Dog losing hair, scratching, red skin

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Dog losing hair, scratching, red skin

This is a discussion on Dog losing hair, scratching, red skin within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello. This is my first post here and could really use a veteran dog owner, or veterinarian's, guidance. Our dog is not the first in ...

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Old 07-27-2016, 11:03 PM
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Dog losing hair, scratching, red skin

Hello. This is my first post here and could really use a veteran dog owner, or veterinarian's, guidance. Our dog is not the first in our family. After our last one passed away it took a while before deciding to welcome a new family member. We adopted Chopper from a local, well-respected no-kill shelter. He was a 11 weeks old when we met him and just turned one in June. He was born at the shelter. To the best of the shelter's, our vet's, and my own research, we think he may be a staffordshire (pit) mix with cattle dog, blue heeler, or some shepherd dog. He is a great dog to our three kids and loves to play.

Unfortunately, we are dealing some sort of skin or allergy condition that makes him act out because he is so itchy or irritated. This started in February, when he was about 8 months old, and we attributed the scratching to the dry winter air we have here in Missouri. By mid-March the weather was warm and he had gotten worse. We visited the vet and she tested him for mange. It was not mange. She prescribed a steroid and antibiotic for ten days. Within 24 hours of his first dose he was a super happy dog again. The next two weeks were amazing. Unfortunately the redness and scratching returned 3 or 4 days after his last dose

We had a second round of this same treatment in mid-April and had the same results: worked great for two weeks, then nothing.

We changed shampoos to an oatmeal based version and changed to a grain-free diet. We also started him on fish oil and an anti-histimine (loratidine) After two months, no change. Our vet decided to give him one more round of the steroid and antibiotic in late-June. This time it worked great for about a week after his last dose. But here we are at the end of July, and my poor dog has been dealing with this for five months.

Our vet recommended we take him to an animal skin clinic. I called the only one in town and was given the breakdown of the processes. They want to change to a prescription diet for a few weeks and then do skin prick testing for three rounds. All of this will take months and cost well over $1000. I love my dog, but I just don't have that kind of money.

I am really hoping that someone here has seen this before and found a solution. I have provided some pictures of our dog for everyone to see the redness. I am also posting some pictures of him with my kids just so you can see that he is loving, playful, and not kept in any harsh, negligible conditions. Thank you in advance for any advice I receive.













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Old 07-27-2016, 11:10 PM
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Kind of spooky, reads just the postings i've been putting online. Typical of alopecia in hypothyroidism, the moth eaten appearance, identical to ours.

Do yourself a favor, get a blood panel done - and request a T4 carrier to test his thyroid. Our pup spent 3 years going through this, eating himself to death - finally diagnosed hypothyroid after 4 vets. Hypothyroidism is the primary issue with him, allergies secondary. If I had my time back, I would have requested a few days of synthroid as a test - it won't hurt the dog - 100 mcg is a typical dose.

And seriously, consider switching your dog to a raw based diet.

Last edited by jagger; 07-27-2016 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:48 PM
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Not the best pics, but this is what our minpin looked like. Shouldn't have had the flash on, but all the light areas are bald, looked like he was attacked by a pack of moths. You can clearly see lesions.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:12 AM
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It won't hurt to have the thyroid test done, it's a simple blood test, but I would not be giving him thyroid pills without the test confirming that he needs them. Being Hyperthyroid is just as bad as being Hypothyroid and giving him thyroid medicine if he does not need it can cause hyperthyroidisim.

You can do a food trial and see if that helps with the itchiness. What you need to do is find a food with ingredients he's not had in the past, you could even cook for him it you think that will be easiest, and feed that to him for 4 to 6 weeks. Be careful with treats, if you need to give them to him for training and such make sure that the treats match the food. So if your food is one that's pork you'd feed the dog pork treats that do not contain ingredients that are not in the dogs food. If he improves then it's likely the food that's the problem, if he doesn't it's a bit trickier, he could be allergic to the new food, or it could be enviromental allergies.

My boy has environmental allergies and he'd end up looking like your dog if I let his allergies get out of control. In the past he's managed to scratch till he's got sores on his skin and he has patches of hair missing. He was on Temaril P but I HATE that medicine, it made him have next to no energy and he acted drugged. He's now on Apoquel, and while it could possibly mess with his immune system I'm willing to chance it to let him have a decent quality of life and not run the risk of skin infections from the chewing and scratching, or the side effects of the prednisone in Temaril P.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rain View Post
It won't hurt to have the thyroid test done, it's a simple blood test, but I would not be giving him thyroid pills without the test confirming that he needs them. Being Hyperthyroid is just as bad as being Hypothyroid and giving him thyroid medicine if he does not need it can cause hyperthyroidisim.
Blood test don't always prove hypothyroidism Rain but it's a good starting point. hypo isn't always so cut and dry as there are different types - and the reason many dogs go undiagnosed.

Current vet practices both sides of the spectrum from western to holistic - her response to Jagger is that he is "could be" hypo due to his symptoms list. Sometimes a vet has to be willing to use an educated leap of faith, and she put him on a one month trial of synthroid. She said to watch for the signs of hyper just in case. I'm glad I met her, within a few days he was a brand new dog - but of course he still had ups and downs through the adjustment of meds and such. Blood tests now prove he's right where he should be.

Seems he has a problem with the way his body is able to use the synthroid. Could be something, could be nothing OP.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:04 AM
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What are you feeding now? I wouldn't go to a prescription diet. Like jagger said, get a hypothyroid test done, and consider a raw diet as well, and if not raw then definantly a limited ingredient diet of some sort.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:29 PM
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What are you feeding now? I wouldn't go to a prescription diet. Like jagger said, get a hypothyroid test done, and consider a raw diet as well, and if not raw then definantly a limited ingredient diet of some sort.
Agree completely with above. Pits often have skin issues. 2 weeks on raw and my dog cleared up. By 2 months she had a full, shiny coat.

What do you currently feed?
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for so much interest. We feed Chopper Purina ProPlan Sport. It's a chicken version and claims to be 30/20 protein/fat. He was on the puppy version at the shelter. We stayed with it except for when we tried grain-free. I can't remember that brand. I'd recognize the bag if I saw it.

I read about raw diet. Would you recommend buying the frozen stuff or making your own? Is it safe? What about worms or other bacteria. I'm going to ask the vet about the thyroid. If we try a medicine that weakens his immune system I would hate to see what a raw diet would do to him.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:29 PM
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No offense, but that is crap food and likely causing the problems. Read the ingredients. See www.dogfoodadvisor.com for ratings. If you are going to feed kibble, feed grain free 4 stars and above.

For raw, I follow the prey model. 80% raw meat, 10% raw bones and 10% offal. Google it and read about it. Made the world of difference for my dogs.

Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:30 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't feed anything Purina but that's me. The proplan is middle of the road at best. Sounds yummy no?

Quote:
Ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), whole grain corn, corn germ meal, brewers dried yeast, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, fish oil, dried egg product, wheat bran, calcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium carbonate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite
If you're going to feed raw, that's a different conversation to have... Raw is completely safe, no worries about bacterias and such. Many raw feeders on here, some have been feeding their dog raw for over a decade with no issues.

I would definitely start with thyroid, like I say, our dog looked like yours only 7 months ago, his coat is now grown back. Prepare for a fight if you're dealing with a strict western vet.
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