Argh -- the continuing hair loss

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Jorsher
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Argh -- the continuing hair loss

Postby Jorsher » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:11 pm

This is the 2nd or 3rd time posting about this. I really don't know where to go from here.

Molly is losing more and more hair every day. She has a few eraser-sized spots of thin hair on her hind legs and a couple on her sides. They seem to come and go in different spots but they're always there, and sometimes the skin has a small bump and/or is red.

Her neck/chest/stomach and inner legs are very, very thin. Neck/chest are literally almost bald. The stomach is more skin than hair and it has a speckly red scabby looking mark.

She just recently started licking her paws whenever I'm not looking.

Last time I took her to the vet about it, they charged me some money and sent her on her way with a cortisone shot, saying it was just inflammation, despite me telling them it's been going on for weeks (and now months).

I very rarely see her scratch. She occasionally scratches her ears or side, but it doesn't seem like she scratches more than the average clean dog. Then again, she has 10 hours of freedom a day and I don't know what she does during that time...

I've tried changing her food to a grain-free kibble. She's now on taste of the wild. No difference in coat other than her (remaining) hair being very clean and glossy.

I've changed blankets thinking maybe she was having a reaction to the material.

They didn't do a skin scrape to see if it was any kind of mange, but from what I've seen mange seems to be more spotty than this is.

Only other thing I can think of is allergies.

I'm sure I should take her to the vet, but what should I have them check before leaving?

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:36 pm

A cortisone shot? lovely...

See a vet who knows something about dermatology.

The hairloss is due to inflammation of the hair follicles. If this has been an ongoing process then I can almost guarrantee the dog has either demodex or a bacterial infection. You need to go back to a veterinarian and find the real problem...

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:49 pm

Has Cushing's and Thyroid issues been ruled out?

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L Boogie
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Postby L Boogie » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:52 am

Which Taste of the Wild formula are you using?

I had my pack on the Prairie Beef/Vension, and they itched like there was no tomorrow and shedded a ton. I changed them all to the Wetlands, and they did much better.

You may also try a food specifically for allergy dogs like Natural Balance or California Natural.

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Postby Jorsher » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:40 am

L Boogie wrote:Which Taste of the Wild formula are you using?

I had my pack on the Prairie Beef/Vension, and they itched like there was no tomorrow and shedded a ton. I changed them all to the Wetlands, and they did much better.

You may also try a food specifically for allergy dogs like Natural Balance or California Natural.


This started before I changed foods about 2 months after it started from Blue Buffalo to Beef/Venison.

Cushing's and Thyroid haven't been ruled out.

I was kind of pissed how they handled it at the vet. That particular vet office is usually good, but that particular person said, "it's just inflammation, this shot should take care of it."

No #@$! it's inflammation!

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Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:35 am

Only 10% of allergic dogs are allergic to foods. Chances are you're barking up the wrong tree so to speak if all you have done is switch foods and get a cortisone shot. If it was JUST inflammation the shot should have fixed the problem within days.

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Jorsher
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Postby Jorsher » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:05 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:Only 10% of allergic dogs are allergic to foods. Chances are you're barking up the wrong tree so to speak if all you have done is switch foods and get a cortisone shot. If it was JUST inflammation the shot should have fixed the problem within days.


I planned on switching her to a premium, grain-free food anyway. 30lbs of TOTW (or maybe it was 20?) for $45, which was about the same I was paying for Blue Buffalo. It wasn't just for the allergies but it did prompt me to do it sooner.

I was fairly certain it wasn't JUST inflammation from the start, but I wasn't going to argue with someone who was supposed to know these things.

You can bet I won't be leaving with just a cortisone shot the next time, and if it IS mange I'm going to request I don't pay the visit fee since I asked if she would check for mange the first time.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:39 pm

If it is symmetrical hair loss, I'd sure ask them to rule out thyroid and then depending on other symptoms, I'd look at Cushing's.

I remember red spots/dots though that indicated irritation?

Have you gone with a SINGLE protein source food such as Natural Balance?
We can see a difference almost overnight with our Veronica allergy girl.
She did not lose hair but chewed her feet incessently.
Now she licks them occasionally but quit chewing almost immediately.

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Postby Jorsher » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:52 pm

msvette2u wrote:If it is symmetrical hair loss, I'd sure ask them to rule out thyroid and then depending on other symptoms, I'd look at Cushing's.

