My maltese has a missing hair patch on her back. What''s wrong with her?
Hello there.There's a couple of possible causes for your girl's hair loss. 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. Another possibility is a hormone imbalance. Thyroid problems tend to cause hair loss and it occurs in very specific patterns - it's usually semetrical. You also often see weight gain, dry, brittle fur. Common locations for the hair loss includes behind the ears, the thighs and along the spine, particularly near the back hips. I'll include a couple of links that have information, along with some photos so you can see how this appears and learn a bit more:http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/hypot.htmlhttp://www.canismajor.com/dog/thyroid.htmlhttp://www.dirt-dog.com/vet/thyroid.html In the meantime, if there's any breaks in the skin or discharge, 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!"*
One more question...it doesn't seem to bothering her. She hasn't been itching or anything of that sort. Could it just be hair loss?
Hello there.I'm tempted to say that it's probably not a natural occurrance. A healthy dog shouldn't normally loose hair. But, I should mention that certain types of parasites don't cause any itching or other irritation. Mites are notorious for causing only hair loss, with no other real symptoms. Demadex mites - a form of mange - affects the hair follicles and hair loss results. But you don't really see any irritation. The same can go for some types of fungal infection. So I would at least get it checked out because mites and other parasites can lead to infections, some of which can get pretty severe very quickly. Hormonal imbalances, as I mentioned, can also cause hair loss without any real irritation, but usually, the hair loss is part of a constellation of several symptoms.The only instance that I've seen with a healthy dog who loses hair is a case where friction is involved. Does she wear clothing, harnesses, or anything else that could cause the hair loss? That's something to look into.Let me know if you have any additional questions! ***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!"*
Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
Hello there!Just checking in to see if you had any additional questions concerning your dog?If so, just let me know!Also, please don't forget to accept if you found my answer helpful.I hope your dog is doing well!***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!"*