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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20837
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Loss of hair where tail attaches to body part chow and

Customer Question

loss of hair where tail attaches to body part chow and boader collie
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.How long has he had these signs?Are you seeing any changes to the skin (ie pimples, pustules, scabs, sores, ulcers, redness, dander, or crusting)?Does he itch, chew, or rub the area?When did you last treat for fleas? What did you use?Any diet change in the 4-6 weeks before this started?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one month since loss of hair yes scratches it bathed two weeks ago no change in diest
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
has some open sores where he scratches
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well ?????????
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience (as you can see I had quite a bit to type for Shadow),

Now based on your description, we’d be most concerned about a tail base focused allergic dermatitis but that we may also have some skin damage and bacterial infection (pyoderma). Therefore, with this in mind, we’d want to start some supportive care to try and soothe this for him so the skin can heal.

To start if he is self-traumatizing the area, then you need to block his access to this area. Since we are dealing the with tail base you can have him wear an e-collar or if he is scratching with his back feed we can use a pair of boxer shorts (turned backwards so there is a hole for his tail). This will help break this cycle of skin damage and infection.

As well, we’d want to bathe the skin and those open sores with a dog safe antiseptic like dilute chlorohexidine or salt water. Afterwards, make sure to pat the area dry and you can also apply an OTC antibiotic cream (ie Neosporin) twice daily to counter the infection. And to reduce his irritation, you can alternate this with OTC hydrocortisone cream as well.

Finally, since these situations often have an underlying allergy component, you can also try to reduce the itch with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first. As well, since tail base related skin issues are often related to flea sensitivities, it would be advisable to keep him on a monthly good quality flea treatment to ensure these aren’t setting him off (especially as it only takes a single bite).

Overall, it sounds like Shadow has an allergic dermatitis and may have a brewing bacterial pyoderma. Therefore, we’d want to add in the above to help you soothe that itch and get a handle on this for him. And if we cannot do so because it is too severe for the above, then we’d be at a stage where we’d want his local vet to start a course of antibiotics and steroids to help get him back to normal for you.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Bob,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Shadow. How is everything going?