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Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye

by Alan L.
(Ben Lomond, CA)

Close up of problem eye

Close up of problem eye

Close up of problem eye
Both eyes for comparison
He is a large dog

My dog Blake seems to get this eye irritation (see photos) from time to time, but it never fully goes away. He has had the problem for over a year. His left eye gets a dark or skin colored ring around it and the hair falls out in that ring.


It doesn't really look red, just dark and slightly puffy. A slight amount of goop in it but not much that is even noticeable. It is always only in just that one eye.

Breed:
Blake is a mutt but I had a Wisdom panel done on his genetics. Turns out he is a combination of three breeds: German Shepherd, Great Pyrenees and Vishla. He is about three years old.

Disposition:
He is very athletic and energetic. The eye problem has not seemed to matter much to him. He does nibble on himself from time to time but not in a way that seems obsessive. He is not losing hair in any other areas. He is a friendly dog.

Various Treatments (unrelated):
I have treated him in the past with one of two different flea treatments:
1) Frontline Plus for Dogs 89-132 lbs) and
2) K9 advantix II (from the vet)

He had an ear infection a while back which was treated and cured.

Suggestions
One vet suggested a diet change, but it seems funny to me that only one eye is affected by something in his diet.

Diet
He eats Iams® ProActive Health™ Adult Weight Control dog food. He doesn't have a weight problem, but other foods seem to be too rich for him and give him a runny stool. So I just get him this and he seems fine with it.

Environment:
We live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in a mixed forest of Douglas Fir and Redwoods with some Madrone and Oak mixed in. Our yard is cleared but not manicured as it has various sized grasses growing everywhere.

Habits:
Blake tends to like to eat long grass. he will go outside, eat a bunch, then throw it up. I have no idea why he does this, but you know, its a thing he does, maybe once a week.

Comments for Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye

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Jun 02, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 2, 2013

Hi Alan,

From your photo of Blake, I am really suspicious this is a localized infection due to Demodex mange mites. How to Treat Dog Mange: Demodectic Mange

You determined that Blake is a genetic combination of 3 breeds, German Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and Vizsla. Unfortunately, all three of these breeds are prone to immune system disorders!

Have a skin scraping done for a diagnosis. I am not sure how much Blake will cooperate with this procedure, but it will give you a diagnosis if it is Demodex. (He may need a mild sedation of valium!)

Even if it is negative, I would still offer the following suggestions:

1. No more vaccinations. Vaccines will adversely affect the immune system. You may need a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form for this.
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

2. Improve his diet by adding in a small amount of RAW meat to his Iams ProActive Adult Weight Control Dry Food. Only ONE Tablespoon to begin.
NO RAW PORK or RAW FISH. Dry dog food is not a good diet for helping heal skin conditions. Blake needs more moisture in the diet, and raw meat is full of vitamin C, enzymes and protein plus moisture that is excellent for skin. RAW chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb would be fine, (look for lean cuts).

3. Support his Immune System by supplementing him with one, or all, of these:
1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

4. Switch to NON-toxic flea and tick control products. This is a great option: Wondercide

As for Blake wanting to eat long grass, I suspect this may relate to his sensitive stomach issues. I hope that if you improve his diet and immune system, this will help not only his skin but his GI tract as well.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman


DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.


Jun 04, 2013
The advice
by: Alan

Well, looks like I have some work to do. Great advice.

Feb 16, 2014
my dog Lucy
by: michelle kendall

can I out neosporine around my dog's eye.

Feb 16, 2014
Umm Yeah
by: Anonymous

Well, My dog Blake got better.

Neosporin did seem to help Blake. We got him on some flea mediation and oddly enough, that seemed to help too. Apparently a lot of dogs are allergic to fleas.

Feb 24, 2014
Response to Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

February 22, 2014

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the update on Blake.

I am glad that he is better. Apparently, if he responded to the Neosporin around his eyes, then it was not mites. It was probably a secondary bacterial infection.

Yes, you are correct. Many dogs have flea allergies. Ongoing vaccinations and dry dog food can make them more susceptible to this problem.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!


Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Apr 06, 2014
similar dog, exact condition
by: matt

hi Alan,

our dog shadow, like Blake, has the exact condition under one eye for 6mnths now. She is a mutt of lab and maybe chow mixed. She also loves eating long grass. We've been treating her eye semi-effectively with neosporin but the problem continues to reappear. We had a biopsy and was told it was essentially a allergic reaction that could be one of a thousand things from pollens, mold, insect bites or ticks or fleas, diet, etc. but no definitive answer. Please let me know if you certainly eliminated the infection to date or figured anything further. In the meantime I'll be trying the flea treatment as you stated was effective for Blake.

Thanks!

May 19, 2014
Two similarities with our dogs!
by: Anonymous

Hi, My 3 year old purebred Yorkie developed at first a red and now thick brown ring around his left eye, as well as a small lump. Coincidentally, he developed this just as the pollen began falling here in Pollock Pines, Ca., East of South Lake Tahoe. I too recently changed his dry dog food to a weight control brand; however, he also gets 2 tbl. of Merrik canned food which has a 5 star rating. The vet said the lump on his eye is a cyst, and his eye has a scratch i believe from playing rough with another dog. I'm putting a warm compress on it 3x a day, and hope this avoids surgical removal. Tea bags were recommended by someone on FB. I'm going to switch that low calorie dry dog food, and see if he gets better.

May 20, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

May 19, 2014

Dear Anonymous,

I am not sure if you had a question, but thanks for your comment. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Mar 26, 2015
dark & puffy irritation ring & hair loss around dogs eye
by: Nate s.

I have the same problem with my Queensland heeler (Charlie) he is about 1 1/2 years old I just found this website about 2 days ago and started putting neosporin on It and I'm going to give him a flea bath today and put on some flea and tick medication I live in California on a 100 acre ranch so they roam around a lot so it could be a bunch of stuff but I just noticed today him itching a lot so I think it could be a reaction to flea's or maybe mites. I'm going to clean out his dog house and all his Beding stuff and wash it and spray around his house and my house and go from there any other suggestions?

Mar 28, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dark & Puffy Irritation & Hair Loss Around Dog's eye
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

March 27, 2015

Dear Nate,
Demodex mites do not cause itching and hair loss around the eyes. Hair loss without itching would be from mites. Just itching of the eyes, face, corner of the mouth, ears and tops of front feet, would be caused by inhaled allergies.

Using flea and tick prevention is a good idea living on 100 acres. But it might be best getting a diagnosis of what the problem might be, and then treating it.

Click on the link below to find a holistic veterinarian.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Otherwise, I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Mar 28, 2015
resolved
by: matt

Nate, this is Matt with the dog shadow from over a year ago when we went through this same battle here in Florida. Shadow came down from indiana and had this same allergic reaction at this same time of the year. The veternarian was familiar with and prescribed a common broad spectrum antibiotic. It took 3 prescriptions refilled but finally a 6 week regiment took it away completely.

Mar 29, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dark & Puffy Irritation Ring & Hair Loss Around Dog's Eye
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

March 28, 2015

Hi Matt, (and 'Shadow')
Happy to hear that Shadow is back to normal now. I have a comment, regarding your posting:

You wrote,
"Shadow came down from Indiana and had this same allergic reaction at this same time of the year. The veterinarian was familiar with and prescribed a common broad spectrum antibiotic. It took 3 prescriptions refilled but finally a 6 week regiment took it away completely."

If it was an 'allergic' reaction, how did an antibiotic clear it up completely? Usually antibiotics clear up bacterial infections. Perhaps it was an infection and not an allergy?

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Click here to add your own comments

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