rule-out a callus like lesion, but location is a bit awkward for it. Wanted to include it as a consideration.

If licking or chewing the area, then self-trauma would be highly suspect.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

I would start with a vet visit, and maybe a simple in-house skin scraping to rule-out mange, and possibly a skin cytology to check for any secondary infection.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I doubt it's mites as she doesn't really itch at all. My 6 month old gsd has decodex, but I know that's due to her undeveloped immune system as she had parvo and my vet gave her more vaccines after that. Anyways, so you don't think it's anything serious?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She licks her privates about one time a day if that helps anything.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Demodex is very common and doesn't cause itching like scabies. Very important to keep that in mind!

Well, its not raised. No mass/tumor effect. Skin may be a little thickened. So, I don't think its very serious, but I can't say that it won't spread or get worse.

The lesion is large enough to warrant the vet trip to see what topical therapy would be worth trying.

No, the once a day licking is minimal.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, you said an at home scraping?? How can I do that? Also, I know demodex isn't contagious, right?
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

No skin scraping at the vet. They then apply it to a microscope slide with mineral oil and check for mites. No test at home

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Yes, demodex is not contagious. Only scabies (sarcoptic mange).

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you Dr. Andy. Much appreciated. Also, is there another less painful test they can do? Ive read that scrapings aren't always accurate because demo mites live on every dog as well as humans. If it comes back negative, will they assume it's allergies, callus, or infection ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I got an email saying you guys have upgraded me to the premium for life? Does that mean I can send questions whenever I'd like?
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

Yep. Could even be from some past injury. Like a previous scrape against something.

Skin scraping is quite benign. Yes, if performed correctly, it will appear a bit irritated. But, I never have to give a pain injection or apply anything topically. EAsy to do.

No clue about upgraded service since I am just the vet answering the question.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

There are all sorts of signup packages, so you would need to contact customer service or read the details of the email for more information. Not information I have access to view.

I hope my responses were satisfactory.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again Doctor. Yes, they were. Happy holidays and be safe.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 1 year ago.

To you as well.

Good Luck!

Dr. Andy