Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with wee Patches today.
Can you tell me if the areas of hair loss have any inflammation, redness, ulceration, pimples or pustules?
You noted that he has some black spots.
Are these scabs and are attached or appear like flea dirt on him?
Is this everywhere or only in the regions of hair loss?
Do you feel that the scaling is all over or localized?
If localized, where is it predominate?
What are you feeding him?
How is his drinking and urination?
His skin where he is scratching is red yes, but no scabs, no ulcerations or pustules. His skin looks very dry and wrinkly. We are feeding him gourmet hamster food with seeds, corn, those little puffed hamster treats, along with the full pellets, PLUS as a snack alfalfa pellets. Weekly cage cleaning, he is drinking more water now it seems, and I am not sure about his urinating. No black flea dirt.....as I said, I am a dog groomer, and I have been keeping it at bay as best as I can, but after 3 months of trying, I am at a loss.
Here is a picture (as best as I can get with a wiggly model)
Finally, systemic disease (metabolic, cancerous, organ based) can also cause manifestations of skin disease. As crazy as it will feel, we do have to consider these with Patches because he is already getting to middle age. In these cases, we often will have other hints (ie increased appetite, thirst, weight loss, hair loss that is symmetrical on each side of the body, etc) but not always. And typically if we cannot rule out the above, then we have to consider these agents. Often a good physical exam +/- a check of bloods or urine can tell us if any of these are an issue and the underlying cause for his skin disease.
As I am sure you can appreciate, there are a number of conditions we have to consider for wee Patches. Though it sounds like we can put parasitic and bacterial agents at the bottom of our list of concerns to start. Therefore, from here, you want to ideally try to determine the trigger for his signs with a step-by-step approach. First, you should review the diet you are feeding and what he is actually eating (Try to make sure he is getting >16% protein ad possibly up his fruit/veggies). Then try him on paper-based bedding to rule out allergic skin disease. If the scaling is severe, then fungal issues need to be ruled out. And if you think he is really drinking more and this flank hair loss looks symmetrical on the other side of his body, then we'd want to consider getting his vet involved since those two signs are quite suspicious of potential hormonal or organ based skin disease.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
The hair loss does unfortunately look pretty symmetrical on both sides of him. As for his food, he eats the pellets for sure, I make sure he eats them. He is selective about the fruit and veggie pellets, and does tend to pick out seeds. His general pellets he eats say 16% protien. If you feel the mites are low in your opinion of problems we are looking at, that certainly puts me at ease. My main concern was anyone else (humans and pets) getting infected with it. Going to the vet is not an option at the price we have to pay (it will cost us over $100 and my 9yr old is paying for it). We will just continue to try and ease his skin as best as we can. As for ringworm.....my shampoos/dips also treat that. So I will rule that out also. Bedding, we switched from wood shavings to carefresh bedding (which is reclaimed wood pulp ground up and made into soft fluffy stuff). So I will go from there......and thank you for your help. we will discuss as a family what is best for him, as per his comfort level.
Please take care,
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