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jadedangel57
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Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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Very dry skin. Hair falling out, in some places raw, Chow

Customer Question

Very dry skin. Hair falling out, in some places raw
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Chow Chow - 6 years old
JA: OK. What is the chow chow's name?
Customer: Buddy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Buddy?
Customer: three weeks ago the vet prescribed Ceporex 250mg 1 x twice daily and Lenisolone 5mg 1 for 5 days. His skin has not improved.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?

1) When did this begin?
2) Can you send pictures of his skin?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
3 weeks ago. Unable to take photos. Sorry. Can you give me an indication of what it could be. I am concerned about this website. Money has been deducted from my account, but everything I receive from Just Answer seems to be just advertising. Are you legit?
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 8 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 20 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I'm sorry the previous expert didn't let you know they were opting out of your question. Just Answer is legit and all experts have their experience verified.

Unfortunately, there are many conditions that can cause a dog to experience hair loss including ringworm, mange, hypothyroidism, cushing disease and allergies. Ringworm can have a scaly reddish rash around the edges of the bare patches though there can be a rash in the bare area as well. Any over the counter antifungal cream for ringworm will work on this. The cream should be applied to an area slightly larger and for about a week after it appears to have cleared up. There are two types of mange and mange is actually caused by mites. Usually hair loss starts in specific areas of the body before spreading to other areas. Allergies are a frequent cause of scratching and hair loss and an be caused by many different things. Treating any problem without knowing for sure what it is causes a delay in the treatment of the real problem if your first guess is wrong. Since you have had your dog to the vet and he prescribed an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication, we can probably rule out ringworm as it is pretty easily diagnosed. In addition, mange is usually diagnosed with a skin scraping. If one was done, the vet would likely have mentioned mites to you if they were present. They still might be the problem as demodectic mange mites are not always found in the skin scraping. Below are websites that will go into more detail on these conditions.

Here is a website on Ringworm for information purposes.:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ringworm.html

Here is two on Mange.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_demodectic_mange.html

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_sarcoptic_mange.html

Hypothyroidism and cushing on these pages:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hypothyroidism-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hyperadrenocorticism-cushing-s-syndrome-in-dogs/page1.aspx

You can read up on allergies here:

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/allergy-general-in-dogs/428

http://www.lbah.com/word/canine/skin-allergies/

If you suspect an allergy condition is to blame, you can give your dog Benadryl up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. I suspect that this is related to an underlying allergy. The fact that it has started recently and that treatment is not having the desired effect. If the dog is still exposed to the allergen, treatment won't be that effective.

There might be a secondary skin condition in addition to the allergy such as staph dermatitis or yeast dermatitis. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief until the medications start helping cure the problem.

There is also a condition called alopecia which is basically hair loss. You can read all about it in this article:

http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=7250

Some treatment methods for this are discussed on the following site. You might want to discuss this possibility with your vet.

http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2004&PID=8629&O=Generic

I would continue medication to ensure the secondary infections are cleared up, but I'd also try to determine the cause of the allergy. I'd look for something that you possibly fed the dog starting right before you saw any changes in your dog. The changes might have been additional scratching or even loose bowels and upset stomach which all can occur with an allergic reaction. Rashes are often present but with all the hair might not be noticeable.

The allergic reaction cause scratching or rashes and then the skin's immune system is compromised and the secondary infection occurs and causes itchiness which in turn damages the skin and leads to hair loss as well creating a vicious cycle. Both the skin dermatitis and the allergy symptoms have to be treated at the same time. Even once you discover the allergen and stop feeding or remove it from the dog's environment, it still can take siz weeks or longer to see improvement. Allergy testing can speed things along as you identify the allergen and not have to rely on memory to determine what changes occurred like new treats, people food, change in ingredients in his normal food, even cleaning supplies or laundry detergent if the dog is exposed to bedding, clothing, etc.

Fleas can also set off a reaction especially in front of the tail on the back. This is usually a moist type of dermatitis. If your dog is on a good flea preventative, this is less likely to be the cause. If fleas might be the issue, let me know and I'll give you some treatment methods that might help get his skin cleared up and the fleas under control.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.