How to Stop Dog Hair Loss
(Ridgefield, WA, USA)
Dog Dry Flaking Skin and Hair Loss
Reader Question: How to Stop Dog Hair Loss
'Ranger' my 9 yr old, un-neutered, Australian Shep. X has some kind of problem with his skin that has gotten worst over several months now. He gets topical flea treatments monthly. I thoroughly brush him 2 or more times weekly. He eats a quality dry dog food. He's overweight. He itchy all the time. His hair-loss when I brush him is extreme in his crusty, flaking areas. His coat looks greasy, skin has flaking/crusty patches on different parts/areas of his body. I will attach a few photos for you to see.
Please, any advice, help is appreciated.
Angela & 'Ranger' Suggestion from our Vet: How to Diagnose Dog Hair Loss
A number of different problems could be to blame for Ranger’s hair loss, itchiness, and skin lesions. If he were my patient, this is how I would go about figuring out what was wrong.
First I’d perform a physical exam and take a thorough history. Based on your description of his symptoms, I’m a little concerned that a systemic condition like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease might be playing a role. If that were the case, we’d need some blood work and other diagnostic tests to reach a diagnosis.
I would also look specifically at his skin using tests such as cytology to rule out yeast or bacterial infections, a fungal culture for ringworm, and skin scrapings to look for microscopic parasites. If none of this led to a diagnosis, skin biopsies or allergy testing might be necessary.
As you can see, the work-up for skin problems in dogs is often quite involved. If your veterinarian can’t help you, consider making an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist.
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM