Moth Eaten Coat

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Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:58 am

A couple days ago, Cherry started shedding really badly. I figured she was just shedding some winter fur and didn't think much of it. Yesterday, we were walking outside in the sunshine and I noticed she has spots of fur missing on her back and sides. She's always had super thin hair on her chest and stomach, almost completely hairless but she's never had a problem with the hair on her back. Her sides get thin when she's itching a lot but she hasn't been that bad lately. And it is just an overall thin appearance, not moth eaten and spotty like this.

I changed her food to California Naturals Salmon and Pea formula about 3 weeks ago. Her food store quit carrying the Nature's Variety she was doing well on. Cherry has allergies year round and we've been managing with Benadryl and a low dose of Temeril P and Cephlexin every day. I tried out Honest Kitchen Zeal and she had an allergic reaction 3 weeks ago, hives everywhere. So, we switched to the CN and she's been ok. We also put her back on Atopica a month ago, 100 mg a day. We've been using less of the Temeril P but had to do a tapering dose when she got hives. Last temeril P was 4 days ago.

On this new food, she poops way more and scoots her butt a lot. I am doing her anal glands weekly now instead of every 2-3 weeks. She hasn't had a reaction to it but she doesn't like it as much as the NV. She is overweight from not being able to exercise due to allergies and from who knows what else.

I'm calling the vet today to get her in this week for a CBC, so we can check her liver and kidney levels. Hair loss is a sign of both Cushings and Hypothyroidism. She's not exhibiting other signs of Cushings though, thank goodness. Just want to rule it out. I've always thought she had symptoms of Hypothyroidism, she fits the description to a T, minus the seizures (she doesn't get those) I'm going to have the vet draw blood and send it off to Dr Jean Dodds to get an analysis. She had a thyroid panel done at the vet but they only test 2 thyroid levels, I think. The free T3 and T$ or the non free T3 and T4. Her number was a 1, which is on the border. A healthy, young dog should be in the top 50%, not the lower 50%. So, just to be sure, we are going to use Dodds.

I just want to know if anyone else has seen this. It is hard to see in the pics, but her skin shows through on the spots. It is like the hair is broken halfway but in spots and all over her sides and back.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:00 pm

Gosh, poor Cherry :(

Have you ever tried a hydrolyzed diet like z/d or purina HA to see if that would make a difference?
Just curious, because I know you've been through the ringer with her as far as her skin goes.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:32 pm

Ya, it made her worse. :( She's not displaying the usual food allergy symptoms, they are pretty obvious. I have no idea. Ugh. She was doing so much better, too. It isn't bothering her, thank goodness. Just went to the dog park (at our apt complex, no other dogs) and she has just as much energy and playfulness as ever. She's feeling really good. She just looks like crap.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Madeleinemom » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:47 pm

Can you order the NV online, or ask your pet store to special order it for you? Seems to me, it would be best to go back to that?

Hope Cherry feels better soon.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Murfins » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:42 pm

Madeleinemom wrote:Can you order the NV online, or ask your pet store to special order it for you? Seems to me, it would be best to go back to that?

Hope Cherry feels better soon.


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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby suzanne » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:59 pm

I've always thought she had symptoms of Hypothyroidism, she fits the description to a T, minus the seizures (she doesn't get those) I'm going to have the vet draw blood and send it off to Dr Jean Dodds to get an analysis. She had a thyroid panel done at the vet but they only test 2 thyroid levels, I think. The free T3 and T$ or the non free T3 and T4. Her number was a 1, which is on the border. A healthy, young dog should be in the top 50%, not the lower 50%. So, just to be sure, we are going to use Dodds.


I've never met a hypo dog that has had personality changes [other than lethargy] or has seizures, I realize it is possible but I have never seen it. The most typical sign we really see are hair loss and the dog is overweight. IMO if she tests at a 1 again, you could still try giving a low dose of levothyroxin, even if she isn't "clinically low" she's showing a potential symptom.

Of course if her allergies are super bad that could be a symptom of that as well, but when I see moth eaten I totally think thyroid.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:15 am

So do I. And with her other symptoms...I don't know what else it could be. She's almost 5 and has always had allergies, since about 6 months old. Never has she looked like this and her weight gain is progressively worse and her skin gets worse and worse. No specific allergens, either. Just random ups and downs with a few triggers, like change in food. It isn't just seasonal and it isn't contact, unless she is allergic to us lol. She's had every allergic reaction, multiple times and never, ever looked like this. Her coat has always been perfect, it was her skin that was bad. Never had fur issues. I can't wait till her vet appt Tues....

