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My dog, Lily, has lost the fur on her sides and now

My dog, Lily, has...

My dog, Lily, has lost the fur on her sides and now spreading to her back. Her skin has turned black in those spots as well. She isn't itching or anything, it's just coming out.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How old is Lily?

She is just over 2

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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/7/2018
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,078
Experience: Associate Veterinarian
Verified

Hello, this is Dr. Schmidt. Thank you for using JustAnswer. Do you happen to have a picture of her skin so I can get a better idea of what is going on?

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Thank you for the picture. So there could be a few things going on. One very common thing we see with the seasons changing is what's called seasonal flank alopecia. This is where they lose hair on their flanks (the area on the sides between the ribs and the legs). It is not itchy, and it usually clears up on its own mid summer or early fall. The other possibility is that there is a hormonal change going on. The two most common things being a low thyroid level, or a high cortisol level. I would recommend taking her to the vet for some bloodwork to rule out those things. In the meantime, I would start her on some Fish Oil supplements, over the counter, 1 capsule on the food once a day. This will help the skin and the fur and might help it not to progress further in the meantime.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Would it still be a hormonal change if she has been spayed?

It could be because the thyroid and cortisol levels are not controlled by the ovaries/uterus. They are independent of one another.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
if the skin is turning black, could it still be considered a seasonal thing? Will it turn back normal in the season if that's the case?

Yes, it will still turn black if it is just a seasonal thing. Here is more information on it as well.

http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/sites/default/files/attachments/Canine%20Flank%20Alopecia.pdf

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
This has been so helpful, thank you so much. The flank alopecia looks exactly like what is going on. If this is the case, will her fur grow back normally? I still plan to have it officially diagnosed and treated, just checking all questions off.

If the flank alopecia is what's going on, then her fur should grow back completely. It usually happens when the seasons change again, so either mid summer or in the fall. Hopefully that's all it is! It will often times come back next spring and the pattern will repeat, but the good news is, if that is all it is then it's just cosmetic.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Outstanding! Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it.

My pleasure! Let me know if you have any other questions.

If you have a moment to fill out a positive review (by clicking on the **stars** at the top of the page) for me I would greatly appreciate it. This is the only way the website can credit me for my time. Thank you so much and good luck!

Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,078
Experience: Associate Veterinarian
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