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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16544
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My dog is missing hair on his tail. I don't see swelling or

Customer Question

My dog is missing hair on his tail. I don't see swelling or sores and he pulls it out sometimes. Just this past week. He's a chow mix
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible...Does the skin under the hair loss appear normal?Does he seem to be chewing at it?Does he ever chew at his feet?Any possibility of trauma at all?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The skin does seem normal with some flaking. He rarely chews it but he pulls the hair out when he does. He was chewing his feet. The only thing the past months is tons and tons of mosquitos here which have been biting me very badly and bothering me. Was thinking it could be that. As a puppy he had bad allergies. The only other body things he has going on is he has a soft lump on his side and a couple one on his head since about a year ago. This past few months he has had several more pop up on his head. He also started waking up from sleeping growling as if in a fight and barking into space. Wondered if he is in pain and maybe that's was is causing the issues too? He is 12 years old.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One other thing I just remembered is that his back dew claws curl around and maybe they are pressing into his pad as I have had to get one cut for that before. He chewed his front feet though a few times but not much?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My other dog has skin similar to Jiro but looks more black where she was chewing on her back but is healing and hair growing back in. Hers I'm sure was mosquito bite. Not touching anymore.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, I had give her a benadryl. Should I give Jiro one to see if helps?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I went ahead and gave him one just to help with the allergies just incase. In looking at his front legs he has chew a few spots like circles on the left one which could be bites.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the aditional information. I really appreciate it.As someone who lives with an allergy dog herself, I can completely understand how frustrating it can be when you're trying to figure out what is causing your dog to be so miserable.With my pup, I had my vet do VARL testing (more info here: ), which determined exactly what he was allergic to (turns out he's allergic to ragweed and a specific type of pollen), which made it easier to control his contact with the items he's allergic to. As a side note...many, many, many dogs are highly allergic to corn and corn products, so it could very well be that if any of the dog foods you're using contain corn, that could be part of his problem.We also began using the medication Atopica (more info here: ), which helped control his itching and made him a happier guy. Atopica is sort of the 'big gun', and once we got my dog's allergies under control, we were able to switch to Temaril P instead (which is less expensive and it only takes 1/4 tablet once a day to keep my dog's allergies in check). In the meantime, there are some over-the-counter, home remedy type things that you could try to keep him more comfortable: *For some itches, we suggest soaking in a baking soda bath. Adding 1 cup of baking soda to a tub of warm water and then soaking 30-60 minutes. Take dog out and let them air dry (this works best if done outside or in an area where there isn't carpeting as wet dogs drip...a lot). Local itches can be covered with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. *Oatmeal is an old favorite. Adding 1-2 cups of finely ground oatmeal to a warm bath sometimes can calm even the most irritating of itches. Just make sure the water isn't too hot, or you'll have breakfast for a week in your tub! *Lots of folk remedies call for using lemon to help with itching. They contain anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce itching. If nothing else, your dog will smell good! *Splashing the affected skin with basil tea can help reduce itching as well. Basil contains large amounts of a substance called 'eugenol', which is a topical anesthetic. To make the tea, place 1/2 ounce of dried basil leaves in a 1 pint jar of boiling water. Keep it covered to prevent the escape of eugenol into the air. Allow to cool, then dip a clean cloth into the tea and apply to itchy skin as often as needed. *Mint tea works about the same way, except the anti-itch property is menthol, not eugenol. To make the mint tea add 1 ounce dried mint leaves to 1 pint of boiling water. Cover and allow to cool. Strain the leaves out and then dip the clean cloth in the tea and apply to the itchy areas. *If you're saving the basil for spaghetti sauce and the mint & lemons for a glass of lemonade, you can use thyme tea. Once again use 1/2 ounce dried thyme leaves and 1 pint of boiling water. Cover and cool. Strain and use clean cloth to apply to affected areas. I hope this helps!!