Puppy Hair Loss on Head

I have a month and a half old German Shepard/miniature husky mix. She was always normal and healthy until about a week ago or two ago. She started losing hair on the top of her head and the skin is now pink and scabby and we don't know what's wrong.

We fear it may spread or get worse. We are going to get her checked out soon but we wanted to know as soon as possible what it is that's wrong. It started out with what I thought was like a small zit on the top of her head to a few scabs to hair loss and now this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The first pic is of her about two or three weeks ago and the second is of her today.

Veterinarian Response: Puppy Hair Loss on Head

Hello there,

What a cute puppy!

The list of potential causes for skin lesions like you describe is quite long. I usually handle cases like this in the following way. First, I start with a physical exam and unless the problem is obvious (for example, a flea infestation), I move on to a few simple and inexpensive laboratory tests – a skin scraping to rule out mange mites (Demodex, Sarcoptes, and others), skin cytology to identify yeast or bacterial infections, and a fungal culture for ringworm.

The ringworm test can take a few weeks to complete, so in the meantime, I’ll treat for anything I’ve identified and sometimes prescribe a broad spectrum anti-parasite medication like Revolution to kill some of the parasites that can be hard to find on diagnostic tests.

This type of protocol is usually all that is needed to identify the cause of a puppy’s skin problems, but in some cases, skin biopsies or testing for environmental and food allergies are also necessary.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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