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Mia Carter
Mia Carter, Animal Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
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my yorkie has dry white patches on her back she is ...

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my yorkie has dry white patches on her back she is losing her hair in the areas of the patches..it looks like she has that diseaser where you lose pigment..they are dry and scratch off and leaves a white spot. The spots were kind of raised and looked like sores...I had some medicine the skin doctor gave me for my scalp I used it on her and it seemed to clear them up and made them dry...now they are coming back as dry white flaky patches.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
Hello there.

I'm sorry to hear that your dog is experiencing hair loss. There's a few possible causes here, and at the top of the list of suspects is a parasite infestation or a fungal infection. A bacterial infection an also cause hair loss, but this isn't too likely since you didn't mention any redness and swelling, as is characterisitic with a bacterial infection. Changes in skin pigment often occur when infection or irritation is present - it's a form of scarring in some pets, so this would support parasites or an infection. I'd be happy to go over some of the in's and out's of these conditions, but I would strongly suggest a vet visit as these conditions can worsen rapidly and you can't effectively treat them at home since we don't know exactly what is causing this.

There's a broad array of fungal infections that can affect our pets. Yeast infections result in a scaly, dry appearance, sometimes they ooze, and they're often very itchy. To diagnose this or a parasite infestation, your vet will scrape the very outer layer of skin away, and it will then be examined under the microscope for signs of fungi or parasites.

It's also possible that the skin was broken, even just slightly, which can occur when parasites are present, and this could have allowed for a bacterial infection to take hold. That too is a possibility that I would explore a bit further. As I mentioned, usually redness and inflammation is present, but there's always exceptions to the rule. Your vet would have to examine the area and take a culture to determine exactly what's going on.

Parasites are also a really good possibility. Your vet would have to diagnose these with a skin scraping or a fecal floatation test, but fortunately, treatment is inexpensive and usually pretty simple.

I also wonder if an allergy could be to blame, particularly a food allergy. Symptoms of a food allergy include itching, dry, flaky skin, rashes, and hair loss. This is something that will likely be investigated if all of the things I've mentioned above turn out to not be the case.
If she's not experiencing an infection or parasite infestation, it may be worth trying your girl on an exclusion diet for a week or so. You can try her on a bland "people food" diet - it will be easy on her stomach. I would recommend boiled hamburger or plain chicken with plain white rice or cottage cheese. This way, you'll only be feeding her two ingredients, and if she's reacting to one of the dozens of ingredients in her food, you should see an improvement when the allergen food item is removed from the equation.

In the meantime, I would be sure you're cleaning the area twice daily with an antibacterial soap. If it's itching, you can then apply some hydrocortisone cream. Then, I would apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment, just in case you have an infection brewing.

Here's a couple of good websites that describe the different fungal infections and other similar conditions:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_yeast_infection_of_the_skin.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/ringworm.html
http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/itch.html
http://www.pet-supplies-review.com/dog-yeast-infection.html
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/mange1.html
http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/mites.html
http://www.doggiesparadise.com/dog-skin-disorders.shtml

I hope this gives you a few new directions to explore with your dog! Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions!
I hope your dog is feeling better soon!

***Please ACCEPT if my answer was helpful!***

-Mia Carter
Pet Expert

*As experts, we do not get compensated for our time and efforts unless you "accept!"*
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She has no itching and she has a sister who has no problems..she has been eating the same food for 4yrs..can dogs get cerisis(sp) or dermatitis? some of the spots look like little pimples.
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
Hello there.

Unfortunately, allergies can suddenly arise and the allergen could be a food or other item that the dog has been eating or exposed to for years. So that doesn't necessarily rule out a food allergy.

I think that the lack of itching and the little pustules/pimples are actually supportive of a parasite infestation. Little patches of infection can form when bacteria is introduced by the parasite, resulting in what you're seeing. It's also possible the pustules may have ormed due to the excess skin cells that are present. These can clog pores, leading to infection. You can also see this sort of irritation due to a product, particularly if the product was greasy, so if you're using any lotions or creams, this could be a contributing factor.

Since there's a good possibility of infection, I would be sure to wash and disinfect the area daily, as I mentioned above.
Here's some links on infection and caring for these cases:
http://animalhusbandry.suite101.com/article.cfm/signs_of_an_infection_in_your_pet
http://animalhusbandry.suite101.com/article.cfm/cleaning_a_pets_wound

Dermatitis is a form of allergy - it's basically a contact allergy. In some extreme cases, you can see hair loss, but there's usually more redness and itching involved. Some common triggers for dermatitis, particularly contact dermatitis, include laundry detergents used on bedding or clothing, shampoos or other sprays, certain rough fabrics like wool, and other chemicals in the home, like floor cleaners, air fresheners, etc.

As for psoriasis, this typically presents in a bit different manner. It's usually associated with irritation at the joints, like the elbows. Or, in cases where it's present on other parts of the body, it's usually associated with redness and a layer of scaly, dry skin. As the condition progresses, usually over weeks and months, the redness can decrease, leaving a scaly, furless area that's silvery in appearance. It's often associated with immune system deficits and disorders, which notably, are often seen in conjunction with allergies as well.
Here's good sites on psoriasis and dermatitis:
http://www.doggiesparadise.com/dog-skin-disorders-scalp-psoriasis.shtml
http://www.doggiesparadise.com/dog-skin-disorders.shtml
http://www.recoverysa.com/dermatitis_pro.htm
http://ezinearticles.com/?Dermatitis-Is-One-Of-The-Dog-Health-Skin-Problems&id=610483

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions!
I hope your dog is feeling better soon!

***Please ACCEPT if my answer was helpful!***

-Mia Carter
Pet Expert

*As experts, we do not get compensated for our time and efforts unless you "accept!"*
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