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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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My dog has been loosing hair in patches off his back. Doesnt

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My dog has been loosing hair in patches off his back. Doesn't seem to bother him, but noticed today that when I discovered a new patch, he was trying to scratch. I had some spray cortisone from the last trip to the vets and used that but noticed that the spot was slightly red as if to bleed. The vet shaved the spots the last time and the hair never grew back. What do you suggest?

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and would be happy to answer your questions.


There are various reasons for a dog to lose hair and bacterial infections are just one of them. Other reasons can include mange mites, ringworm (fungal infections), hormonal imbalances or allergic dermatitis. What is most concerning is that the hair did not grow back after the problem was treated. This would seem to indicate that the treatment was not effective and/or perhaps it wasn't treating the correct problem.


I would recommend that you have him re-evaluated by your veterinarian soon and make sure they are aware that the hair did not grow back. They may want to check his thyroid or check him for a condition called Cushings disease. Also they may want to better evaluate his skin and rule out the above mentioned conditions.


In the meantime, an antiseptic shampoo from the pet store can decrease the bacteria and yeast if they are present. I like the product called Hexedene® because it contains chlorhexidine which is effective on bacteria and yeast.


I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What should I do for my dog that is loosing patches of hair?

Applying the steroid may help short term, but the cause of the hair loss needs to be identified before a more long-lasting treatment can be recommended. Shampooing may help to decrease any surface of bacteria and yeast, but he really needs to see a vet to diagnose the problem, especially since it either recurred or never resolved.


There is not much more that can be done at home.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The last time this happened I took him to the vet, they shaved the areas, did the black light, etc and didn't really know what was causing it. They gave him antibiotics and said to put cortisone on the areas. The hair stopped falling out, but never grew back. Why?
The two most common reasons for poor hair regrowth is an underactive thyroid and Cushings disease (which is an overproduction of cortisone in the body). These are ruled out with blood tests.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If they tested him for that and it was ruled out, what else could it be?
Ultimately, if the other tests are not getting to an answer, a skin biopsy may be needed to evaluate the hair follicles at a cellular level. Sometimes inflammation or infection is found that wasn't identified by other means.
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