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NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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Hair loss in concentrated areas of a young Great Dane.

Customer Question

We have a Great Dane (almost 1 year old) who is losing his hair predominately aroung his neck and ear area. The skin just looks pink in the areas where the hair has come out, we see no scabbing or irritation. At first, (due to the timing of the onset of us noticing the excess hair on the floor and furniture) we thought he was just shedding his winter coat but the problem persisted and we noticed it was not an all over condition but appeared (at least visibly) to be only around his neck and behind his ears. Then we thought it might be the shampoo we were using for his weekly bath (we adopted him at 8 months old so the previous owners may have used something different)so we changed his shampoo to one made for sensitive skin but the problem persisted. We then took him to a local vet who scraped him for mange which was negative. He prescribed "Soz-tap 960" 1 1/2 tablets twice daily for 15 days and an antiseptic shampoo with 4% Chlorhexidine which we used every 3 days. He finished both about 4 days ago and we still see a lot of hair on the floor and furniture and when we bath him. He doesn't seem to scratch at it and the vet wants us to take him to a dermatologic specialist now which I am sure will be expensive. He is otherwise very healthy, active, eats properly, etc. We told the vet that we have a lake behind our house and we let him swim and fetch in the lake. I keep thinking this has to be something environmental and different from his previous owners-i.e. the lake or an allergy to something in our house like the carpet (he was kenneled on concrete before we got him and now he is an inside puppy)
The vet wasn't very informative and I don't know what this medicine was treating him for-would it cover anything fungal like ringworm or bacterial from the lake? Is there something we could try before taking him to another vet?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
http://www.hhdane.com/medical/skinproblems.htm
talks about some skin problems in Danes so you can take a look to see if anything fits what you are seeing.
I'm wondering why you wash him a lot? if its because of a smell to him it might be worth your while to have a thyroid test done. In my experience dogs with thyroid issues often have an odor to them that encourages owners to bathe them frequently.
Normally a dane would only need a bath every few months and otherwise just be brushed a couple times a week.It may be you are removing a lot of his skin oils in bathing him so often and the more sensitive areas are showing this.
Another thing I have seen in danes (I did rescue with the breed years ago) is hair loss due to a nutrition problem and not because the dogs were not getting the right food but because the rescues often had a 'hidden' whipworm infection that just didn't show on fecal exams. These dogs often had scaly ears and peeling hair off of ear edges etc. As soon as they were treated with Pancur the naked ear problems all went away. So my feeling was the parasites pulled just enough nutrution from the dog to cause the hair loss.
Call the veterinary dermatologist up and ask what the consult fees are. That way you will know for sure. In my experience such specialist vets have such good exposure to all kinds of problems they can readily spot what a more generalist vet might miss.
You may also want to try Derm Caps or a similar supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids in it. Sometimes the extra nutritional boost is what is needed to resolve a problem like this.
If your vet did not culture for ringworm then that is a possibility but you would probably see that spreading over time.
If you want to try some things before seeing the specialist I'd use a broad spectrum wormer like Panacur, stop bathing and go to brushing him (you can rinse off the lake water with clear water instead of a bath) a couple times a week, and add the derm caps to his diet and see if all that helps him out.
Hope this works for you!

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