I'm going to wait and see what her test results come back as and if they come back ok, I'll switch her food again. I like that this one is way lower in protein so I'd like it to work for her. I hate saying this, but I want it to be her thyroid so bad, it explains everything.

As far as personality changes, I think she has a gradual one. She is up and down with her anxiety. She gets super over excited sometimes and is fine others. She's gotten more and more anxious as she gets older. I used to be able to give one "enough" command when someone knocked on the door or rang the bell. Now, she takes about 10 minutes to calm down. She never, ever gets aggressive, just really anxious and stressed. Always happy to see the person, but she takes a few minutes to chill. She gets really amped, especially over the past year or so. Other than that, she sleeps all the time. Literally, all the time. I can tell when she is feeling good, she will bring me toys and actually play.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:46 am

Well, she's starting to get weird crusty bumps on her head and a few on her back and sides. She's got what looks like staph bumps on her inner things, the normal red bumps with whiteheads on them that she gets. The crusty bumps are new but there are no bumps on the skin that has the hair missing.

A friend that is a vet tech thinks it is ringworm, which never occurred to me. She said it is really common in the hypothyroid dogs that she sees. Blah.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby suzanne » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:23 am

Cherry wrote:Well, she's starting to get weird crusty bumps on her head and a few on her back and sides. She's got what looks like staph bumps on her inner things, the normal red bumps with whiteheads on them that she gets. The crusty bumps are new but there are no bumps on the skin that has the hair missing.

A friend that is a vet tech thinks it is ringworm, which never occurred to me. She said it is really common in the hypothyroid dogs that she sees. Blah.


Ringworm is such a pain! Can't wait to hear what the vet says/blood results... poor girl!
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby dogs4jen » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:51 pm

I hope you get some answers with the thyroid test. This is kind of minor compared to that, but have you tried giving her salmon oil? I've been giving it to mine instead of the human fish oil capsules and have noticed that their fur is especially soft. Austin and Susie have troubles with their anal sacs and I haven't smelled any of that lovely odor since I've been giving them the salmon oil, but I can't say if that's the cause or just coincidence.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:38 pm

I was doing fish oil pills for awhile, the human ones, but I took her off of everything so I could redo a food trial. I have liquid Grizzly salmon oil in the fridge, as soon as we get the results backs, I am going to start that.

The missing hair spots are bigger today. :( I'm about to brush her and get some more pictures.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby patty » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:19 pm

Sending love for Cherry
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:53 pm

Her super thin fur with a sore, it is a red circle that is slightly raised. It doesn't look like her normal staph bumps, but maybe it is farther progressed. Her staph infection from her inner thighs seems to be spreading.
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Some of it is staph, especually the red bumps on her belly. She gets that often but it usually goes away after a couple days. It seems to just be getting worse. She's got black, bumpy, crusty bumps on her head, shoulders and thighs. Her coat is getting thinner and thinner and more spotted.
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Shoshana » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:07 pm

I hope she feels better soon!!!!!!

Peanut had 3 staph infections when we changed her food and hasn't had one since we changed back.

A friend had a German Shorthair Pointer with Addison's and when they gave her too much Pred (I guess pushing her the other way to hypo) she lost pretty much all her fur. Nothing helped (even lowering the prednesone) until they started giving her melatonin. And her fur came back.

I hope they can sort her out quick!
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Re: Moth Eaten Coat

Postby Cherry » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:35 pm

We got her CBC and Chemistry back. Everything is normal, thank goodness. I will post them later this evening when I figure out how to work my scanner LOL. Her scrape came back as staph and other bacteria and very high in RBC's.

I'm going to put her back on Wellness Core Ocean for the meantime, until I can find another distributor for Nature's Variety. She did well on Core but the high protein made her BUN and CREAT borderline high. But, for now, it'll do.

She didn't sleep at all last night. :( She is super itchy, even after her bath. And the hair loss is a little bit worse. The vet really made me furious, we were there for 4 hours, literally. They didn't see us until an hour and a half after we got there and then had an "emergency" and asked us to come back. I said no, we will wait, Cherry is an emergency, look at her! Had they seen us at 330, we wouldn't have been there when the emergency came in. Anyways, all she did was give me Cefpo in case she has become resistant to the Cephlexin. She had nothing to say about her fur or itchiness. Literally, nothing. She did give me the serum sample I needed though and I got it sent to Dr Dodds today. Should be there Friday afternoon. I'm hoping she is hypothyroid and we can start treatment.

I am done with regular vets, she is going to be seen by specialists only from here on out!
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