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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16315
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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My name is ***** ***** and I have two miniature donkeys

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** and I have two miniature donkeys about 6 and 7 years old. One of the two is loosing hair in patches on his sides
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: They pasture summers and winter in a barn. I dewormed them about 3 weeks ago, we live in rural Ontario
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Are you seeing any skin changes (ie scaling, crusting, pustules, pimples, or sores)?

Is he rubbing the area?

Are the sides showing symmetrical hair loss?

Any changes to his thirst, appetite, or weight?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There does not seem to be any abnormality in the skin, just losing hair hair. Never seen this happen before.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I hope you are able to open the pictures
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

And just since I asked before, do both sides of the flank appear similarly?

Any changes to his thirst, appetite, or weight?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Only on one side and no apparent weight loss
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
no appetite change as well
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Only one side with total hair loss in a 6 to 7" area, no loss on the other side.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
His fur does look and feel very dry
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now based on your history and photos, it does appear that we have a non-itchy non-skin altering hair loss here. This would make infectious issues like mites or fungus less likely (which is why the other donkey is without signs). As well, the lack of skin changes make issues like bacterial infection or other parasites less likely as well.

With those most common issues aside, we would need to consider hormonal issues (less likely with only one side affected), autoimmune hair based issues (ie telogen and anagen effluvium, etc) seasonal alopecias, nutritional deficiencies or chemical exposure (again less likely with jus tone affected), and diseases that result in defective hair shafts (eg, trichorrhexis nodosa, etc). As well, we can see loss of coat quality and unpredictable hair loss associated with underlying systemic diseases (so if he has an underlying organ or metabolic issue).

Now with these to consider, I do have to note that you will be limited with what you can do at home. In cases of this nature, we tend to need to analyse the hair follicles +/- take a skin biopsy to pinpoint which issue is present. Furthermore, since we can see this secondary to internal issues, checking a basic blood panel and overall check-up would also be ideal here. That said, since you noted that the hair is quite dry, it can help to support him with essential fatty acids (EFAs). Specifically, you can supplement with flax or fish oil supplements intended for horses to help with coat health and promote regrowth while we further narrow the root cause for this in your lad.

All the best,

Dr. B.