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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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My dog has many small, round dry skin patches where her fur

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My dog has many small, round dry skin patches where her fur has fallen out. They look almost like popped and dried out blisters (but she doesn't have any blisters). I took her to the vet for this in late August and they tested her for hormonal problems related to skin issues and she had none. I've been washing her with Episooth shampoo which hasn't helped. I have a call in to the vet but he isn't in. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable and doesn't scratch any more than usual. I'd just like to know what it could be, I'm really concerned about her loss of hair.

Dr. Scarlett :


Dr. Scarlett :

It sounds like your dog has a bacterial and/or yeast skin infection. This can be due to allergies or an endocrine disease like Cushing's or a low thyroid.

Dr. Scarlett :

Episooth is a fine shampoo, but if there is a skin infection, then a medicated shampoo containing chlorhexiderm and either ketoconazole or miconazole will be better. I recommend lathering the dog up and leaving the lather on for a good 10 min before rinsing it off and bathing the dog twice a week.

Dr. Scarlett :

But a skin infection requires antibiotics. If the fur/skin feels somewhat greasy or has a "funky" smell, then yeast is also present and an antifungal medication (like ketoconazole), would also be prescribed.

Dr. Scarlett :

Was a thyroid panel done on your dog or just a T4 level with other bloodwork? Some dogs have a low normal T4 level, but their Free T4 and TSH levels are abnormal, indicating hypothyroidism. Since everything seemed normal in August, I would do a thyroid panel to make sure that isn't the problem. Hypothyroid dogs often have skin infections that aren't itchy.

Dr. Scarlett :

I would definitely get Tater Tot back in for a recheck. If your vet doesn't think it is a skin infection, then a skin biopsy could be worthwhile.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hey there, she had a blood panel consisting of a ton of things, and then a week later her thyroid was tested specifically. She is a bit smellier than usual, but the spots don't seem greasy or particularly dry, just missing hair. So would you say a skin condition is most likely? Also, will this effect her health adversely within a week from now? I am unsure when the vet will call me back but they do say he is in tomorrow.

I noticed it said "type of animal: Tater Tot." LOL she's an apple head chihuahua.
If everything was normal on all the bloodwork panels, then a skin infection or other condition is most likely. Did your vet do a skin scrape to look for Demodex mites? How about a fungal culture to look for ringworm?

Without seeing her, I'm still thinking bacterial infection. But there are auto-immune diseases that could cause almost blister-like areas of hairloss and a biopsy would be needed for the diagnosis. If it is something autoimmune, then steroids would be the treatment of choice.

If she isn't itchy or bothered by her skin and otherwise seems to feel well (eating, etc), then she should be fine for another few days.
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