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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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14 yr old mixed breed Lab/Rottie female. Smells like vinegar

Customer Question

14 yr old mixed breed Lab/Rottie female. Smells like vinegar when she walks by and a lot of her hair is falling out
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No visible wounds.
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Nicki
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Nicki?
Customer: Well, those are the two current concerns. Know she has very bad arthritis etc. Takes rimadyl and tramadol
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for trusting me to help you and Nicki today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Is she itchy at all?

Other than the hair falling out, are there visible lesions?

How long has this been going on?

Has she been examined by your veterinarian for this problem yet?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Noticed it yesterday and worse smell today. Have not been to vet yet. Hair has been shedding/falling out for a couple of weeks. No visible lesions anywhere. She is very cranky and you cannot examine her all over without getting growled/snapped at.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the prompt reply. I am sorry that I am not available to work with live phone consultation. If you would like to proceed with this format, I would be happy to try and help you. We can reply up and back as needed until all of your questions are answered satisfactorily. If you would prefer to wait for an expert that can proceed with live phone call , please let me know and I will opt out.

Her crankiness is most likely a reflection of how uncomfortable she is and dermatologic disease in dogs can do that. Bacterial or fungal overgrowth on a dog's skin can lead to odor and the infection can often be due to underlying skin disorders including allergic skin disease or even parasites. What it sounds like Nicki needs is a thorough physical exam and some further testing of her skin to determine the cause of her condition. A test called a skin cytology can be done to collect and look for secondary organisms like bacteria or yeast that may be living on the skin surface. A skin scraping may be needed to rule out external parasites like mange mites and a fungal culture may be needed to rule out ringworm. All of these conditions can lead to hair loss.

I would definitely recommend having Nicki evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as possible. In the meantime, lukewarm water epsom salt baths may help with the odor and offer her some relief.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She has been cranky since we got her 14 years ago due to arthritis pain from being hit by car. So that is nothing new. Plan to take her to vet on Monday for diagnosis. Just wanted to get some thoughts before then if possible. She does not scratch or itch herself. Thanks you
Expert:  petdrz. replied 8 months ago.

Great, hopefully they can get to a proper diagnosis and help her.

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