E.H., Durham, NC
Tags: dog NC Durham
Nov 07, 2010
My 2-year-old Chihuahua Toby is losing his body hair. The vet told me that he is healthy in every other way. So why is his hair falling out? The meds from the vet are having no effect. They include lactulose syrup to soften the stool, twice a day; Derma 3 liquid on food once a day; and chlorpheniramine (4 mg) 1-1/2 tablets twice daily. What else can I do? I can't afford to keep going to the vet, and I don't have a computer.
E.H., Durham, NC Nov 07, 2010
You didn't say whether your vet checked your dog for mange. I would suspect this on the basis of your dog's symptoms, which could be confirmed if his skin has a mousey smell. He could well have contracted sarcoptic mange -- something he may have picked up while at a shelter or a puppy mill. Because one of the medicines prescribed is an antihistamine and anti-itch medicine, I presume your dog has been scratching a lot. This is another cardinal sign of mange, but could also be from a food allergy.
Sarcoptic mange is treatable with dips and a drug called Ivermectin. The veterinarian can take skin scrapings to check for mange parasites that burrow into the dog's skin. The other type of mange called Demodex is more difficult to treat, causes hair loss and thickening of the skin, and is aggravated by stress in young, growing animals who become infested from their mothers while nursing and may show no symptoms until stressed later in life. As an extra precaution, give your dog some cotton sheets to lie on, laundered with an unscented detergent and then relaundered in hot water only. You may next have to consider a possible food allergy or even a genetic anomaly of late-onset alopecia.
Try feeding Toby a little scrambled egg, cottage cheese and lightly cooked hamburger. Give him a daily infant (human) multimineral/multivitamin and a few drops of flaxseed oil and coconut oil, consulting with your veterinarian about taking him off the prescribed medications and doing the mange test.