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Old 05-05-2008, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,222 posts, read 4,481,817 times
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So, the title says it all. My dog is looking moth-eaten. He's a 9 month old yellow lab and over the past couple weeks has been scratching constantly... to the point where he now has little bald patches by his elbow and hip.

We bathed him with a shampoo meant to soothe itches. He does not have fleas, either. These aren't hot spots - they're not oozing, they're not even red. They don't look irritated at all, just hairless.

It might sound strange, but could he have developed a scratching behavior out of boredom? It first started when we were painting our living room, so he was in the crate more than he normally would have been.

Does anyone know of any other possible causes, or better yet other treatments?
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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Did your vet check him out? Make sure it is not some type of mange infection. I don't have first hand experience. I did meet many dogs that are bald due to mange infection (puppies are prone to be infected due to their weak immunosystem). The vet will also need to determine whether it is an allergic response (blood work can help). If both possibilities were ruled out, there are many experts here that will share their experience to improve his skin conditions. But a vet visit is a must.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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We haven't taken him to the vet yet... but I can assure you it is not mange.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Swamps of Florida
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How can you be sure it's not mange? This was the first thing i thought as well.

What do you feed him? He may be having food allergies, which are very common. How is weather where you are at? Seasonal allergies are also common.
Your best bet is to take him to the vet and run full blood panel, to eliminate anything health related. You can do allergy testing as well, but it's quiet expensive, but you will know for sure.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:16 PM
 
1,257 posts, read 3,950,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtoaz View Post
We haven't taken him to the vet yet... but I can assure you it is not mange.
Just for your info. All dogs have many types of manges (unless the dog grows up in a sterile bubble). The immunosystem controls the mange population. If a puppy stressed out (due to your painting activity), immunosystem can be weaken and one type of mange started to grow out of control, then you got mange infection problem. It doesn't require your dog to be exposed to outdoors or other dogs. Manges can't be seen by eye and it can be only detected in hair follicles under microscope.
This doesn't mean your dog has the mange problem. Your vet can observe the skin and give you a proper diagnosis.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Finger Lakes, NY
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Two weeks of scratching ... I would take your pup to the vet to have checked out. I had a lab super pron to skin and ear infections. Baldness, scratching and licking paws are all signs of skin infections. Does your pup also scratch at his ears? Or shake his head alot? Those are good signs that there is an ear infection. All things to look for. We never did get the chance to find exactly what our pup was allergic to ... she passed on her 4th b-day in February from kidney failure. She was really pron to those infections resulting in many trips to the vet for one thing or another. By the time we all (including vet) realized she should have blood work done, her kidney's were already too damaged. Don't want to scare you, but this kind of scratching could be an underlying cause of something more serious. We never did any form of biopsy so I can't tell you what caused the kidney failure, but I would call the vet. It could be anything, and like I said, I don't want to scare you ... I'm just telling what I know from my experience. Maybe it's just a skin irritation from the paint fumes. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Yeah, we're taking him to the vet this week... I just thought I could get a couple ideas of causes in the meantime.

We're in the desert, so it's very dry. The spots are not dry (by that I mean scaly or flaky) nor are they moist or oozy. They're not red either.

We haven't changed his food or anything like that. He's not scratching his ears or flapping them at all, whatever it is doesn't seem to include his ears (which is good - we had a golden when I was growing up that had constant ear infections).

I'm thinking the most likely culprit is seasonal allergies... mine have been going crazy lately, too. Like I said, it's very dry, there are several types of trees that have gone into overdrive bloom over the past few weeks and it's starting to warm up now too.

I'll keep everyone updated on what the vet says later this week.
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:17 PM
 
1,501 posts, read 5,095,251 times
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Odds are that there is corn, soy, wheat... in the food he's eating, too. Check the ingredients. First ingredients should be meat, not corn or by-products. You'd be amazed at the health issues which ingredients in bad foods cause. (Research has proven that Skin, ear, yeast, cancer, renal failure...have quite common ties.)
A Holistic Vet would be the only vet to recommend a diet (whatever you do, please don't ever let a regular vet "recommend" food to you, or the dog will be on medications for other "issues" which will pop up. Those "prescription" brands are far from medicine or treatment!!) Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Finger Lakes, NY
223 posts, read 882,665 times
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Just thought of one more thing ... to temporarily relieve the itching we used Aveno Oatmeal Lotion on the itchy spots and that worked wonders. After about a week, the itching stoped and the fur started to grow back. That probably won't fix the main cause of the problem, but your puppy will sure feel better. As the above poster mentioned food is very important. We made a switch from a good dog food to a really good dog food ... Canidae ... and she did much better after the switch too. I wouldn't recommend switching food until after the vet appointment though.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: The Lakes Region
3,074 posts, read 3,974,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtoaz View Post
So, the title says it all. My dog is looking moth-eaten. He's a 9 month old yellow lab and over the past couple weeks has been scratching constantly... to the point where he now has little bald patches by his elbow and hip.

We bathed him with a shampoo meant to soothe itches. He does not have fleas, either. These aren't hot spots - they're not oozing, they're not even red. They don't look irritated at all, just hairless.

It might sound strange, but could he have developed a scratching behavior out of boredom? It first started when we were painting our living room, so he was in the crate more than he normally would have been.

Does anyone know of any other possible causes, or better yet other treatments?
Take your dog to the Vet it could be Mange....Don't wait.....Carrie
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