Pet Questions? Ask a Vet and Get Answers ASAP
Dear Hart Family:
I sense your concern for your little long haired girl! I want to reassure you that having her spayed, vaccinated and dewormed is not the source of her hairloss by any stretch of the means!
I applaud you on having her on an Excellent diet like Eukanuba (my favorite!), so you should not worry that she is not receiving proper nutrition.
In a 17 month old Chihuahua I would be concerned about several things.
First, you note using Adams Flea & Tick Spray, so I'm going to presume you may have the occasional flea?? I would highy advise you to switch to a NONTOXIC, SAFE flea preventive like Frontline Plus for many reasons. It lasts up to 3 months, is completely nonsystemic (doesn't cross into the bloodstream), it is NONTOXIC, and it kills every stage of the flea typically BEFORE they ever bite your pet!
Any type of flea allergic reaction that your pet may have to actual flea bite saliva can trigger a dermatitis that can result in excessive scratching, shedding, and significant hair loss!
Adams spray is a PESTICIDE that you are spraying onto your petite little pet. The chemicals within this spray are ABSORBED into your pet's skin, go into the bloodstream and can continually POISON your pet's kidneys and liver after repeated usage. This in itself can cause an unkempt , lackluster hair coat and long term deleterious effects on your pet's immune system.
Other common reasons for hair loss in a pup this young would include hormonal imbalances such as underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism), estrogen responive alopecia post ovariohysterectomy, ringworm dermatitis, mites, and metabolic disease.
The following site lists most of the problems that can cause alopecia or hair loss in dogs, so I would check it out as a reference tool:
I would suggest that you have a full bloodwork chemistry including thyroid check done on your pet to assess overall systemic health. If things look normal, than selectively hunting down each possible differential can be explored with your vet!
Copraphagy is a nuisance addiction more than anything. In pets that are on a great nutritional diet and are healthy, it does not indicate a deficiency as some naysayers would like to spout. I would try to repeat the Forbid back to back until you get her to stop. One treatment is not always effective!
In addition to avoidance, which I know you are trying, a method called "booby trapping" is sometimes helpful in resistant dogs!
"Booby trapping" can be done by taking a sample of stool and cutting it in half lengthwise, and putting someTobasco type sauce on the inside of the stool, and then put it back together so that the dog is not aware of the hotsauce until it eats thestool ! This can work well for dogs who don't immediately eat their poop, but search the yard for their special little snacks!!
I would deworm her a minimum of twice a year and have her checked for protozoan and flagellate intestinal parasites a MINIMUM of twice a year if she continues to eat her poo and anybody else's poo for that matter. Giardia, coccidia, and other intestinal parasites can cause SUBCLINICAL , vague disease in many pets and they should be tested for and treated for in high risk pets!
Eukanuba is a great diet for skin , teeth, and overall health. Nonetheless, you may want to consider supplementation with additional fatty acids and fish oils to help boost your pet's hair growth and oil production at the cell level. I like either 3V caps or DermCaps as a daily supplement in all dogs. It can take 4-6 weeks to notice an effect, but always helps every pet in a noticeable way!!
These are typically available online without a prescription or at your local vet's office!
Grooming is an important part of her overall health regimen, too...and it sounds like you are doing well in that area.
My ultimate recommendation is getting a health screen done, switching flea preventives and controlling fleas, adding fatty acids and fish oils to her diet, and continuing to distract her from eating her own feces!
Please remember to press "ACCEPT" upon reading this answer. I appreciate your trust in my professional knowledge and clinical experience. Please remember to leave feedback, as feedback affects my ratings and earnings.
Best Wishes to You and Your Pet! Dr. Jodi L. Smith