I remember red spots/dots though that indicated irritation?

Have you gone with a SINGLE protein source food such as Natural Balance?
We can see a difference almost overnight with our Veronica allergy girl.
She did not lose hair but chewed her feet incessently.
Now she licks them occasionally but quit chewing almost immediately.


I plan to take her to the vet Monday (will be out of town this weekend) and have her checked out.

Her bag of food is almost gone and next one I'll probably try the fish TOTW, if they don't find anything, and see if there are any changes.

She doesn't really chew her feet, but licks them nonstop.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:56 pm

You cannot narrow down the allergy with a multiple ingredient food like that.
Natural Balance, if you are suspecting allergies, would be way better than feeding the multiple protein/multiple carb foods.
Even if it has no grains it has other "stuff" to hold it together.

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Jorsher
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Postby Jorsher » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:10 pm

msvette2u wrote:You cannot narrow down the allergy with a multiple ingredient food like that.
Natural Balance, if you are suspecting allergies, would be way better than feeding the multiple protein/multiple carb foods.
Even if it has no grains it has other "stuff" to hold it together.


I'll try that next.

Now, if these problems started when she was on a chicken/grain food, and continued now that she's on beef/venison/grain-free, do you still suspect it could be protein allergy?

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:26 pm

I've never really suspected a food allergy :dunno:
The pattern of hair loss makes me think an imbalance, if it's thyroid or what, except the itchy spots.

But the thing with the food, it COULD be - the thing is, with the beef/venison, she may not react to venison (which is one of the types of NB, I think??) but to the beef.

NB duck/potato, fish/sweet potato, a few other formulas but only ONE protein and ONE carb (to make it stick together, potatoes, sweet potatoes, you get the picture)
You have to cut down on the ingredients and do an elimination diet if you suspect it's allergies.

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Postby Jorsher » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:59 pm

I don't really suspect a food allergy either to be honest. Her coat has never looked better since I switched to TOTW.

This originally started months ago, while I was at the apartment. She would occasionally get red and the red spots would look somewhat like welts IF she rolled in a certain grass. She was on Blue Buffalo at this time.

We moved, and she's now in a more "natural" environment, but she's never in tall grass, and when she comes inside I never see the red "breakouts" like she would get briefly from rolling in the grass at the past place.

It continued, and would occasionally get where her whole neck and chest were red and bald. She was scratching a lot at this time.

Now she doesn't scratch, and the hair loss is continuing to slowly spread.

I don't think it's mange because it's not spotty like mange and is a consistent thinning, definitely symmetrical. This should also rule out a bacterial infection.

I don't think it's cushings, because it's described as muscles getting weaker, a larger abdomen, lethargy, along with the hair-loss, and seems to be more common for older dogs, not young puppy. She definitely is not lethargic or having muscle loss, she's stronger every week.

I'm leaning towards some sort of environmental allergy, or thyroid like you all suggested. Next week I'll take her to the vet, ask their suggestion, if they offer a cortisone shot I'm going to tell them to test for a thyroid problem.

When this bag of food is out, I'll also try a different protein source.

Thanks for all the advice.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:06 am

Is there a chance it could be a flea allergy?
Something on the carpeting?
The carpet itself?
Her bed? The detergent?

What kind of substrate is outside, what kind of grass? I forget where you are :oops:

Veronica reacted to the grass too, if it was fresh mown she'd itch.
We gave her benadryl.

Is your dog itchy now? I think you said no but I could be wrong.
Yeah, no more cortisone - if she has no cushing's now it could actually help bring it on.

You may think about changing vets at this point too.

If it was my dog - I'd try wiping her down when she comes inside, I'd change detergent to something non-allergenic, I'd make sure there's no fleas in the environment, even if there's none on her she could get bitten.

I'd switch to the NB just because it's easier to rule things out - if she doesn't improve on it, you can go back to the TOTW.

I'd try Benadryl, 1mg/lb of body weight (a 50lb. dog could have 50mg or two tablets) for at least a week to see if anything improved.

Meanwhile, I'd push for the Thyroid test - have you read the symptoms and is there a chance it could be that?
Thyroid, in the foster dog we had here, caused a skin condition where her skin was real rough and dry/scaly almost on the belly but who knows how long it took to become that way?

She had poor hair too and was lethargic and cold but again, she could have been suffering that way for months or even a year or more.

Hope some of this helps :)

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:11 am



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