hair loss on tail

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ilikelily
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hair loss on tail

Postby ilikelily » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:28 pm

Last year (January) when Max first came into our house his tail looked horrible. There was a large bald spot near the base of the tail and it was also ringed all the down (looked like a bald ring on each vertebrae?).
Previous to coming to our home he was be boarded in a kennel run. I assumed this was the reason his tail was missing so much hair.

At some point most of the hair grew back in. But now, all of the sudden, his tail look terrible! :frown: It looks the same as it did when we fist brought him home.

Do I just assume it's the cold, dry winter air doing this to his tail?
Any any suggestions?
He is about 11 years old, would that have anything to do with the hair loss? or his ability to re-grow hair?

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:29 pm

I'd have a thyroid test done - he's got what's called "rat tail" and it can mean many things from (as you suggested) dry skin and poor hair coat, to a thyroid dysfunction or even Cushing's syndrome.
Bring this up with your vet, along with any other symptoms he may be having.

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ilikelily
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Postby ilikelily » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:47 pm

Thank you Msvette2u! He did have a thyroid test when he had surgery about a month and half ago. I believe all the levels were normal. Should I get another one done?

yuck on the name "rat tail" lol that is what it looks like though

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:50 pm

Hm, well, no, probably not then, but if he's displaying other symptoms, for sure get him in.
For instance, Copper (my Dachshund who passed in June) had Cushing's and he was perpetually stealing food and longing to steal food, he had begun to drink huge amts. of water whereupon he'd get incontinent. Those are symptoms of Cushing's in a dog, along with the hair loss.

But if all else is status quo, you may be able to just watch and wait.
Just google around, hair loss in dogs, to see what sort of implications there can be with sudden hair loss.

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ilikelily
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Postby ilikelily » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:09 pm

Now that I am thinking about what you said more and more, I am going to call the vet and ask them to fax me the results from the thyroid test- just to be 100% sure. I would hate if I overlooked something.

Max did steal my italian sausage this past weekend, but I believe that has more to do with his tendency to be a jerk. I will keep an eye on it though, and the water. Thank you.

So sorry about your beautiful boy Copper. I remember his pictures.

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Leslie H
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Postby Leslie H » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:02 pm

I've seen it in malnourished dogs. When I leaned Soleil out to far she lost hair on her tail as you're describing.

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ilikelily
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Postby ilikelily » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:54 pm

humph

He was thin when he came here...
Now though he is at an ideal weight, if anything he has put on an extra pound or two this last month.

I am trying to think of any changes.
We feed him Nature's Variety: the last bag was the Instinct formula; this one is the Prairie formula. Could it be that he needs the extra meaty Instinct formula, like his body is missing something on the Prairie formula?

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texturejunkie
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Postby texturejunkie » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:28 pm

i may sound stupid .. but are we sure its not fleas>?


you could have an unnoticed flea problem that may be the result of this.
animals usually start at the base of their tail and work down with over-grooming. some dogs with already sensitive / short coats can loose hair quit quickly without the care-takers necessarily even seeing them scratch


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