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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24441
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We have a 2 year old yorkie losing hair around his nose. No

Customer Question

We have a 2 year old yorkie losing hair around his nose. No vet or anyone knows what it is, but it is getting worse (larger). He plays with plastic toys, always chewing. Today we noticed little sores on the inside of his thighs. I'm not sure if the two are related. We spoken to 2 different vets. One has no idea what is causing the hair loss, the other has crossed the line by suggesting the dog go to a vet neurologist.
We'd appreciate your insight.
Thank you,
Carolyn
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
It's relatively straightforward to determine why hair loss occurs. The initial database should include skin scrapings to see if an underlying mange (Demodex) is present, a cytology (microscopic exam of a small sample of Paulie's skin surface to see if abnormal numbers of bacteria or yeast are present), and a fungal culture. Treatment, then, would be predicated upon the findings of testing.
Because Paulie is always pruritic (itchy), I also need to consider that he's rubbing his hair off around his nose. This is commonly seen in both atopic (allergic to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) dogs and dogs with a food intolerance. Paulie can be tested for environmental allergies with a blood or scratch test and a food intolerance can be tested for with presumptively hypoallergenic diets. Alternatively, we can see how he responds to a short course of an anti-allergenic corticosteroid such as prednisone or the new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib which works as well as a steroid without its adverse side effects.
Finally, when testing reveals equivocal results, skin biopsies can be taken for our pathologist to return possible etiologies of the hair loss. I don't see the need for a neurologist but you do have the option to consult a specialist veterinary dermatologist as can be found here: www.acvd.org but the testing I've outlined above can be performed by your local vet.
The little sores on the inside of his thighs are likely to be pustules indicative of a Staph infection. It may or may not be related to his nasal hair loss. Can you upload a photo of Paulie's nose to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as imgur.com or dropbox.com. I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.